Punjab to host National Youth Festival from Jan 12

New Delhi, Jan 10: The 18th National Youth Festival will be held in Ludhiana from January 12 to 16.

The festival is being held on the occasion of birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. Every year January 12, the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, is observed as the National Youth Day.

The festival is being organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India and the Government of Punjab.

Over 5000 youth will participate at the festival wherein each State/UT Government is expected to send a contingent of 100 participants for participating in a multitude of competitive and non-competitive activities such as classical vocal solo, classical dance, folk dance, one act play and many others.

On January 12, opening ceremony will be organized at the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, and will be inaugurated by Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Youth Affairs and Sports.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari to be the Guest of Honour and Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal will preside over the function.

During the ceremony, National Youth Awards and Awards to Outstanding Youth Clubs will also be conferred. Other major events during the inaugural function will be a March Past by State Contingents.

The closing ceremony of the festival will be held on January 16 in which prizes will be distributed for the various competitive events held during the festival.

The theme of the National Youth Festival this year is ‘Youth For Drugs Free World’. In recent years, a worrying trend of increasing drug abuse among the youth of our country is emerging and this issue is fast threatening to derail the promise of the much talked about demographic dividend.

Today, many young people and their families are being affected by the menace of drugs and the platform of the National Youth Festival is being used to bring awareness in the society about this issue. The Festival will help to dispel the wrong notion among many sections of our society that drug abuse is restricted only to the extreme ends of the socio-economic spectrum.

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, is committed to and looks forward to playing the role of a facilitator and to bring different stakeholders together in this fight against drug abuse.

It recognizes the importance of skill development and creating job opportunities for the youth so that they are not attracted by the lure of drugs and other forms of abuse such as delinquent behaviour, terrorism, drug abuse and alcoholism.

Recent initiatives of key Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports organizations such as the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), the National Service Scheme (NSS) and the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD) in the field of youth development and empowerment are geared towards addressing these concerns.

Furthermore, Social Development Fair or ‘YuvaKriti’ will be organized to provide an opportunity for young artisans to showcase their talent.

A National Youth Convention on the chosen theme concerning the youth will be organized where around 800 youth will participate. ‘Suvichar’ is also being organized at the festival, where young men and women will get a chance to interact with eminent personalities. (ANI)