5 Points From The PM”s Independence Day Speech That Every Indian Must Respond To

Posted on August 18, 2014 in Society

By Josceline Mascarenhas:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s extempore Independence Day speech at the Red Fort this year touched a chord with many, and drew its share of criticism. Yet, here’s something every Indian will acknowledge: his ambitious words addressed burning needs and issues in India.

Iday speech

He did invite us to participate, so here’s a list every Indian should read: Practical responses each one of us can make to 5 crucial points from the PM’s Independence Day Speech.

1. Digital India:
You will agree, measures like cost-effective long-distance online education for the remote, rural poor can be truly effective only after addressing this crucial point: In addition to online lessons, students still need schools with infrastructure: benches and desks to write on, libraries with books, laboratories to practically access science, computers so they can explore and build.

What Can You Do?

Students need schools with infrastructure to truly benefit from a Digital India
Students need schools with infrastructure to truly benefit from a Digital India

Non-profits like Varthana are working to equip schools that cater to underprivileged India. Places like Sevalaya are taking children off the streets and into class rooms. Run an online search and find a local organization involved in these initiatives. Volunteer to teach, fundraise, and offer financial support. “Private sector job doers” can ask their office HR about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs to connect you with such initiatives; adopt a school.

2. Skill India:
This strategic move will reap rich dividends, making India the largest contributor to the global workforce. It is crucial to exploit every opportunity to achieve this goal. The NSDC, in partnership with the private sector, is currently running programs that can skill 150 million youth and make Indians a key part of the huge IT workforce that will implement Digital India.

What Can You Do?

Pravalika, crowd-funded by lenders like you on Milaap, is getting skilled through NSDC-partner Talent Sprint’s IT vocational course
Pravalika, crowd-funded by lenders like you on Milaap, is getting skilled through NSDC-partner Talent Sprint’s IT vocational course

These programs need to be promoted. Youth, especially from low-income backgrounds, need to be made aware of these programs. So research these programs run by NSDC-partners Talent Sprint, Orion Edutech, LSTT, etc. Help deserving youth access these programs; spread the word through Facebook, tweets, blogs; fundraise for these youth.

3. Financial Inclusion
This tall order needs to be done right to succeed. Will underprivileged Indians overcome poverty with just access to insurance and a bank account? Awareness and sustainable livelihoods will play a huge role in the success of PM Modi’s financial inclusion agenda. Some non-profits across India are working at the grass-roots, educating the poor about finances, skill development.

What Can You Do?

Lalitaben from Chandkheda, Gujarat, is one of the hundreds of rural women who have benefited from training, capital, financial awareness, and insurance support by non-profits like Prayas
Lalitaben from Chandkheda, Gujarat, is one of the hundreds of rural women who have benefited from training, capital, financial awareness, and insurance support by non-profits like Prayas

You can support and spread the word about these non-profits like Prayas and Gramshree in Gujarat, Sreejan in West Bengal, WSDS in the North-East, Mahashakti in Odisha, GMF in Tamil Nadu, Sakhi in Maharashtra, META and MASS in Karnataka. Support their initiatives to provide these people training in livelihood skills, and capital to setup sustainable businesses.

4. Clean India
To keep our country clean, we need more than awareness. We have long been aware that cleanliness extends not just to our roads; it extends to our air, our environment, how the most common Indian goes about meeting his daily needs like food, light, water, and sanitation. So we have regular Indians who took up this challenge, and are driving some inspiring results.

What Can You Do?

Sarita and her family from Velour no longer defecate in the fields and surrounding shrubbery thanks to rural sanitation initiatives by GUARDIAN and support from regular Indians like you
Sarita and her family from Velour no longer defecate in the fields and surrounding shrubbery thanks to rural sanitation initiatives by GUARDIAN and support from regular Indians like you

Join the movement. Encourage your family, friends and private-sector employers to sign up. Don’t know where to start? There’s GUARDIAN in Tamil Nadu promoting rural sanitation by helping people build toilets at home and get clean water connections. Mahashakti, Mera Gao Power, WSDS, and many more promote clean energy through solar grids and lanterns, and energy-efficient cooking stoves. If school children can support these initiatives, so can you.

5. Safe India
With violence against women populating our newspapers and their online sites with a greater frequency than ever before, we certainly need to raise our boys right. That, along with stricter enforcement of the law, should help deter rapes and infanticide over a period of time. But in the immediate future and long term, let’s not forget the women who are oppressed daily. Let’s look at ways to abolish societal evils that contribute to these violent, misogynistic mindsets.

What Can You Do?

Adivevva from Vadral, Karnataka, is among the many former Devadasis rehabilitated through the efforts of MASS and the support of regular Indians who crowdfunded her goat rearing venture
Adivevva from Vadral, Karnataka, is among the many former Devadasis rehabilitated through the efforts of MASS and the support of regular Indians who crowdfunded her goat rearing venture

Support social movements to rehabilitate victims of violence. MASS in Karnataka rehabilitates the Devadasi community through training and crowd-funded capital so they can start their own businesses. WSDS in Mizoram gives a productive option to the large number of women forced out of their homes, victims of the Mizo customary law. These women seek financial support and training. Connect with organizations that help you supply this support.

You see?
Even a regular office-going Indian like you, reading this article off the Internet, can make a difference and help India realize her urgent goals.

India is so vast and her needs so diverse, there are so many approaches that can aggregate into such a tall outcome. So find where you fit in. Are you good with words, do you have a social network of more than 20? Then write in your blogs, use social media to spread awareness to small towns and rural areas. Take a trip with a non-profit, contribute, volunteer, and do more. Embrace the latest trends for getting stuff done: try crowd funding and fundraising online.

The PM asked us to get involved? Let’s accept his invitation, and invest in a better India!

Note: This article was originally published here.

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