Mr Ram Madhav, the National General Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), spoke to students, staff, teachers and parents of GIIS campuses worldwide and shared insights on Growth and Opportunities for Students in Post COVID World, during a webinar Leadership Lecture Series conducted on 14th June. Mr Atul Temurnikar, the Chairman and Co-founder of Global Schools Foundation, warmly welcomed Mr Ram Madhav. Read the welcome speech by clicking here.
Watch the speech Mr Ram Madhav here:
Read the full speech here:
It's a great pleasure for me to have this opportunity of interacting with young minds
and I envy you, you're all living in a great country. A country, which is known for it short history, but great successes. Singapore is a country with just about five decades of history. But in just five decades time, this country, a city state, has today emerged as one of the strongest economies in the world.
Most resilient, we have seen the way the recent Coronavirus pandemic has been tackled by the leadership of Singapore. The effective way it has been contained. All this shows that the leadership and the people of Singapore are very great. They have a vision, discipline and commitment.
I come from India, which has also tried to tackle this pandemic in the best possible manner. Unlike Singapore, India is a very big country with 1.3 billion population. Together with the massive population is the challenge of the density of population. With that kind of dense population, the Indian government has also succeeded in containing the virus in a significant way.
In a way, we have learned some of the lessons from Singapore also, for example, the experience of Singapore in contact tracing, strict lockdowns. We also have learnt from many other countries in our neighbourhood for example, from South Korea. Singapore's contact tracing app has become an inspiration for India to develop its own application called the Arogya Setu. Arogya Setu is an application which helps the people know about the location of the pandemic infected people. In just two weeks’ time, this application has been downloaded by 500 million people.
We have learnt these things from countries like Singapore and South Korea, and try to tackle this massive healthcare challenge of the Coronavirus. Not just Singapore and India, the whole world is facing this challenge today.
Countries that are seen as very powerful, economically strong and leaders in the world, even those countries are today facing the brunt of this pandemic challenges.
This will pass off. Like all challenges that humanity faces from time to time, this also shall pass off. We must have the confidence that together. We will defeat this pandemic and humanity will finally come out with glorious.
From the Indian experience, I can only tell you this much that if we are today in a position to contain the spread of the virus, to tackle it more efficiently than many other countries in the world, it is because of three reasons - number one is that we have had leadership like the leadership in Singapore. We also have a leadership which is a visionary leadership which you did not hesitate to take certain timely and strong measures.
The second reason is the way the country's bureaucratic setup has risen to this challenge is actually a big surprise to many of us in India. Those elders who are present in the audience would probably agree that when you talk about India's administration, India's healthcare establishment or police, one generally looks down upon these institutions. People think that in third world countries like India, all these systems are either inefficient or corrupt. But to the great surprise, it is that very system which is looked down upon or condemned, has stood up in a very inspiring way. I have seen doctors who have not gone to their houses for weeks and stayed in the hospital serving the patients.
Same is the experience with the nursing staff and police. The entire system, the entire institutional establishment of the government has risen to the occasion. But the third and most important experience of India has been the unity and discipline demonstrated by 1.3 billion Indians. Without that probably we could not have contained this major challenge of the pandemic. India remained united and disciplined. When the Prime Minister asked them to stay home Don't come out, they strictly followed.
There were challenges in managing certain sections of the population but largely the country remained indoors following the guidelines issued by the healthcare establishment and the government from time to time.
This unity and discipline of the people have been of great help in managing and containing dividers by our government. Now, as I said, we will all overcome it. But while overcoming it, we're going to enter into a different world. I have a number of incidents in front of me, students who are going to witness a different world when they graduate. A few years from now, the post-pandemic world is going to be different from the one that we all have been living before the pandemic strikers. That is something that we all have to carefully understand in this new world order that is going to emerge, both the COVID challenge. We all have great opportunities waiting for us. If we see the opportunities, we are prepared to move in a new direction that the world is offering to us. We can build a new, human-centric world order. Thus far, we were living in a profit-centric world, we were living in a prosperity centric world, we were living in a conflict centric world, we were living in a war and violence centric world data. But pandemic has taught us many lessons.
If only we understand those lessons and come forward to build a new world order it will be for the benefit of the entire humanity. I will just talk about three or four lessons that pandemic has taught us. And based on those lessons how we can build a new world order post the pandemic. Firstly, the pandemic has taught us to respect nature, you cannot play with nature. In Indian culture, we call nature as mother, prakriti. We have to respect nature.
We have to learn to live in such a manner that would not only protect our environment but also enhances it. The challenge of climate change the climate challenge of environmental challenge problems that the world is facing today should become an important agenda item based on the lessons that we all learned from this Coronavirus.
