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Government of India
Vice President's Secretariat
15-November-2018 19:48 IST
Every citizen must become change agents in building a more empathetic, caring and harmonious society: Vice President

Revamp school curriculum and make it mandatory for children to take part in social service activities;

Gandhiji's thoughts are guiding principles for all of us; Gives away Jamnalal Bajaj Awards - 2018

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that every citizen must become change agents in building a more empathetic, caring and harmonious society. He was addressing the gathering after presenting the Jamnalal Bajaj Awards - 2018, in Mumbai today. The Governor of Maharashtra, Shri C. Vidyasagar Rao, the Minister for Higher and Technical Education of Maharashtra, Shri Vinod Tawde and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President said that Jamnalal Ji’s life and works inspire the younger generation in bringing about reforms and changes in the mindset of people. He appreciated the organizers for felicitating four eminent citizens who have made a difference to the lives of people through their work on environment, disaster mitigation, women and children’s welfare and promotion of peace and non-violence.

Shri Naidu also lauded the contributions of Shri Jamnalal Bajaj and said that he exemplified India’s core philosophy of share and care and strove for women’s empowerment, elimination of untouchability, uplift of the downtrodden and promotion of khadi.

The Vice President said that every citizen of the country must draw inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi and become change agents in building a more empathetic, caring and harmonious society. Gandhiji's thoughts are guiding principles for all of us, he added.

The Vice President said that the new generation must be taught about India's great culture and heritage. There is every need to preserve and protect the culture and traditions of our nation that believes in the core philosophy of Care and Share, he added.

The Vice President said that it is important for every individual to discharge his or her responsibility towards society and the country at large.  He also stressed the need to imbibe the qualities of social responsibility among the citizenry, especially the young.

Shri Naidu said that he was disturbed to learn about the instances of neglect and abuse of the elderly, growing atrocities on women and lack of tolerance to a contrarian viewpoint in the society. He said that such serious social malaises must be tackled in a concerted manner by all the stakeholders - families, communities, NGOs and the government.

The Vice President called for revamp of school curriculum and make it mandatory for children to take part in social service activities. He opined that involvement in social service right from school days would help in inculcating an attitude of sensitivity and empathy among children.

She Naidu also asked private and public sector companies to earmark one day every three months for employees to participate in such activities.

The Vice President presented Jamnalal Bajaj Awards to Gandhian and Social Activist, Shri Dhoom Singh Negi under the 'Constructive Work' category, Ms. Rupal Desai and Mr. Rajendra Desai under the 'Application of Science and Technology for Rural Development' category, Ms. Prasanna Bhandari under 'Development and Welfare of Women and Children' category and Dr. Clayborne Carson from Stanford University for promoting Gandhian values outside India.

Following is the text of Vice President's address:

"विगत 40 वर्षों से विभिन्न क्षेत्रों में कार्यरत सुविख्यात नागरिकों को उनकी प्रतिष्ठित उपलब्धियों के लिये जमनालाल बजाज पुरस्कारों से सम्मानित किया जा रहा है। राष्ट्र की रचनात्मक मेधा को सम्मानित, प्रोत्साहित करने में इन प्रतिष्ठित पुरस्कारों की महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका रही है। आपके विद्‌वत् निर्णयों के लिये, मैं पुरस्कारों के निर्णायक मंडल का अभिनंदन करता हूँ।

जमनालाल बजाज जी जीवनपर्यन्त गांधीवादी रहे। गांधीजी उन्हें अपना पांचवां पुत्र मानते थे। जमनालाल बजाज जी और उनके परिवार ने गांधी जी के आदर्शों को अपने निजी जीवन और परिवारिक संस्कारों में अपनाया। जमनालाल बजाज जी गांधीजी के आदर्शों का अनुकरण करते हुये अंग्रेजों के विरूद्ध संघर्ष करते रहे साथ ही समाज उत्थान के कार्यों में भी लगे रहे। उनकी पत्नी जानकी देवी जी गोसेवा के प्रति समर्पित रहीं। उन्होंने विनोबा जी के भूदान आंदोलन में भी सक्रिय भूमिका निभाई।

