I am delighted to participate in the Launch of the Project Media Village a venture of the Archdiocese of Changanassery, Kottayam. I am happy that this venture has a Vision "The right media vision to all", and the mission of creating media professionals with a high level of aesthetic values and moral responsibility to democratize the availability of information to all citizens. My greetings to Rev Mar Joseph Perunthottam and his team, Faculty members, students and staff of various media institutions in the media village.
Friends, when I see you all, you are very important component of the society, I recall my experiences of visiting all the states and union territories, and witnessing the unique ambience of the seven hundred million people living in 600,000 villages equivalent to 200,000 Panchayat?s. What is that ambience? That ambience, I call it, "A scene of sweat". It is the farmers in the agricultural field, it is the fishermen in the rough sea, it is the worker in the industries, teachers in the schools, knowledge workers in the laboratories, knowledge and Pharma industries, health workers removing the pain at all times in healthcare institutions and many and many people, who have to be remembered always by this great media community. That is how I have selected the topic for discussion today as "Integrated Media Education".
Media as a partner in national development.
Friends, I would like to share with you few experiences that are relevant to you:
I have visited various states for various functions and I have interacted with students and people from rural areas wherever possible. I have also addressed the State Legislative Assemblies including Legislative Council wherever applicable. I have addressed over 12 State Assemblies. In all my addresses, my aim was on how the state can be an economically developed state with high Human Development Index, and how to increase the per capita income of the state? Normally, I used to give 8 to 10 missions. These missions were evolved based on the inputs from the planning commission, consultation with state ministries, the core competence of the state and the rural development profile of the state which are mapped to Vision 2020 targets. I would suggest the media students and professionals to study these missions and propagate the thoughts wherever they take up assignment.
I would like to share with you an out-of-the box solution. After my address to the Kerala Legislative Assembly, there was a detailed discussion in the Kerala assembly with all the political parties. As you know, media in Kerala is very alert and dynamic. They took up the mission and extended the discussion in detail with the people and all the political leaders, inviting suggestion. I would like to share with you how Malayala Manorama reacted to the document which I presented to the Kerala Assembly. Malayala Manoroma translated this document "Missions for Kerala?s prosperity" and ensured that it reached all the readers and various active development groups. Also the media organized six workshops, in different places in all the ten missions and attempted to seek the operational problems and how those problems can be solved. In this workshop, ministers, political leaders, government functionaries and media personal participated. I also interacted with them during the concluding session through video conferencing. The media finally submitted the recommendations to the Government for implementation. This proactive step undertook by the media shows how media can be an effective partner in national development. You may like to give a thought in this direction, while you work with print or electronic media after your education in this campus.
Friends, I am sharing this experience with you, which is very important for the media to be a partner in the national missions, such as Developed India 2020, PURA, National Rural Health Mission and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. There is another important programme, called Rural Employment Guarantee scheme covering all the districts in the country. In addition, Government has also passed an act "Right to education Act? for providing compulsory and free education to all the children between 5 to 13 years. All these programmes are very important national programmes and particularly the Gross root media should take interest, highlight the positive aspects and provide solutions to difficult areas through nation wide consultations. This will certainly make a difference in the implementation of the programme and bring smiles in the faces of billion people.
Now I would like to discuss some of the innovative development programmes that need media attention, which I have come across in different parts of the country.
PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas)
The integrated method which will bring prosperity to rural India is called PURA, which envisages four connectivities: the physical connectivity of the village clusters through quality roads and transport; electronic connectivity through tele-communication with high bandwidth fiber optic cables reaching the rural areas from urban cities and through internet kiosks; knowledge connectivity through education, skill training for farmers, artisans and craftsmen and entrepreneurship programmes. These three connectives will lead to economic connectivity through starting of enterprises with the help of banks, micro credits and marketing of the products. We need to establish approximately 7000 PURA Complexes in the country encompassing approximately 2.3 lakh Village Panchayats.
Operational PURA: There are four operational PURA?s in the country pioneered by the private institutions independent of the government efforts, namely Periyar PURA in Vallam, Tamil nadu, Loni Pura in Loni, Maharastra, Chitrakoot PURA in Madhya Pradesh and Byrraju PURA in Andhra Pradesh.
Now I would like to share the experiences of my recent visit to Byyraju PURA in Bhimavaram, Andrapradesh. Byrraju Foundation of Satyam has undertaken the mission of establishing 32 Ashwini centers benefiting 116 villages with the population of around 500,000 people. It has provided the electronic connectivity through wireless (512 kbps to 2 mbps), knowledge connectivity in cooperation with National Academy of Construction, Hyderabad and other domain experts, thereby creating economic connectivity in these villages.
