UNICEF’s Celeb Advocate Ayushmann Khurrana’s message

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Ayushmann Khurrana, UNICEF’s Celebrity Advocate, has a special message on National Youth Day. Photo: Kunal Gupta, courtesy Yash Raj Films

National Youth Day, or Yuva Diwas, has been observed in India since 1985 to celebrate Swami Vivekananda’s birthday and his messages to the Indian youth. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) has been one of India’s greatest philosophers and thinkers. In America, he is known for his speech which began with the words, “Sisters and brothers of America …,” in which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893.

On this day, January 12, also known as Swami Vivekananda Jayanti, Ayushmann Khurrana, UNICEF’s recently-appointed Celebrity Advocate for their global campaign EVAC (Ending Violence Against Children), presented a special message for the people of India towards this aim. The actor, also voted as one of the most influential people of the world by TIME Magazine, said, “The National Youth Day is yet another opportunity for all of us to commit ourselves to one important issue. As we begin this year, let us join hands to end violence against children everywhere. Violence affects children everywhere and in all aspects of their lives.”

He added, “I want to reiterate that violence and bullying in all its forms is unacceptable. We must build a culture of tolerance and respect and ensure that our homes, schools and social networks are safe places for children. As UNICEF’s celebrity advocate for ending violence against children, I hope that together, we can make a difference.”

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Ayushmann also listed UNICEF’s agenda for the year with regards to the youth of India. He said, “UNICEF works towards ensuring the rights of all children, everywhere, including their right to physical and mental well-being. This is even more important in the context of COVID-19, when the impact of the pandemic has made more children vulnerable to violence and exploitation, including in the online environment.”

“We can only achieve positive change once we recognize the problem, speak about it and put our heads together to fight it. Raising our collective voices and taking action against violence is crucial. As UNICEF’s celebrity advocate, my goal is to reach out to as many people as I can, both children and parents, with this message,” he added.

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