The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today called for greater focus on poverty alleviation. He advised the governments to shun resorting to populist measuresand adopt a comprehensive approach towards poverty eradication.The Vice President was responding to a question while interacting with the students of Akshara Vidyalaya, in Nellore today. A student had asked him why India still had poverty even after seventy years of independence.Elaborating the reasons for poverty in India, Shri Naidu said that enough attention was not paid on poverty alleviation programs. Expressing his opposition to populist schemes, he said that a person should be taught how to catch fish rather than giving him the fish.Further he said that a section of people is still illiterate in India and this directly impacts their socio-economic upliftment. Therefore, education is the key to empower people reduce poverty.He also highlighted that historically urban India got more facilities as compared to rural areas and this impacted the economic well-being of a large segment of rural population.Shri Naidu also blamed the population growth and gender discrimination for high level of inequality in Indian society. If one has less children, one can take better care of them, he opined.Highlighting the importance of women education, he said that ‘when you educate a man, you educate a person but when you educate a woman, you educate whole family’.
He appreciated the government for launching programs such as BetiBachao-BetiPadhao for overall well-being of the girl child.Suggesting the right approach for poverty eradication, the Vice President said that focus should be on creating infrastructure and proper ecosystem such as – 24 hour supply of power and water, good marketing facilities for farmers to sell their produce, promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship among others.Shri Naidu also highlighted the importance of keeping physically fit in life and said, “Physical fitness gives you mental fitness”. He advised the children to take part in sports, yoga and other outdoor activities.Expressing concern over the rising number of Non -Communicable Diseases, the Vice President said that present day sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food are main factors contributing to this. He advised the children to eat more of the traditional Indian food as that is more suited to our body and climatic conditions.Stressing the need for protection and promotion of mother tongue, Shri Naidu asked students to speak in their mother tongue at home. “Learn as many languages as you can but always remember you your mother tongue”, he said.Union HRD Minister, Shri Ramesh Phkhariyal ‘Nishank’ also interacted with the children and appreciated Akshara Vidyalaya for providing quality education for rural students and expressed happiness over the work done by the institution.Later, the Vice President and Union HRD Minister together went around the various facilities of the Akshara Vidyalaya and Skill Development Center.