"India Must Train Rural Youth To Become Big Game Changers Through Sports"
Lucknow, August 2 (TNA) Few medals at the Olympics by a country of 1.4 billion is not enough, we must train rural youth to become big game changers through sports. Words of wisdom and foresight, spoken by R Venkataram, member Advisory board TRIF, former managing trustee Tata Trusts at the India Rural Colloquy on the first day of the one-week long Zoom sessions which started on Sunday evening.
This mega event is being organized by Transforming Rural India Foundation (TRIF), which works with NGOs and governments to develop and delivers solutions for rural India. Expressing his views in the session under Going forward- Rural India 2025 Venkatram said that Technology is an equalizer and helps destroy inequalities prevalent in society. He said good training can take our youth, especially in the rural India to great heights. He was of the view that a hyper collaboration of networks will help bring change faster.
Venkataraman said we do not have to just remove inequalities but also the insensibilities. He said the leap forward in technology has only increased inequalities. Citing an example he said that webinars are limited to those who have access to technology.
Bharati Ramola, chair, Adv Board TRIF, former Markets leader, PwC India who was also a panelist in the conversation which discussed challenges, solutions and visualized Rural India ten years hence spoke out against Indian youth obsession with government jobs.
She said we must discourage this mindset in our youth that aspires ‘only’ for government jobs because such jobs are few and when they fail they become dejected. Instead, she suggested we must deploy an entrepreneurial approach and raise their canvas.
She said she visualizes rural India with pucca roads and houses, a good healthcare system with a special focus on women's health. She said she had dreams for the youth of rural India which are special dreams. While a quarter of the rural youth population she would like to see in colleges, the second quarter she would prefer engaged in skilling sector, the third quarter Ramola fancied as gone from the village for higher education and the fourth quarter she dreams will be joining their elders in agriculture.
She spoke of how she visualizes villages in 2030 where all the parameters of education, healthcare, and proactive management of the environment are in synch. She said that even if she knows in her mind that all this is not possible and that this is but an Eldorado but she said that we must all ever try to be part of her dream for rural India and work towards making at least some of it come true.
However, she was honest to accept that inequalities in women, Dalit was not really possible to wipe out in the near future. She suggested that we must start working on removing these social biases right at the school level when minds can be moulded easily.
Talking about rural infrastructure Ramola warned about haphazard structural development said that care must be taken when modernizing a village e that we do not morph them into unplanned cities. She said that except for a few planned cities like Chandigarh the rest of the cities in the country are unplanned and therefore an eyesore. She said resources to be used for infrastructural development of the rural areas must be done with care and precision.
We must counsel and enable the aged through sessions and training and at the same time teach our youth to spend time with the elderly and let them not feel alone and left out.
We must counsel and enable the aged through sessions and training and at the same time teach our youth to spend time with the elderly and let them not feel alone and left out, said Dr Sanjiv Phansalkar, chair, TRIF, former program director, Tata Trusts.
In his conversation stressed that many problems of rural India are somehow identical to those of urban India. The example he quoted was the state of the elderly in our society, suggest Dr. Phansalkar.
Dr. Phansalkar said that an area that must be looked into and that was very dear to his heart concerns the aging population in the rural areas, we must counsel the elderly how to become enable and encourage the young to spend good quality time with the old.
Talking on the prevailing functional anarchy he was highly critical of Indians high complaint quotient and playing of the victim card. “As a nation, everyone in our country feels he has been wronged so he plays the victim card all the time. Along with this we as a nation always talk of our rights and totally forget that we have duties too,” he said adding that Rights with a sense of responsibility should be the right nationalistic approach.
During the course of the 90 minutes conversation ably moderated by Soumitra Pandey (Partner, The Bridgespan Group) the speakers dwelt at length on the aspirations of rural community and how best to provide the village population opportunities of growth sans any gender bias ensuring an all round growth in rural belts.
They said in the post-pandemic glocal society, economy, and technology is going to impact opportunities more. The august panelists, with many years of experience in their respective fields spoke of paths that had to be walked by men and women in rural India to fulfil their aspirations and how they can live a life of dignity and prosperity fight heavy odds.
In the welcome session, Anish Kumar had stated that they had chosen August for this important colloquy because it is a month of Revolution, of our country’s Independence and also has friendship Day. It is important because changes can only be possible if we all work in a friendly environment with a spirit to take things forward.