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New Delhi : Union Health and Family welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on January 12, 2021, inaugurated  ‘The Grand Finale of the Red Ribbon Quiz Competition’ organised by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in the presence of Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare.

Inaugurating the event, Dr Vardhan said, “It is a proud privilege and honor for me to be present here today as we observe the National Youth Day, 2021. We celebrate this day celebrating the achievements of our youth. This day marks the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.”

Emphasizing on the fact that India’s demographic dividends are in the country’s favour, Dr Vardhan said, “India’s population is considered to be one of the youngest in an ageing world. Median age has been on a decline. Never before have there been so many young people. Never again will there be a likelihood of such potential for economic and social progress. The measure of success will depend on meeting the needs and aspirations of these young people.”

He added, “In order to maximise the dividend, India is marching to ensure that its young working-age population is equipped to seize opportunities for jobs and other income-earning possibilities. A closer analysis suggests that good health, good education, livelihood opportunities, and greater engagement at decision making shall contribute to improving the quality of life and can ensure that India enjoys the benefits of this dividend.”

Congratulating National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) for organising the first ever Red Ribbon club Quiz Competition, Dr Vardhan said, “I congratulate NACO as well as State AIDS Control Societies for conducting quiz competitions at District, State and Regional level with a total participation of more than 5,000 colleges across India. Quiz has been a quintessential method of knowledge generation among the youth. It helps them to skim through the existing knowledge while stimulating interest in learning about a new subject.”

Dr Vardhan said, “The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted a need for greater focus on wider determinants of health including hygiene, nutrition,positive mental health and psychological well being for a healthy living. I urge you all to coalesce together and reach out to your known ones at times of distress. Together we have walked a long distance and shall overcome it.”

Emphasising on the importance of healthy living, the Union Minister said, “I want to reaffirm that one of the vital pre-requisites for a productive young workforce is Good Health. It is important that youth understand what healthy living is all about so that they get into a habit of making sound decisions when it comes to choices surrounding healthy living. Awareness Generation is fundamental to aid people in making informed choices. Thus, today’s event is important is terms of dissemination of information about HIV/AIDS and other health related issues.”