Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said terrorism has no religion and is a common enemy of humanity, peace and development. He was speaking in Kolkata at the centennial celebrations of Rotary International in India.
He said: "Peace is a prerequisite to development. Everyone should work to curb the menace of terrorism." He also called upon the civil society all over the world to collaborate and create a global consensus on platforms such as the UN for a strong policy framework against all forms of terrorism.
The Vice President said that terror has no religion. Without naming Pakistan, he said that one of our neighbours is aiding, funding and training terror. Naidu added that want to befriend with all the neighbours, including our troubling neighbour. However, they should understand that they should not promote terror.
The Vice President stressed that India believes in peaceful coexistence and wants peace with all its neighbours. He appealed to all countries to come together to eradicate illiteracy and poverty from the world.
"NGOs should take lead in the poverty eradication and socio-economic empowerment of the marginalised sections of the society," he added.
Highlighting that more than 60 per cent of Indians still live in villages, the Vice President said that focus on strengthening the rural economy is needed.
"Lack of basic amenities and employment opportunities in rural areas are causing forced migration. We should seriously work towards bridging this rural-urban divide," he said.
Expressing concerns over the declining interest among youth to take up agriculture as a profession, Naidu asked organisations like Rotary to train and skills the youngsters to become agri-entrepreneurs.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar, Minister for Science and Technology and Biotechnology Bratya Basu were among the 4,000 delegates from 32 countries present at the event.
(With input from ANI)