जमनालाल जी के दोनों सुपुत्रों ने परिवार के गांधीवादी संस्कारों का निष्ठापूर्वक निर्वहन किया। आजादी के बाद, कमल नयन जी ने भारत के औद्यौगिकीकरण में महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका निभाई। वे रचनात्मक राजनीति में भी सक्रिय रहे और लोकसभा में वर्धा का प्रतिनिधित्व किया। दूसरे पुत्र रामकृष्णजी ने व्यापार और व्यवसाय को सामाजिक सरोकारों से जोड़ा। उनके प्रयासों के फलस्वरूप ही Council for Fair Buisness Practices का गठन हुआ जिससे नैतिक और समाज-निष्ठ व्यावसायिक नीतियों और रीतियों को प्रोत्साहन मिला। ये रामकृष्ण जी के ही प्रयास थे कि जमनालाल बजाज फाउंडेशन की स्थापना हो सकी जिसके तत्वाधान में आज ये पुरस्कार प्रदान किये जा रहे हैं।

यह सचमुच प्रशंसनीय है कि स्वर्गीय जमनालाल बजाज जी की राष्ट्रवादी परंपरा को, आज श्री राहुल बजाज जी के प्रेरक नेतृत्व में उनके परिवार की तीसरी पीढ़ी निष्ठापूर्वक निभा रही है।

Jamnalal Ji was a multifaceted man—a freedom fighter, businessman, social reformer and philanthropist. He exemplified India’s core philosophy of share and care and strove for women’s empowerment, elimination of untouchability, uplift of the downtrodden and promotion of khadi. He returned the title of ‘Rai Bahadur’ conferred on him by the British during the Non-Cooperation Movement.

We need to draw inspiration from socially-conscientious leaders like Jamnalal Bajaj ji in bringing about reforms and changes in the mindset of people. Although caring and sharing is Indian culture’s core philosophy, increasing materialism, receding spiritualism, selfishness, fast-paced lifestyles and the growing trend of nuclear families are making people to adopt an indifferent attitude towards the problems of needy and vulnerable sections of the society.

Instances of neglect and abuse of the elderly, growing atrocities on women and lack of tolerance to a contrarian viewpoint are serious social malaises which need to tackled in a concerted manner by all the stakeholders—families, communities, NGOs and the government.

I am of the opinion that involvement in social service right from school days will help in inculcating an attitude of sensitivity and empathy among children. Perhaps, school curriculum should be revamped to make it mandatory for children to take part in social service activities.

 Similarly, private and public sector companies must earmark one day every three months for employees to participate in such activities.

Be the change you want to see in the world, said Mahatma Gandhi. We all need to become change agents in building a more empathetic, caring and harmonious society.

Everyone might not be inclined or interested to get involved in social service activities. However, it is important for every individual to discharge his or her responsibility towards society and the country at large by observing, for instance, basic environmental protective measures like not using plastic bags or materials.

Only a collective effort by every individual will help save the planet from further environmental degradation and preserve its pristine glory for posterity.    

My heartiest felicitations and congratulations to today’s four distinguished awardees, who have made a difference to the lives of people through their work on environment, disaster mitigation, women and children’s welfare and promotion of peace and non-violence. Also when I take a look at the galaxy of past recipients, it evokes admiration as these men and women have become icons of service and selflessness. Braving scorching heat, shivering cold and pouring rain, they have been tirelessly engaged in the reconstruction of rural India in consonance with Gandhiji’s philosophy and most interestingly stayed away from the glare of media and fame.

मित्रों,

आज, टेहरी गढ़वाल, उत्तराखंड के गांधीवादी सामाजिक कार्यकर्त्ता श्री धूमसिंह नेगी जी को उनके रचनात्मक सामाजिक कार्यों के लिये इस पुरस्कार के लिये चुना गया है। सुश्री रूपल देसाई तथा श्री राजेन्द्र देसाई को ग्रामीण विकास में विज्ञान और तकनीक के प्रयोग के लिये पुरस्कृत किया जा रहा है। सुश्री प्रसन्ना भंडारी और श्री कर्णी नगर विकास समिति, कोटा को महिला एवं बाल कल्याण के क्षेत्र में उनके प्रयासों के लिये पुरस्कृत किया जा रहा है। अमेरिका के मार्टिन लूथर किंग (जूनियर) शोध एवं शिक्षा संस्थान के संस्थापक डा. क्लेबोर्न कार्सन, भारत के बाहर गांधीवादी विचारों के प्रचार प्रसार में महत्वपूर्ण योगदान के लिये गठित अंतराष्ट्रीय पुरस्कार प्राप्त करेंगे।

मैं अपने वक्तव्य के अंत में गांधी जी की प्रसिद्ध उक्ति को उद्‌धृत करना चाहूँगा, गांधीजी ने कहा था ‘स्वयं को खोजने का सर्वश्रेष्ठ मार्ग है कि दूसरों की सेवा में स्वयं को समर्पित कर दो।’

 

JAI HIND!"

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