MINGORA: Health and IT minister Shahram Khan Tarakai on Thursday said the establishment of the Durshal Centre would help the youths with IT education find jobs, begin business and increase their knowledge through online lectures.

He was addressing a ceremony held here to inaugurate the Durshal project, a community innovation lab.

DDAC chairman Fazal Hakim Khan, Malakand Division commissioner Zaheerul Islam Shah and IT secretary Dawood Khan were also present on the occasion.

The minister said young IT experts would become members of the Durshal Centre and work on their self-designed IT projects in groups of four.

“These members will work on the proposed business models under the guidance of senior IT experts for six months and will receive a stipend of Rs30,000 per month each,” he said.

The minister asked IT-qualified youths of Swat to apply for the membership of the centre.

“The youths will be groomed and trained here on how to find jobs online, develop their business as we have provided them experts and mentors from various international fields including Google, Microsoft etc,” he said, adding that youths of the region would get employments on a large scale.

The minister hoped that the local educated people and businessmen would benefit from the centre as literacy rate was very high in Swat valley.

He said after Mardan, Swat was the second district, where Durshal Centre was established, and seven more such centres would be established in the province.

“Besides Swat, the IT qualified youths from the entire Malakand division will also become members of this regional centre,” he said.

The minister said after the successful execution of the Swat Motorway project, Kalam project, Malam Jabba project and other developmental projects, the Malakand division, especially Swat, would become one of the most active business centres of the province.

He also said the 500-bedded Saidu Sharif hospital would soon be functional as the required funds for all sectors had already been released.

TREE PLANTATION DRIVE: Speakers at a function here the other day urged people to take part in the tree plantation campaign.

The function was held to launch the tree plantation campaign and mark International Day of Forests at Excelsior College in Sangota wherein officials from various departments including Malakand DIG Akhtar Hayat Khan, DFO Mohammad Iqbal Khan and Zubair Ahamd, the principal of the college, planted saplings.

Speaking on the occasion, DIG Akhtar Hayat Khan said that tree plantation was the duty of everyone as it was the need of the day.

“We must save environment for our future generation by protecting and taking care of forests. The forests not only keep our environment pleasant but also ensure healthy life and decrease the effects of global warming,” he said.

The DIG said that it was the collective responsibility of people to plant more trees and protect forests.

Mohammad Iqbal Khan said that all arrangements were made for the plantation campaign in Swat.

“We want to make Swat valley green for which thousands of saplings will be planted. I am hopeful that all people, particularly students and youth, will make it a success,” he said.

Students on the occasion also planted saplings. They said that they wanted to work for the greener and pollution-free environment in Swat valley.

Published in Dawn, March 23rd, 2018