India has been championing the cause of climate change for the last several years friends, we are working on alternate energy sources. We are working on ways of improving the climate situation in the world and decreasing the pollution levels.
Lots of youngsters are sitting here, let me tell you that, you know the number of deaths per thousand caused by Corona pandemic is nothing in front of the number of deaths that happen annually because of pollution. People die out of pollution-related problems annually. The rate of those deaths is much higher compared to the rate of depth that is happening because of the pandemic. Every death is bad, every death should be mourned. But as we come out of the pandemic, it's our duty to work towards saving those lives, which we are losing annually on a daily basis. To challenge us with problems like pollution. So, climate, the environment will become a big agenda for the world. It should become a big agenda for the world. The youngsters should come up with new ideas to preserve our environment and mother earth.
The second lesson that the pandemic has taught us of course, in this I will probably exclude countries like Singapore, Singapore, very few in the world have a world-class health care system. But not all countries are so lucky. Healthcare, especially universal health care is still not accessible to billions of people in the world. In many countries in the world, only the rich can afford good health care. The poor, ordinary citizens do not have access to good health care. The pandemic has alerted all of us to the challenge as well.
We have to quickly build the best healthcare infrastructure all over the world, not just for the privileged few. But health should become a kind of a fundamental right of the last man on this planet towards that, we have to come up with a number of innovative ways. I'm not just talking about disease management. When there is a disease, you need a cure. But we can also come up with innovative ways of healthcare, health management in such a way that disease itself becomes a rare thing for the people.
So we have to now work on improving civic infrastructure in the countries. We have to teach people about the best healthcare practices, what are they? What should we eat, what we should not eat, how to lead our lives, what should be the daily routine and things like these.
India has contributed yoga as a major health care management system to the world. Thanks to Prime Minister Modi's initiative today, Yoga has become a universal practice. The whole world today practices yoga. In fact, a week from now, on the 21st of June, the entire world, close to 200 countries in the world are going to celebrate International Yoga Day. Yoga is not about disease management, it is about health care management.
We have to come up with many such things. In fact, the eastern hemisphere countries have richer health care practices. In India, we have systems like Ayurveda, these are healthcare systems that have excellent remedies or excellent lessons for people to follow. So we how to think, at the entire healthcare establishment from a totally innovative and different way to come up with different ideas.
The third, which probably would be to the liking of most of these youngsters here is technology. Post COVID technology is going to become a very big priority for the world. Newer technologies based on it Information Technology, like robotics, artificial intelligence are going to play a very big role.
But technologies should not become a tyranny for mankind. We all produce technologies that help become a tyranny. We need technologies that help humans. We need technologies that do not make countries, people jobless but we create technologies that provide more employment, that provide more jobs and at the same time make life easier for the people.
The last thing that we all have to seriously ponder is if today, Singapore or India can claim to have contained the virus in a big way. One important reason is we have a disciplined, orderly social system in our countries. We have been able to build rule-based governance in our countries. We should now become an example for the rest of the world. When the pandemic struck, some countries became totally chaotic. Anarchist tendencies came back to haunt some countries. Armies had to be deployed on the street. Certain political leaders felt that it is the opportunity to take more control and become more authoritarian. But we, India, Singapore, so, Korea, we are the countries which have maintained our rule-based order, which is a very important lesson to the world.
Rule-based order is to be preserved and protected. When challenges come, there is a temptation in the minds of the leaders to become more authoritarian. To become more dictatorial to grab more powers into their hands. We must guard the societies from such tendencies. My dear friends, this is the kind of new world that will be a priority.
It is generally said that the youth is the future of any nation. In my opinion, youth are not the future, but they are the present. It is you the youngsters who have to think about what kind of world we have to build. For very long we have left it on the political leaders of different countries. But as youngsters, if you really want to understand how nations are built, you must study the histories of countries that are today, seen as the developed countries in all those countries in their histories. It is the young people of those countries who have taken the responsibility in their hands and changed the destinies of their respective nations.
So please don't think that your turn will come later in future. It is now it is here. As you pass out, you have to pass out with ideas of shaping a new world. Some of the lessons that I mentioned can be the guiding lesson for us, but many more that come out of your own ideation of your own thinking, can and should guide all of you my best wishes to all of you.
GIIS under Mr Atul Temurnikar is an excellent institution. I mean this one initiative itself shows that Atul Temurnikar cares not just for classroom teaching alone, but he wants the students to be exposed to so many things that are happening today, like global reality on a regular basis so that your mental horizon will open up. You will think big. I heartily congratulate Mr Temurnikar for his initiative and also thank him for giving me this opportunity. I will be at the mercy of our young friends for some time. Thank you and Namaskar.
End of speech.