Around 258 youth participants from various countries across the globe participating in Next Generation Global Leaders Program- Ship for World Youth Leadership- 2015 arrived at Chennai on 9th February, 2016 by Japanese ship, ‘Nippon Maru’ for the Port of Call from 9th-12th February. This Japanese government sponsored program aimed at providing cultural exchange and sharing of knowledge between participants. The ship carrying 120 Japanese students and an equal number of students from various other countries including Australia, Bahrain, Chile, New Zealand, Tanzania, Russian Federation, New Zealand, Mexico, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates and India are participating in on-board training sessions including seminars, cultural program, course discussions among others. The purpose of the programme is to broaden the global view of Japanese youth to promote mutual understanding and friendship between Japanese and foreign youth, as well as to cultivate the spirit of international cooperation. Ship for World Youth Alumni Association, India (SWYAA-India) lead by Vice President, Mr. Ravi Chopra and Chief Executive Ms. Shobhana Radhakrishna also participated in the POC activities with 23 Ex-Participants from various parts of the country. The role of SWYAA India in the POC activities is greatly appreciated by the Government of India and the SWY administration.
The onboard reception was held on 9th February 2016 hosted by Consulate General of Japan and the administrator of the program in which Mr. Seiji Baba, Consul- General spoke about the importance of the program. Mr. Hideki Uemura, Administrator and Dr. Latha Pillai, Director RGNIYD addressed the participating youth and the guests.
As a part of POC activity in India, on 10th February, participating youth visited the famous Kalakshetra Foundation in Chennai followed by institutional visits to the Centre for Innovation, IIT (Madras), Centre for Disaster Management and Mitigation, Institute of Remote Sensing, Anna University, MoP Vaishnav College for Women and The Banyan to observe initiatives on youth entrepreneurship, disaster reduction, education and community development in groups on 10th February. On 11th February, the participating youth gave their national presentations during the visit to the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD) at Sriperumbudur and took part in group discussions on youth entrepreneurship, environment, and disaster risk reduction. The same evening they joined in the dinner hosted by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. Mr. Rajeev Gupta, Secretary (Youth Affairs) spoke about the various initiatives of the government in youth development during the occasion in the presence ofMr. Seiji Baba, Consul- General and Mr. Hideki Uemura, Administrator and Dr. Latha Pillai, Director RGNIYD.
On 12th February 2016, the participating youth went for a local tour to Chennai city and experienced the vivid culture of India. This was followed by a farewell program by Ship Administration thanking Government of India, RGNIYD and SWYAA India for making the POC activities a success. With sweet memories and cultural experience of India, ‘Nippon Maru’ sailed again carrying the Next Generation Global Leaders to Sri Lanka for the next POC.