BHU : 7th Ideal village conference

 7th Ideal village conference 

Varanasi:  "We must bring about positive changes in thinking and mindset to bring forth a rural transformation movement in India, which can serve as the model for achieving sustainable growth on a global scale. They deserve equal opportunities and access to a healthy standard of living. The Government has taken several steps to ensure availability of clean water, free medical facilities and promote health and nutrition in the state", said Shri Surya Pratap Shahi Ji, honorable Agriculture minister of Uttar Pradesh, while addressing the 7th Ideal Village Conference at the iconic BHU Varanasi Campus in his Inaugural address.

Shahi Ji, in his address, emphasized the need for rural inclusion to grow the economy. The Conference provides a platform to amalgamate theory with practice, he added. He said that if we adopt a sustainable lifestyle and use appropriate technology, we can achieve the goal of uplifting and empowering rural communities. He said that the movement is a step in the right direction for the upliftment and development of our villages. We must step up responses at the grassroots level to make a difference in people's lives and transform rural India.

The Conference commenced with a tribute to Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Ji and Manglacharan by Prof. Patanjali Mishra, Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vigyan Sankai. The melodic anthem of BHU- Kulgeet was performed by Prof. Sangeeta Pandit and her team from the Faculty of Performing Arts, BHU. The Director of IM BHU, Prof. S. K. Dubey, warmly welcomed the Chief guest Shri Surya Pratap Shahi Ji and other eminent guests. The Dignitaries were presented with a bouquet and memento.

Prof. Kanwaljeet J. S. Anand, Stanford University, deliberated on the aim of the Conference and discussed how the funds raised from the Conference would help to create and promote a sustainable organizational structure dedicated to the growth of rural communities and economies on a global scale. “Coherence, Connectivity, Intergenerativity, Agency, and Hope are the five leading causes of life”, he highlighted.

Shri Arjun Malhotra, Co-founder of HCL Group, WHEELS Global Foundation, introduced the WHEELS global foundation to the audience, an acronym for Water, Healthcare, Education, Energy, Livelihoods, and sustainability. He discussed how the foundation is actively implementing the application of technology in Rural Development.

Prof. Sudhir Kumar Jain, Vice-Chancellor of BHU, shared his ideas on occasion and talked about how the University is always willing to work for the betterment of society. The inaugural session concluded with the Vote of Thanks by Prof. H.P. Mathur, the Dean of the Institute of Management Studies, BHU, where he expressed his gratitude to all the eminent personalities who came together to be a part of this more significant cause. The event was coordinated by Dr. Padmini Ravindranathan, MMV, BHU.

Institute of Management Studies, Banaras Hindu University has organized the 7th Ideal Village Conference in collaboration with Stanford University, WHEELS Global Foundation, Pan-IIT Alumni, Science for Society, Federation of Indian Industry, Confederation of Indian Physicians Association, FICCI, and AARDO from the 11th -13th November 2022. More than one hundred global expert presentations featuring six essential tracks, namely, "Health care and Nutrition," "Water and Sanitation," "Sustainable Agriculture and Farming," "Education and Skill Development," "Energy & Environment," and "Livelihoods & Sustainability," is the cornerstone of the three- day conference. Over 500 hundred participants in 20 countries are participating in the grand event, including more than 50 companies and universities.

Dr. Nandini Tandon, CEO of IndUS Setu Global foundation, and Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas Awardee and Uttar Pradesh Ratna Awardee, addressed the audience and talked extensively about healthcare with special emphasis on women’s empowerment in entrepreneurship and role in technology.

Dr. V Anantha Nageswaran, National Chief Economic Advisor, virtually discussed "impact investing for rural development." He said that investors can assist in response and recovery efforts such as increasing flexibility for borrowers by restructuring loans, helping MSMEs remain open and financed and thus helping achieve community needs such as food security and health. Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, Secretary General, AARDO, then briefed the audience about currently ongoing AARDO programs and the impact they are creating.

Mr. Rajat Gupta, WHEELS Board Chair, shared the organization's vision and how it aims to bring rural transformation across the globe. His speech emphasized the changes in lifestyle in several villages, which have witnessed a shift towards sustainability and rural transformation due to the ideal village movement.  Celebrated orators, including Ms. Archna Vyas, Deputy Director, Gates Foundation, Dr. Sundar Kamath - Sanmina Corp, and Mr. Suresh Shenoy- WHEELS, USA, shared their thoughts on the occasion. “We realized that in rural transformation and development they are all very interrelated you cannot have good health without clean water in order to have clean water you need energy, Shenoy added.


A “Deep Diving session” was administered in the morning, where ideas for bringing change and ways to promote sustainability were discussed. Rural development can only be achieved with a unified effort by the Government, Corporates, and NGOs, they reasoned. The panelists shared personal stories of “patterns and antipatterns” where they narrated success and failure stories of various projects undertaken in rural areas. An adjoining session addressed nutrition and healthcare challenges and discussed solutions that are feasible to solve long-term solutions arising from poor eating habits. The discussion focused on the long-term impact of eating the right food, food on the growth of the economy. During the conference dinner, there was an interaction with Ms. Asha Jadeja – Jadeja Motwani Foundation, along with a virtual address of world-famous cricketer Mr. Sunil M. Gavaskar from Australia. Other points of discussion included how to ensure the scalability and feasibility of models developed for rural transformation. The gathering also spoke at length about how intent paves the way for the development of society as a whole.

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