“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile,” says Vince Lombardi. In a conflict-ridden zones like Kashmir, where there is a severe leadership crisis, as far as engaging with the masses, empowering them politically, economically and socially was concerned. There is a firm belief that there isn’t just one model or hero that fits into the situation, who actually thinks of bringing a change in the overall scenario. The Kashmir situation is a unique one. The people here need a proper and timely directions, which will impact their lives socially and politically in a positive way. Amid political uncertainty, there are some vital areas including health, education, environment and business that are at the receiving end. So an impressive and powerful intervention is needed to initiate a process of change at the grassroots. People would admire noble laureate and change-maker of Bangladesh, Prof Muhammad Yunus – a social entrepreneur, banker, economist and civil society leader, who thought out of the box when other academics like him were busy within the four walls of their classrooms. He founded the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. These loans are given to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. The Bank through their efforts of microcredit creates economic and social development from below. Such types of intervention is need of the hour in an economically-hit region. Kashmir has created history not in progress but in witnessing turbulent times and has broken all the records with regard to strikes, hartals, curgews etc. While as the government claims down curfews and restricts people to move outside their homes when they feel “national interest/security” was in danger. So the population remains always at the receiving end. This situation has given rise to a volatile trend where not only poor are becoming poorer but many aspiring entrepreneurs are leaving the restive region for greener pastures. A model like Prof Yunus’s should be adopted to engage greater masses, especially youth in order to create a greater impact. The efforts will not only bring laurels to the State but also set Kashmir out of the clutches of poverty and political uncertainty. Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.
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