Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said development and welfare must go hand-in-hand, adding that any development which takes place should be centered around people and nature.
“The development should be people-centric and nature-centric and the development and welfare must go hand-in-hand. Environmental sustainability and development are not mutually exclusive,” he said while addressing the inaugural session of the ‘International Conference on Development Discourse` at National Institute of Nutrition in Hyderabad.
Initiatives taken by the Centre such as Digital India, GST, Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojna, and others, Naidu said, are leading India towards progress and development.
“We have to be sensitive and accommodative to the needs of the poorest of the poor in our efforts and eradicating poverty must remain the top priority of the government, NGOs and the private sector,” he added.
Stating that the concept of development was associated with many words like GDP, consumption, human development, income levels, poverty reduction, social development, and westernization, he said, “Inclusive economic growth should be central to our development. Making people living in rural areas an integral part in the developmental process should be the aim of the policy makers and planners.”
Naidu also called for making agriculture viable, improving farm income, bridging the Urban-Rural Divide, eradicating poverty, tackling climate change, harnessing technology, empowering women and creating jobs to sustain the growth momentum.
“For a developing nation like India, the need of the hour is to sustain the momentum of economic growth and dovetail its efforts for increasing prosperity and wellbeing of the people,” Naidu added.
He further said that India can achieve rapid progress and bring about a transformation in the lives of both urban and rural people only when we collectively strive to eradicate poverty, illiteracy, caste and gender discrimination as also the twin menaces of black money and terrorism.
The event was co-hosted by the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Research for Resurgence Foundation (RFRF) and other organizations in Hyderabad.