National Youth Day, also known as Vivekananda Jayanti, is celebrated on 12 January, being the birthday of Swami Vivekananda. In 1984 the Government of India declared this day as National Youth Day and since 1985 the event is celebrated in India every year.
Swami Vivekananda was a 19th-century spiritual leader who was born in Kolkata on 12 January 1863, as Narendra Nath Dutta. He was a social reformer who was dedicated to eliminating child marriage and illiteracy and spreading education among women and the people belonging to lower castes. He also worked towards awakening religious consciousness among the people.
Swami Vivekananda is best known in the United States for his groundbreaking speech to the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions in which he introduced Hinduism to America and called for religious tolerance and an end to fanaticism.
“In Swami Vivekananda , one finds the perfect convergence of love for the Divine and love for the nation. He is an eternal inspiration for the youth.”
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached is one of the most popular quotations of Swami Vivekananda. The verse Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached has its origin in Katha Upanishad. In Katha Upanishad, chapter 1.3.14, we see Yama suggesting Nachiketa—
उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत,
क्षुरासन्न धारा निशिता दुरत्यद्दुर्गम पथ: तत् कवयो वदन्ति |
Arise! Awake! Approach the great and learn.
Like the sharp edge of a razor is that path,so the wise say−hard to tread and difficult to cross.
We find this verse many times in the works and writings of Swami Vivekananda.