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Youth Day celebrated

Vedic chants, Sanskrit slokas and plays and lectures on Swami Vivekananda’s life were the highlights of National Youth Day at Belur Math. After the procession around the math with tableaus, the rest of the morning was spent in celebrations at the pandal on the bank of the Hooghly.

Swami Tyagarupananda, the principal of Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira, introduced the day’s session with a discussion on Swamiji’s life during his parivrajaka days (wandering) around India and the world. He also spoke about how he established the Ramakrishna Mission. The students of Ramakrishna Mission Shilpa Vidyalaya recited a verse from Swami Vivekananda’s critical essay, Bartaman Bharata. The passage that reminds Indians of their values and roots, is termed as Swadesh Mantra.

The Delhi rape case was the subject of the play staged by the students of Ramakrishna Mission Vidya-mandira. The play written by the students themselves focussed on human virtues of love and enlightenment to help control one’s vices. The ceremony ended with a session of yoga by students of Ramakrishna Mission Jana Shiksha Mandir.

Outside the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations had started a year in advance. Inaugurations started last year when statues and busts of the monk were being installed at various points of the town. The 11-feet tall figure of Swamiji at Kazipara More in Shibpur was installed on June 3 last year by the Swami Vivekananda Sardha Satabarsha Janmotsav Utjapon Committee to mark the monk’s 150th birth anniversary.

On January 12, members of the committee along with Swami Iswaratmananda Maharaj of Ramakrishna Mission Janashik-shamandira, minister for agriculture marketing Arup Roy, MLA Brojomohan Majumdar and police commissioner Ajay Ranade paid homage.

The members of the committee announced that a further project was on its way as part of the 150th year celebration. “We have been given permission by the Calcutta Port Trust to install a plaque at Chintamoni Dey ghat to commemorate Swamiji’s visit to Nabagopal Ghosh’s house in Shibpur. He had visited the house to consecrate a temple for Sri Ramakrishna. It is believed that Swamiji had walked all the way from the ghat to the house, singing. Now that we have been granted permission, we will be installing the plaque soon,” said Samir Roychowdhury, the convenor of the committee.

Packer Football Association changed its name to Swamiji Sammelani last year after it started celebrating Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary. The club in Dharsa has organised health camps, sit-and-draw competitions for children and other events through the past one year. On January 12, the club members installed a bust of Swamiji beside the road near the clubhouse. Pandav Goenda creator, Sasthipada Chattopadhyay, inaugurated it.

A seated figure of Swamiji in cement was unveiled at Belepole junction on Drainage Canal Road. Santragachhi Swami Vivekananda Samity invited former chief justice of Odisha High Court, Sushanta Chattopadhyay to unveil it.