The 10th edition of the Global Youth Peace Festival (GYPF) was inaugurated by Punjab and Haryana Governor and UT Administrator Professor Kaptan Singh Solanki at the International Cricket Stadium, Sector 16, Tuesday.
National Youth Project founder and veteran Gandhian from the Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi, Dr S N Subba Rao, organised a prayer session, which was followed by a round of meditation conducted by Monks Phra Niti and Phra Povit from the World Peace Initiative, Thailand.
Stressing the importance of peace and inter-religious harmony, Professor Kaptan Singh said, “Peace among people of different castes, cultures and diversities is more relevant today. The slogan of Jai Jagat, which promotes a spirit of oneness of this world and was given by Acharya Vinobha Bhave, is very apt for our times.”
He further spoke about the efforts taken by India in promoting world peace. Justice Surya Kant from the Punjab and Haryana High Court interacted with the participants of GYPF and encouraged them to seek mutual learning by discovering various cultures of the world at the fest.
Global Youth Icon Awards
Later in the day, the Global Youth Icon Awards for promotion of peace were presented to four people of various nationalities. Dr Markandey Rai, Adviser, UN Habitat; Indra Udayana, who runs the Ashram Gandhi Puri in Bali, and Sminu Jindal of Swayam were present at the event which was organised at the Chandigarh Judicial Academy.
Linking the achievement of millennium development goals to an aspiration for world peace, Dr Markandey Rai said, “Each one of us have a key role to play in ensuring that we strive to leave a better world for posterity.”
On the first day of GYPF, an ice-breaking session was organised, wherein over 300 delegates from India and across the world introduced themselves on a common platform. American Gandhi Bernie Meyer, who has been GYPF’s Brand Ambassador for the last six years, said that Gandhi’s ideals were more relevant now than ever, and encouraged the youth to create a world free from all conflicts.
Douglas Deeka from Nigeria, who was honoured with the Global Youth Icon Award, said, “My vision is to be a bridge between the youth and the government of Nigeria.”
Alia from Pakistan, who was a part of the conference in 2014 as well, said, “Countries in direct conflict do not spare to attack each other. Those of us who sit in our rooms and try to influence stereotypes and biases will never see our country emerge as a global power.”