MLC Kota Srinivas Poojary said on Friday that youth had a major role to play in bringing harmony in the country.

He was speaking at the valedictory of the weeklong national integration camp organised by the Nehru Yuva Kendra, Mangalore, NSS unit of Mangalore University in association with the district administration at the MGM College, here.

Around 175 youth from Chindwara district of Madhya Pradesh, Latur district of Maharashtra, Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu, Ranga Reddy district of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, and some districts of Karnataka participated in the camp.

Administrative Officer of Academy of General Education H. Shantharam said national integration was the need of the hour in the country.

There was turmoil in border areas of many States now. Prior to the Linguistic Reorganisation of States in 1956, all the presidencies (States) were multi-lingual. People in these presidencies lived in harmony.

Mr. Shantharam said the youth should first think of themselves as Indians. People could have affection for their languages, but they should be tolerant of other languages.

“People should start understanding one another. Then we can build a wonderful country. India has a large young population.

“We should use this to our advantage”, Mr. Shantharam said.

Udupi Taluk Panchayat president Devadas Hebbar, Yuva Kendra district coordinator C.J.F. D' Souza, and Youth Federation president Yatish Kalya were present.