Urging the society to harness the power of youths ,Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari today said the future,hopes and aspirations of the country rest with them.
Ansari inaugurated a colourful 14th National Youth Festival at Guru Nanak Dev University campus,which is being held for the first time in the state. However,Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal stayed away from the mega event,which would see 3,000 youths converging on from various states of the country. He was with the Vice-President in the morning during his visit to the Golden Temple,Durgiana Mandir and Jallianwala Bagh. Punjab Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Gulzar Singh Ranike was also conspicuous by his absence.
OSD to CM Daljit Singh Cheema,however,said the CM and his ministers were to reach Muktsar for Maghi celebrations,so he skipped the function. He added that the event was being organised jointly by the state and the Union Ministry of Sports,and Punjab was delighted to play the host.
Union Sports Minister MS Gill said he chose Amritsar because he wanted to showcase the great culture of this part of the agrarian state to the rest of the country. He said the five-day-long festival would bring together 4,000 youths,giving them ample opportunity to share values,culture,hopes and aspirations.
He said motto of the festival is as propagated by Swami Vivekanada: “The world is a great gymnasium,where we come to make ourselves strong.”
Earlier,Ansari said in October last year,the UN presented a world report on implementation of various programmes and initiatives for the youth,focusing on mobilising their creative energies for nation-building,dissemination of ideas on peace,freedom and human rights. He said the theme of this 14th festival was: 21st Century belongs to youth. He asked the youth to come together to fight illiteracy and unemployment.
MP Navjot Singh Sidhu,Rajmohinder Singh Majithia and Tarlochan Singh were also present on the occasion. The major attractions of the first day were the horse show by boys of Punjab Public School,Nabha,Gatka display and gidda. Ansari took the salute from the march past of contingents from various states,who displayed the rich cultural heritage of their respective province.