Speaking from a chariot in the Gita fashion…It gives a zest to the speech and strength to what I am going to tell you…We want to work out great things in India…For that I require your help…Spread ideas – go from village to village, from door to door, then only there will be real work…: Swami Vivekananda

The Ramakrishna Mutt here has made elaborate arrangements to receive two raths that were flagged off in Coimbatore in April to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda.

The two decorated raths — one big and the other small — will be accorded a rousing reception at Vivekananda College in Sholavandan near here on Saturday. The raths will reach Ramakrishna Mutt on New Natham Road in the city on Monday (July 15).

For the next 22 days, the raths carrying huge portraits and messages of Swami Vivekananda, will traverse the district, visiting educational institutions among other places.

The raths are expected to cover 12,000 km to reach Vivekanandar Illam in Chennai on January 8 next year.

Speaking to The Hindu, Ramakrishna Mutt-Madurai president Swami Kamalatmananda said the objective of the celebration was to create an awareness about the great monk. “He lived young and died young — he lived for 39 years, five months and 24 days. Swami Vivekananda’s dream was to build a strong India. This message should reach all the people, particularly the youth. Fittingly, the Union Government declared January 12, his birth anniversary, as the National Youth Day,” he said.

In commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary, life-size statues of Swami Vivekananda would be installed at Madura College Higher Secondary School; Mangayarkarasi Engineering College, Paravai; Sri Ramakrishna Prarthana Samaj, Pankajam Colony; KLN Educational Institutions; Sourashtra Boys Higher Secondary School; Gandhiniketan Ashram, T.Kallupatti; and three other places, the Swami said.

The University Grants Commission had announced that all educational institutions in the country would celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda this year. CBSE schools had been conducting elocution competitions, photo exhibitions and essay writing contests on Swami Vivekananda. The Indian Council of Medical Research had instructed all its branches to conduct the celebrations, Swami Kamalatmananda said.

“The State Government has allotted Rs.25 lakh to nine universities each in Tamil Nadu to establish centres of research and excellence on Swami Vivekananda. Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa made an announcement to this effect in the Assembly in April. A diploma course on Swami Vivekananda is likely to be started as a part of the academic curriculum for NSS volunteers and NCC cadets. Sastra University in Thanjavur has introduced an elective course on Swami Vivekananda for its engineering students,” the Swami said.

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