Kolkata: West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday urged the people to follow in the footsteps of Swami Vivekananda as the World Youth Festival to mark the monk`s 150th birth anniversary began here Saturday.
Along with the three-day event at Salt Lake Stadium, a weeklong exhibition on Vivekananda is also on the offing.
At the inauguration, Banerjee asked all those present to take an oath of following the path shown by "Swamiji and honour women, spread humanity and brotherhood along with loving the country".
Along with children and youngsters, Bengali actors and other eminent personalities present at the event repeated the oath.
Narayanan, who was the chief guest, also asked all to take a pledge of "remaining pure through the entire life, never transgress honour of others but harden your hearts when necessary".
There was a cultural programme comprising of a dance drama and patriotic songs as Bengali film actor Dev led hundreds of school children in dressing like Vivekananda.
Actresses Raima Sen and Subhasree also took part in the programme.
Over 1,500 students from 25 schools participated in the programme.
Girishananda Maharaj of Ram Krishna Mission -- founded by Vivekananda -- said it was imperative for the society suffering from social evils to follow the preachings of the monk.