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We’ve Entered Kalam’s Vision Of 2020. How Are We Faring So Far?

United we stand, Divided we fall.

As we have the entered the year of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Dr Y. S. Rajan’s vision, I want to reflect on the achievements that we have accomplished yet and what we are yet to achieve.

Dr Kalam said that the 19th century was in the name of Europe, the 20 century was in the name of the US and the 21st century will be in the name of India. He had a vision for India to be a major superpower by the 21st century. We must believe that India can also become a developed nation. Kalam had huge hopes for the young minds, whom he called ‘The Ignited Minds’. And today, I think they are doing great in the fields of technology and development. But the government needs to spend more on education, and health and technology to fulfil this vision.

Dr Kalam had three visions for India:

  1. Freedom
  2. India must stand up to the world
  3. Development

Firstly, freedom for him not only meant freedom from the colonisers but the nation’s obsession with foreign/imported things. He said that we need to become self-reliant. It is self-reliance which brings self-respect. In India, we blame our government for its inefficiency, we blame our laws to be ineffective, but what are we doing about it? Taking, for example, Singapore, you cannot throw a cigarette on the streets there, in Washington you cannot drive your car over the speed of 55 km/hr or use your power as an excuse for your negligence.

If the same Indians can respect other nations’ rules and regulations while living there, then why not do the same here? And then we blame the government! In one of the chapters in his book, he says, “Easy way out: Blame it on the system”. But we must stand up for the right and come forward to help improve our country.

Secondly, India is reputed to be a friendly nation in many countries. We have great diplomatic relations with the US, the European countries, the Gulf countries, the Middle East, and the Southeast Asian countries. For example, the SAARC COVID-19 emergency fund has accumulated a sum of US $21.8, where India has announced a contribution of US $10 million and promised to supply medicines to other countries during this crisis.

Kalam said, “Sight is what lies right in front of us, but Vision is what lies ahead”. According to him, this vision 2020 would be achievable. We had brought the great revolution, i.e., the green revolution, and we developed our space technology from zero to launching a satellite-based communication system to Chandrayaan 1 to Mission Mars, and many more.

Dr Kalam says there are two main factors: sensing the problem and a will to achieve our target/vision. For this, we need to change your routine habits and do something different than our usual ways. Lastly, he suggested that we need to run a series of solutions to adopt the most suitable one. For example, in the health sector, he talked about the present and future ills, expressing his concerns over affordability and the lack of basic facilities for the poor.

He promoted the use of technology such as Remote Sensing Satellites, which can help detect mosquito breeding areas. But this does not imply that we have left our culture behind. Alternatively, he has also encouraged the use of our natural herbs, along with adapting relevant methods from other civilizations. The AYUSH scheme is a step towards this. According to him, scientific and technological development should spread to every society. We must strive for higher and higher development.

Dr Kalam also introduces his ‘Theory of Exploitation of Technology’ in this book. Explaining it further, he says, if you don’t have the technology, there is no use of the natural resources. India, as you know, is overpopulated, which means that the basic needs of each person in India, i.e., resource availability per person is less than the required amount. Brazil, on the other hand, is underpopulated because there, the resource availability per person is more.  Similarly, the US and the European countries have ‘Optimum Population’ because of the technology-based utilization of resources.

Dr Kalam compared Japan to Africa. He said that Japan had fewer resources, but due to technological creativity, they have reached where they are now in just a few decades. However, Africa has abundant resources, but due to the lack of technology, it is behind Japan. Thus, technology is the only means to achieve this vision. For holistic development, he also asks us to remove our differences and think like an Indian and progress on the path of development.

Created by Ambika

Do you think we can become a developed nation?
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  1. Charu Yadav

    Great job ambika..

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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