Over 1.06 lakh citizens participated in Raahgiri, a unique community-connect initiative, launched by Haryana government in April this year. This was stated by OP Singh, Special Officer in Chief Minister Office, who looks after implementation of the programme in the state. As many as 55 Raahgiri events were organised across the state since April 22.
According to the government, the aim of the flagship programme is to offer people a platform for bonding, togetherness and healthy mass entertainment and to provide a stage to local artistes so that they can showcase their talent. It also aims to help the district administration forge a good working relationship with the youth. “It is a strategic acquisition in peacetime that will help the administration in preventing youth alienation and resolving hostile crowd situation peacefully through dialogue and negotiation.” said Singh.
The highest individual turnout of 12,000 was at Kurukshetra on May 20, the event that Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar himself attended. Khattar urged people to make pursuit of happiness a priority for themselves as “India figures among bottom 25 countries as per World Happiness Index Report, 2018”. The CM also took part in another overflowing Raahgiri at Jind on May 27 and flagged the issue of high level of mental distress and depression in India.
Singh added, “To ensure popular and meaningful participation district administration is reaching out to sports, drama and cultural clubs, sports nurseries, wings and academies, NGOs, Nehru Yuva Kendras, National Service Scheme volunteers, NCC cadets and fitness business entrepreneurs. It also plans to harness the reach of sport officials and youth affairs department. Under the programme, every coach and sports quota government employee is expected to guide and mentor at least 100-150 high-potential aspiring players in his area”.