Pointing at the achievements of Scouts and Guides, President Pranab Mukherji said on Thursday that it had shown the world how developing countries can benefit from a non-formal education system such as scouting.
Delivering his inaugural speech at the 17th National Scouts and Guides Jamboree at Adakahanahalli, off Mysuru-Nanjungudu Road, the President said as a world youth movement in a globalized world, it had a global responsibility to meet the challenges of development. “India which is a land of ancient civilization will be the youngest country by 2020. It’s an asset only if they are skilled and oriented towards the service of the nation,” he said.
Underscoring the need for Jamborees, Mukherji said that it will help Scouts, Guides, Rovers and Rangers and other volunteers to develop leadership qualities, co-operative spirit and moral values. “Jamborees are the occasions when any organisation reaffirms, redeems and reorients,” he added.
Mukherji said while scouting was making rapid progress overseas, in India too a move was initiated by Dr Annie Besant, Dr GS Arundale and other leaders, who foresaw the need of scouting for the benefit of Indian boys as well. The scouting movement had the blessings of great luminaries like Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Rajendra Prasad, and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
The President also recognised the support and patronage of the Royal Family of erstwhile Mysuru state and other princely states of our country which helped saw tremendous growth of the movement.
“I am happy to know that the Scouts and Guide Movement in India has been growing steadily from year to year and has a strength of over five million Scouts and Guides today, and I am sure that this International Youth Movement will enable school-going children become better citizens of our great country.”
Mukherji said Scouting and Guiding was a tool for enrichment of life skills through proper understanding and awareness of social and national needs. “Young Scouts and Guides are valuable members of our society and are active citizens who are contributing to resolving the challenges our communities are facing today. The Scouts and Guide movement is open to all regardless of race or creed and its purpose is to help young people develop physically, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Scouting is not mere membership of an organisation, but a commitment to uphold truthfulness and dignity in one’s own life at a very young and impressionable age.”
He appealed the Scouts and Guides to dedicate themselves wholeheartedly in the service of motherland. “May your meritorious service be the lodestar for others to follow suit in the coming years. Spread the ideals of the movement and emulate them in your daily lives. I extend greetings to all of you and wish the Bharat Scouts and Guide Movement all success in its future endeavours,” he added.
On the occasion, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah recalled the journey of Scouts and Guides in Karnataka saying it was founded in Bishop Cotton School in Bengaluru in the year 1909.
President, Bharat Scouts and Guides, Anil Jain said comparatively the percentage of youth engaged in scouting in India is less and stressed the need for more penetration of the activity. He said it should increase from 5.7 million to 10 million by 2020.
Governor Vajubhai Vala, PWD Minister Dr HC Mahadevappa, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Tanveer Sait, BS&G State Chief Commissioner PGR Sindhia and Pramoda Devi Wadiyar of Mysuru Royal family were present.
As many as 30,000 students and trainers from across the country participated in the event which will go on till January 4, 2017.