Mysuru: The Youth Hostels Association of India (YHAI), Karnataka State Unit and Mysuru Unit, have organised a two-day State-level Conference for the first time in city on July 20 and 21 at the premises of International Youth Hostels in Gokulam, said Conference President and former MLC D. Madegowda.
Addressing a press conference here at Youth Hostels premises in Gokulam here this morning, he said that the two-day conference will discuss about YHAI history, expedition, adventure activities and attracting youth towards camping and travelling. The youth through sports and games can build a strong physique and a healthy mind and help in nation-building activities, he added.
Nearly 500 students and teachers are likely to participate. Already about 150 have registered. Apart from the lodging facilities at the Youth Hostel where 150 can be accommodated, the others will be put up in schools and colleges. Besides 100 tents will be pitched near the Hostel, he said.
University of Mysore (UoM) Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof. G. Hemantha Kumar is the Reception Committee President and former UoM VCs, former and present Professors, sports youth co-ordinators, sports persons, trainers and students will participate in this two-day Conference, he said.
On the occasion, achievers who have worked hard for strengthening the Youth Movement and those who have done excellent work in the youth sports and games will be presented with Youth Hostel Awards. The participants will be later taken on a tour of the historic city of Mysuru, besides there will be cultural programmes and exhibitions as part of the Conference, he said.
Earlier, a meeting was held in which writer B.S. Meenakashi, advocate K.M. Satishkumar, UoM Alumni Association President and Agri-Scientist Dr. Vasanthkumar Thimkapura, Rtn. Harish, industrialists K.B. Lingaraju, A.S. Satish, N.G. Narayana, former Mayor and Vidyavardhaka Sangha Hon. Secretary P. Vishwanath, Programme Co-ordinator S. Pavithra and others discussed about the modalities of the Conference.
UoM VC Prof. G. Hemantha Kumar, former UoM VC Prof. J. Shashidhara Prasad, YHAI State Chairman K. Purushotham, Mysuru Unit Chairman H. Ravikumar and Secretary Varun Karthik were present at the press meet.
Earlier, a minute’s silence was observed to mourn the untimely death of Rangayana artiste Muddu Krishna and his wife Indrani.
Registration fee for the Conference is Rs.200 per person and for children below eight years it is Rs.100. The participants will be provided with food and accommodation and mementoes. Last date for registration is July 10. Interested may contact YHAI Mysuru Chairman H. Ravikumar on Mob: 99001-52042 or Secretary S. Varun Karthik on Mob: 90366-67999.
International Youth Hostel, Mysuru at Gokulam
The idea of Youth Hostel germinated in Germany when a school teacher Richard Schirrman thought of this concept in 1909. His dream was to see that students, along with studies, must travel, experience and understand nature, people and places and while they were travelling they could stay at nights in schools and other safe places. This slowly came to be known as Hostelling.
It is a matter of great significance that this movement which took nearly forty years to reach the country was started in Mysuru and now the two-day State-level Youth Hostel Conference is being organised here for the first time.
Prof. Eagleton, a Cambridge Graduate, who came to Mysuru and taught in Maharaja’s College, started this idea of Youth Hostelling here in 1949.
Later, in 1954 Prof. G.R. Padaki, who was looking after Youth Hostel, shifted it to Delhi where he continued to head the organisation.
Here the Youth Hostel Movement got a further fillip with expeditions to the Himalayas and other adventure activities.
In order for the students and youth who participated in such activities to stay, Prof. Padaki built a Youth Hostel in Chanakyapuri in Delhi.
Slowly, the Youth Hostels Association of India (YHAI) State units and branches were set up in different parts of the country and thus, more than 500 Hostels have come up.
This is a voluntary organisation with life-membership of 1.5 lakh members.
Youth Hostel back to Mysuru
The Movement, which had faded in Mysuru, was once again revived in 1975 and the credit for this goes to former MLC D. Madegowda who is a disciplinarian and a National Award winner.
He constructed a small building in Gokulam to start the Youth Hostel activities in the land granted to it by the then CITB (City Improvement Trust Board) and now MUDA (Mysuru Urban Development Authority).
As the demand grew and more youth started participating in YHAI activities, the foundation stone for a new building was laid in 2014 and Madegowda contributed Rs.4 lakh from his Legislator’s Fund for the construction of International Youth Hostel at Gokulam. On Dec.4, 2016, a massive YHAI structure was inaugurated.
This was not just a Youth Hostel, but ‘Academy for Study of Youth Hostelling for Peace and International Understanding’ was also set up here.
Through this, Diploma and Certificate courses in adventure sports like cycling, trekking and other activities are offered here.
Youth Hostel revival
The seed capital of Rs.500 was provided by the then Maharaja’s College teachers belonging to University of Mysore (UoM), says D. Madegowda.
The main office of Youth Hostel was in Maharaja’s College and hence, the credit must be given to the Vice-Chancellor of UoM. The hope is that the teachers and students of the hundred-year-old University must involve themselves in the YHAI activities, he said.
Along with formal education, stress on heritage values, informal education, developing an adventurous spirit, self-confidence and encourage nation-building and protection of country are the main aim of Youth Hostelling.