Shooter Abhinav Bindra and actor Shabana Azmi among the invitees
Indias first individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra,film actor Shabana Azmi and Dicky Dolma,the youngest woman to scale the Mount Everest at the age of 19 in 1993,are among those invited for the 14th National Youth Festival being held here from January 12 to 16.
The event,being organised by the Union Ministry of Youth Welfare in association with the Punjab government,would be inaugurated by Vice-President Hamid Ansari.
Major HPS Ahluwalia,a veteran of the 1965 Indo-Pak war who has conquered the Everest; noted economist Isher Judge Ahluwalia and poet Javed Akhtar are also likely to attend the event,the opening and closing ceremonies of which would be held at the Guru Nanak Dev University premises. Punjab Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Gulzar Singh Ranike said these achievers from different fields have been invited to motivate the youth.
A budget of Rs 4 crore has been earmarked for the event,which has been dedicated to the memory of Swami Vivekanand. The week would be celebrated as Youth Week and over 4,000 people from across India are likely to participate, said Ranike.
Arrangements for various competitive and non-competitive items have been made at more than 12 places, said RPS Pawar,Principal Secretary,Sports and Youth affairs,Punjab. Young men and women,who have contributed towards the betterment of the society,would be conferred the National Youth Awards on this occasion, he added.
Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal would preside over the opening session,where Dr M S Gill,Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports,would be the guest of honour.
The district administration has deputed ADC Parneet Bharadwaj as the Nodal Officer for the event,said KS Pannu,DC,Amritsar. Various committees have been formed by the administration for organising the event,while GNDU VC Dr Jai Rup has also constituted various committees at the university level.