Shillong, June 19 : The Governor of Meghalaya, Shri. Phagu Chauhan today inaugurated the five days North East National Service Scheme (NSS) Festival 2023 on the theme “Celebrate Bondings” at NEHU Campus, Umshing in the presence of Meghalaya Education Minister Shri. Rakkam A Sangma, who graced the occasion as the Guest of Honour.

The Festival which is being held from June 19 to 23, is organized by the NSS Cell of North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong and the State NSS Cell, Meghalaya in collaboration with Regional Directorate of NSS (NER), Guwahati, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India.

The event aims at bringing together youth from all the eight Northeastern states under one platform to facilitate exchange of ideas and interaction which in turn will lead to a strong bonding and appreciation of the different cultures of the region. As many as 30 NSS volunteers from each state of the Northeast are participating in the festival.

Addressing the gathering, the Hon’ble Governor, Shri. Phagu Chauhan drew focus on the importance of the contribution of the youth in nation building and stressed on the need for the youth to devote time to social and community service as a part of their educational experience. Pointing out that despite the fact that India is an emerging economic powerhouse, the benefits of economic progress have not yet fully reached the thousands of villages where crores of Indians live, he said that to correct this discrepancy, volunteers can make an important contribution in spreading awareness among the people about the developmental schemes of the Central and State Governments and work towards inclusive development, which is a great need today.

Speaking about Mission LiFE Scheme, launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the Governor informed that NSS UNICEF India is working in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India to increase the participation of youth and children in cultivating an environmentally conscious lifestyle, with the aim of developing and empowering them to realize their full potential and contribute in the process of nation building.

Meghalaya Education Minister, Shri. Rakkam A Sangma in his address reiterated the importance of NSS volunteers in national integration. Urging the volunteers to stay true to the principles and motto of the NSS, he said that NSS volunteers can become future leaders of the country.

The National Service Scheme (NSS) was launched in 1969, the birth centenary year of Mahatma Gandhi, in 37 universities involving 40000 students. Today the strength of the NSS has grown to 39 lakhs volunteers actively involved in organising activities for the benefit of the society, in areas of education, literacy, health, family welfare, nutrition, sanitation, environmental protection, social service programs, improving the status of women, campaigns against production-oriented social evils, digital India and also in creating awareness about flagship programs like Skill India, Yoga etc.

Other who spoke included, Prof. P S Shukla, Vice Chancellor, NEHU and Dipak Kumar, Regional Director, Regional Directorate of NSS, Guwahati.