President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said that the demographic dividend of India can be reaped only if we succeed in educating and skilling the youth, particularly the children.
He was at an ‘Akshaya Patra Foundation’ function in Bengaluru to honour the serving of two billion meals by the foundation. He said that this country of ancient civilization would, by 2030, have the youngest population percentage in the world – over 50% of the population would be between 15 and 25 years.
The number of working hands in India will surpass those in the advanced countries in Europe and North America, and even in China. He said that we would, hence, have the prospect of providing the extra workforce that is available to us.
This was when he said that India can secure the demographic dividend only if the education and training of skills of our youth are done with care. He said that the younger school-age children, especially, should be educated and healthy.
Meals for school children
President Mukherjee praised Akshaya Patra Foundation for playing a commendable role by providing fresh, nutritious meals which drew millions of children in the country to their schools on a daily basis.
He prompted everyone to make contributions in any way possible to help end the hunger of school kids through this noble project. He mentioned that the even substantial problems can be solved when the government, NGOs, and the community worked together.
The President observed that, although philanthropists and businesspersons contribute, hunger is still rampant in India. He attributed the problem to the country’s social structures and several other reasons, which have not allowed them to attain the guarantee of meals to children.
He added that, without forming a favourable atmosphere for learning, the lawful right to statutory education until a child becomes 14 years old is not passable. He commented that Akshaya Patra, funded by other organisations and the government, is doing an exemplary job by providing meals to school children.