The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, graced and addressed the annual convocation of the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University in Surat, Gujarat, today (May 29, 2018).Speaking on the occasion, the President noted that the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University is named after renowned Gujarati literary figure Narmadashankar Dave or Veer Narmad, who was not only a poet and writer but also a social reformer. Veer Narmad was a nation builder who shaped Gujarati and Indian identity and worked for female empowerment, widow remarriage and similar causes.The President said the region of ??south Gujarat is an economic engine for the state. And within this region, Surat makes a significant contribution. The textiles and diamond industries are special to Surat and attract workers from across the country. That is why the city is sometimes called “mini India”. As the leading educational institution here, the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University bears an important responsibility. The large tribal student population that the University serves also adds to its salience.
The President said the objective of education should be to nurture freedom of thought and innovation within the student community, besides building capacities for a professional career. Education should also teach us to respect sentiments of others as well work for the welfare of society.Earlier in the day, the President attended a function in Surat to felicitate family members of cadaver organ donors. The function was organised by the NGO Donate Life. Addressing the gathering, the President called for motivating people for organ donation as a service to humanity.Later in the day, the President presented the ‘Santokbaa Humanitarian Award’, given by the SRK Foundation, to Dr Kiran Kumar, former Chairman, ISRO, and Shri KailashSatyarthi, Nobel Laureate. Speaking on the occasion, the President said he was happy to note that the business community in Surat, which was well known across the world, was supportive of philanthropic and social welfare efforts. He appreciated Shri GovindDholakia of SRK Exports for taking forward this tradition and instituting the awards.