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Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of the presentation of Rashtrapati Scout/Guide/Rover/Ranger and Adult Leader Award Certificates for the year 2014

 Dear Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

It is indeed my privilege to be amidst you, in this historic Darbar Hall to participate in today’s award Ceremony. 

These awards are a mark of recognition for your outstanding achievements in Community Services The tradition of this Award has continued since 1961, when my illustrious predecessor and the First President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, associated himself with the Bharat Scouts and Guides Organization. Over the years this award has inspired many Scouts and Guides and even others to work for community service and nation building. 

Dear young friends, 

The movement of Scout and Guides is a unique platform available to the youth to learn through experience, the values of friendship, hard work, harmony and humanity. Since its inception in 1907, under the leadership of Robert-Baden Powell, the movement has spread throughout the world. Today almost every country in the world has presence of Scouting and Guiding organization. Through its activities like community services, integration camps, exchange programs, outdoor activities, the Scout movement aims to inspire youth to contribute positively in the development of nation and the society. I’m glad to know that Bharat Scouts and Guides, with a membership of more than 5 million, is one of the largest non-governmental organization in our country. 

Dear friends, 

Today we live in a globally connected world. For any progressive society, the citizens must possess an international outlook, modern perspective, digital and professional skills to steer the nation forward. We need to involve and groom the youth of our country with this purpose and instill in them a spirit of brotherhood, love and compassion. Today India is a young nation, with more than half of its population of the age of twenty-five years or less. In order to truly harness the potential of youth, we need to inculcate in them the core civilizational values i.e. compassion for all; love for motherland; respect for women; truth and honesty in life; discipline and self-restraint in conduct, and responsibility in action. I am told that Scouts, Guides, Rangers and Rovers take part in Cultural Integration Programs, exchange programs not only within the country but also internationally. I am sure you must have learnt to appreciate the diversity of cultures and the commonality of the values of brethren, friendship and humanity. 

Dear Friends, 

I am indeed happy to note that a team of Volunteers of Bharat Scouts & Guides had reached interior villages of earthquake hit Nepal to provide relief and rehabilitation, within 48 hours of the occurrence of the disaster in April, 2015. The disaster preparedness programs conducted by the Scout Guide Movement have always helped the young people to act promptly during such emergencies to provide humanitarian aid. 

I call upon you to volunteer and participate fully in the national programs of the government that aim to enhance the quality of life in our country. “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” that takes forward the vision of the Mahatma Gandhi in upholding the “Dignity of Labour” is one of the flagship programs of the government. I expect that you would not only participate yourself but also to motivate others to keep our public places clean and hygienic. Start from your own house, your place of work, your school, colony where you live and you will find the difference. The “Digital India” Mission aims to provide the digital infrastructure to the remotest corner of the country and promote digital literacy. You belong to the generation of digital revolution. Starting from your family to your community, I expect you to spread the message of digital literacy. When all of us shall join together in such initiatives, our country will march rapidly forward in the path of development and progress. 

Dear Friends, 

I am glad to know that Bharat Scouts and Guides have taken new initiatives like “World Scout Environment Badge” and “Scouts Go Solar” to actively contribute in preserving the natural resources and to strive for a cleaner environment. The initiatives of Scouts and Guides to educate the young persons about internet frauds through the newly introduced curriculum, “Surf Smart” is an important initiative to create awareness about responsible cyber surfing and internet usage. 

I am happy to learn that the members of Scout Guide Movement are also actively engaged in promoting awareness about domestic violence against women, child abuse and female feticide. These are crucial issues that we face in our society. I once again renew my call to the leaders of this Organization to commit themselves by their action to make it a globally-visible and self-reliant premium youth movement. 

At the end, I once again congratulate all the award winners for their meritorious and outstanding service. I offer the Bharat Scouts and Guides my felicitations and extend to you my good wishes for the continued success in all your endeavors. 

Thank you 

Jai Hind 

Dec 8, 2015
 
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