Intellectually inspiring as always, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam speaks to students from across the city, on how to develop leadership skills, fight corruption and ignite their imagination. Prachi Rege reports.
"If you do not talk differently, we shall not think differently," is a quote from the book ‘Ill Fares the Land’ by Tony Judt that former president of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, shared with his enthusiastic young audience. “This quote is my recent inspiration,” informed Dr. Kalam while addressing students on ‘Youth for Governance’, the topic of the speech. The function was jointly organized by Public Concern for Governance Trust (PCGT) ,Shri Shanmukananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha (SSFASS) in Mumbai today to felicitate an interaction between Dr Kalam and the students—on youth empowerment, creating young leaders who can be instrumental in rooting out corruption.
Dr Kalam commented on the burning issue of corruption. "We are a country of 200 million households. Each of us have members working in various sectors. When a child sees corruption practiced at home, by either of the parents, he/ she should confront them," said the Bharat Ratna scientist to the students who where eagerly noting down his energetic speech. Only way to fight corruption is when we have transperant households in which none of the elders indulge into it, and thereby set an example for the young people they are raising. Speaking on developing leadership values among the youth, he said that a change in attitude is essential. "Youth always think or are raised to think what one can receive but no one is taught what they can give." A true leader is someone who asks this question and influences others.
On the issue of innovation and imagination, Dr Kalam shared some words of wisdom. He thinks that every person, especially the youngsters, have some unique quality that can be nourished. This uniqueness can be utilised in making the nation a successful one. “In the last decade, I have met over 16 million youth across age groups. I believe that most of them are not accoustmed or trained to be unique.”
Most parents want their child to choose a profession based on what the neighbor`s child is doing, Dr. Kalam said. What about his/ her uniqueness and talent? "All of us are unique, but the world around you is doing its best to make yourself like everybody or somebody else." The youth needs to fight this moulding and try to imagine the impossible. "Break the limits of your imagination," said Kalam amidst the thunderous applause.
At the end of his speech, Dr Kalam, informed about the challenges that the youth of our nation will have to handle. According to him, the major challenge is to bridge the rural and urban divide. This is followed by equal distribution of energy and water—the two major resources on which it is said that modern warfare will be fought. Synchronization of agriculture and industry, inclusive education, averting crimes against women and children and addressing numerous health issues are some of the other hurdles that the youth need to tackle.
Four steps for success:
1) Before or by the age of 21 develop a high long term goal in life
2) Acquire vast amount of vital knowledge from books and teachers
3) Keep working hard towards the set goal
4) Practice perseverance—Become the captain of your problems