The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu today emphasised the need to teach children how to navigate through the misinformation and fake news that infest the media landscape, especially the new media environment these days.Addressing over 200 young participants at the ‘Times Scholars Event’ through video conferencing today, the Vice President asked them to develop the ability to analyse and courage to accept the truth and discard the lies. The event was hosted by The Times of India and focused on promoting reading, especially reading of newspapers among students.Expressing disappointment over the fall in the reading habit of children, the Vice President highlighted the need to teach them to be intelligent and discerning readers amid the limitless information available today.“A well-read student is definitely better prepared to overcome challenges in life”, he said.Quoting the former President Dr. Kalam, Shri Naidu asked the students to “aim high and dream high”. Further describing the qualities required to realize one’s dream, VP listed self-discipline, hard work, sincerity, perseverance and the ability to maintain equanimity in all situations as very important among others.Observing that Covid induced disruption in academic schedule has caused anxiety and stress among many students, the Vice President advised them to not get disturbed by events which are beyond one’s control.“All of you are young and need to develop a strong emotional quotient and the ability to weather ups and downs in life”, he told students.He also advised students to practice Yoga regularly to improve their physical fitness, mental equilibrium and overcome stress and anxiety.Emphasising the importance of Yoga and meditation to boost immunity in the wake of pandemic, Shri Naidu wanted it to be included in school curriculum from a young age.“Yoga will also help youngsters to improve your concentration levels and inculcate discipline”, he said.
Drawing attention towards the tough competition in every field in present times, the Vice President advised the students to develop confidence and try to overcome all odds by striving to achieve excellence.Please remember that there are no short-cuts to success, he told them.Asking the students to not look upon education as a vehicle to merely acquire degrees and take up employment, Shri Naidu opined that the education is meant for enlightenment and empowerment of an individual.“Education should not only equip the students with the requisite knowledge, but must necessarily develop them into good human beings”, he said.Maintaining that our ancient education system placed great emphasis on moral values, VP called for inculcating the human values such as empathy, honesty, integrity, humility, gratitude, forgiveness and respect for elders among the children.Expressing the need to make the youngsters aware of India's glorious past, the Vice President wanted them to take pride in their heritage and history and serve as ambassadors of India’s lofty cultural and civilizational ideals in the world.He exhorted the students to strive for excellence in whichever career path they chose and keep pushing the boundaries and find new frontiers.“Never be satisfied with the status quo. Always set higher benchmarks and create new and better systems wherever you go”, he said.The Vice President also wanted the students to understand the problems being faced by the world such as poverty, inequality, violence and climate change and asked them to come up with new solutions for these.Reminding the students of the powerful Talisman given by the Father of Nation, Shri Naidu hoped that they will always remember the plight of those who have been less fortunate.Let Sarvodaya and Antyodaya be your guiding principles, he said.He called India’s youth power as its greatest resource today and expressed faith in the ability of youngsters to take the country to greater heights.Shri Sanjeev Bhargava, Director-The Times of India and Mirror Brands, Shri Vikas Singh, Associate Executive Editor, The Times of India and others were present on the occasion.