National Youth Day
National Youth Day is celebrated on 12 January, to mark the birthday of Swami Vivekananda. The Government of India declared this day in 1984 and since then, it has been celebrated every year.
The idea behind introducing National Youth Day was to help the students and the youth learn the philosophy and ideology of Swami Vivekananda, who brought about a change in the thought process of youth in the country.
Swami Vivekananda was born as Narendranath Datta on 12 January 1863 in Kolkata, India. He showed interest in spirituality from a very young age. He was also an avid reader with interests in various subjects like philosophy, religion, history, social science and literature. In the 1980’s he met the Indian saint, Ramakrishna Paramahansa and became his disciple. He played an important role in introducing Indian philosophies of yoga and Vedanta to the western world. After his speech at the World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago, which began with the line “Brothers and sisters of America”, he was called the ‘Messenger of Indian wisdom to the western world’.
The day is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm and is observed by many NGOs as well. Schools can make this day memorable and significant by having events like:
Elocution – Children can be asked to share their ideas to develop the nation. They can also be asked to share thoughts on what they would do as citizens of the nation and how they would take the nation ahead.
Fests – Schools can conduct inter school/inter class fests and competitions to help students become better citizens.
Seminars – Seminars and conferences can be conducted to address important values in children, that will enable them to become better citizens.
Story telling – Teachers can talk about Swami Vivekananda to impart values among the students
Swami Vivekananda is considered as a great source of inspiration, and his ideas and contributions have made him an icon among the youth.