New Delhi : The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind presented the National Service Scheme Awards for the year 2019-20 in a virtual ceremony today (September 24, 2021).Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur and Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports NisithPramanik attended the ceremony from Sushma Swaraj Bhawan, New Delhi. Secretary, Youth Affairs, Usha Sharma and Secretary, Sports, Ravi Mittal and senior officers of the Ministry were also present on the occasion.
The National Service Scheme (NSS) Awards for the year 2019-20 have been given to 42 awardees in 3 different categories like University/ +2 Councils, NSS Units and their Programme Officers and NSS Volunteers.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the edifice of a human life is often built on the foundation of student life. Although learning is a life-long process, but basic personality development starts during the student life. That is why he considers NSS a visionary scheme through which students get an opportunity to serve the society and country during their school and college days itself.
Pointing to the fact that the National Service Scheme was established in 1969, on the occasion of the birth centenary of Mahatma Gandhi, the President said that Mahatma Gandhi devoted his entire life in the service of humanity. He wished that our youth should be responsible citizens and recognize themselves. According to Gandhiji ‘the best way to know yourself is to dedicate yourself in the service of others’. Gandhiji’s life is a unique example of human service. His ideals and spirit of service are relevant and inspirational for all of us even today.
The President noted that during the initial outbreak of Covid-19, till the mass production of masks started, more than 2 crore 30 lakh masks were made by NSS and distributed in various parts of country. He also noted that NSS volunteers provided Covid related information to people through helpline as well as helped district administrations in the awareness and relief activities.
The President stated that the 75th year of independence is being celebrated as ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ across the country. He was happy to note that NSS volunteers are contributing in this Mahotsav by organising webinars/seminars on Indian independence movement and on contribution of freedom fighters. He said that spreading awareness about our freedom struggle and the ideals of the freedom fighters is also service to the nation.