New Delhi: Noting that the country is transiting through an "unprecedented demographic change", President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said it was important to focus on youth and noted that the Bharat Scouts and Guides movement can provide the necessary leadership to them.
Mukherjee also lauded the role of Bharat Scouts and Guides for spread of friendship and cooperation and to work for national integration and international harmony.
Giving away awards to the Scouts and Guides for their distinguished services, he appreciated the movement, which has grown from a mere 3 lakh in 1961 to 51 lakh now, for providing a helping hand during Uttarakhand floods as well as during Kumbh Mela and other occasions.
"We are, today, only too aware of the social conflicts that can threaten our rapidly transforming society. Our nation is presently transiting through an unprecedented demographic change. In 2020, the average Indian will be only 29 years old. This should indicate how important it is for us to focus, today, on our youth.
"While we speak of inclusive growth, it is the leaders at the grassroots who will be the agents of change. I am confident that the Scouts and Guides Movement can effectively provide this leadership where it is needed - at the bottom of the pyramid," Mukherjee said.