Udaipur, Jan 11 (Agencies): About 5,000 youths from across the eight SAARC countries will participate in the National Youth Festival, which begins here on Wednesday.

Vice President Hamid Ansari will inaugurate the five-day mega event in a grand opening function to be held at Maharana Bhupal stadium in Gandhi Ground, officials said.

Nearly 5,000 youths from India, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal will take part in the festival, which is organised every year by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to propagate the concept of national integration, spirit of communal harmony, courage, brotherhood and adventure among the youngsters, they said.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot will also be present at the inaugural function.

Besides Gandhi Ground, the event will be held at Shilp Gram, College of Engineering and Technology, M L Sukhadia university, M G college, B N college and Town Hall.