While youths now have better exposure, they have to be moulded to expand their horizon.

This was the common sentiment among the elders attending the National Youth Festival. N. Heeranath Nayak, a former automobile dealer from Neereshwalya Road, said the youths now had better avenues of exposure.

“They have a lot of people to guide, which we did not have,” he said.

Events such as the youth festival provided a good medium to build confidence among youngsters and inspired them to work for the betterment of the country, he said. Mr. Nayak said watching dramas and classical art performance would help personality development.

“When I come to programmes, I try to pick up good aspects in the presentations and try to include them in my lifestyle,” he said. On Friday, Mr. Nayak was eager to watch the drama by a team from Bihar.

Arunabh Chowdhury, who works in the West Bengal Secretariat, said; “The present generation is turning selfish. We need to strive to bring them to the mainstream,” he said. Mr. Chowdhury said there was a need to curb western influence on Indian culture.

The National Youth Festival, he said, was a cultural feast showcasing performances by many young artistes. “We did not have the exposure of this kind in our days,” he said.

N.D. Ajjaiah, headmaster of the Baikampady Government School, was impressed by the folk dance performance at the T.M.A. Pai Convention Centre. “I liked the presentations by Uttarakand and West Bengal that had glimpses of our Veeragase (folk dance).”

The youth festival had provided an opportunity to see the diverse folk art forms at a time when they were facing a threat of extinction, he said.

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