Leadership development in the long run has to come from a change in education policy. This should concentrate on changing the attitudes of citizens in this direction. It should concentrate on creating attitudes that will achieve efficiency, diligence, orderliness, punctuality, frugality, honesty, rationality, integrity and self-reliance. It should also create in them preparedness for change and alertness to opportunities. Many who really take education seriously find the tentacles of misery and demotivation coiling on them and they seize the earliest opportunity to seek jobs outside the country. So advanced counties ln effect provide assistance and training to persons in poor countries who ultimately end up in serving them.
If a breakthrough is to be made for a solution to the problem of poverty, it is essential that this trend be reversed. Research activity in educational institutions must concentrate on the areas of motivation, values and economic progress. Undoubtedly importance has to be given to character development. The relationship between character and economic development should be seriously recognized and programs designed to form a practical course module. In addition areas chosen should include improvement of law and order and elimination of corruption. This positively calls for an institutional approach.
Thus the key instrument for abolition of poverty is development leadership . Quality leadership reinforced by a well-educated population sharpens it. It strengthens national and individual character. The benefits of education, though slow and time consuming are lasting and steady. Quality leadership and sound education interact. Character formation has a multiplier effect. It also accelerates capital formation by conservation of resources and thus promotes economic growth and abolition of poverty.
In the task of poverty abolition, the rich have a positive role. They have always been pace setters. They enjoy high standards of living, which implies a varied and more complex hierarchy of needs. One arm of poverty is the growing need hierarchy. The rich are achieving higher levels of living and the poor are unable to maintain even their existing levels. Thus the gap between needs and resources is widening. In this context the view expressed by the famous economist and Nobel Laureate Jan Tin bergen is of great significance.
:” Generally the rich of the earth should prepare themselves for a simpler life on the future. The leading philosophy of the present, which always asks for more material goods and does not attach much value at simplicity of life or modesty in claims, has to be replaced by alternative philosophies, and surely much could be learned from Mahatma Gandhi’s words and example. The real values of life do contain sufficient quantity of food and shelter; but it is not necessary to have the luxuries now aimed at. Cultural values will have to be upgraded again.”
This view of the Nobel Laureate deserves serious consideration by all international agencies concerned with world poverty abolition. If there is one thing certain and is badly needed, it is the development and cultivation of a value system which alone can impart strength and stability to any solution. Great leaders have shown the way. We have to follow them and look for areas for further improvement. Then only we can remove poverty from the face of this planet. (Concluded)