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11th NATIONAL YOUTH FESTIVAL (2006)

National Youth Festival, since its inception and first successful organisation in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) in 1995, is organised every year across different States of the country to commemorate the Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekanand which falls on 12th January. The 11th National Youth Festival was held from 13th to 17th February,2006 at Patna, Bihar.The participation of Congress MP Priya Dutt in the youth convention organised at the L N Mishra Institute of Social Development and Economic Change, where she appealed to youths to imbibe cross-cultural undercurrents that the country's linguistic and cultural mosaic represented.

Addressing the youths, Priya narrated tales from her father Sunil Dutt's life. She pointed out that he, although a film star, undertook a padyatra in 1985 across the length and breadth of the country to emphasise on the need for national unity. It was soon after the "Operation Blue Star"in Punjab.

"He did not like us to join him in the padyatra. Initially, we were not much enthused about it. But I chose to join him when he was half way through. It was my conscience which compelled me to do it,"she said, and appealed to youths and children to go on national tours and embrace time-tested values of secularism.

During the question-answer session, she said youth festivals were as important as children's festival. She has been working on a plan to organise children's festival soon.Priya, in fact, symbolised the spirit of the National Youth Festival being celebrated here.