BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, January 8: Over 5,000 youth delegates representing 30 States and Union Territories of the country have converged here to take part in the five–day long 19th tiol Youth Festival that begins in the Assam capital on Thursday. The festival also coincides with the 152nd birth anniversary of Swami Vivekanda.
The festival was iugurated by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and the welcome speech was given by State Chief Secretary Jitesh Khosla.
Organised in Assam for the first time, the festival was initially supposed to be held in Majuli island but was later shifted to Guwahai due to opposition by the Chief Minister.
The festival will showcase various shades of youth talent through Yuva Kriti, Food Festival, Young Artist Camp, Youth Convention, Suvichar and Adventure activities. Besides these there will be other competitive and non–competitive events which will reflect youth power from different States.
In his speech, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said, “I am impressed by seeing the spirit of Indian youths who have the strength and energy to change the world. But I have also observed that a section of youths in the northeastern region is not using their energy in a positive way. If the youths of our country use their energy in a positive way, nobody can stop India from becoming the next superpower.”
Union Minister of State (Independent) Youth Affairs and Sports Sarbanda Sonowal, who also took part in the iugural programme, said, “Guwahati has started the New Year in a very good way by hosting the tiol youth festival. Through this festival, youths can showcase their talent,” adding, “The theme for this year’s youth festival is ‘Clean, Green and Progressive India’.”
In his speech, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said, “Looking at the youths taking part in the festival, I am also feeling young. Energy of our youths is awesome. Guwahati has become a mini India with youths from all corners of the country taking part in the event. Such varieties of people and culture are not available in other parts of the world and India is unique in this regard.” Held on the eve of Bhogali Bihu, the harvest festival of the State, the festival participants will also get a taste of traditiol Assamese and other ethnic food of Assam.
Besides, Bollywood singers like Alka Yagnik, Zubin Garg, Papon and several rock bands from the northeastern region are likely to stage live performance in different cultural programmes.