SHILLONG/TURA/NONGSTOIN, Jan 12: Meghalaya High Court judge, Justice Hamarsan Sing Thangkhiew, on Tuesday said Swami Vivekananda’s mission of global peace needs to be reaffirmed at a critical juncture of history with the world caught up in turmoil.
He also said the monk, who wowed Chicago with his simplistic spirituality in September 1893, showed the youth that character and nation-building go hand in hand.
“It is an honour for me to come at the very place where Swamiji stood and gave his last public speech,” he said, while addressing the gathering as the chief guest during a programme at the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Cultural Centre to mark the 158th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
Art and Culture Minister, AL Hek, who addressed the meeting as the chief guest for the second session, said National Youth Day is celebrated on Swamiji’s birthday since 1985. He urged one and all to mould their lives with high ideals.
North Eastern Council Member BK Dutta, who was the guest of honour, lauded the Ramakrishna Mission for its services during the pandemic and hoped for it to go soon a larger scale in the New Year.
Raphael Warjri, artist-filmmaker and founder of the Riti Academy of Arts, underlined Ki Blei or the Khasi concept of divinity and drew parallel to Swamiji’s vision for the world.
The recipient of the Vivekananda Award of Excellence, 2020, Sheikh Muzibor thanked his parents and Ramakrishna Mission for giving him the opportunity to work towards the purpose of the institute.
In his welcome address earlier, Swami Hitakamananda, secretary of RKM, Shillong, urged the people of the city to remember Swami Vivekananda’s message to the world.Swami Divyaswarupananda, the Vivekananda Centre’s in-charge, extolled the North East as a cultural melting pot. In his concluding remarks, he said the legacy of the Swamiji was manifested in renunciation and service to the poor, adding that life should have a philosophy and a sense of purpose.
The programme began with a floral tribute to Swami Vivekananda’s statue and Vedic chanting followed by a cultural programme that included a performance by the students of Ramakrishna Mission School, Shella.
Prizes for recitation, debate and quiz competitions were distributed while the venue resonated with the National Anthem before the curtains came down on the event. About 1,500 had registered for the online competitions in July, 2020, of whom 875 had participated.
Meanwhile, in West Garo Hills in West Garo Hills, a programme was organised on the theme ‘Channelising Youth for National Building’, by the students and youths of Tura in a befitting manner.
The Red Ribbon Club of Tura Don Bosco College, under the aegis of Meghalaya Aids Control Society, celebrated the special annual event dedicated to the youth of the nation with special emphasis on the importance of the younger generation and their responsibilities to nation building.
The celebration was attended by West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Ram Singh, and was in two parts: a morning and an afternoon session.
The chief guest during the morning session, Dr Marwin R Sangma, District Medical and Health Officer, West Garo Hills, raised awareness on HIV & AIDS. During the afternoon session, the students decorated a tree at William Point, Tura, with red ribbons and cards carrying poignant messages, signaling a message of solidarity with those suffering from HIV & AIDS.
A programme was organised at Asimgre village of Dadenggre Block, West Garo Hills too, by Bakdil under Gram Seva Program, which was sponsored by SBI Foundation.
During the programme, youths were encouraged to constitute self-help groups (SHGs) and develop a habit to save money, following which five SHGs were formed.
In Nongstoin, a programme was held at Anderson Higher Secondary School ‘Auditorium, Nongstoin, which was organised by the office of the District Sport Officer in collaboration with Meghalaya Aids Control Society.
Additional Deputy Commissioner, AVD Shira, attended the programme as the chief guest.
On the other hand, AROH Foundation along with HDFC Bank Ltd celebrated the National Youth Day and also organised the inaugural function of mini solar lantern distribution to at least 10 villages — Laitlyting, Laitmynrieng, Wahlyngkhat, Langkawet, Nongmadan Shadsngi, Myllat, Lyting Lyngdoh, Saitbakon,Tangmang and Mawlam — in Pynursla Block on Tuesday.
Chief Guest of the occasion, P Khonglah, BDO of Pynursla Block, distributed the mini solar lanterns to the beneficiaries.