Educational institutions play an important role in students' lives and should help build self-belief in them, said Bhakthi Bharathi Prema Pandurang, spiritual orator and managing trustee of Kshetropasna Trust, at the Voice of Tomorrow programme held at Avinashilingam University here, on Friday.

The fourth edition of the event was organised by The Hindu, in association with the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore (ICCIC), and Avinashilingam University.

On the topic “Dreams and Reality”, she said “Dreams are triggered by desire, fed by imagination and sustained by hard work. They arise out of our desire for a better tomorrow.”

Addressing an audience consisting of final year students of the university, she said that youth was the most fertile time to dream and ambitions came naturally at that age. Young people had enough time to realise their dreams.

Interspersed with parables, verses and witty remarks, her speech covered a wide range of philosophical and spiritual thoughts. Ms. Pandurang, who was a Professor of English in Presidency College, Chennai, urged the students to use their time wisely while reminding them that the future depended on their behaviour today.

“Discipline is an important value that we should practise in our lives. Ego is destructive while humility helps us grow. Ego is a pose whereas humility is an attitude,” she added.

Talking about the role of women in society, she cited examples of eminent women in diverse fields.

Be courageous

She said that women should be courageous and should strive hard to overcome obstacles that stood in the way of their success.

It was followed by an interactive session in which the students sought answers on philosophical questions and their concerns on dealing with challenges in life.

Sheela Ramachandran, Vice-Chancellor, Avinashilingam University, in her key note address, said that today, education was focused on giving information that would help students pass exams and achieve professional success. But, in addition to that students should analyse information from various sources and understand it. They could attain wisdom by transforming information into true knowledge.

On the Voice of Tomorrow event, she said that the coming together of the academia and industry in this way to reach out to students was appreciable.

“The students are the voice of tomorrow and through this programme they can learn from the experience and knowledge of previous generations,” she added.

M. Krishnan, president, ICCIC, said that that our culture was rooted in strong traditional values but it had always been vibrant.

Explaining the concept of the Voice of Tomorrow, K.V. Prasad, Chief of Bureau, The Hindu, Coimbatore, said the aim was to provide a platform for students to interact with and learn from leaders in various fields.

Vijayalakshmi Purushothaman, Dean of Community College, also spoke.

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