The Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, on Friday concluded a Punarjagran (reawakening) Yatra at the birthplace of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, Nagla Bhan in Mathura. Thousands of volunteers in t-shirts, specially designed in tricolour, thronged the event attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, marking the end of the Yatra launched last year. More than 10,000 villages across the country were covered during the Yatra.
The objective of NYSK, according to its website, is providing avenues to rural youth so that they can participate in nation building and develop their personality and skills. For more than a year, however, the NYKS has taken only five initiatives — Swachh Bharat Mission, Punarjagran Yatra, International Day of Yoga, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.
With the Congress alleging that the NDA has politicised NYKS, the government is now looking forward to model the NYKS on the ideas of Vivekanada and RSS icon Upadhyaya, whose birth centenary the Parivar is gearing up to celebrate.
“We began the yatra on October 2 last year and ended on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. He spoke about the uplift of the most deprived man. Any government will follow the thoughts of great personalities,” NYKS vice-chairperson V D Sharma told The Indian Express.
Sharma, who was in the BJP’s student wing ABVP, denied that there was any move to saffronise the NYKS. “There is no politics. The NYK is named after Nehru, but it comes under the Ministry of Youth Affairs. It is only in the past one year that NYKS became active. We will now remodel it on the thoughts of Vivekananda and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya.”
He said that there was nothing wrong in making the NYKS a carrier of government’s schemes. “We are strengthening democracy by spreading government schemes through Nukkad Nataks.”
The NYKS has extensive reach across the country. With 2.81 lakh youth clubs in villages and enrolment of about 80 lakh volunteers in the age group of 13-35, the ministry now aims to open clubs in each of the over six lakh villages.
Congress sees red in the ambitious plans. “The main task of NYKS was development of youths. Schemes of other ministries were never imposed on them. The Modi government has destroyed the entire framework, appointed ABVP men at key posts,” said Jitendra Singh, who was MoS Youth Affairs in the UPA government.