The 9th batch of Gen-Next Democracy Network Program delegates returned from India last month. The group of delegates from different countries were trained in democratic concepts as they participated in activities to celebrate India’s 75th anniversary.
The Indian High Commission in Georgetown issued a PRESS RELEASE on the group as well as their training in democracy:
The Government of India, as part of its activities for Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) – 75th anniversary of India’s independence, through the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), hosted the 9th batch of Gen-Next Democracy Network Programme from April 10-19, 2023 with 35 delegates from 10 friendly countries, namely, Guyana, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Portugal, Slovakia and South Africa. India invites democracies from around the world to send emerging youth leaders including members of political parties (both ruling and opposition), entrepreneurs and community activists (within 35 years of age) to witness the world’s largest and oldest democracy its traditions, history, economy and other aspects of a functioning democracy. Till date the ICCR has hosted 8 successful batches for 131 young leaders from 36 democratic countries.
The Gen-Next Democracy Network programme celebrates 75 years of Indian independence with 75+ democracies across the globe and aims to provide:
o Orientation programme about Indian democratic traditions, foreign policy, New Education Policy, international relations etc. including calls on dignitaries,
o Visit to Indian institutions, Think Tanks, Cultural Groups, Research Forums and NGOs for group discussion, talks by experts on Indian democracy, interaction with young leaders, Bureaucrats, Academia, Civil Society and other important stake-holders.
o An understanding of the success of India’s democratic journey to young leaders across the world
o To acquaint the young leaders of more than 75 democracies about India’s folk arts, music , performing arts, culture, traditions, cuisine, heritage and the overarching Idea of India
o To showcase India’s contributions in addressing global issues and its egalitarian world view
o To showcase the ethos of democracy that are ingrained in Indian culture
From Guyana, the following six delegates attended the 9th batch of Gen-Next Democracy Network Programme:
Pandit Suresh Singh
Director of Youth Services from Better Hope, Region 4
Ms. Kristina Muthusami
Regional Housing Officer of Central Housing and Planning Authority and Councillor of Regional Democratic Council from New Amsterdam, Berbice, Region 6
Ms. Gomati Kalicharran
District Community Development Officer in Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Journalist
Ms. Rohini Mooklall
Regional Development Council and National Development Council Councillor and Neighbourhood Democratic Council Councillor from West Coast Berbice
Mr. Ganesh Aditya Mahipaul
Member of Parliament, Region 3
Mr. Daniel Anthony Seeram
Chairman of Regional Development Council of Region 4
The delegation visited the Indian Parliament and was given extensive background and lectures on Indian democracy, Indian culture and civilization, 75 years of Indian Independence, Welfare and Empowerment of Marginalized & Women by well-known Professors from various top universities of India. The delegation then visited the Prime Ministers’ Museum and had an historical tour of New Delhi. This was followed by a visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra where they were entertained with a delightful cultural evening hosted by the ICCR on its ICCR Foundation Day celebrations.
In the state of Odisha, the group had interactions with the Hon. Chief Minister of Odisha Mr. Naveen Patnaik, a visit to the State Assembly, as well as the Siksha O Anusandhan (Education and Research Centre), visit to the world famous heritage temples of Jagannath Puri/Sun Temple of Konark/Udaigiri and Khandagiri Caves. The Odisha State Disaster Management Authority, which itself is a global success story in managing floods and cyclone related disasters was the next stop for the group, which provided information and intensive interaction, lots of potential feedback on the management of floods which could be relevant for Guyana. The group visited the world famous ICT hub of Cyber city of Gurugram near Delhi, as well as a visit to the Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. automobile manufacturing plant in Manesar, Haryana.
The visit provided an extensive opportunity for all delegates not only experience to India but also to build inter-personal relations. The Indian model of governance along with the implementation process of national policies and programmes in the Indian federal structure was appreciated by all the delegates.
The ICCR believes that this initiative is a means to a greater collaboration among democracies of the world especially with India’s already well-known credentials as the largest democracy in the world, its democratic resilience and the spirit of its citizens who have, despite all hardships as a developing country, imbibed the “democratic spirit”. As Hon. Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi had highlighted, “India’s democratic credentials are deep-rooted” and while calling India “the mother of democracy”. While India has travelled a long way over the last 75 years, this Programme wishes to invest in the leadership of the future, not only in India, but in democratic countries around the world so that a network of democratic individuals could be formed which will take forward the prospects of democracy to all countries of the world.
The group held both briefing and debriefing sessions with the High Commissioner of India to Guyana H.E. Dr. K J Srinivasa in April-May 2023 who interacted with them on various aspects of the programme and ensured their smooth participation.