New York: Former president and scientist A.P.J. Abdul Kalam enthralled an Indian American audience with his vision for India in the year 2020 and exhorted the expatriates "to give the knowledge and experience back to the motherland".
Addressing a gathering of about 800 people, including community leaders and students at the Hindu Temple in Flushing, he encouraged everyone to dream big, to achieve with integrity and to ignite the minds of youth of this world.
For NRIs and persons of Indian origin (PIOs), his message was clear: "We should give 100 percent to where we live and work, while we commit to give back our knowledge and experience to our motherland also."
He listed key elements of his vision that include: a nation where the rural and urban divide is reduced to a thin line, where poverty has been eradicated, illiteracy removed and crimes against women and children are absent and none in society feels alienated, where the governance is responsive and transparent, a nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, peaceful and happy and continues with a sustainable growth path.
To transform India into a developed nation, Kalam said he has identified five areas of the country’s core competence for integrated action: agriculture and food processing, reliable and quality electric power, surface transport and infrastructure for all parts of the country, education and healthcare, information and communication technology and self-reliance in critical technologies.
The major mission, he said, is development of infrastructure for bringing rural prosperity through Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA), through creation of connectivity, namely, physical, electronic, and knowledge, leading to economic connectivity.
He said it is possible to achieve the vision for India, "only if we adopt and practise the value system in a society which is derived out of our civilisational heritage". He also emphasised righteousness in the heart and the "confidence that we can (achieve)".
Kalam added: "We constitute one sixth of the global population and the transformation that we do to one sixth of the world will benefit the other population also."
Source: Indo-Asian News Service