Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi on Saturday requested retired government officials and ex-servicemen to take active part in providing basic education to the under-privileged sections of the society.
She added that with their support, Chandigarh can become the “most literate city” in the country.
Bedi was in Panchkula to honor the students for the performance in academic and sports activities selected by the Society for Meritorious Students. Set up in 2002, the society is self-funded and is formed by retired government officials, defence personnel, bankers, educationists, who award scholarships to meritorious students every year.
“The communities of retired persons and youth have immense potential to address the problem of illiteracy. Both can join hands and start educating people from the under-privileged sections of the society, which will help bring down illiteracy rate,” said Bedi.
Highlighting the need for prison reforms in the country, Bedi said she aims to extend her flagship programme under Vision India Foundation for the welfare of families of prisoners lodged in various jails. She also met the director general (DG), prisons, Parminder Rai, regarding the proposal on Saturday.
“I had a meeting with DG (prisons) and we discussed the proposal to start these reforms in as many as 19 prisons across the state. He has given his nod and we plan to go ahead with the initiative soon after Diwali in November. We want to educate more such children of prisoners and rehabilitate them,” said Bedi on the sidelines of the event.
Bedi also interacted with the students and encouraged them to take out time for social welfare activities.
“There is a need for positive leadership among the youth and they should be encouraged to learn from surroundings, other than books and engage in social service,” she said.