Skilling India and fortifying its roots were the two issues highlighted at ‘India Way Forward’, a National Conference held on January 16th, 2015 at the Art of Living International Centre, Bengaluru.
Jointly organized by Sri Sri Rural Development Programme (SSRDP), and The Art of Living Human Resources, the conference focused on sustainable, integrated development in urban and rural areas and on improving the employability of the youth.
Presided over by The Art of Living Founder, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the event had Mr. Sudarshan Bhagat, MoS, Rural Development; Mr. H.K. Patil, Minister of Rural Development & Panchayat Raj; Mr. Sunil Ambekar, National Organising Secretary, Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) as the main speakers at the inaugural.
Stressing the importance of skill-development training in improving employability, Gurudev encouraged the youth to take steps to increase their self-confidence. “If self-confidence awakens in the individual, one is ready to do anything. Along with enthusiasm, this nation has to develop a new consciousness,“ he observed.
Mr. Sudarshan Bhagat, MoS, Rural Development , drawing a parallel between The Art of Living’s “5H” program and the PM’s Adarsh Gram Yojana, said, “Considering The Art of Living’s initiatives and reach in the rural areas, the Adarsh Gram Yojana could take the support of organizations like The Art of Living to implement the PM’s vision.”
The lively deliberations began with the addresses of the eminent special invitees, and went on to see the participation of Vice chancellors of Universities, principals, corporates, managers, training companies, NGOs, entrepreneurs as panelists, among other attendees. The event had movers and shakers from the worlds of governance, academia, industry, business and social work coming together to share their expertise and ideas, and brainstorm for the benefit of India and its youth in this information-era.
The SSRDP received the 9001:2008 ISO Certificate for the quality management system in "educating and empowering the rural community in India" from Mr.Ashok Goyal , Director, BMS certification Pvt. Ltd.
The participants included many colleges represented by way of principals, training personnel, and students.
The conference also offered the participating panelists themselves the opportunity to learn through exposure to varied perspectives.
The experts deliberated in two panels. The first, ‘Skilling India, discussed means to skill Indian youth, create employment opportunities, and encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship. The second panel discussed ‘Fortifying India’ through evolving of a holistic approach to sustainable integrated community development, improving the quality of life in rural areas and encouraging village economy and boosting rural employment and entrepreneur opportunities.
SSRDP has been addressing pivotal rural development issues through its multi-sided projects, positively impacting the lives and livelihoods of the people at the bottom half of the pyramid. A few of these include CORE (Community of Rural Enterprise) which has projects like BOOND (potable water), SHAKTHI (vocational schools), Light a Home (clean solar energy), Shuddhi (eco-friendly waste-disposal and the Youth Leader Training Program (YLTP).