President addresses the Centennial Summit 2020 of Rotary India in Kolkata
Kolkata: The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah
Naidu today called terrorism as the common enemy of humanity, peace
and development. He also called upon the civil society all over the
world to collaborate and create a global consensus at platforms such
as UN for strong policy framework against the all forms of terrorism.
Addressing the centennial celebrations of Rotary International in India
in Kolkata today, the Vice President said that peace is a prerequisite
to development and everyone should work to curb the menace of terrorism.
The Vice President stressed that India believes in peaceful coexistence
and wants peace with all its neighbours. Ours is a country that has
never invaded any country in our long history, he said and appealed
to all countries to come together to eradicate illiteracy and poverty
from the world.
Shri Naidu said that NGOs should take lead in the poverty eradication
and socio-economic empowerment of the marginalized sections of the society.
He asked the civil society organisations to supplement the efforts of
the governments for sustainable and inclusive growth.
Highlighting that more than 60 percent of Indians still live in villages,
the Vice President wanted every livelihood project to factor in this
aspect and focus on strengthening the rural economy.
“Lack of basic amenities and employment opportunities in rural
areas are causing forced migration. We should seriously work towards
bridging this rural-urban divide”, he said.
Expressing concerns over the declining interest among youth to take
up agriculture as profession, Shri Naidu asked the organizations like
Rotary to train and skills the youngsters to become agri-entrepreneurs.
The Vice President also stressed the need to encourage the farmers to
diversify and take up allied activities like poultry, fisheries, and
“It would it would ensure a regular source of income for them
and thus help to withstand the vagaries of nature”, he added.
Shri Naidu appreciated the good work being done by the Rotary International
in the field of education and health services and appealed to all stakeholders
to work for a poverty free India.
The Vice President also called upon the NGO community to work towards
a 100 percent literate India by providing much needed essential literacy
to adults who missed the literacy bus and getting the street children
into the formal school structure. He also called for modernizing the
classrooms with electronic blackboards and creating Happy Schools by
improving the basic infrastructure in the schools. He called upon everyone
to make India a Vishwa Guru again.
“Teachers, especially in various government schools need constant
training”, he said.
In addition to promoting literacy, the Vice President suggested NGOs
to focus on imparting livelihood skills for youth and women so as to
enable them to supplement their families’ income.
Calling water conservation as the need of the hour, Shri Naidu appealed
to everyone to become a partner in the Government’s efforts for
water conservation. Noting that the Jal Shakti Ministry plans build
more than one lakh check dams in India in coming five years, he appreciated
the Rotary’s move to build more than ten thousand check dams.
The Vice President said that share and care is the core of Indian philosophy
and since time immortal, Indian society believed in “living together”
and “working together”. In the past, it used to be a common
practice for the rich to come to the aid of the poor in the villages,
Appreciating the role of Rotary in eradicating polio, Shri Naidu said
that the history of Polio eradication in India has shown that the government
and committed NGOs can forge effective and successful partnerships.
“I would like to see more such partnerships for the betterment
of the communities at large”, he said.
Highlighting need to promote philanthropy in today’s consumer-driven
and materialistic world, Shri Naidu called for inculcating compassion
and the qualities of sharing and caring from childhood. Children need
to develop empathy and not sympathy for the less fortunate, he said.
He exhorted the organisations like Rotary to involve schools and colleges
in community-service to enable the children to develop the spirit of
volunteerism and spiritual values from a young age. He even suggested
that the New Education Policy must also seek to promote the spirit of
volunteerism among the students and also earmark certain marks for such