At an event to commemorate the 50th year of Population Foundation of India, eminent industrialist and Tata Group Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata highlighted the role of India’s youth in accelerating economic growth and the importance of ensuring that the youth of today are educated, healthy and empowered to take their own decisions to be able to drive growth and change in the years to come. Speaking at the special event held on Friday, the visionary industrialist also highlighted the importance of listening to the youth of the country. “It is more important than ever to listen to the needs and opinions of our younger generations. We need to adopt new vocabularies and means of communication with them in this fast-changing digital world,” he said at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the capital. The event also witnessed Mr Tata felicitating Dr Rani and Dr Abhay Bang with the first JRD Tata Award for Excellence in Public Service for their pioneering research and contribution to promoting the well-being of communities and public health. As recipients of the award instituted by the Population Foundation of India to commemorate its 50th year, the Bangs’ dedicated the special award to the people of Gadchiroli. “We also dedicate this award to our co-workers who inspire and enable our work,” Dr Rani Bang said. Speaking of their vision for public health in India, Dr Abhay Bang said, “The Indian word for health is ‘Swa-stha’, which is Self-reliant. Hence, our vision is Aarogya-Swaraj which means that people’s health must remain in their hands. Speaking on the occasion, Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director of the Population Foundation of India emphasized the need to keep adolescents as the fulcrum of initiatives in our society. “Population Foundation of India believes that it is critical for young people to have the information and resources needed to make the right choices about their health and well-being.’’ With a vast amount of credible research, empirical evidence and data at the foundation’s disposal, she reiterated the role that the foundation can play in partnering with policy makers to shape a definitive roadmap to achieve the full potential of the youth of India. In keeping with Population Foundation of India’s vision for India’s young people and communicating with them through innovative communication programmes, renowned theatre personality, playwright and screenwriter Feroz Abbas Khan also staged his new Hindi musical, ‘Raunaq & Jassi’ to commemorate the landmark occasion.