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‘Changemakers must ensure that benefits reach the poor’

Shishir Sinha/Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on March 06, 2020

M Venkaiah Naidu, Vice-President, and Raghavan Srinivasan, Editor, BusinessLine , with the award winners of BusinessLine Changemakers 2020 in New Delhi, on Friday   -  Kamal Narang

Should be careful but not panic because of coronavirus, says Vice-Presdient

Changemakers in society, such as the winners of this year’s BusinessLine Changemaker Awards, must work to ensure that their efforts reach the poor and downtrodden of the country, said Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi on Friday.

Speaking at the third edition of The BusinessLine Changemaker Awards, Naidu said, “Change is constant. It’s happening all around...everywhere. But it is the role of ‘Changemakers’ like you to accelerate this process and to ensure that benefits of this change reach the last person and uplift the lives of the poor and the downtrodden.”

Naidu, who was at his witty best, engaged the audience at the awards with quirky one-liners and sustained humour.

Coronavirus impact

Striking a lighter note on the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) in India, he said that the country is better positioned than Western nations because of its superior food habits. Further, Naidu said that the youth should not fall for marketing gimmicks to promote Westernised dishes. “Why go for Chicken Manchurian or Chicken-65, when you are not even 25. When the youth suggests instant food, I always say that instant food means constant disease. Food has to be cooked!” he quipped in his distinctive fashion.

Naidu said that Covid-19 is a matter of concern but not of panic for the country.

Commenting of India’s growth trajectory, Naidu said, “Every stakeholder must contribute their might for the good of the country. Once upon a time, India was a vishwaguru, and a worldwide hub. There was also a good chunk of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that we lost to colonial rule. They came, ruled us, ruined us, cheated us and affected our minds too. We must get back our original minds and complement them with new technologies to take the country forward.”

That India would become the world’s third-largest economy if it kept up its growth rate had been validated by multilateral institutions such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, Naidu noted.

Lauding BusinessLine for recognising and awarding changemakers, Naidu said, “Business Line is doing national service by identifying changemakers.”

“I have no doubt that some of the keenest minds in India are already at work to find lasting solutions to the problems that beset humanity. Perhaps one or more of them will emerge as winners recognised as BusinessLine Changemakers in the future,” he said.

Notion of a changemaker

Explaining his notion of a changemaker, Naidu said, “C is for clarity: clarity of vision. H is for heart: putting one’s heart and soul into the project. A is for adaptability – The ability to innovate keeping the local condition in view. N is for the never-give-up approach; G is for focussing on the good of humanity. E is for Excellence: creating something of value to a larger population.”

“When all of these attributes come together, they trigger positive CHANGE. And all Changemakers exhibit these characteristics,” he said.

Lauding the winners of the awards, Naidu recognised the effort of Arunachalam Muruganandam, the ‘padman’ who transformed social attitudes to female hygiene, and the winner of the Iconomic Changemaker award. “Arunachalam faced many challenges in this task. He nearly lost his family, his money and his place in society while researching on a topic that is wrongly considered a taboo in the society. But his indomitable spirit has saved many a women from the agony of reproductive diseases caused by poor menstrual hygiene,” he said.

Naidu said that Pradeep Mewada, the winner of the Young Changemaker award, has used innovative ways to end open defecation in his village. He noted that the other winners of the Young Changemakers award, Rashid, Nikhil, Arun and Vimal of Genrobotics, had invented a robot to replace manual scavenging.

Naidu said that the Government e-Marketplace had enhanced the ease of doing business and brought in transparency to government procurement by eliminating corruption. He insisted that online is the way ahead for the country to grow.

He complimented IndiaStack for winning the Businessline Changemaker award in Financial Transformation category. “Through your work, you created the base for transformative ideas like UPI Bhim App and Aadhaar,” Naidu said.

“Today, we have honoured Shanti Raghavan of EnAble India. It is inspiring to know that her organisation has placed thousands of divyang people in corporate jobs. I am happy to know that her organisation, EnAble India, focusses on comprehensive development and people skills in order to ensure that differently-abled candidates are well-equipped to face work challenges in the corporate sector.”

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Published on March 06, 2020
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