I wish a very happy Independence Day to all my brothers and sisters of Gujarat. Whole country is celebrating 74th Independence Day. Today we remember and salute all those freedom fighters, revolutionaries, famous and anonymous people who gave their life for the freedom of our country.
We attained freedom after years of relentless struggle against British torture.
Many freedom fighters such as Khudiram Bose, Bhagatsingh, Sukhdev, Rajguru , Veer Savarkar, Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak, Subhashchandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel led the freedom struggle against British Rule and gave us freedom. This is the time to pay homage to ones who sacrificed their lives for the country.
A nationwide non-violentmovement against British was held under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. Today, the country is fighting against deadly corona pandemic under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi through public awareness, good habits and Swacchagrah.
Let us all unite, cultivate good habits, wear masks, maintain social distancing and wash or sanitize our hands in regular intervals to win this fight against coronavirus.
It is natural that we are ecstatic about celebrating Independence Day but the situation is a bit different this year due to Covid-19 pandemic. Can’t gather and celebrate the day together. The chances of corona transmission are high due to public gatherings which put lives of people in danger.
Therefore, this time, we have decided to keep 74th Independence Day’s celebrations limited to few programs with limited people following the social distancing norms.
Although there is distance among us, but the entire country from Ambaji to Asansol, dwarka to Dibugadh, Kutch to Guwahati, Kashmir to Kanyakumari is celebrating this Independence Day with social unity.
Under the leadership of Gandhiji, we launched a movement against the British and expelled them from our country. We became independent, the country got independence, got Swarajya, now we have to move towards attaining Surajya. And now we have to drive-out corona from our country. We all have to fulfil the mantra of “haarshe corona, jeetse Gujarat” (Corona will lose, Gujarat will win).
Seven decades ago from today, by winning the war of independence, Swarajya was gotten. The pairing of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel gave us Swarajya. Now, the country is progressing in the leadership of Narendrabhai-Amitbhai. Bharat, once developing to become a good nation, is now progessing towards self-dependence.
Due to Corona, our development journey might have slowed down, but “Na Ruknahai… Na Jhuknahai… Vikas ki or aage hi aagebadhnahai” is our mantra.
Be it disaster of an earthquake or fury of floods, be it haeavy rains or severe drought, in all such situations, Gujarat and Gujaratis have always converted disasters into opportunities. Have always transformed challenges into chances.
Be it agriculture or businesses or service sector or heath sector or education sector, Gujarat has always shown the way of an holistic, comprehensive and omnipresent development approach to our country and the world.
Gujarat has always been progressive in the field of agriculture. The Gujarat government has always given the priority to the farmers considering them the power of the world. Recently, more than 55 lakh farmers have benefitted from the “MukhyamantriKishan Sahay Yojana” by covering for all of their crops and also if due to any reason kharif crop fails, then compensation will be provided to the affected farmers. If there is any harm to the crops due to heavy rains or droughts or seasonal rains, though even single penny of premium to insurance company has not been paid by the farmer, the Government will compensate.
To help farmers who go to their farms to spray water by staying up at nights, the Government has started the implementation of “Dinkar Yojana” which provides them with electricity in daytime itself. The irrigation area of the state has increased from 38 lakh hectares to 68 lakh hectares. Direct and Indirect irrigation area has increaed from 31% to more than 55%.
For the last four years, agricultural products costing more than 15000 crores have been bought at a fixed price, loans have been given to farmers at 0 % interest rate, and time to time, fertilizers, seeds and electricity have also been provided.
The shoulders of our sons of Earth have strength and if required water and electricity is provided, then our farmers have the ability to feed the entire world. The scheme of Narmada was late and so thousands of cusecs of water were wasted. There were many reasons for that. A lot of problems were created by the opposition. But in the end, after Narendrabhai’s efforts, the scheme was completed and the water that used to be wasted was preserved and provided to the regions of Kachchh-Saurashtra and many villges of Nortern Gujarat. A 500-crore barrage scheme has also been initiated. This scheme has been started to transform the scenario of Bharuch district by preserving 21 thousand million cubic feet of fresh water of Narmada and providing it to the salts producing fields of Bharuch and making the water fresh, fruitful and useful.
Only 18,356 check dams were constructed in the span of 40 years from 1961 to 2000 while 1, 53,000 check dams were constructed between 2000 and 2020. To maintain and increase the capacity of water under irrigation schemes, we perspired and worked hard to increase the water storage level under SujalaamSufalaam Jal Abhiyaan. The scheme has created history by increasing the water storage capacity of state by 40 thousand lakh cubic feet.
