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Kashmiri Boy in Atal, Indira’s footsteps

Touseef Raina from Baramulla selected to participate in top US programme meant for leaders of tomorrow

Srinagar: Touseef Raina has achieved the unique distinction of becoming a Kashmiri to join the august company of the late prime ministers Atal Behari Vajpayee and Indira Gandhi as a participant in a programme for promising leaders of the future.

Raina, 28, is going to the US for the International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) in the US during March. Very few promising leaders from different parts of the world are chosen for this programme. In the past, Vajpayee and Indira Gandhi were chosen when they were relatively young many decades ago.

Raina is the director of the Think tank, Policy Institute of Jammu and Kashmir. He is a dynamic young change-maker with an outstanding record of shaping a positive, forward-looking cultural, social, and political milieu in Kashmir.

Raina is a self-made leader and thinker who remains deeply rooted in his humble beginnings, with a thorough understanding of the weft and waft of the fabric of Kashmiri society.

Raina is a socio-political activist from north Kashmir’s Baramulla district who launched and became the chairman of the NGO, Global Youth Foundation, when he was still a teenager. Under its auspices, he has engaged the youth of Kashmir in social and cultural programmes, and run campaigns against drug abuse, corruption, and human rights abuse.

The IVLP is the U.S. Government’s most prestigious professional exchange programme. Of the tens of thousands of world leaders who have participated in the IVLP programme over the past 80 years, no less than 335 are current or former Heads of State.

During the next few weeks, Raina and other promising leaders from different parts of the world will meet political, social, and academic leaders in different parts of the US. They will spend most of their time in the US capital, Washington DC.

Raina intends to explore how enhancing the leadership skills, knowledge-base, and aspirations of the next generation can advance civic engagement. `I look forward to learning and growing. I am deeply humbled and excited to participate in this programme. It is a privilege,’ Raina said.

This program will facilitate his interaction with public, private, academic, religious and gross-roots organisations to learn about best practices in responsible citizen activism and leadership, as well as educational and social strategies to prepare for positive civic engagement. This programme will include volunteer activism, professional networking, and opportunities to share empowerment strategies.

It aims to offer current and emerging international leaders the opportunity to experience the diversity of American political, economic, social and cultural life through exchanges that reflect the participant’s professional interests.

Touseef is an activist and organisation-builder of proven merit. He has consistently demonstrated a mind of his own, and bold leadership, during more a decade of leading change.

He has worked tirelessly for inter-faith and inter-region harmony, and for peace-building through myriad creative activities. He his striven tirelessly for social justice.

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