Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Prime Minister’s Address at the NCC Rally

Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh
Following is the text of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s address at the NCC rally in New Delhi today: 

“It gives me great pleasure once again to be here amongst the young and enthusiastic members of the National Cadet Corps. I compliment the NCC cadets for their spectacular performance today and also for their splendid march on Republic Day. 

Their discipline, their vigour and their energy inspired all those who witnessed the parade. They embody leadership, duty, courage and service. I am confident that with the destiny of our nation in the hands of youth such as our NCC cadets, the future of our country is bright. 

The National Cadet Corps makes the nation justly proud. Ever since its inception, the NCC has made immense contributions towards nation-building and the promotion of social harmony in our country. 

It has brought together people from diverse backgrounds, religions, cultures and languages and inculcated in them the common values of humanism, patriotism and selfless service. It thus truly symbolizes the philosophy of unity in diversity, which forms the foundation of our nationhood. 

On several occasions, NCC cadets have displayed exemplary courage and bravery in support of disaster relief operations. The NCC played a stellar role during the relief operations following the natural disasters in Uttarakhand and Odisha last year. Our cadets also led the way in voluntarily contributing Rs. 50 lakhs towards the Prime Minister’s relief fund. A grateful nation applauds them for this display of service and sacrifice. 

Social empowerment is another area where the NCC has been very active. We deeply value the awareness drives undertaken by it on issues like AIDS, female foeticide and environment protection. These initiatives are praiseworthy and must continue. 

The National Cadet Corps embodies fully the values important for our nation’s unity. I urge all our students and youth to join the NCC and experience a life of camaraderie, adventure and discipline. There is no better training ground for the responsibilities that await our youth in years to come. 

I wish to take this opportunity to compliment the NCC Boy Cadets for scaling the world’s highest peak in their first-ever Mount Everest Expedition. It is a tribute to their teamwork, planning, stamina and skill. The nation is proud of their achievements. 

I also take this opportunity to convey my very best wishes to the young cadets from many friendly countries who are here as part of the Youth Exchange Programme. I am sure that they will forge life-long friendships and carry back fond memories of their stay in our country. I also hope that they will keep coming back in later years as friends of India. 

My dear cadets, we are living in a rapidly changing and increasingly interconnected world. It is only natural therefore that there is tremendous yearning amongst our youth to transform our society for the better. The youth today are not only aware and ready to articulate their views, but are also willing and prepared to participate in shaping our polity and society in a way that responds to their aspirations. This is an extremely positive development.

Aware and engaged youth are a force that can truly transform our country and enable it to get rid of poverty, disease, underdevelopment and ignorance. For that, we must follow what Mahatma Gandhi said - we must become the change we want to see. 

Dear friends, for me personally, this occasion has been an annual rite of renewal for the past ten years. It renews my faith in our country, in the values we stand for, in the youth I see before me getting ready to assume tomorrow’s responsibilities and therefore in the future of our country. The energy, the vitality, the enthusiasm of our youth – all of which are on display today – augur well for the future of our nation. I can only say to you – go forth and do yourself, your parents and your nation proud. 

With these words, I once again compliment the NCC cadets for the spectacular performance today and I wish them all success in their future endeavours. 

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