“Mahatma Gandhi firmly believed in creating from the youth a cadre of inspiring and competent role models and change agents with the courage of conviction, who in turn would catalyse the process of building a healthy nation,” the high commissioner said at a discussion programme, organised by Gandhi Ashram Trust, Noakhali on 'Role of Youth in Social Change and Gandhian Philosophy' at Brac Auditorium in the city yesterday(Saturday).
The programme was organised to mark 147th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and International Day of Non-Violence.
“Bangladesh and India both are countries of young people. Both countries share civilization linkages, as also historical, geographical, linguistic and culture links. On the other hand, challenges that our respective societies face are also similar in nature, Shringla said.
“Mahatma Gandhi’s life and works continue to inspire and guide us to work incessantly to surmount these common challenges and ensure a better quality of life with dignity and basic human rights for each and every member of our society,” he said.
As we progress into the millennium, the time may be ripe for the awakening of the youth in a non-violent way, much as they did when Mahatma Gandhi mobilised them in the last century to give new hope and direction; where everyone would have the means to realize his or her true potential and to contribute to society in a meaningful way, he continued.
“In view of the increasing incidence of terrorism and violence and societal disorder on the global basis and the failure of contemporary societies in comprehensively addressing these challenges, it may be time for us to actively revisit the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi,” said the high commissioner.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Debapriya Bhattacharya, chairman of Gandhi Ashram Trust, Noakhali, Padma Shri Jharna Dhara Choudhury, secretary of the trust, High Commissioner of UK to Bangladesh Alison Blake, UNDP acting country director Nick Beresford also spoke at the programme.