The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) celebrated an annual Mega Youth Fest ‘UDGAAR – An Expression of Goodness and Joy’, on October 6th at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi, India. It was based on the theme ‘Anti-Addiction: Making India Addiction Free’. A world record for “Largest Addiction Awareness Festival” was awarded in the event by World Book of Records, London, to Gopal Krishna Goswami, ISKCON GBC, in presence of Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Unioun Health Minister.
A total of 15,000 thousand people participated in the event.
The crowd at the stadium
The event was a blend of modern entertainment like Hip-Hop by ‘Feel Crew’, fusion music by “Madhavas Rock Band” and Sand Art Performance by Nitish Bharti, and wisdom talks delivered by leaders in ISKCON, and fields of medicine and social services.
The festival saw talks by ISKCON leaders like Lokanath Swami, Gopal Krishna Goswami, Anuttama Das from the USA and Sachinandan Swami from Germany. From academic circle Dr. R. Khanna (Department Head of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre- AIIMS, Delhi) and Dr. Veerendra Mishra ( Director of the National Institute of Social Defense) addressed the audience.
Dignitaries on the stage
Gopal Krishna Goswami mentioned ISKCON’s founder Srila Prabhupada’s efforts in successfully bringing out thousands of youngsters in US out of addiction in 1960s.
An appreciation letter for the festival, issued by the Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi, was also read before the audience.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, praised ISKCON for its global efforts for protection of India’s culture globally. He said that ISKCON is an organization that is very strongly needed in world today.
ISKCON receives the World Record Award.
Dr. Veerendra Mishra Director- National Institute of Social Defense said the best way to tackle the menace of addiction is to not let youngsters fall into it.
Sundar GopalDasDirector of ISKCON Youth Forum & UDGAAR Festival said ISKCON is committed to help youngsters out of addiction, this festival is a part of that commitment to tackle an epidemic that is making our youngsters hollow.
The Prince India Dance group performed on ‘Jan Gana Mana’ to give an uplifting start to the cultural performance part of the festival.
The Prince dance group performs
It was followed by the Sand Art performance by Nitish Bharti, showcasing the struggle of a young addict and his receiving help from Bhagavad Gita.
The Inter-college Addiction Awareness Quiz Competition, hosted by RJ Ginnie from Radio City, was won by Bablu, a student of GB Pant Engineering College, the 2nd place was won by Shruti from Daulat Ram College, Radha from RKGIT won the 3rd prize.
A scene from Nitish Bharti’s sand art
The event met an apt end, by a feet tapping performance by Madhava’s, which made the audience join them in dancing and chanting close to stage, leaving their seats.
The participants of event will have opportunity to join Personality Development Courses, in over a 100 centers of Ethicraft, ISKCON’s social service wing.
The Madhavas rock the stage.
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