New Delhi : President Pratibha Patil bid farewell to the nation Tuesday on completing of her five-year term, expressing confidence that India will soon be a corruption-free nation.
In her last address to the nation on the eve of her demitting office, Patil said the government and people should collectively fight this “the enemy of good governance”.
“Corruption is the enemy of development. It must be got rid of. Both the government and the people at large must come together to achieve this national objective,” Patil said.
In her address to the nation telecast on the state-run Doordarshan, the outgoing president said: “You have always shown an ability to understand events happening around you; expressed your views and I am sure you will not fail in building a strong, progressive, cohesive and corruption-free India.”
Patil mentioned about “social evils” like “dowry and child marriage, the practice of female foeticide and female infanticide” that “stagnate the growth of our country, in so many ways”.
“These are totally unacceptable and must be opposed by one and all. The government, social organizations, NGOs and other voluntary bodies all have to work collectively.”
She lamented that the potential of women in India “has not yet been fully realized”.
“Therefore, their issues received my constant attention during my Presidency. Women have talent and intelligence but due to social constraints and prejudices, it is still a long distance away from the goal of gender equality.”
She said enhancing agricultural productivity is a national imperative for food security goal of India.
“A paradigm shift, where, in addition to, physical inputs for farming, a focused emphasis placed on knowledge inputs, can be a promising way forward. This knowledge-based approach will bring immense returns particularly in rainfed and dryland farming areas.
She hoped that agricultural research institutions and knowledge extension systems, working at the ground level with gram panchayats, would bring technology and good farming practices to the doorsteps of the farmer.
Patil said India was “an example of how economic growth can be achieved within a democratic framework”.
“I believe economic growth should translate into the happiness and progress of all. Alongwith it, there should be development of art and culture, literature and education, science and technology. We have to see how to harness the many resources of India for achieving common good and for inclusive growth.”