The `Narendra Modi Mobile App', as the one-stop destination to stay connected with the Prime Minister came into existence only some time ago, but it has contributed immensely in terms of ideas, on issues relating to youth and entrepreneurship.
The inaugural ceremony of the National Youth Festival held at Naya Raipur in Chhattisgarh, where about 6000 young participants from across the country came together, provided an occasion to Modi to express his gratitude to the youngsters for their "enriching and insightful ideas" shared through this interactive mobile app.
It all began on the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme on 27 December 2015 when Modi sought ideas for the youth festival through the app. On the next day, he tweeted and shared on his Facebook page, “Young friends, what are you ideas for the 2016 National Youth Festival? Share your ideas with me on the Mobile App.”
At the beginning of the new year, Modi took to social media to appreciate the large and diverse range of inputs through the app. He tweeted, “Had sought ideas on National Youth Festival. Happy to share that the Mobile App is bustling with innovative ideas & inputs from youngsters” and added, “Young friends have enriched the forum with fantastic ideas on youth-led development, skill development, education, innovation & other topics.”
Prime Minister named certain individuals whose ideas he particularly liked. He appreciated one Girish Rathi who pitched for youngsters volunteering towards initiatives like Swachh Bharat, ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India.’ He lauded Manju for her point on imparting technical education in local languages to further youth-led development. Vaibhav made some observations on drug free India, to which Modi concurred and added that sports and sportsman spirit will help mitigate the menace of drugs. The National Youth Festival incidentally does include a lot of sports activities for youngsters. The same evening he also had a brief Twitter Q&A during which he deliberated with the Twitteratti on the issues raised in the morning.
The nature of inputs received clearly illustrated the aspirational zeal of the youth of India and the urge to create something new and add value to the India story.
A careful scrutiny of the app illustrates that a lot of youngsters are passionate about skill development. Abhishek Manchanda wrote, “Young friends have enriched the forum with fantastic ideas on youth-led development, skill development, education, innovation & other topics.” Dimple Anil made a suggestion, “We should have capacity building workshops for our youth wherein we shall impart practical know-how on social skills, emotional skills and thinking skills” and even volunteered to contribute in this. Puneet Gupta expressed his views about skill development in the energy sector, “Sir, we should work on skills related to solar energy, mobiles and all those things which we import most from other countries..we should also keep a close eye on an increase in demand of a particular product. Such a product might become a need for people, as in the case of the mobile phone... This way, we can develop skills in India which are new to the world and we might become exporter soon.” Shardul Vikram Singh stressed on skill development and how MUDRA Yojana can benefit youngsters engaged in skill development.
When it came to entrepreneurship, people had a lot to say about inculcating a larger spirit of entrepreneurship among the youth. Vinoth Mahadevan suggested that a spirit of enterprise be encouraged among farmers so that agricultural productivity rises. Atul Kumar echoed a similar sentiment when he wrote, “Sir, we can focus on promoting farming entrepreneurship, on how to make farming a profitable business, especially with a small land holding. I myself have started a small pomegranate farm with 400 trees along with some medicinal plants. I am by profession an IT engineer working with an MNC. But I want to take this up as a full time job. Hopefully, I will achieve my goal.”
Then, there were several comments which were suggestive of the fact that the youth cared for quality of education. Their concern for better educational opportunities was amply reflected on the app. S Sriramoju highlighted the importance of education and financing education for the poor. Many comments called for an overhaul of the education system where research and innovation get more prominence. Many comments also called for using National Youth Festival to further the message of education among youth.
These comments got tremendous support, and there have been many ideas for involvement of voluntary community activities.
Modi's message to the youngsters at the National Youth Festival was to go for entrepreneurship to realise their dreams, rather than chasing white collar jobs, change the mindset which holds that only degrees and intellectual superiority counts. Instead, what matters is dignity of labour and having a skilled pool of youngsters which can contribute to nation-building.
Though Modi did the talking at the inaugural ceremony of the youth festival, the words belonged to the aspirations of the youth at large, a Modi supporter who attended the meet said.