There was never a better time to be a young person: Obama

Former U.S. President Barack Obama gestures as he delivers his keynote speech to the Montreal Chamber of Commerce at the Palais de Congres in Montreal, Quebec, Canada June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Dario Ayala

The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama noted that there has never been a better time to be a young person as it is now.

The former US President, was addressing a gathering of young leaders from various parts of the country in New Delhi in a Town Hall when he said this.

“There have never been more powerful tools to drive change, to make a difference, than today. There’s never been a better time to be a young person than today,” he said.

He however noted that it is harder to bring about change in the present political climate as “there is so much noise”, and said there is a constant contest going on for attention across the social media and airwaves.

He added that constructive debate was losing relevance in the social media and broadcast.

Adding that the world’s a much better place today, Obama said that the global life expectancy has grown by more than 20 years, childhood mortality has been cut to half and marriage equality is acceptable in many places now.

He reminded the youth that many had earlier started without money, power and other privileges and many of them were very young.

Mentioning Martin Luther King Jr, Obama said that the former was barely 20-25 years old when he began activism against segregation.

Speaking about technology, he said that youth are pioneering change through technology, which is a key to good governance.

He asserted that the US and India have many similarities and the two countries could be defining the 21st century partnership.

“India and US have so much in common. The US is home to millions of Indian-Americans and their proud heritage is at the same time combined with an incredible contribution they make in every field in the United States,” Obama said.

“Both of our countries are hugely diverse and we have got different languages, different background and different faiths but what else we have in common is the set of values we believe in deeply and I believe that the partnership between the world’s oldest democracy and world’s largest democracy could be the defining partnership of the 21st century,” he added.

The former US President said that lifting up and working with and training next generation of leadership not just in the United States but all around the world is the central goal of his foundation.

He said that every nation should invest in healthcare as it is a key element in the economic base.

Underlining that there would be concerns about job creation in the near future, Obama said that the governments need to be more responsive and respond to this fact that there is a need to build models which will facilitate the transition to a new model to create jobs opportunities.

This is Obama’s first visit to India after Donald Trump became the 45th US President.

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