PUNE: Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) celebrated National Youth Day by setting up a replica of the Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial at the institute’s main entrance, which was inaugurated on Friday by Afshan Ashiq, captain and coach of Jammu & Kashmir women’s football team. Also present were Swami Kripaghanananda from Ramakrishna Mission, Pune, and Professor Gill Bettman.
January 12 was declared National Youth Day in 1985 to pay tribute to Swami Vivekananda, who was born on the same day in 1863. Afshan, the first woman footballer from Jammu & Kashmir, was delighted to get an opportunity to be part of the event. "I am happy to become part of this event and I thank FTII for giving me this opportunity. Thoughts of Swami Vivekananda are always inspiring and he always wanted the youth to develop our country and I also want my state to progress like other states," said Afshan.
She also wants the youth of the country to follow their passion for choosing a career. "My passion was football, my family wanted me to do Bachelor of Arts then Masters of Arts, but my main focus was on football so I am doing it and I am also teaching the same to youngsters from our state," added Afshan.
Swami Kripaghanananda from Ramakrishna Mission also praised the FTII for setting up the replica of Swami Vivekananda.
"Swami Vivekananda always wanted youth to take positive steps to develop the county. We all have a divine force within, which will help us reach our goal. We just need to identify it," said Swami Kripaghanananda.
The Vivekananda Rock Memorial will be on public display at the FTII Main Gate till January 31. "FTII has thrown open an invitation to everyone, especially school children and college goers, to visit this inspiring Memorial, and re-dedicate themselves to building India in consonance with the ideals and values of Swami Vivekananda," said Bhupendra Kainthola, Director of FTII.