The country is chronically afflicted with the widespread malaise called “corruption” and it cannot be eradicated by any particular leader or any organisation or the media. Rather, its antidote lies in the homestead, said A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, former President.

He was fielding a question from a student as to “How can we achieve corruption-free India?” at Theivanai Ammal College for Women, where he inaugurated the Lead Villupuram-2020 programme on Monday.

Mr Kalam said that many faced corruption charges and some were indicted. But the genesis of corruption could be traced to the households in which the elders were keen on getting the filthy lucre through sleazy means.

If the youths vowed not to get any of their requirements fulfilled from such immoral wealth the parents would realise their folly and shun the ignominious deeds.

“If the wards do not like such sort of illegal earnings the parents are sure to abstain from corruption,” Mr Kalam said. Therefore, he was propagating a movement in which the youths would ask, “What can I do for you or what can I give to you” and such an attitudinal change would surely root out corruption.

Responding to the question whether the education system would ever get rid of rote learning, Mr Kalam said the Central Board of Secondary Education syllabus was so framed to discourage memorisation and to spur creativity.

In reply to another question as to when the attitude that education was meant to earn money would change, Mr. Kalam said that there was nothing wrong in making money through right means and even while studying he earned through selling newspapers.

To a question regarding mindless conversion of arable lands into house sites, Mr Kalam said that as of now 235 million tonnes of foodgrains were grown on 170 million hectares and by 2030 the size of cultivable lands would shrink to 100 million hectares but there would be a requirement of 350 million tonnes of foodgrains.

Mr Kalam said that in such circumstances food security could be achieved only through adopting suitable technology.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National