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Former Indian President calls youth to remove inequality

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At a recent assembly of young entrepreneurs organised by Young Indians (Yi), the youth wing of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), former Indian President, Pranab Mukherjee said the onus to remove disparity, inequality and provide leadership, lies with the youths of India. He also added that education, skill development and enhancing employability are the most urgent needs for realizing India’s target of demographic dividends. “If India harbours the hope of reaping demographic dividends, it must make sure its people are educated and skilled enough,” Mukherjee said.

India’s potential is huge, but the failure to tap the potential in the right manner, frustrates its aspiration to become a global power. “The oldest civilisation will be younger and younger. The responsibility lies on you to remove disparity, inequality and provide leadership. Otherwise, I am afraid, demographic advantage will turn into a demographic disaster,” he advised the Young Indians of CII.

Mr Mukherjee, who holds the record of becoming the youngest finance minister of the country, exhorted the country’s youth to work towards ending the growing wealth gap. There is an emerging divergence of haves and have-nots, and disparity exists not just in health and education sectors, but also in income distribution.

A recent report on the Indian economic situation between 2013 and 2017, states 71 per cent of the total wealth generated in India is accumulated by 21 per cent people; while remaining 79 per cent of the population are left with 29 per cent of the wealth. “This cannot go on for long. Change has to be brought about by the young people, not by me, not by anybody else,” the former President told the Yi members.