National Youth Festival gets underway in Amritsar

January 12th, 2009 - 10:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyAmritsar, Jan 12 (IANS) January’s harsh winter in this Punjab city may not be the most ideal time to organise an event but that did not deter hundreds of youth from turning out colourfully to showcase the rich tradition and culture of their respective states as the 14th National Youth Festival got underway here Monday.While Vice-President Hamid Ansari inaugurated the festival here, Punjab’s Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, the state’s youth and sports minister Gulzar Singh Ranike and other ministers chose to stay away from the biggest youth congregation held in the state.

But Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Amritsar Navjot Singh Sidhu was present on the occasion.

Badal and other ministers had earlier welcomed the vice-president and even went with him to Harmandar Sahib, popularly called Golden Temple, the holiest of Sikh shrines, Durgiana temple and the Jallianwala Bagh.

The Jan 12-16 National Youth Festival, being held in Punjab for the first time, was inaugurated at the Guru Nanak Dev University campus with over 3,000 youth from all over India converging here for the event despite a cold wave persisting over the region.

Ansari asked youth to fight evils of society to take the country ahead. “The 21st century belongs to youth. They should come together to fight illiteracy, unemployment and work for better health and gender equality.”

Union Sports Minister M.S. Gill said that Punjab and Amritsar were chosen for the youth festival so that the rich culture and the liveliness of the agrarian state could be shown to the country.

A cultural display and a march-past of participating delegates was held on the occasion.

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