President Ram Nath Kovind today presented the National Service Scheme (NSS) Awards for 2019-20 in a virtual ceremony, recalling services by NSS volunteers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the edifice of human life is often built on the foundation of student life. Although learning is a life-long process, basic personality development starts during 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, Kovind said.
The President said the NSS was started in 1969 on the occasion of the birth centenary of Mahatma Gandhi, who devoted his entire life in the service of humanity.
He wished that the Indian youth should be responsible citizens and realize their personality. According to Gandhiji ‘the best way to know yourself is to dedicate yourself in the service of others,’ he said.
“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 said.
The President noted that during the initial outbreak of Covid-19, till the mass production of masks started, more than 2.30 crore masks were made by NSS and distributed in various parts of the country.
He said 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 said the 75th year of Independence is being celebrated as ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ across the country. The NSS volunteers are contributing in this Mahotsav by organising webinars and seminars on the freedom movement,
He said that spreading awareness about the freedom struggle and the ideals of the freedom fighters is also a service to the nation.
Since 1993-94, the NSS Awards have recognised and rewarded outstanding contributions towards voluntary community service made by Universities and Colleges, NSS Units, Programme Officers and NSS Volunteers, among others.