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Mahatma Gandhi’s thoughts are of eternal value: Vice President

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Mahatma Gandhi’s thoughts are of eternal value and would be relevant irrespective of the times. He was addressing the 34th Convocation of the Gandhigram Rural Institute in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu today.

The Vice President asked teachers, doctors, engineers and other professionals to take pride and prestige in serving in rural areas. Adding that serving in rural areas would help them understand the hardships of people, he urged people to develop an undying fascination for rural service.

The Vice President argued in favour of providing basic amenities in rural areas on par with urban areas. He insisted that one cannot be denied basic amenities just because he or she is living in a remote area. Our governance and administration should be developed in such a way that the last person living in remotest part of the country should have access to services.

The Vice President asked the younger generation to be as progressive as the older generation was dogmatic. He expressed hope that the youth of the country would make Gandhiji’s dream of a ‘castless, classless’ society a reality. He warned that it would be an uphill struggle but reassured the students and faculty that the end result would justify the hardships.

The Vice President said that we as a nation could pay tribute to the father of our nation only by eliminating the evils in society such as poverty, untouchability, hidden hunger and by achieving cleanliness. “It is our duty to see that the gap between the rural and urban areas is bridged at the earliest”, he added.

The Vice President said that one cannot think of rural development and community development without talking of the Mahatma and revisiting his vision for India. He lived with people, understood their suffering and came out with mottos to lead a clean and peaceful life, he added.

If the dream of inclusive development has to be realized, we cannot ignore the development gap between urban and rural areas, the Vice President said. He lamented that unequal access to basic facilities, like education, health, drinking water, sanitation, transportation, markets and economic opportunities has created a great divide between the rural and urban areas.

The Vice President presented degrees to students on this occasion. He also conferred Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) upon Smt. Krishnammal Jagannathan for her lifelong contribution to social justice and sustainable human development and Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) upon Dr. R. Kausalya Devi for her work in the field of medicine and social service in rural India.

The Minister for Forests, Tamil Nadu, Shri Dindigul C. Sreenivasan, the Chancellor, Gandhigram Rural Institute, Dr. K.M. Annamalai and other dignitaries were present on the occasion. More than 500 students, faculty members, parents of graduating students and other well wishers also bore witness to the convocation ceremony.


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