Narayanpur: Education is the best antidote for violence, intolerance and inequality, President Pranab Mukherjee said here on Wednesday.
After laying foundation stone for two separate hostels of tribal students in one of the worst Naxal-hit districts of Chhattisgarh, he said faith in humanity must be restored in the minds of youths so that the country can find its rightful place in the world.
"Education-embedded in values of peace, tolerance and humanity, which is at the same time relevant to society and the economy-is the best antidote for violence, intolerance and inequality.
"The time to act, my young friends, is now. Do not miss opportunities which come your way," he said in his address after visiting the Ramakrishna Ashram here.
Mukherjee urged the youths to work for development of the society.
"The country is growing. Today we don`t get doctors in villages. We have hospitals and buildings there. But they do not want to go there. 70 per cent of our population lives in village. There are over six lakh villages. Unless the feeling to work for the society or the country doesn`t come from within, nobody will like to go there," he said.
Mukherjee reminisced as to how he earned a post graduate degree by paying Rs 268 as total fee for a two-year course in Kolkata.
"Today people are becoming IIT engineers, IIM graduates. They do not want to work in villages. I feel the government should collect taxes and develop more institutes like IITs and IIMs so that people can acquire required skills," he said in his address in Hindi amid clapping from the audience which comprised a number of tribals.