More than 500 students from different schools took part in the golden jubilee celebrations of the Leadership Training Service (LTS), an inter-faith youth movement.
Started by five students on July 2, 1959 in West Bengal states Darjeeling district, the movement was shifted to Kolkata in 1961. It currently has more than 15,000 members in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
It has more girls than boys, said its promoter for South Asia, Jesuit Father John Rojerse.
The group respects all faiths and gives greater impetus to women while providing a platform for students to develop leadership qualities. Members in Kolkata, where the Jesuits manage the movement, hopes to adopt one poor child each, to help and support, he said.
The students have also begun building three libraries in villages on their own as part of their social commitment, Father Rojerse said.
Everyone has got the potential to be a leader and make a unique contribution to society, said Ratnabali Ghosh, who joined the movement 44 years ago. She praised it for taking the best of all religions and enriching members.
I was a shy boy and kept to myself. But just two years after joining the leadership training service, I became more open, said Jimmy Tangree, station head of RED FM radio station in Kolkata. He advocated students to make a move from ‘I to ‘we, and make a difference in the society.