The five-day 8th International Youth Peace Fest (IYPF 2013) concluded on Wednesday at the Post- Graduate Government College in Sector 11 after a week of peace talks,creative workshops,co-operative games,action-based activities and cultural festivities with 250 delegates participating from over 20 countries.
The last day of the fest started with American Gandhi Bernie Meyer and 200 other international and national participants going on an early morning walk to promote Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation.
The walk,flagged off by K K Sharma,Chandigarh Advisor,was sponsored by Department of Forests and Wildlife at Sukhna Lake.
Virbhadra Singh,Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh was chief guest at the ceremony,where he released an International Peace Jingle sung by the Peace Fest delegates from different countries. Also,the CM honoured international delegates,while cartoonist Sandeep Joshi released a peace logo for the 9th International Youth Peace Fest.
Randeep Singh Surjewala,cabinet minister,Haryana,Mukesh Agnihotri,Industries Minister,Himachal Pradesh,Rajinder Rana,MLA,Haryana and Bikram Rana,State Liaison Officer,State Cell NSS,Chandigarh attended the function.
The 8th IYPF was jointly organised by Yuvsatta,NSS state cell,Government Post-graduate College,Sector 11,Oxfam India,Department of Environment,Science and Technology,Forests and Wildlife,Chandigarh Administration and JAI (Jurists and Associates International).
Speaking on the occasion,Yuvsatta co-ordinator Pramod Sharma said they would hold the annual mega event next year from September 27 to October 2,for which efforts to solicit more international participation will start from November 4,2013 onwards.
We started this fest with just India and Pakistan in 2006. But this year over 20 countries participated. We intend to bring youth from all countries on this platform in the next five years, Sharma added.
Meanwhile,Virbhadra Singh and Randeep Singh Surjewala announced a grant of Rs 2.5 lakhs each to encourage Yuvsatta volunteers to undertake increased promotion of peace and non-violence amongst youth.
According to Randeep Surjewala,youth participation at the grass-root level has already contributed significantly to halting and reversing environmental degradation.
The need of the hour is to further consolidate and spread this message amongst masses,he added.