While the city witnessed a grand marathon on Sunday morning, citizens were enthralled by another magnificent programme in the evening. To mark the 60th anniversary of its youth wing (Yuvak Mandal), an event was held in the city by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. Around 50,000 youth from India and abroad attended the event that consisted of various acts, traditional dance performances and speeches by BAPS saints. Chief minister Narendra Modi was present to inaugurate the event in the presence of senior BAPS sadhus.
The inaugural function began with a parade by 1,000 youth, that featured ras, bhajan and music groups, riders on motorbikes, giant tableaux, and marchers with flags. A tribal dance was also conducted on stadium ground. A dance was also performed by a group from East Africa.
The description of social works and services by Pramukh Swami left even the chief minister mesmerised. “Spirituality is important not only for an individual’s life, but because it has an answer for all,” Modi said, adding that issues like global warming and even terrorism could be solved by spirituality. Praising Pramukh Swami, the CM said, “India is the only country with 65% youth and hence it becomes important to guide them in a right direction and BAPS Youth Wing is active in doing this.”
Modi remarked that camps conducted by BAPS were more effective than the funds given by the state government for rural development. “BAPS conducts de-addiction camps in tribal villages and creates a massive impact,” he added.
The programme that went on for three-and-a-half hours witnessed the presence of Pujya Mahant Swami, Pujya Tyagvallabh Swami, Ishwarcharan Swami, Pujya Viveksagar Swami and Pujya Dr Swami. TheYuvak Mandal of BAPS was established by Yogiji Maharaj and nourished by the present head, Pramukh Swami Maharaj.