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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 28.03.2014

A group of young participants attending 6th Tribal Youth Exchange Programme (TYEP) called on the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (March 28, 2014).

Speaking on the occasion, the President congratulated Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and the Ministry of Home Affairs on designing this youth exchange programme. He said that it will help transform these tribal youth from the States of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand into ambassadors for propagating the message of peace, harmony and territorial integrity of our nation. The many splendoured States from where the tribal youth were coming from have long been known for their unique culture and heritage. They have been endowed with a rich bio-diversity and an abundance of natural resources such as forest and mineral resources. They have each produced stalwarts in multifarious fields such as politics, administration, arts, sports and culture.

The President said that exchange programmes such as these will in turn, also serve as a useful platform for people in urban areas to learn from the traditional wisdom of the tribal societies. There is a lot to learn from tribal groups in the way they live in harmony with nature. In these times of global crisis, when nations are facing scarcity of basic resources such as water, forests, fuel etc, tribal societies have retained their simple ways of life without posing any threat to our environment.

The President stated that our policy for tribal welfare aims at human development along with conservation of the rich and diverse cultural heritage of tribal society. After Independence, the principle of equity was invoked in the Constitution to empower the tribal population through affirmative policies. It is important to make the tribal groups active participants in the development agenda of the nation. The crux is equitable and sustainable human development with conservation of the rich and diverse cultural heritage of tribal societies. We need to respect each other’s uniqueness and keep marching forward unitedly in order to develop an inclusive society.

The President said that India’s demographic structure is changing, and by 2025, over two-third Indians are expected to be in the working age group. We must take advantage of this demographic dividend, but for that, our youth must be qualified and trained to participate in the national progress. They must be prepared through quality higher education and vocational training.

The President urged the young participants of the tribal youth exchange programme to return to their States as ambassadors of peace and development and share the memories of their visit with their colleagues, relatives, elders and others in their society. He said that they are the torchbearers of tomorrow’s young and resurgent India and on them lies the responsibility of bringing changes in our country. He wished them the very best for their future endeavours and hoped that they would all individually and collectively bring laurels not only to themselves and the people where they come from but to the country as a whole.

This release issued at 1930 hrs