Former police officer Kiran Bedi on Wednesday said students and youth had to contribute more to the society and take up ‘social engineering' as a mandatory practice if they had to develop as leaders.

Urging youth to be “creatively patriotic, strong educators and disciplined,” Ms. Bedi, appealed to them to become entrepreneurs so that they can create jobs for the poor.

She was speaking after presenting the first ‘Innominds Awards' at SRM University, Kattankulathur.

Ms. Bedi said if youth volunteered to teach those who could not read or write, illiteracy could be wiped out in three to four years.

Stressing the need for educated youth to work among the community, especially among the poor, malnourished and the underprivileged, she urged them to take up innovative summer projects among the illiterate.

Stating that “life was an inclined plane,” Ms. Bedi said that unless youth were creative and re-invented themselves everyday, they would slip and fall down. “Throughout the 35 years of my career with the Indian police force, I re-invented myself everyday,” Ms. Bedi said, recalling how she along with 10,000 prison inmates and 200 volunteers from NGOs, were able to bring about a huge transformation in Tihar, Asia's largest jail.

Ms. Bedi said Innominds was a wonderful concept and hoped that it would be adopted by all schools and colleges in India.

A press release said Innominds was an initiative to highlight and reward the creative projects and achievements of meritorious students. . 26 colleges from Tamil Nadu took part and 124 entries were received.