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Young people on a mission through India

Rally reaches Kerala campaigning against alcohol abuse and suicide

Young people on a mission through India reporter, Kochi

January 14, 2011

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A national youth march is focusing on combating alcoholism and suicides among the younger generation during its visit to the southern Indian state of Kerala. The Jago Yuva Bharat (awaken young India) campaign arrived Kerala at Neyyattinkara yesterday and will travel through the state before proceeding to Tamil Nadu on Jan. 17. “We are highlighting the problems affecting youth like alcoholism, violence, corruption and suicide in Kerala,” Jomon Thomas Vellapally, one of the participants, told He said Kerala tops the Indian league tables in consumption of alcohol and suicide. Joyce Mary Antony, General Secretary of the Indian Catholic Youth Movement said, “the campaign has evoked a good response from the youth.” Bishop Vincent Samuel of Neyyattinkara Latin diocese, who welcomed the team, said, “I hope the journey will awaken the youth in the country for fulfilling the mission of the church.” Father Jaison Kollannur, director of Kerala Catholic Youth Movement, said the journey aims to promote peace, respect for human rights and solidarity among generations, cultures, religions and civilizations. The campaign was flagged off by Member of Parliament Helen David on Jan. 11 from Vivekananda rock in Kanyakumari, the southern tip of mainland India. The journey is being organized by the Youth Activ8 foundation, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) Commission for Youth, Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM) among others. Antony said the journey aims to sensitize the youth toward the issues plaguing the country and the world. She said the 30-member team will cover 4,000 villages in 18 states and present programs in 100 educational institutions and 150 public places during their 61-day journey. The team led by ICYM President Ravi Raunak Robin will end its journey in New Delhi on March 13, she added. Antony said the Catholic Church is promoting the campaign with great enthusiasm. “Around 14 bishops will address the march at various places,” she said. Related reports Campaign to mobilize youth power in India Catholic youths march for peace IB12853.1636
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