Let's Play Football, an initiative under the Central government's ambitious 'Khelo India,' has begun here.
This 5-day long event is the second edition of the initiative, the first one held in 2018 in which a total of 60,000 players from every district of the state participated.
As many as 1,200 of them were selected to play in the current edition of the competition.
Eighty-eight teams -- 44 of girls and 44 of boys -- are participating in the event in two categories -- Under-17 and Under-19. "Players who do well will get national level coaching," said Saleem Ui Rehman, Director, Department of Youth Services and Sports, while talking to the reporters here.
"The motto is to ensure holistic development of the children. Playing games has become a necessity. It has a role in character building and also creates a cohesive environment where youths interact and learn more," added Rehman.
He further said the Department of Youth Services and Sports is organising another event involving around 12 lakh children. The event will consist of four games -- carom, chess, football, and cricket.
The initiative is also seen as an attempt to engage local youth of Jammu and Kashmir in sports so as to distract them from other disturbing elements prevailing in the Valley.
A local youth participating in the event told ANI: "This is a very good initiative by the Government of India. Youths are indulging in drug abuse. They need to be diverted towards better things." (ANI)