President Ram Nath Kovind today said the government and NGOs should project self-employment as a "respectable profession" and also urged young Indians to generate employment instead of seeking jobs. He said it was very important for the country and the society to strengthen "economic democracy" through entrepreneurship. "People should take up self-employment not due to compulsion but because they choose to. Many programmes, such as the 'Mudra Yojana', 'Startup India' and 'Stand Up India' are helping the youth in empowerment to make them job givers instead of job seekers," he said. The president was speaking at the inauguration of the Economic Democracy Conclave organised by the Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini, a charitable organisation linked to the RSS, located in neighbouring Thane district. He said the political democracy cannot be strong in the absence of economic and social democracy. "Improvement in the economic condition of deprived sections is imperative," Kovind said. He said many initiatives were taken up in the country with the aim of 'Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas' and 'Sabka Samman, Sabka Utthan'. "These have a singular goal of strengthening economic and social democracy. The idea behind these programmes is that if anyone has to really help someone, then he/she should be made financially self-reliant," he said. The president said the promotion of an entrepreneurial culture in the country was not the sole responsibility of the government. "Family, educational institutions, private sector banks, entrepreneurs, NGOs, etc. all have the responsibility to create an environment where private enterprise is encouraged. "Together, we should create a culture in which self- employment is not chosen just due to the compulsion of not getting a job.
The idea of becoming a job-giver instead of job-seeker should be embraced," he said. Government departments, NGOs and semi-government bodies should push for a culture where self-employment is seen as a respectable profession, he said. "It should be encouraged. The decision of opting for self-employment should not be based on some compulsion but one should choose it," Kovind said. He said an important outcome of the 'Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana' was that out of 30 crore new bank accounts, more than 50 per cent were opened by women. "It is a welcome step and an empowering development for working women," the president said. Later in the day, Kovind addressed the 'Gratitude Day' function at the Global Vipassana Pagoda at Gorai in suburban Borivali here. The day commemorates the death anniversary of Sayagyi U Ba Khin, a renowned Vipassana teacher from Myanmar, and the 'pagoda' is built as a token of gratitude to him. On the occasion, the president observed that the message of Lord Buddha was essential for the society to move from violence towards mercy. "For the sake of humanity, we need to move from violence towards mercy and therefore it is essential to expand the message of Lord Buddha in society. Vipassana helps us in teaching such messages and principles to the people," he said while addressing the audience. Kovind said Maharashtra was famous for several achievements but it got wider recognition from its centres of faith and tradition. "The caves of Ajanta that attract tourists from across the world are an example," he said. Underlining the benefits of Vipassana, Kovind said it helps improve concentration. "...students can get better marks in exams. Government officials and sportsmen can also perform well as Vipassana has great impact on the mind, body and at the spiritual level," he said. Kovind praised the Maharashtra government for encouraging its employees to undertake Vipassana courses. Earlier in the programme, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis paid rich tribute to Sayagyi U Ba Khin, Satyanarayan Goenka and, Elaichi Devi Goenka for their outstanding contribution in reviving Vipassana in the country.
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