Address by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honourable Vice President to the volunteers of National Service Scheme (NSS) who participated in the Republic Day Parade this year, at Upa-Rashtrapati Bhawan, in New Delhi, on 30 January, 2020.

New Delhi | January 30, 2020

“My dear young friends,

I am delighted to be interacting with volunteers of the National Service Scheme (NSS) who have participated in the Republic Day Parade this year. I welcome you all to the official residence of the Vice President of India.

I am happy that all the youth volunteers who opt to serve the nation through the NSS-led community service wear the NSS badge with pride and a sense of responsibility towards helping the needy.

By participating in voluntary service activities such as NSS you are trying to realize the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, who had said: “the best way to find one-self is to lose one-self in the service of others”.

I am aware that all of you are here to participate in the NSS Republic Day Parade Camp. I hope that the camp helped you to interact with fellow members hailing from various parts of India and gave you an opportunity to experience the rich diversity of India in terms cultures and language, apart from promoting a bond of camaraderie and brotherhood among all of you.

The motto of NSS – ‘NOT ME BUT YOU’, reflects India’s core philosophy of ‘Share and Care’.

A stint in NSS will not only provide you with an opportunity to serve the nation, especially during the difficult times of natural calamities such as floods, earthquakes, but will also inculcate, team-spirit and enhance leadership qualities.

The National Integration Camp (NIC) organized by NSS, will help the volunteers visiting different parts of the country to gain a deeper understanding of our glorious history, heritage, traditions, customs and festivals, apart from promoting national integration. It infuses a sense of love towards various regions of the country.

Participating in the adventure activities like mountain-trekking, rafting, Para-sailing and basic skiing will not only take you  closer to nature but will also improve your physical and mental strength.

I appreciate your passion and commitment to take up community service at a young age.

My dear young friends,

Travelling is an essential part of life and it teaches many things that cannot be taught in the classroom. While those participating in NSS would get an opportunity travel to different corners of the country, I would like all colleges and schools to organise trips to well-known archaeological sites, monuments, forts, and other places of history that stand as testimony to India’s vibrant heritage.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi had recently given a call to the youth to visit at least 15 tourist destinations within India by 2022 to give a boost to domestic tourism. Such visits will enhance the understanding of India’s unique cultural mosaic.

A ‘Bharat Dashan’ tour for students must be conducted on a regular basis by educational institutions.

My dear Friends,

While India has made advances in many fields, including education, science & technology, agriculture, space, IT and medicine, we still have daunting challenges on different fronts—we should strive to become a 100 per cent literate country, we need to eradicate poverty and bridge the urban rural-divide.

Youngsters like you should be in the forefront of wiping out social evils like caste and gender discrimination. You must also take the lead in protecting the environment and nature. My mantra to today’s youth is: preserve culture and protect nature for a better future.

Youth must develop the spirit of voluntarism and service right from school days.

Ours is a young nation with more than 65% of the population under the age of 35. The huge demographic advantage has to be completely leveraged to fast-track progress of the nation. As part of empowering the young men and women, the government has launched many initiatives like Skill India, Digital India, Start Up India and Stand Up India.

For India to achieve its dream of inclusive and sustainable development and occupy its rightful place in the comity of nations, it is imperative that its youth population, brimming with potential, must be healthy..

Lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, tobacco use and alcohol abuse are among the factors that are contributing to rising NCDs.

Dear youngsters, always remain physically fit and take active part in sports, games or yoga.

As we all are aware, yoga is an excellent means to achieve physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of an individual. It is an excellent stress management technique and is an effective remedy for several diseases, especially lifestyle-related ones.

The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given a three-word mantra –‘Reform, Perform and Transform’. We need to transform India in all spheres and achieve the goal of a $ 5 trillion economy in the coming years.

The youth must develop a positive outlook and take part passionately in constructive activities. Peace is the foremost perquisite for progress. I appeal to the youth to stay away from those encouraging violence. Those instigating violence are working against the interests of the nation. Please remember that there is no place for violence in a democracy.

Youngsters like you must strive to build a New India which will be free of poverty, discrimination, inequalities, corruption, and hunger.

Finally, I would like to say that a stint in voluntary services like NSS, NCC, Scouts and Guides and others should be made mandatory for children from schooldays.

I believe such training will help students to develop the feeling of oneness, empathy and compassion and become sensitive to the needs of the less fortunate.

My best wishes to all of you for future endeavours!

Jai Hind!”