Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: Former President of India
  Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam    
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11-07-2007 : Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi
Scouts and Guides are our National Wealth

"Great aim, Great thoughts lead to Great action"


I am delighted to participate in the function organized for the presentation of Rashtrapati Scout / Guide and Rashtrapati Rover / Ranger Certificates and Awards to Adult Leaders of Bharat Scouts and Guides. I congratulate all the Scouts, Guides, Rovers, Rangers and adult leaders including a Bharat Scout and Guide (BS&G) Fellow who have been awarded today. My greetings to all the distinguished members assembled here. Bharat Scouts and Guides have grown to a strength of over 38 lakh members in India. Bharat Scouts and Guides units are spread from Leh in the Himalayas to Kanyakumari in the Tamil Nadu, from Kutch in the west to Kohima in the East, including our islands. I would like to talk to this audience on the topic "Scouts and Guides are our National Wealth".


Mapping the Neighbourhood

Department of Science and Technology has taken up a programme called "Mapping the Neighbourhood". In Almora district in Uttaranchal children from 20 schools have been motivated to use mapping techniques to investigate and map basic socio-economic, environmental and ecological issues being faced by the neighbourhood community. Armed with the scientific and technological tools such as Global Positioning System (GPS), Geographic Information System (GIS), Space Imagery incorporated in the hand held computers, the students are creating maps with the neighbourhood details to improve their understanding of the immediate environment. These maps will enable further the technological community to find solutions for the regeneration of fast disappearing natural sources of water, improving road connectivity, finding better locations for electricity sub-stations with transformer and water distribution points, reducing traffic congestion, improved systems of garbage collection and overall improvement of environment. The students have extended their understanding to issues of agriculture and irrigation, health and nutrition.

The mapping carried out by the students enables prevention of indiscriminate dumping and better location of garbage collection points and recycling by the municipal authorities for facilitating a clean environment. Since the students are involved, even the elders abide by the laws of the land and contribute to the upliftment of the neighbourhood. I would suggest the Scouts and Guides to undertake the Mapping of the Neighbourhood in their locality for finding out water resources, renovation of old water tanks and water bodies with proper inlet and outlet by clearing unauthorized encroachment and transport management free from accidents and bottlenecks. By this mission, Scouts and Guides can contribute in a big way for societal cause.

Now I would like to discuss how Scouts and Guides can become partners in disaster management alleviation tasks in the country.


Scouts and Guides services in National Disaster Relief Tasks

National Disaster Management Authority has already started functioning with a set of plans and policies. This authority requires to train and equip large number of disciplined personnel to carry out its operation. Simultaneously, at the State level a State Disaster Management Team is also being constituted by several States. Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharastra and the North-Eastern states had been identified as disaster-prone regions. Scout and Guide authorities can offer to depute regionally, certain number of scout personnel based on the regional strength who could be trained to participate in disaster management tasks. Some will participate in flood relief, some in providing relief to affected people by fire. and the others in earthquake relief. One of the important requirement for disaster management is the availability of trained personnel who can take action during a disaster with speed. Since the frequency of occurrence of disaster is very high in certain States, it is essential to link up the development planning with the disaster management plan. Scouts and Guides are available in all the States. The State level disaster management team and the central disaster management team can select the scouts and guides in their region and organize special training camps for dealing with disaster operation such as heavy rain, earthquake, landslide, avalanche and fire. The training should include arranging fast method of communication, mobilizing additional help, moving the affected personnel to the hospitals and medical centres, provision of emergency food and water supply and working on improving the sanitary conditions of the disaster area. This training will enable the team members to reduce the impact of physical and psychological damage to the affected people. I would request the National Commissioners and State Commissioners of Bharat Scouts and Guides to discuss this proposal with the Chairman and Members of NDMA. There should be a budget for training of Scouts and Guides and for the immediate movement of the personnel to the site of disaster. Now, I would like to present an emergency management system which needs large number of disciplined volunteers for nation wide operation.


Emergency Management and Research

Recently, I came across an Emergency Management and Research System in Hyderabad which deals with all types of emergencies such as road traffic accidents, birth related emergencies, criminal emergency and fire related emergency. They have developed a system which integrates multiple agencies to provide quick and comprehensive emergency response. For starting the emergency process all that an individual has to do is to call a toll free number 108 either from a fixed or a mobile phone. When we ring up this number, ambulance arrives at right time and the patient is taken to the nearest medical aid centre. This programme has been launched in twenty three districts of Andhra Pradesh including rural areas and is equipped with 380 ambulances. To date over 11,500 precious lives have been saved and the average response time realized between receiving a call and reaching a hospital has been reduced to 36 minutes. The facility is available to all the citizens for 24/7. This programme is also being launched in some other states. This programme is required to be extended to all the States and the Union Territories in the country. That will enable reception of one million calls per day and saving of one million lives a year.

Presently, a special post-graduate programme is being conducted for providing integrated training towards saving lives through provision of emergency services, research and training of people to develop competency in emergency care. Since the programme needs to be extended to all the States and Union Territories, I would suggest that the State Commissioners and National Commissioner of Bharat Scouts and Guides to take the initiative in collaboration with Emergency Management Research Institute to induct the adults leaders in each district so that the emergency management system can be established in all the districts of the country. This I consider as an important national mission in which Scouts and Guides could become active partners.

The most successful contingent of Scouts and Guides in any of the above missions, which I have discussed, should participate as additional special contingent of Scouts and Guides during the Republic Day March-past on the Rajpath every year.


Five point Oath for Bharat Scouts and Guides Cadets

The Bharat Scouts and Guides cadets are examples of a well trained disciplined force in the country for the society and the young to emulate. In this way, they have a responsibility not only to themselves but also to the whole society. In fulfilling this mission, it is good for them to cohesively articulate their roles and responsibilities. For this, I would like to give a five point oath for all the members of Bharat Scouts and Guides.

1. I will lead a righteous life. I realize:

Where there is righteousness in the heart
There is beauty in the character.

When there is beauty in the character,
There is harmony in the home.

When there is harmony in the home.
There is an order in the nation.

When there is order in the nation,
There is peace in the world.

2. I will spread the mission of clean home by setting an example. I realize clean home leads to clean neighborhood, clean neighbourhood leads to clean urban area or villages, clean urban area or villages lead to clean district, clean districts lead to clean State, clean States lead to clean Nation. I realize, Clean Nation is an environment for good life.

3. I will respect women and I will assist in removing any injustice done to women and children.

4. As a Scout or a Guide, I will always uphold the integrity in character in all my actions.

5. I will celebrate every success of my fellow citizens and my country.

Once again let me congratulate all the award winners. I extend my best wishes to all the Scouts and Guides for success in their nation building missions.

May God bless you.

Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam




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