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DON'T MISS: Kiran Bedi's words of advice to young Indians

Last updated on: March 21, 2012 09:12 IST

DON'T MISS: Kiran Bedi's words of advice to young Indians

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The retired IPS officer and social activist talks about the need for value-based education and just what it is that she wishes young Indians would know.

Many from this generation may know Dr Kiran Bedi as the activist who's part of Team Anna. But the fiery top cop is much more than that. When she joined the police service in 1972, she was the first woman IPS officer. A Magsaysay award winner for government service, Dr Bedi who is is known to have reformed the dreaded Tihar jail opted for voluntary retirement in 2007.

Today, she is one of the most prominent members of the India Against Corruption movement alongside Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal and has been actively involved in urging the government to pass the Lokpal Bill.

Dr Bedi was in Mumbai to address a symposium organised by Barnard College where she talked about what it takes to be a success.

On Qualities that she admires in young Indians

Most youngsters I've come across are better skilled and informed than their previous generations, healthier and aware of things around them. Their expectations are high and many of them persevere to do well.

This is a generation that is confident and has set goals for themselves that they are impatient to achieve.


Image: on Rediff iShare: Kiran Bedi


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On things young Indians must know but don't

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Yours isn't a very giving generation. You must know that processes and means are as important as the end.

Patience is the key and you must understand that it is vital to give back and being responsible is important.

Responsibility is as important as growth. You cannot just exercise your rights and get away without performing your responsibilities. Understand that it should not be about 'me' but rather 'us'.


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Advice for young women

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First and foremost, don't keep sacrificing. Understand that you must learn to insist that your partner share the workload at home. And it is best that you clear this out right at the outset rather than being stuck in a situation you cannot get out of. Address the issues at the beginning itself.

Identify your insecurities and address them. Don't avoid doing something wondering what its consequences may be. Give it a thought, break it down and consider what really may happen rather than not do it at all.



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On students going overseas for education

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There is no harm if you can afford to study overseas. If you see a growth somewhere, you must go. But remember that while growth is your right, giving back is your responsibility.

Ask yourself how you will address your responsibilities. If someone has invested in you ask yourself how you can repay that debt -- whether to the family or country.

You cannot say 'what you did was your duty; what I am doing is my right'.

If you only live on rights, you will be a torn human being because you will have left something you were responsible for and that feeling will come back sooner or later.

Remember, you come from a subsidised education system. If you were in the West, you would probably not have been able to afford it. It is your duty to repay this debt.

You cannot say that your country is corrupt and so I don't have to repay. Despite the corruption, you were compensated; your education was paid for from the taxpayers' money.

As part of the privileged community, you owe it to the underprivileged community.


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On the Indian education system

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I believe there are four kinds of education -- personal, professional, value-based and social.

The only thing we seem to be imparting these days is professional education.

Value-based education makes you a better person but social education makes you a better citizen. It teaches you to give back to the society.

To make complete human beings you must receive each of these four types of education. And it isn't difficult to impart this kind of education in our current system. All you need is teachers to be re-oriented and help create social leaders.


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On things young Indians should know but don't

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Everyone will know how you did in your professional capabilities because you are evaluated on it. But what about the others? Only you can assess yourself on the other three. Invariably we keep putting them off because no one can evaluated on those.

Yet they reveal themselves in time. And when you have someone at the top with the highest professional education but morally and spiritually bankrupt, the rest of the world has to pay for it.

Being spiritually and socially educated is as important as being professionally qualified.


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