Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today called upon the youth to participate in a big way to eradicate the social evils, poverty, and illiteracy. They also should be at the forefront of eliminating casteism and religious fundamentalism.
Delivering the first Prof. Yeshwanthrao Memorial Lecture in Mumbai, he pointed out that the country was facing challenges on different fronts—about 20 per cent of the population is still living in poverty and an equal percentage of people are not literate.
He also cited instances of social, gender discrimination and atrocities against women, corruption, casteism and religious fundamentalism as some of the challenges. On the external front, India was constantly facing the problem of cross-border terrorism, he added.
Stressing the need for promoting nationalistic outlook among the youth and involving them in constructive nation-building activities, he said: “All of us must strive to build a New India that is free of poverty, hunger, discrimination, and inequalities based on caste, creed, and gender”.
Vice President Naidu advised student organizations such as Vidyarthi Parishad to instil the feeling of ‘nation first’ among the youth and encourage them to actively participate in national development. He called upon the youth to work with a missionary zeal and determination to transform India into a prosperous and happy nation.
Stating that India has a great demographic dividend with more than 65% of its population, the Vice President stressed the need to impart knowledge and skills to youth for effectively meeting the challenges of technology-driven the 21st century. He called for tapping the entrepreneurial potential among the youth of the country by providing those opportunities through innovation, incubation, and start-ups.
Opining that changing the face of our rural and backward villages is an essential component of inclusive development, the Vice President said that the critical challenge was to deploy the best possible ideas in the innovation-led development of the rural areas of the nation, where 60 per cent of its population lives.
He asserted that creating economic avenues for rural artisans, farmers, women, and the youth by providing education and empowering them to use technology were essential steps to strengthen the village economy that relies mostly on agriculture
Describing the urban-rural divide existing in the country as a challenge, Vice President Naidu advocated for planned and systematic initiatives to revive the rural economy. Stating that advancement in technology, expansion of new and modern healthcare facilities provide an opportunity to address this glaring challenge, The Vice President said that there was an urgent need to make agriculture more sustainable and profitable.
Vice President Naidu said that climate change was real and affecting all species on the planet, as he urged upon people to give it a form of a mass movement to conserve water resources, ensure a sustainable model of development and maintain the ecological balance.