"Inspired by ‘India Vision 2020’, the youth are now thinking in terms of what they can do for the nation. I have met 12 million youth in a decade and I can say there is a marked change in their thinking process", former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said here on Monday.
At an interface with students of PSG Institutions at PSG College of Arts and Science, he said youth were now ready to contribute to the development of the country. This confidence of the 600 million youth of India was the greatest asset that no other country had.
Elaborating the features that would earn India the stature of a developed country in 2020, Mr. Kalam said it should ensure that there was no rural-urban divide, there was access for all to energy and water, all service sectors worked in harmony, education was not denied to any eligible candidate, people received best of health care, governance was transparent and corruption-free, and crime against women and children ceased to exist.
"There are some areas of challenge that youth can focus to make India a developed nation. They are, agriculture and food processing, education and healthcare, communications, infrastructure, and electricity," he said.
He urged students to take up Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) projects for residents of villages nearby that would set them on a course of societal transmission.
Answering a question on which of his achievements made him most happy, the former President said it was the decision to use carbon-carbon material for making light-weight callipers for polio-affected children.
"There are so many of my achievements in the area of atomic physics that gave me happiness. But the moment of ultimate happiness came when I saw children who could barely walk with the help of a four-kg callipers, run with a 400 gm light weight one", Mr. Kalam said.
L. Gopalakrishnan, Managing Trustee of PSG & Sons’ Charities, N.C. Nandagopalan, Secretary of the college, and R. Rajendran, felicitated.