The 18th national youth festival, which was earlier planned to be held in the state capital, seems to have fallen prey to the government's demand of a special category status for the state. The culture department has refused to host the esteemed event, which would have showcased the multifaceted talents of nearly 5,000 youths from different parts of the country.
In a letter sent to the Union ministry of sports, the culture department expressed its inability to organise the youth festival as the state has perenially been affected by drought and flood like situations. The letter also stated, that the state is not in a position to arrange such a big budget event, as it is short of funds and its demand for special status remains unmet.
The 18th national youth festival was to be hosted by Patna from January 12 to 14, 2013 as per earlier plans.
"The minister for arts and culture had communicated Bihar's sentiments to the Union sports minister, Ajay Maken, last Friday, but he has not yet responded. Bihar was given this opportunity even though it had hosted the youth festival in January 2007. It was a big event and the prospects of staging a national show had raised hopes of young talents in the sports and cultural fields of the state. Its cancellation has disappointed them very much," a department official, preferring anonymity, said. "Thousands of young boys and girls were expected to come from other states. They would have turned into our cultural ambassadors," he added.
The official said, preparations for the event had been started earlier with an estimated fund of R6 crore, though the actual cost in hosting such a event would be upwards of R10 crore.
He said, "A number of meetings were held and managers of different auditorium in the city asked to stop bookings for the scheduled dates. Even the authorities of a number of schools were asked to provide space for accommodation of the guests," the official said.
A website of the event was planned for the first time, offering online registration facility to the participants.
"Even a tender inviting the agencies to create a special website, was floated and a good amount was spent on this process," the official said. "However, acute fund crunch has put paid the hopes, that Bihar would be able to host the event at all," he added.