Stating that democracy without education is like hypocrisy without limitation, former policy adviser to United Nations - Food and Agriculture Organisation B S Raghavan stressed the need for strengthening social infrastructure with focus on universal primary education.
Delivering the Padmabhushan Dr V C Kulandaiswamy Endowment Lecture on ‘Role of Civil Society in a Democracy’ at Anna University here on Wednesday, he suggested a few strategies for mobilising civil society and tapping people’s energies. According to him, the master key to enable the rural population to join the mainstream and transform itself into a force to reckon with in the eyes of the political parties is to put in place the basic facilities and amenities that will help them flower into vigilant and vigorous watchdogs of people’s interest. NGOs have the duty to devote themselves to enlarging and strengthening social and cultural infrastructure including primary education, health, good environment and preservation of heritage, he added.
Raghavan said that the very first strand of the strategy was to concentrate on school and college students. “Such as, enthusing them to take the lead in addressing areas of concern and interest to them and to the people at large such as spreading literacy and environmental protection, conducting stocktaking meetings, bringing together public servants and elected representatives to improve the efficiency and quality of public service,” he pointed out.