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Have a competitive mindset, fight as if you need to survive: Conrad to youth at Aspire Meghalaya’s District Talent Events 2022 in Shillong

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Shillong, Oct 19: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday asked the students and youth to have a competitive mindset, by which he meant positive competition and not negative competition, and move away from the reservation policy based mindset. He urged them to be prepared to compete with the best and ‘fight as if you need to survive’.

He made the statement while attending the East Khasi Hills chapter of Aspire Meghalaya’s District Talent Events 2022 at U Soso Tham Auditorium here in Shillong, wherein 26 talents from 5 campuses performed, out of which the Top 3 were recognised. Aspire Meghalaya’s District Talent Events 2022 commenced on October 6 with events scheduled to be held across all districts in the months of October and November. The East Khasi Hills chapter was held on Wednesday.

Sangma said the world today is about competition – positive competition and not negative competition, positive criticism and not negative criticism. “We have to remember that we need to compete with the best. The reservation policy is there for us but that does not mean that our mindset has to be a ‘reservation policy mindset’. Our mindset needs to be a competitive mindset. Fight as if you need to survive. Fight as if there is no reservation for you. Fight as if you are going to compete with the best from the world. It is that competitive mindset that I want in every single youth,” he said.

Wednesday’s event also witnessed the felicitation of 103 campuses from the District by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, for their participation in the Meghalaya Youth Survey 2022 and Soft Skills Training interventions under Aspire Meghalaya.

Afshana Nongkynrih (Dancing), Class 9, St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School, Shillong; Elanstar Mawiong (Musical Instruments), Class 11, St. Anthony’s Higher Secondary School, Pynursla; and Ashish Paul (Singing), 1st Semester, Shillong Commerce College, Shillong, emerged as the Aspire Meghalaya District Stars from East Khasi Hills.

The CM also recalled that few months when the Union Minister of Education visited Meghalaya, he asked for a presentation of Aspire to be displayed at the All Education Ministers’ Conference that was held in Gujarat, as a model programme for the entire country. “That is the scale of attention that is being given to the Aspire Meghalaya programme and goes to show the kind of impact it is having,” he said while talking about the impact of the Aspire Meghalaya programme adding that “if we want to make a difference and help our State become one of the Top Ten states in ten years, it must start with key stakeholders and key groups – farmers, women, youth”.

“Aspire was meant to unlock the talents within you, make you accept, first of all, what you are good at. You may not see the results of the programme today, but ten years from now, these same youths who are here today, the kind of confidence they will have in moving forward in life, the kind of positivity, the kind of acceptability they have for others, the kind of respect they will have for themselves, is the kind of impact and transformation we will see. We will see a different sense of purpose, passion, confidence and positivity like never before. This is the difference, and it is going to happen. But we need to be persistent and work together. Every single person has a role to play to make sure that we are able to invest properly in the human capital we have,” he explained.

A key highlight of the event in Shillong was the interactive session on stage between the Chief Minister and some of the students from schools that attended the event. One of the questions that the students had for the CM was where and how he found the skills needed to be the leader he is today when, in his time as a young man perhaps, soft skills and leadership training were hard to come by. To which the CM replied, “There were opportunities to pick up the skills we needed, although not at a scale like Aspire’s. However, my experiences were my best teachers. Like any other person, I have gone through defeat and losses on both personal and professional fronts. Through it all, I realised the power of trust, respect and hard work”. He further spoke about his late father, Purno A Sangma, former Chief Minister of Meghalaya and former Lok Sabha Speaker, and how growing up with a leader such as him meant that there were always moments of learning even at casual dinner-table conversations.

Also speaking at the event, Director of School Education & Literacy, Rosetta M Kurbah, said, “Today, we are witnessing a movement of energised and enthusiastic youth who have undergone high impact workshops on soft skills for life, in identifying their talents, building up their confidence level, improving their thought process and rediscovering themselves, across 62 campuses in the State. We are here to celebrate this journey of engagement and talent exploration with the youth of our State. We look forward to the State Summit where there will be 12 District Aspire Stars and 24 runners-up talents. Our best wishes to all the participants”.

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