Pulwama: To build a direct interface between the government and the journalists working at district and sub-district levels across Kashmir division, Press Information Bureau (PIB), Srinagar, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India Thursday organised Media Workshop “Vartalap” at Town Hall Pulwama.
The theme of the workshop was “9 Years of Seva, Sushasan and Garib Kalyan”. Assistant Commissioner Development, Pulwama, Dr Peerzada Farhat Ahmad was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, Dr Ahmad encouraged the media to provide feedback to the administration so that it helps in better governance. He said that media has a lot of power and media persons should use that power wisely and judiciously and make sure that the power is not misused. He asserted that the relation between the government and the media should be an honest one as it is ultimately the public that gets to benefit from it.
Dr Ahmad also spoke about the implementation and progress of MGNREGA and PMAY schemes in the district. He said that MGNREGA has been a great success in Pulwama district and against a target of 5 lakh person days for the last financial year, more than 11 lakh person days were generated in the district which is an achievement in itself. He said that under the scheme, more than 200 streams in the district which had been converted into dustbins have been cleaned and rejuvenated.
Talking about the PMAY scheme, Dr Ahmad said that more than 500 installments of money have been distributed among beneficiaries in the previous financial year. He said that besides providing money for houses, the government is also providing financial assistance for construction of individual house hold latrines which is mandatory under the Swachch Bharat Mission.
Earlier in his welcome address, Joint Director (Media and Communication) PIB Srinagar Qazi Salman said that the purpose of the workshop is to get in touch with media at the grassroot level. He said that media works as the watch dog of society and inputs given by the media are very important for the administration.
Highlighting the completion of 9 years in office of the current government, Salman said that the period has been transformative when we speak of governance in India. He said that the schemes of the government are well directed and the masses are getting their due. He added that there is a difference in how the world sees India now as compared to 10 years ago and that is evident by the fact that India is holding the G20 presidency at the moment.
Salman said that journalists working in rural and far flung areas have an added responsibility on their shoulders as the areas that they serve are usually far from the centres of power and it is their responsibility to highlight issues of the people in an efficient manner so that their grievances can be addressed effectively.
District Agriculture Officer, Pulwama, Mohammad Munaf gave an overview of the various achievements and objectives of the Agriculture Department. He said food security and sustainability is a mission of the Central Government and the Government of Jammu and Kashmir is working hand in glove with the Centre to achieve this. He said that the Holistic Agriculture Development Programme was conceived by the J&K Government keeping the interest of 13 lakh farming families in mind and 29 projects are running under it. He added that in keeping with the latest trends in technology, the Agriculture Department is providing around 1500 tutorials to farmers which they can access on their phones.
Mohammad Nadeem Bhat, District Programme Manager National Rural Livelihood Mission spoke about the implementation of various schemes under the programme in Pulwama district. He said that under the programme, Self Help Groups of women have been formed and the department helps in capacity building and also provides financial assistance so that beneficiaries can take maximum benefit out of the schemes.
District Immunisation Officer, Pulwama, Dr Masooda talked about the status of PMJAY-SEHAT and Jan Aushadi programmes. She said that 100 per cent families of the district have been provided PMJAY-SEHAT cards and there are eight empanelled hospitals working in the district. She said that the Jan Aushadi scheme has proved to be a beacon of hope as it provides quality generic medicines at an affordable price and people do not have to compromise with their well being due to financial constraints.
Assistant Commissioner Panchayats, Pulwama, Owais Mushtaq spoke about the implementation and progress of Swachch Bharat scheme in the district. He said that district administration is working day and night to achieve the target of being ODF+ (Open Defecation Free) by August 15 which has been set by the Chief Secretary. He said that programmes like these cannot be successful without active participation of the people and the media has to play a positive and proactive role to achieve this.
District Information Officer, Pulwama, Naushad Ahmad said that Pulwama district is excelling in every field and is fast becoming the first preference of visiting dignitaries and tourists. He added that things will not work out until media and administration work in coordination and are on the same page.
Earlier in the programme, Media Communication Officer, PIB Srinagar, Majid Mushtaq Pandit gave a detailed presentation on the working and mandate of PIB. He emphasized on the need to work closely with local media to create awareness about various Central Government schemes and programmes.
The technical sessions were followed by an interactive question-answer session in which journalists talked to the experts and cleared their doubts regarding various schemes and programmes. The journalists also thanked PIB for organising the workshop and expressed hope that more such workshops will be conducted in future.
The proceedings of the workshop were conducted by Tariq Ahmad Rather, Deputy Director (Media and Communication), PIB Srinagar.