Monday, July 7, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Transform rural India: Kalam

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries, at a function to mark the first death anniversary of Dhirubhai Ambani in Mumbai on Sunday.
— Reuters photo

Mumbai, July 6
Chalking out his vision for India, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today asked young entrepreneurs to transform Indian villages into centres of all-around development and prosperity by ensuring greater facilities and scope for harnessing economic wealth and development.

Delivering the Dhirubhai Ambani Memorial Lecture on “Growth is life”, the President exhorted young entrepreneurs to imbibe the vision, mission and indomitable spirit of the late Ambani and change the lives of the rural poor by ensuring greater “physical, electronic and knowledge connectivity”.

Advising entrepreneurs to avail of loans from banks and financial institutions, he called on them to provide urban facilities by ensuring physical connectivity through building of roadways and other infrastructure. “The pursuit of electronic connectivity through means of installation of the Internet, e-governance and e-commerce would also help in putting India on the global map”, he said.

Entrepreneurs through “knowledge connectivity” and provision of vocational trade to the rural poor can help augment the quality of life of the rural poor, he said.

Alluding to the 260 million people living under poverty line, the President said the daunting task before young entrepreneurs was to uplift those struggling with the basic necessities of life.

Extolling the leadership of Ambani, he said it was Ambani’s spirit and his effort in conquering all obstacles to achieve his goals, that helped in making significant changes in his own native town and in India.

“Development has to reach villages where 700 million reside and without which the states and nation cannot achieve improvement in living standards”, he said.

Enunciating his vision of India becoming a developed nation by 2020, he said the focus was on food processing, ensuring value addition for agricultural products, improving healthcare facilities, dealing with infrastructural problems and attaining self-reliance in critical technologies.

Underlining empowerment of people as the key to prosperity, he said: “It was only when the young are empowered the nation could hope to walk on the path of change and all-around development”.

He said it was the evolution of “creative leaders” that would help in achieving various milestones and taking India to its goal of becoming an economic superpower, a dream shared by the late Ambani.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Human Resource Development Murli Manohar Joshi traced a comparison between Kalam and Ambani and their rise to power, despite their humble origins. “They both are dreamers whose dream revolved around a prosperous India”, he said.

Describing Ambani as the “son of Gujarat”, Chief Minister Narendra Modi said it was Ambani’s endeavour that had helped ensure that waters of Narmada reached his native town Chorwad. — PTI


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