New Delhi, Apr 5 (UNI) Underlining that education is the most potent tool for empowering the socially disadvantaged groups, President Pratibha Patil today called for special attention to monitoring the progress of educational schemes meant for them.
''Providing access to primary education to all is our firm commitment. We have to make special efforts for children coming from underprivileged background,'' Ms Patil said delivering the valedictory lecture on the Babu Jagjivan Ram birth centenary celebrations here.
She said there were many young bright boys and girls with various hidden skills, talents and a passion to do things that could be of help to society, but their potential must be recognised and channelised for nation building.
''It is important to mention that education schemes for the weaker and disadvantaged sections of society, Scheduled Castes and Tribes, are implemented and properly monitored,'' she added.
Ms Patil referred to the life of late Jagjivan Ram, narrating how after his father's death, mother ensured that he completed his education which finally empowered him to serve the nation.
She said children belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes should be provided with facilities that would help in bringing them at par with the rest of the society, adding that hostel facilities, nutritional support and extra coaching were some of the areas that required attention.
In this connection, the President mentioned the recently launched Babu Jagjivam Ram Chhatrawas Yojna for the construction of hostels, and said the scheme was a fitting tribute to ''Babuji' who throughout his life championed the cause of education.
Babu Jagjivan Ram made immense contribution to the country's freedom struggle and impressed personalities like Gandhiji, Madanmohan Malviya and Subhash Chandra Bose with his abilities and the spirit of devotion to serve the country, he added.
And after independence too, he served the nation in various capacities as Minister for Food, communication and Agriculture, she said.
On this occasion, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who attended the function as chief guest, recalled the many-faceted personality of Babuji and described him as '' one of the tallest figures of post-Independence India.'' ''His life symbolises the liberation and progress of dalits in democratic India,'' he said.
More UNI NAZ SG KP1950