The youth, accounting for 54 crore in the country's population, is the biggest asset of India, former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said on Saturday.

The country had a rich biodiversity and a long coastline. Its rivers every year drained 1,500 thousand million cubic feet of water into the sea. But, what it lacked was the sense of confidence in the youth. It was for the elders to instil it among the youth so that India could become a developed country.

Mr. Kalam was inaugurating a two-day seminar on Kulothungan's poems, organised by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Vanavil Cultural Centre here.

Quoting extensively the poems, the former President said the works would guide the youth in making the country stronger.

Commending Kulothungan (whose original name is V.C. Kulandaiswamy) for dealing with a number of topics, Mr. Kalam said humanism, strong leadership in public life, inter-linking of rivers and the purpose of human life were among the subjects that the poet had touched upon.

He appealed to the media to popularise the message in the poems of Kulonthungan.

Mr. Kalam released a publication containing papers on the works of the poet.

Kulothungan read out portions from his poetry and explained how the earth could be made into heaven through the principle of humanism.

B.S. Raghavan, chairperson of the organising committee, wanted people to nurture Tamil literature.

T.S. Krishnamurthy, coordinator of the organising committee, spoke.

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