Dear friends, I am happy to meet all of you today at the Beverly hills? and interact with the students organized by Lead India 2020 team at Los Angles. My greetings to all of you have assembled here and to the Lead India 2020 team.
Friends, first of all let me present my visualization of India by or before 2020. Every dimension of visualization has an opportunity for every Indian citizen to contribute.
Distinctive Profile of India 2020
1. A Nation where the rural and urban divide has reduced to a thin line. 2. A Nation where there is an equitable distribution and adequate access to energy and quality water. 3. A Nation where agriculture, industry and service sector work together in symphony. 4. A Nation where education with value system is not denied to any meritorious candidates because of societal or economic discrimination. 5. A Nation where poverty has been totally eradicated, illiteracy removed and all citizens are able to feel a sense of security 6. A Nation which is the best destination for the most talented scholars, scientists, and investors. 7. A Nation where the best of health care is available to all. 8. A Nation where the governance is responsive and transparent. 9. A nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, devoid of terrorism, peaceful and happy and continues with a sustainable growth path. 10. A Nation that is one of the best places to live in and is proud of its leadership.
Integrated Action for developed India
To achieve the distinctive profile of a nation, we have to have a mission for transforming the nation into a developed nation. For India, we have identified five areas where we have core competence for integrated action. This will be true for many developing nations: (1) Agriculture and food processing (2) Education and Healthcare (3) Information and Communication Technology (4) Infrastructure: Reliable and Quality Electric power, Surface transport and Infrastructure for all parts of the country and (5) Self reliance in critical technologies. These five areas are closely inter-related and if progressed in a coordinated way, will lead to food, economic and national security. The development in science and technology is vital for time-bound realization of the ten pillars that I have mentioned earlier.
Now dear friends, let me share with you one event which I have come across during my recent visit to Chennai. When I landed at Chennai airport, a team of people waiting for me to see, I met them at the Airport lounge. There I met one unique person by name called Mr. MA Balasubramanian. "Kodabakkam 2020" ? a movement by a Tea stall vendor Mr MA Balasubramanian Mr M A Balasubramanian (now 59) started thinking of 'Why not Kodambakkam 2020? inspired by Developed India vision 2020. He has been running a small tea stall with the name 'Bharathi snacks'. Bharathi was a great National poet, who inspired many people for freedom struggle. Bharathi's poems were banned by the then British rule and he had to live in Pondicherry, which was then under French rule. Right from childhoold, Balasubramanian used to take part actively in social service and also promote the awareness about National leaders.
Kodambakkam is the Hollywood of Chennai, where many of the Indian movies are made. On the other side, this area is the locality of poor and lower middle class people. This tea stall is situation in this locality, catering to the lower middle class and poor people.
"Many young people visiting his tea stall, used to ask him about the National leaders. Some of them got inspired. In the year 2000, around 10 of them decided to start a movement to make Kodambakkam as the ideal place for living by 2020 and Mr. Balasubramanian named this initiative as 'Kodambakkam 2020' in line with India 2020. To achieve this vision, he had formed an informal group called 'Nallore Vattam' (meaning forum for good people)"
Over the period of nine years, this initiative has grown effectively, with more than 1000 members (most of them youngsters). They have divided their activities into 26 categories like blood donation, environment, poor feeding, education, awareness for eye donation, yoga classes, etc. This organisation Nallore Vattam does not have any President, Treasurer, Secretary, etc, It is a flat organistion with Mr Balasubramanian and another young professional Venkatesh as convenors. They have one in-charge person for all the 26 activities. They have not been collecting any money from anybody for the past 9 years. All the activities are supported with the help of sponsors, who take care of the expenses directly.
The in-charge persons of the activities meet on every Sunday evening at 4 PM sharp for the past 9 years regularly, and discuss their activities. Some of the interesting initiatives done by this team:
1. Rapid Action Service : On the birthdays of Mahakavi Bharathiyar and Dr Abdul Kalam, 150 members assemble in one particular colony or area ay 7 AM and start their service like cleaning the street, creating awareness on various issues like health care, environment, etc. to the people, planting of trees, etc. They do this service till the evening. "Of course, we also inform the residents in advance about this Rapid Action Service and 50 percent of the residents join us in the activities. Our Rapid Action creates awareness amongst the residents to keep their area as a model area. So far, in the past three years, we have done in 9 places", says proudly Mr K Venkadesan, Convenor for Kodambakkam 2020 initiative. Mr Venkadesan is an MBA graduate working in a software company.
2. On 5th of every month, the volunteers collect 'one rupee' donation from various people, including schools and other organizations. The entire amount is donated to one of the orphanages or old age homes in their list. They get the receipt from these orphanages in the name of donor institutions. "Every month we collect around Rs.3000 to 4000/- like this from various schools and institutions and help the orphanages. Through this service, the donors also get to know of thse orphanages and establish contacts directly with them for helping such activities", says Mr Vivekanandan, 12th standard student in the nearby Corporation School and who is also in charge of poor feeding.
3. Nallore Vattam has another initiative to bring together like minded organisations for working together. This initiative is known as "Third Sakthi" (first two being Government and politics and third one being the people sakthi). On the last Saturday of every month, representatives of various NGOs meet together regularly (for the past three years) and work out strategies for coordination. Nearly 100 such NGOs are in their network.
4. Besides, they also conduct regular free yoga classes, personality development classes for poor students. Mr Murugan, another young person is in charge of Yoga Centre.
There are 26 such activities are initiated by Mr. Balasubramanian.
"I am running the tea stall here. Many of my own customers are part of this noble initiative. They are all residents of this area. Definitely, we will achieve Kodambakkam 2020, well ahead of our vision. This is our humble contribution to our Nation" says Mr Balasubramanian with a sense of satisfaction.
I met Mr Balasubramanian and his team and understood the great initiative. I appreciate Mr. Balasubramanian and his team for this unique initiative for brining change in thinking, development and peace in Kodambakkam region before the year 2020. Like Kodambakkam 2020, every ward, village, town, district, state should have a vision and work towards this.
I have seen three dreams which have taken shape as vision, mission and realization. Space programme of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), AGNI programme of DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) and PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) becoming the National Mission. Of course, these three programmes succeeded in the midst of many challenges and problems. I have worked in all these three areas. I want to convey to you what I have learnt on leadership from these three programmes: a. Leader must have a vision. b. Leader must have passion to realize the vision. c. Leader must be able to travel into an unexplored path. d. Leader must know how to manage a success and failure. e. Leader must have courage to take decisions. f. Leader should have nobility in management. g. Leader should be transparent in every action. h. Leader must work with integrity and succeed with integrity. For success in all your missions you have to become creative leaders. Creative leadership means exercising the vision to change the traditional role from the commander to the coach, manager to mentor, from director to delegator and from one who demands respect to one who facilitates self-respect. For a prosperous and developed India, the important thrust will be on the generation of a number of creative leaders from our educational institution.
COURAGE Courage to think different, Courage to invent, Courage to travel into an unexplored path, Courage to discover the impossible, Courage to combat the problems and succeed, are the unique qualities of the youth. As a youth of my nation, I will work and work with courage to achieve success in all the missions.
Questions to Lead India team at USA
1. What you have learnt from Lead India about the contribution of the youth for national development? 2. Have you got familiar with the 10 point oath? 3. How many of the oaths that you have practiced? 4. How many of the oaths you have applied on different people and with what results? 5. What are your future plans?