The National Youth Festival was marred by charges of discrimination against teams from the North-Eastern states.
Noida | January 16
Around 200 young leaders from the North East including 43 NSS & NYK volunteers from Nagaland with big heart, to share the joy and learn the diversity of this big country, were welcomed with discrimination from the day they arrived at the venue till the day they left the conference of the 22 National Youth Festival which was held at Gautam Budh University in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh from January 12 to 16.
Speaking with this correspondent, a delegate from Nagaland said that they were happy and had looked forward to be a part of the 22 National Youth Festival. “But from the day we arrived we had to sleep in the corridor and we got accommodation only after a patient wait of 17 odd hours,” he informed.
Sharing another incident that happened with team Nagaland, another delegate informed that the team had given their names to play volleyball and had entered the court to take part. “But at the last moment we were chased out and not allowed to play,” he said while adding that even in youth parliament, most teams got extra minutes to speak while the state team was asked to speak for only a minute.
It was further informed that the feedback forms of the entire conference which was supposed to be filled up by individuals were already filled in advance. “We were only forced to sign and give our names on it. And when we aired our grievances, the officials ignored us by saying ‘What is Nagaland?’ and ‘Where is Nagaland?’” he added.
Another participant from Nagaland termed the entire conference “a torture” as they were not given proper transportation and volunteers also refused to give assistance even when asked for help. “During lunch and dinner, we were discriminated and pushed aside though we maintained queue,” he added.
The discrimination was not confined to Nagaland as other North East states too were not spared. In women’s volleyball, team Manipur emerged as the champion while Assam was the runners up but at the time of prize distribution, Manipur was given the second runners up while Assam was not even acknowledged.
A participant from Assam was also forced to leave the stage in the midst of her speech by the organisers.
In this connection, the team leaders of Manipur, Nagaland and Assam came together and lodged a complaint to the Director General Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangatha (NYKS) regarding the discriminations meted out to the teams during the entire festival.