ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday asserted that youths of the Arunachal Pradesh have tremendous potential to meaningfully contribute in nation building as envisioned by Swami Vivekananda, whose 158th birth anniversary is being celebrated as the 'National Youth Day' across the country.
Addressing the youths on the occasion at the D.K. Auditorium of the State Legislative Assembly here, Khandu said youths of today have access to education like never before; and are therefore better equipped to shape the future of the State and the country.
He further said that Arunachal Pradesh is unique owing to its culturally diverse communities – about 26 major tribes and more than 100 sub-tribes – and that the onus is upon the educated and conscious youths of today to foster the pan-Arunachal identity by maintaining peace and communal harmony.
Underscoring 'quality' in education, Khandu said that the youths of today deserve quality education not quantity in education.
He lauded the Vivekananda Kendra for venturing into Arunachal and providing quality education specially in the late 70s through Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalayas, whose students are today in service of the nation in various capacities.
Khandu also emphasized on the role of today's youths, who he pointed can be gamechangers. "Youths today must have 'muscles of iron and nerves of steel', as quoted by Swamiji. They must have the guts to stand up against what is wrong. When they start to raise their voices against all things wrong, not only the outlook of the society will change but also keep the government on its toes," Khandu said.
The Chief Minister took a veiled shot at random protests and protestors. He said, "Such people forget about their responsibilities. But they must know that the majority of the 'silent' population know the truth. But as the majority of population remains silent, they always get away with their vested interests," he said and urged the youths not to be mere spectators to such instances; instead reject them in one voice.
Talking about reforms in governance, he admitted many – including some politicians and bureaucrats – may not be comfortable at the beginning but asserted reforms must come.
"We have to come out of the comfort zone of yesteryears. To root out corruption and hassle-free delivery of services to the common people, reforms are must in governance. At times we have to take tough decisions, which may pinch a few but will be beneficial to our youths who are the future of our state," he explained.
Taking advantage of the presence of a large number of school and college students, Khandu raised the issue of drug abuse and termed it as 'more dangerous than terrorism'.
"Drug abuse can wipe out the future of an entire generation. Only educated youths like you can help in its eradication and further spread. We are here to help you," he said.
Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Mama Natung was also present as Guest of Honour on the occasion organized by the State's Youth Affairs Directorate in collaboration with Vivekananda Kendra, Arunachal Pradesh.
Meanwhile, the Arunachal Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (APSACS) in association with the Government Higher Secondary School here, also celebrated the occasion with the theme 'Channeling Youth Power for Nation Building'.
APSACS Project Director, Dr Riken Rina in his address highlighted the contribution made by Swami Vivekananda in the nation building and shaping the youth for the nation. He also highlighted the famous speech of Swami Vivekananda at Chicago in 1893 which impressed the people from world over to look towards India and its people.
While administering a pledge for the students to remain responsible towards themselves, towards their actions and to the nation, DrRina also urged the youth to remain alert and aware from various diseases especially, HIV/AIDS and drug abuse which affect the young age group.
He also stressed on the importance of ABCDE of HIV prevention where A stands for Abstinence, B stands for Be faithful to your partner, C stands for correct and consistent use of Condom, D stands for avoid Drug and E stands for ensuring safe blood transfusion.
Vice Principal of the school GeliKamki in his speech asked the students to equipped themselves with knowledge to prevent HIV/AIDS. He asked students to give importance to health education apart from the school syllabus and remain alert to prevent themselves from various preventable diseases like HIV which is not curable. He also appreciated the role of APSACS in the prevention and control of HIV in the state.
APSACS Deputy Director (IEC) TashorPali in his deliberation asked the young people to create a chain of information about HIV and drug abuse. He also urged them to concentrate on building their careers. He further urged the students to practise what they learn, adding that mere knowledge is useless.
NSS Programme Officer J Zirdo, while welcoming APSACS for organizing the important event at his school.