January 12, 2013
Chief Minister inaugurates the three-day-long `World Youth Festival`, asks to follow Swamiji`s footsteps
The 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda was celebrated all over West Bengal. Since early morning prabhat ferries, participated by children and people from all walks of life, were taken out from various places in the city revering the great soul. People in large number visited Swamiji's ancestral house at Simla Street in North Kolkata and Belur Math, the creation of the saint, to pay tribute to Vivekananda.
West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the three-day-long `World Youth Festival` at the Yuva Bharati Kridangan in Salt Lake in Kolkata. The spectacular programme began with the lighting of lamp by the West Bengal Chief Minister and West Bengal Governor alongwith others.
The Chief Minister on this occasion said that the youth of today must read Vivekananda as it will help them to understand the practicality of life. The Chief Minister asked all those present to take an oath of following the path shown by `Swamiji and honour women, spread humanity and brotherhood along with loving the country`. In her message to the people, the Chief Minister requested all take a vow and promise to themselves they will follow to the footsteps of Swamiji. She stressed on the need to read the philosophy of Swamiji and maintain self control. She said that that under no circumstances people should loose self-control as it gives way to wrongs and evils in the society. `I am very happy to see the large number of young people as they are the future and if we can groom them in the philosophy of such great men then we will have a better tomorrow`, added the Chief Minister.
Swami Girishananda Maharaj of Ramakrishna Math and Mission at Belur on this occasion thanked the West Bengal Chief Minister for her initiative to organize such a festival. He said that such festival did not take place even during the centenary year of Swamiji. `I feel immensely happy to be present today here among you all and see such a big gathering of youth. Swamiji, always said that youths are the future and new India will emerge from them. I feel proud that Swamiji was born in Bengal`, he said.
Nearly 5000 young boys and girls presented a march past who were recently inducted as junior constables in police force. A large part of contingent were from the Maoist infested Jangalmahal. The young boys and girls in uniform are the part of the ongoing peace process initiated by the Bengal Chief Minister in an endeavor to bring back peace in the region. Smart young men and women in uniform showed determination and dedication on their faces as if saying that they were ready to face any problems head on.
Over 1,500 students from 25 schools participated in the programme. The Chief Minister declared Monday a holiday for all the schools who have participated since they had to come to the programme on Saturday.
A colorful cultural programme of dance and music depicting the life, teaching and philosophy of Swami Vivekananda was presented immediately after the inauguration event. The young boys and girls put up a spectacular show.
Later she shared her experience on her official facebook page, `To commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda we have celebrated World Youth Festival today with due dignity at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Salt Lake, in the presence of about two lakh people. It was a proud moment to see more than twenty five thousand school children and members of the youth participated with tremendous enthusiasm. Thousands of new recruits from the youth of Jungal Mahal participated in a march-past along with school children. The cultural program with participation from many of the Film and TV personalities was very colorful. The program enthused patriotic feelings and projected the cultural fervor of India. The children and the youth are the foundations of tomorrow. Swamiji had always urged the youth for character building and to take active part in development of the society. My love to all school children and the youth of the state. May they grow up to become responsible citizens in the days ahead and contribute to nation building as Swamiji had always cherished.I am uploading some pictures of today’s event for you`.
The Chief Minister had gone to Swamiji`s house on Friday to attend a special programme held to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Swamiji. During this programme she handed over the deed of the plot, whose address is 105, Vivekananda Road, was acquired along with an incomplete concrete structure, which was to take shape as a high-rise till the civic body stepped in. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) paid 10 crore rupees for the plot. She said, `I would read books written by Swami Vivekananda to gather my strength`. She informed that the house of Sister Nibedita at Girish Park, too, has been taken over and soon will be handed over to Mission authorities.