Seminar creates opportunities for young Indians to give back to society

Deputy Prime Minister and Sinda chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam taking a selfie with participants of the annual Sinda Youth Leaders Seminar on Sunday (June 12).
Deputy Prime Minister and Sinda chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam taking a selfie with participants of the annual Sinda Youth Leaders Seminar on Sunday (June 12).PHOTO: SINDA
Deputy Prime Minister and Sinda chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam interacting with participants of the annual Sinda Youth Leaders Seminar on Sunday (June 12).
Deputy Prime Minister and Sinda chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam interacting with participants of the annual Sinda Youth Leaders Seminar on Sunday (June 12). PHOTO: SINDA

SINGAPORE - From organising a two-day camp for able-bodied young people and those with disabilities to interact, to facilitating a long-term mentorship programme to help underprivileged youth, about 132 post-secondary Indian students came together during the weekend to propose projects to address social issues here.

Over the past three days, they explored solutions for issues such as those on the elderly and ageing, as well as youth and family violence, under the annual Singapore Indian Development Association's (Sinda's) Youth Leaders Seminar, which is now in its sixth year.

These ideas were presented to Deputy Prime Minister and Sinda chairman, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, on the seminar's last day on Sunday (June 12).

Over the next few months, the students - from various post-secondary institutions such as the Institute of Technical Education, polytechnics and junior colleges - will work with several voluntary welfare organisations to implement their ideas and give back to society.

As part of the seminar, held at the College of Alice & Peter Tan in the National University of Singapore, the participants also undertook a service learning project, in which they visited rental and interim housing flats at Spooner Road to interact with Indian residents.

They also provided these residents with essential household groceries and helped to tidy up their homes.

Commenting on the house visits, Sinda chief executive Kumaran Barathan said: "The Indian community, just as any other community, has its unique challenges.

"It is vital that we involve and engage our youth from the onset on societal issues so that they can channel their creativity and resourcefulness towards developing innovative solutions to real-world issues."