‘Krishnayanam', a two-day international children's conference organised by Balagokulam, began here on Saturday. Inaugurating the conference, Swami Gautamananda Maharaj, president of the Sree Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, said that loss of patriotism was the major casualty of modern education in the country.

“Modern education has largely ignored the teachings of Lord Krishna, Gautama Buddha and Swami Vivekananda,” he lamented.

Delivering the keynote address, P. Parameswaran, director of the Bharatiya Vichara Kendra, said that children got to do a lot where adults had failed.

“If values in society need to be preserved, they should be instilled in children. Herein lies the relevance of Balagokulam, which has been making children of the country aware of their heritage,” he said.

Therambil Ramakrishnan, MLA; T. S. Pattabhiraman, managing director of Kalyan Silks; P.E.B. Menon, RSS Sanghachalak; N. Hareendran, State president of Balagokulam; and D. Narayana Sarma, vice-president; were present. ‘Bharathadarsanam', a choreography scheduled for Saturday evening, was cancelled following rain.

Organisers claim that 25,000 children are taking part in the meet.

Former Union Minister O. Rajagopal, actor Kalabhavan Mani, Swami Prashandananda, C. Radhakrishnan, M.A. Krishnan, Akkitham, K.B. Sreedevi, Pattayil Prabhakaran, C.G. Rajagopal, Mannur Rajakumaranunni, Balan Pootheri and P.K. Sukumaran will take part in various programmes on Sunday.

Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj will address the valedictory function at 3.30 p.m.

More In: Kochi