Economic Connectivity: During the last 4 years of its operation, it has skill enabled and knowledge enabled in areas such as construction, tailoring, Garment production, IT and spoken English skills. This programme resulted in 3000 jobs with the minimum earning of Rs. 3000 per month, this is 3 times that of their earlier earning potential. A rural BPO Gram IT, established in Jallikakinada center has trained the unemployed graduates in IT skills and Spoken English and employed 100 people to do the BPO operations such as transaction processing of Human Resource data of Satyam Computers as a back office processing; data processing of one million self-help-group members of Andhra Pradesh such as financial data, accounting data, spending pattern, cultural aspects under the programme of "Mapping the bottom of the Pyramid". This Gram IT BPO has effected the 10% reverse migration from Hyderabad to Bhimavaram. I am sure this Model can be replicated by many of our IT companies in the rural sector to create PURA clusters and bring rural transformation. Journalists assembled here can definitely study this PURA and analyze the impact it has made in improving the quality of life of people living in this cluster. Based on this study, they can spread the message of PURA to different regions in the country. Now I would like to talk about the important facility established by the Ministry of Agriculture which should be brought to the notice of all the rural people in the country for deriving maximum benefits.
Knowledge based employment
As part of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in all the districts in the country, we have to think how we can make part of this employment as knowledge based creative employment. The innovators in the rural setting can be mobilized to create a knowledge map of the best practices in the village in respect of areas like agriculture, animal husbandry, herbal medicines, environment upkeep, handloom and craftsmanship. Here, I would like to describe three areas of good practices which I have come across in our rural setting.
During my visit to various parts of the country, particularly the north-eastern States, I have observed that every home has become a place of making tools and appliances out of wood and other local raw materials. Some houses have specialized in handloom weaving and making dresses of different colours for the whole family. In southern part of India, products are made through particular type of grass leaves in the house and pathamadai pai (fine quality mats). Such traditional innovative products have to be added with technology to make them nationally and internationally competitive.
Like these cases, I am sure each of the 600 thousand villages in the country will have a number of good practices in agriculture, fishing, forestry, horticulture, medicinal plants, traditional knowledge in medicine and handicrafts, textiles, rearing of silk worm and many other areas depending upon the bio-diversity and core competence of the particular region. Deploying the youth of the region in mapping the knowledge and experience will provide us a rich resource of existing knowledge which can be used by many people needing such products. These rural personnel will definitely become knowledge multipliers and make a difference to the villagers they live. I have suggested creation of Technology Ambassadors, in different districts, who can search innovative knowledge available and document it in the technology bank website when I visited the National Institute of Rural Development in Hyderabad. Such technological information can be disseminated by the media which will be a boom to the rural community for generating value added employment.
In the present development context of the nation, I would like the media to take up the following missions for immediate implementation.
1. A Media movement: Developed India before 2020. 2. Media becoming a development partner in the programme of PURA (Providing Urban amenities in Rural Area) ? connectivity is the focus. 3. Celebrating every aspect of the success of the State and the Nation particularly in rural areas. 4. Evolutions of corruption free India before 2010. Particularly, I have started a movement of administering an Oath among the youth which states, "I will lead an honest life free from all corruption and will set an example for others to adopt a transparent way of life." 5. Promoting an enlightened society, which means education with value system, transforming religion into a spiritual force and building economic prosperity of the nation based on its core competence. For this mission, a unique world body is essential. 6. Media should bring honor to the womanhood. 7. Scanning and digitizing all old issues of the print media since its establishment and store in a digital library to preserve our national heritage and make it available for research.
With these words I launch the Project Media Village which will be a one stop solution for education of all media disciplines. My best wishes to all of you for success in your mission of making media a national development partner.
Now I would like to administer a seven point oath to all the students assembled here:
1. Wherever I am, a thought will always come to my mind. That is "What can I give?" 2. Whatever the mission I will do, my motto will be "Work with integrity and succeed with integrity" 3. I will always remember that "Let not my winged days, be spent in vain". 4. I realize I have to set a great goal that will lead me to think high, work and realize the goal. 5. My greatest friends will be great human beings, great teachers and good books. 6. I firmly believe that no problem can defeat me; I will become the captain of the problem, defeat the problem and succeed. 7. My National Flag flies in my heart and I will bring glory to my nation.