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Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said underlined that while the pandemic has impacted many sectors, it has also opened avenues in many others. The Vice President also advised the nation's youth to turn the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic into opportunities.

Addressing the gathering in Vijayawada, the Vice President underlined that more than 65 percent of the population is under the age of 35 and if we can utilize these human resources, youth and women can become key partners in furthering our nation’s growth.

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"With these great human resources, we can shape the future world," he added.

He also stated the Centre and the states will soon intensify their skill-oriented programmes in order to upskill the youth to be in tune with the 21st century needs, and called for private participation in this field.

Stressing that the GDP growth is not the sole indicator for a country’s progress, Naidu said that people’s empowerment is the real progress. He also emphasised that we must invest and formulate policies with long term benefits rather than focusing on short term gains.

Talking about the ongoing pandemic, the Vice President said, "Health is much more important than wealth and pandemic has proved this once again". Noting that the death rate in India is far less compared to other countries, Shri Naidu called upon people to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

While distributing the certificates to trainees on completion of their courses, Shri Naidu appreciated the students for having utilised the online learning tools well during the lockdown period. He also commended the efforts of Swarna Bharat Trust for empowering women and youth through skill development and helping the needy during the lockdown period. The event was attended by trainees and staff of Swarna Bharat Trust, Vijayawada.

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