Nellore (Andhra Pradesh), Feb 22 (IANS) President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday urged the people to give back to the society to help the underprivileged.
He was speaking at the 18th anniversary celebrations of Swarna Bharat Trust, a social service organisation founded by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, at Venkatachalam village here.
The President said that he always tells intellectuals, meritorious students, scientists, technologists and people from all spheres of life that where they have reached today is not because of their own individual endeavours but because of efforts and blessings of the society at large.
"Wherever you are, have the mindset to give back to society in whatever manner and way you can afford to. Help the underprivileged people, students and poor who are in need," he said.
Kovind, who began his speech with a few Telugu words, said he was deeply moved by seeing the glimpses of rural developmental activities being carried out by the Trust which, he noted, drew inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi's slogan of "Back to the Villages".
"Gandhiji had spoken of the need to develop villages with amenities appropriate for a dignified and simple but prosperous life. He focused on farming, sanitation, education and sustainable living.
"Gandhiji's ideas and his basic philosophy are still very relevant. However, with changing times, it is important to renew the methods to achieve those ideas. In this regard, technology can be a great enabler," Kovind said.
The President, who also visited the Akshara School run by the Trust, said he was happy to note that the Trust was engaged in socially relevant and people-centric activities that cover many areas, ranging from education to healthcare and agriculture to skill training.
He was all praise for Naidu, who was also present at the event, describing him as a multi-faceted personality and a sensitive human being. "His credibility and goodwill have helped him in his role as Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha even in challenging circumstances."
Naidu said he shared a close emotional association with the Trust and devoting time in service of people give him utmost satisfaction. He said he launched the organisation with inspiration from Gandhiji and Nanaji Deshmukh.
The Vice President said the Trust was working to empower women by giving them livelihood skills, imparting vocational training to youngsters, educating farmers on new farm techniques, training artisans and providing education to rural children.
"I have passion for rural development. I am son of a farmer and every day I used to walk three km from my village near here to go to school," said Naidu.
He said he was happy that his son and daughter were also attracted by social service instead of being tempted by politics. "I am happy my children instead of getting into politics have taken social service in big way," he said