Manoj Godara,13 Dec : Ms. Laxmi Kanta Chawla, Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Punjabinaugurated the 24th North Zone Inter University Youth Festival organized by Panjab University Chandigarh in collaboration with the Association of Indian Universities and sponsored by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Government of India from December 13-17, 2008 at Panjab University Auditorium Chandigarh with a stint of cultural procession.
The edifying pieces of performances will be concurrently held at the University, English, Evening Studies and fine Arts Audis. The fest will include folk orchestra, classical vocal solo, poster making, skit, semi classical vocal(solo), elocution, cartooning, mime and mimicry, light vocal solo, debate, on the spot painting, one-act play, classical instrument solo (non-percussion), poetry recitation, collage making, folk/tribal dance etc. The five day extravaganza of cultural line up and merriment will unfold in the days to come.
Amidst expected applaud, cheer and high spirits of the youngsters, the function reached its zenith with an amazing presentation of local girl’s folk orchestra performance at the inaugural function today. And then was the chief guest’s turn to bare her heart out to the enthusiastic audience.
The minister began with the formal thanksgiving to the gathering. Speaking with panache that only an educator is so well capable of, she touched upon a no. of events and happenings. She began with the declaration that she spoke as a teacher and daughter of the nation and not as ‘the health minister’. “The students, as popularly referred to as the ‘future’ of the country are actually our ‘present’. Being in the gathering of students gives me oxygen to sustain for some more days.” She articulated.
“The terrorist activities shouldn’t make us escape the situation but as youngsters we need to stand and face them rather than pack the stuff and flee to other parts of the country. The ones running away from the site can not be termed as true sons of the motherland so the time has come to face the situation and come up with the solution to tackle it.” she said eloquently referring to various security issues that our country faces every now and then.
She further reiterated that India is the land of great traditions, ethics and rich cultural heritage which can be preserved only through an integrated initiative from the youth. “We need to show the people as what we are and not as we have been left by the British. We still live Lord McCauley’s dream as for as our educational policies are concerned. Wearing black gowns at convocation is British bequest. Here in India black is the color of mourning and not of celebration. We need to quit the common practices of going from light to darkness which is so markedly shown with lighting off of the candle at birthday celebration while our tradition is to light deepak to mark the inauguration and celebrations.
Concluding with yet another series of anecdotal journey, Ms. Chawla touched upon female foeticide, ‘84 riots and urged the youth to be aware of the happenings around them and keep their eyes open and minds focused.