New Delhi: Even as the
ongoing debate about the Lokpal Bill reaches a crescendo, one man
believes he has the answer to the malady of corruption that India
suffers from. A three-point movement stressing on education,
values and the parent-child equation should provide the magic
formula, believes former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
"The Lokpal Bill is definitely going to shape a new law to punish
or take action against people who indulge in corruption. But the
issue is how fast can you take action?" asked India's "missile
"How accurately can the law fix the crime? There has to be a
mechanism for very fast action. The law is like this: catch them
and punish them. Ideally, we need good citizens. My mission is:
How to 'overcome the greed and corruption.' I visualise the nation
as corruption-free, prosperous and peaceful with three
simultaneous movements," Kalam told IANS in an interview.
"The three movements are 'education with value system', 'youth
persuading their parents to let go of corruption' and 'What can I
give to replace the greed of what I can take'.
"So a+b+c (the three arms of the movement) along with the strong
Lokpal laws with action orientation will evolve a great nation,"
The belief towards an ideal nation also finds reflection in
Kalam's new book, "Target 3 Billion: Innovative Solutions towards
Sustainable Development", which he has co-authored with his young
co-researcher Srijan Pal Singh. It explores the possibilities of
empowering India's 600,000 villages with a sustainable development
model by providing urban amenities in rural areas.
The model - PURA or Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas -
is a combination of technology, people, traditions, skills and
entrepreneurial spirit. The book illustrates the viability of the
model with examples of sucecssful development enterprise from the
An estimate by Kalam and co-writer Singh says "the country will
need 7,000 PURA clusters to address the development needs of at
least 750 million people living in the villages".
One of the ground-breaking theories of Kalam's grassroots
development is "eco-preneurialship - generating sustainable and
inclusive livelihoods from environment".
"This is a new idea for sustainable development profile of the
21st century world which faces tremendous ecological stress.
Innovation needs to find a three-way support of investment,
knowledge power and market linkages to create a PURA Corporation
which brings forth a unique idea of 'Social Stock'. It can used as
a tool to support eco-preneurs and innovators," he said.
The former president said he had discussed some waste-to-wealth
examples in the book like fly ash for building material and
jatropha and algae for fuel generation as successful green
"During my visit to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, I realised
that the whole archipelago is powered by diesel-fuelled
generators. An eco-preneur can use solar power for daytime and
jatropha oil for generation of power at night," Kalam said,
suggesting a model.
Kalam said the success of his "model of sustainable development
depends on mobilising the youth of the country to become a part of
the PURA mission".
"The youth need to be enabled to become job generators from job
seekers. Students can be a part of the mission through research
and awareness. For this, we need to create enterprise environment
for promoting vertical linkages," he said.
"I have suggested that students of Class 8, Class 10 and Class 12
be given skill importance (skill-based) training. And they will be
awarded another certificate with their CBSE certificate that will
validate their employable status. I have been pushing the idea to
the government for the last few years," he said.
"India should walk on her own shadow - we must have our own
development model," he said.
Kalam, who has been honoured with the Padma Bhushan, Padma
Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna, has authored 15 books on a variety of
topics, including "Igniting Minds", "Wings of Fire" and "India
2020: A Vision for the New Millennium".
The 80-year-old former president lectures on social development,
works on social projects and guides research fellows.
can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)