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Arunachal youth pray for world peace, India 

By Felix Anthony

Margherita: Young people from various corners of Arunachal Pradesh came together to celebrate their diverse cultures and to pray for peace in the world.

Some 650 youth from eight eastern districts of Arunachal attended the May 10-12 Miao Diocesan Youth Convention that was held at Divine Retreat Centre, Margherita, a town in neighboring Assam state.

Bishop George of Miao, who opened the convention, reminded the youth about the rise of divisive forces in the country and around the world.

“Our country in particular and the world in general is going through a tough time. Young people like you are the only hope we have to make this world a better place to live in.” the Salesian prelate said and added, “The beautiful smile that I see today on your faces must remain there even when you have grown old. Work for peace, love and mutual respect and keep away from addiction to drugs, alcohol and mobile phones.”

Benjamin Dumgan Singpho, Police Officer In-charge of Chowkham in Namsai District who was attacked for taking on drug peddlers two years ago, gave his testimony to the youth. “It is never easy to stand for truth and what is right. You will be targeted. But you must always march towards positive energy and defeat the dark powers that come from all kinds of addictions,” he said.

The youth presented colorful cultural dances.

Father Jose Murickan, director of the National Institute of Social Communications, Research and Training (NISCORT), New Delhi, and a resource person, told the youth not to be lost in the virtual world. “Social media is a great and the most effective modern means of communications to learn, to share and to engage but there have been many tragic examples of how youth have been trapped in this web,” the Norbertine priest added.

Another resource person, Rebica Minj, who is the coach for Namsai District Football, bemoaned that most young people have stopped playing outdoor games as they are addicted to the Internet. “Outdoor games like football do not only keep one healthy but it is also a career option,” she said and appealed to the organizers to include sports competitions as part of the youth conventions from coming year.

The program ended with a peace rally and election of new youth representatives of Miao Diocese.

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