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Salute roster for Swamiji

Ramakrishna Math and Mission will start its year-long celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda from his ancestral house on January 18, six days after a nation-wide programme to mark the occasion will be launched by President Pranab Mukherjee in Delhi.

The RKM programme, too, is scheduled to be launched by the President.

“The President will also release two books on the occasion in Calcutta,” said a senior monk at Belur Math, the global headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and Mission. “If it’s about celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, there can be no better place than Swamiji’s house.”

Vivekananda was born as Narendra Nath Datta at 3 Gour Mohan Mukherjee Street, near Hedua in north Calcutta, on January 12, 1863. He was the eldest son of Vishwanath Datta and Bhuvaneshwari Devi.

Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had inaugurated the renovated house, rechristened Ramakrishna Mission Swami Vivekananda’s Ancestral House and Cultural Centre, in October 2004.

On January 20, the Math and Mission will hold a day-long programme, split into three phases, at Belur. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee will address the valedictory session.

“We had decided to hold the programme at Netaji Indoor Stadium. But some unavoidable reasons prompted us to shift the venue to Belur Math,” said Swami Suvirananda, assistant secretary, Ramakrishna Math and Mission. Of the three sessions, the last one would be presided over by Swami Atmasthanandaji, the president of the Math and Mission.

“Cards have already been issued to 8,000 delegates for the first and second sessions. But still many delegates do not know that the venue has been shifted to Belur Math,” Swami Suvirananda said.

The Belur Math authorities had requested for an increase in the frequencies of the train and ferry services to Belur Math on January 20.