BANDIPORA, MAY 25: 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 today organised Media Workshop “Vartalap” at district Bandipora. The Chief Guest of the workshop was District Development Commissioner Bandipora Dr Owais Ahmad and the Guest of Honour was Additional Director General, PIB Srinagar and Chandigarh Sh Rajinder Chaudhry. Addressing the gathering, Dr Owais Ahmad thanked PIB for organizing the workshop at Bandipora. He said that journalists are doing their bit in contributing to society by being the eyes and ears of the administration. He said that the advent of social media has been both a boon and a bane as sometimes misinformation spreads at a very fast rate and journalists can help in maintaining checks and balances regarding the same. Dr Owais 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. In his keynote address, Sh Chaudhry thanked district administration Bandipora for their support in organising the workshop. He said Vartalap is a two way communication and the purpose of the workshop is to reach out to media at far flung places. He added that the work of the government is greatly eased due to the efforts of the media as it acts like the eyes and ears of the government. Sh Chaudhry gave a detailed presentation on the structure and working of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the various media units that come under it. He said journalists should make maximum use of the information provided by the media units as it will help them in seeing the complete picture. He further said that besides disseminating information from the government, PIB also takes notice of news that is reported at the local and regional levels and conveys it to the higher authorities for redressal of grievances.
In his welcome address, Joint Director (Media and Communication) PIB Srinagar Sh Qazi Salman thanked the journalists for their attendance at the workshop. Besides describing the role and responsibility of PIB, he expressed that media has undergone a tremendous change in the recent past and the mode of consumption of news has changed dramatically. This has led to hyper consumption of news and that makes the role of local journalists all the more important, he asserted. He said that the purpose of Vartalap is to develop a connect with local journalists so that a healthy working relationship is formed between the media and the government. Sh Mohammad Muzaffer Shah, Assistant Commissioner Panchayats, Bandipora gave an overview on the achievements of Rural Development Department Bandipora. He said that the Swachh Bharat Mission has been a great success in the district and is among the top priorities of the administration. Sh Mehraj Wani, Project Manager DIC Bandipora spoke about achievements of health sector with special focus on PMJAY (Golden Cards) in Bandipora. He said that there are four hospitals that are running 24×7 and that private hospitals have also been empanelled under Ayushman Bharat. He added that Golden Cards have acted as a savior for the citizens and shared some success stories regarding the same. He further said that only 8 per cent of the population is yet to be covered under the Golden Card scheme. District Information Officer Bandipora Sh Jahangir Akhoon said that media serves as a vibrant agent of change and it is doing a commendable job by bringing to light the issues of masses. He expressed happiness that the media fraternity of Bandipora is working shoulder to shoulder with the administration in addressing grievances of the public. Dr Ghulam Mohammad Pajju, Principal Higher Secondary School Shadipora and Dr Ali Mohammad Nishtar, Principal Higher Secondary School Shahgund spoke jointly about the implementation of New Education Policy (NEP) in Bandipora. They emphasized that education is being made available to every child in the district and that there has been an increase in school enrolments since the introduction of NEP.
Sh Shoab Khan, State Coordinator UIDAI, J&K spoke about Aadhaar related issues and the importance of Aadhaar card in the present times. He said 90 per cent of the population of the district has Aadhaar cards and all efforts are being made to reach out to the remaining population. He added that 45 Aadhaar centres are currently operational in Bandipora district. In his concluding remarks, Sh Chaudhry said that journalists should come forward with their genuine demands and seek help from the government for redressal of their problems. The proceedings of the workshop were conducted by Deputy Director (Media and Communication) PIB Srinagar Sh Tariq Ahmad Rather. Media and Communication Officer, PIB Srinagar Sh Majid Pandit presented the Vote of Thanks. The technical sessions were followed by interactive question-answer sessions 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.