The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind presented the National Service Scheme Awards for the year 2019-20 in a virtual ceremony today (September 24, 2021).
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that 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 the student’s 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.
Pointing to the fact that the National Service Scheme was established in 1969, on the occasion of the birth centenary of Mahatma Gandhi, the President said that Mahatma Gandhi devoted his entire life to the service of humanity. He wished that our youth should be responsible citizens and recognize themselves. According to Gandhiji ‘the best way to know yourself is to dedicate yourself to the service of others. 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 noted that during the initial outbreak of Covid-19, till the mass production of masks started, more than 2 crores 30 lakh masks were made by NSS and distributed in various parts of the country. He also noted 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 stated that the 75th year of independence is being celebrated as ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ across the country. He was happy to note that NSS volunteers are contributing to this Mahotsav by organizing webinars/seminars on the Indian independence movement and on the contribution of freedom fighters. He said that spreading awareness about our freedom struggle and the ideals of the freedom fighters is also a service to the nation.
The NSS Awards were instituted by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports in 1993-94 on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee Year of National Service Scheme. The aim of these awards is to recognize and reward outstanding contributions towards voluntary community service made by the Universities/ Colleges, (+2) Councils and Senior Secondary, NSS Units/ Programme Officers, and NSS Volunteers.