The President of India Ram Nath Kovind virtually conferred the National Service Scheme (NSS) Awards for the year 2018-19 on 24th September, 2020 from Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi today. Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju attended the ceremony from Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. The National Service Scheme (NSS) Award for the year 2018-19 was given to 42 awardees in 3 different categories like University/ +2 Council, NSS Units and their Programme Officers and NSS Volunteers. Secretary of Department of Youth Affairs Ms. Usha Sharma and other dignitaries were also present on this occasion.
Speaking on the occasion the President of India Ram Nath Kovind said that service to humanity and nation has been the tradition of our value system. President added that it has its roots in our tradition where it has been stated that it is difficult to understand and gauge the implications of service motive.
iting the example of Mahatma Gandhi, President Kovind said that service should not be just towards humans but also towards the nature. Reiterating that the National Service Scheme was launched in 1969 on the 100th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, he said that the Scheme continues to be of immense relevance even today. He appreciated the presentation of awards even in testing times of COVID pandemic and applauded the efforts of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
Talking about the NSS, President Kovind observed that it encourages youth to volunteer for community service through various measures true to its motto of “Not me, but you”. The fact that 40 lakh students of various educational institutions are associated with this noble scheme was an encouraging development and also assures that the future of our country is in safe hands, he said.
Emphasizing on the activities conducted by the youth volunteers, the President said that the volunteers were instrumental in creating awareness about social distancing and the proper usage of masks in times of COVID 19. These volunteers were also helpful in providing the quarantined and isolated patients with food and other useful products required during these times. Besides, these volunteers have always whole heartedly helped in providing relief and rehabilitation to floods and earthquake victims, he added.
President Kovind also appreciated that 14 girls in the 42 awardees was reassuring and encouraging. The women of our country are abiding to the tradition of Savitribai Phule, Kasturba Gandhi and Mother Teresa in rendering service to the nation.
Addressing at the event, Kiren Rijiju said that in this Rashtriya Seva Yojana award distribution ceremony, we are encouraging the program coordinators, program officers and volunteers of the RashtriyaSeva Yojana by recognizing their outstanding community services. Rijiju added that in the challenging times of Covid-19 pandemic, our volunteers of the National Service Scheme have provided exemplary service for epidemic prevention.
Rijiju said that our Prime Minister believes that the young volunteers should be trained to deal with various natural disasters so that these youngsters become fully capable to deal with every type of disaster on the strength of their talent, acumen and technical skills when needed.
Rijiju added that India is one of the youngest countries in the world and all young volunteers are our future. He added that I have full confidence that all the young awardees will be an inspiration to the young generation today and will continue to brighten the name of India by continuing their social work.
Rijiju congratulated the awardees’ families, colleges, universities and all the office bearers of the state governments, whose support, inspiration and guidance have given opportunity to NSS volunteers to render their selfless service. Union Minister further said that I expect all the volunteers of the Rashtriya Seva Yojana to carry out their social responsibility at their level by being intimately involved in community development work so that society can prove to be a milestone in the role of nation building.
Earlier in the morning, Kiren Rijiju interacted with some of the award winners who joined the ceremony from Vigyan Bhawan Delhi.
Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Department of Youth Affairs confers every year the National Service Scheme Award to recognize and reward outstanding contributions towards voluntary community service made by the Universities/Colleges, (+2) Councils, Senior Secondary, NSS Units/ Programme Officers and NSS Volunteers, with a view to further promote NSS in the country. At Present, NSS has about 40 lakh volunteers on its rolls spread over the country.