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Youth fest returns to state

The National Youth Festival will return to the state capital in January after seven years.

More than 5,000 dancers, singers and different troupes will arrive in the state capital to participate in the 2013 edition of the festival. State art, cultural and youth affairs minister Sukhda Pandey said the festival would be organised from January 12-16.

The National Youth Festival is organised every year on the birthday of Swami Vivekananda to propagate the teachings and principles of the monk on national integration, communal harmony and brotherhood among the youth. January 12, 2013, would also mark the sesquicentenary (150th anniversary) of the monk’s birth.

The youth affairs department in the Union ministry of youth affairs and sports organises the event in collaboration with the state department. While this year Karnataka hosted the event in Mangalore, 2013 would be the second year Bihar would get the opportunity to host the festival.

“Prior to this, the event was held in Bihar last in 2006. The department is gearing for the event’s preparations. It would be a colourful event and many artistes from all across the country will participate. We are expecting more than 5,000 artistes and troupes,” minister Sukhda Pandey said.

The festival would have both competitive and non-competitive events and it is promised to be a fun-filled five days.

The artistes are expected to take over the capital for the five days of the festival. Sources said most of the halls will be booked for the programmes.

Pandey said organising the programmes would not pose a problem for the state, as all the halls of Patna would be booked for different performances.

“Patna is a good venue and many places like SK Memorial Hall, Premchand Rangshala, Kalidas Rangalaya and Rabindra Bhavan are available for staging performances, including classical dance, drama, elocution and music programmes,” she said.

She added: “The aim of such events is to portray the state as a cultural hub. Such events will definitely put Bihar ahead of many states when it comes to organise big events with ease.”

The government is also working on renovation of the Patliputra Sports Complex, earlier called the Kankerbagh Sports Complex. The artistes would be accommodated at the complex. The Telegraph had reported on July 25 that lights had gone missing and blades of several fans were damaged. The indoor stadium inside the complex was also found flooded by rainwater. The minister, however, said the renovation would be complete by December in time for the youth festival.

“We will put up the artistes at the Patliputra Sports Complex, as the necessary lodging facilities are available at the complex. The kabaddi world cup was recently organised there and it was a huge success. This event would also be one,” Pandey said.

For selecting teams for Bihar, Pandey said district-level competitions were being organised.

“Once the best from the districts are selected, they will be further scrutinised at a competition in Purnea. The department will soon decide upon the teams. Details of the events to be organised will also be available in a few days,” she said.

Sources said the government has floated tenders to develop a website for the festival. “The department wants the website to be user-friendly and available in both English and Hindi. We have received a few bids and the department is going through the proposals,” an official said.


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