If water is the basis of development, then energy is also the source of development. In India, Gujarat leads in providing quality electricity all over the state. We have done solid planning in order to provide power connection to farmers as per their requirement within the time limit.
We have also made historical moves in the field of renewable energy. Gujarat accounts for making 65 per cent of solar rooftops in India. We are determined to produce 30,000 megawatt energy through Solar Park and Wind Park.
The government has also motivated people for production of unconventional energy and its consumption in their industries.
Industries, especially MSMEs are the backbone of Gujarat’s holistic and global development. Small and cottage scale industries have received tremendous impetus from the new policy of ‘First Production, then permission’ which has created several opportunities for employment and self-employment.
Recently, in the direction to build a self-reliant Gujarat, and to accelerate industrial development, the state government launched the Gujarat Industrial Policy 2020. With 49 billion US dollars of IEM, Gujarat became the only state in India that accounts for 51 per cent of the total IEM of the country.
In 2019, Gujarat saw 333 per cent hike compared to India’s 48 per cent increase in proposed investments i.e. Gujarat’s growth is many times more than the entire country.
Gujarat has received the highest national increment of 240% in FDI inflow in the financial year 2019-20 than the previous year.As per the survey report declared by the National Statistics Office, Government of India, Gujarat has the lowest unemployment rate. Unemployment rate in other states is 20% or 25%, while in Gujarat, it is 3.4%.
More than 43% of start-ups of the country are alone in Gujarat. Thus, holistic industrial development model in Gujarat has become sustainable role model.
The New Industrial Policy aims to accelerate industrial growth in the industrially underdeveloped areas. The state government will provide government land on a long-term lease of 50 years to industrial units in order to ensure a holistic development of the particular region. In addition to that, the industrial units can mortgage this land for availing loans from banks. The state government has provided an assistance of Rs.1370 crores to MSMEs in Gujarat in order to ensure their fast-paced recovery in a post-COVID-19 scenario.
At the same time, the state government is dedicated to ensure that each and every child in Gujarat receives education in order to walk with confidence where ever he/she goes. There has been a considerable increase in seats for medical, engineering and higher education in the last 3 years. 7 medical colleges have been established and 1970 seats have been increased in the field of medicine. The state government has also established medical colleges in tribal areas in order to provide equal opportunities to the tribal youth.
15,000 digital classrooms have been established by the state government through ‘Gyankunj Project.’ The Mukhyamantri Apprenticeship Yojana was started with the aim to fulfil the mantra of ‘Earn while you Learn’. 9 lakh youths of the state have been provided with Namo E-tabs thereby providing them knowledge at fingertips.
The government aims to uplift the poor, oppressed, downtrodden and the Dalits in each and every sphere of their life. 91,400 tribals, from Ambaji to Umargam (the tribal belt comprising 14 districts) have been allocated a total land area of 1 lakh 49 thousand acres. They have been made the owners of this land and provided freedom under PESA Act thereby empowering them.
More than 28 lakh poor families have been provided with gas connections under Ujjwala Yojana in the last four years.
The state government has been on its toes 24×7 amidst the menace of COVID-19. More than 60 lakh families have reaped benefits of MA Amrutam and MAA Vatsalya Yojana.
The state government started its plan of action to curb COVID-19 crisis since 19th March, 2020 i.e when the first case was registered in Gujarat. COVID-19 dedicated hospital with a cumulative capacity of 2200 beds were established in 4 mega cities with a few days of the first COVID-19 case. In addition to that, dedicated COVID-19 hospitals with a 100-bed capacity were also started in the remaining districts. The government came up with more than 50,000 dedicated COVID-19 beds in COVID-19 hospitals, COVID-19 care centers etc. The efforts of each and everyone has decreased the mortality rate and brought it to 2.1% today. The recovery rate stands at 77%. Gujarat’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis has been duly acknowledged by the Supreme Court, World Health Organisation and IIM-A.
The WHO praised the efforts of the state government in starting more than 1100 DhanvantriRaths in COVID-19 hotspots. More than 52 lakh people reaped benefits of this mobile health van for OPD services. The CM dashboard has proved to be blessing in disguise in the crisis. The administration was able to connect to each and every corner of the state and provide necessary guidance through the same.
Large scale participation was witnessed under ‘Hu Pan Corona Warrior’ campaign.
The state government came up with the Aatmanirbhar Gujarat Package worth Rs.14,000 crores to ensure a fast-paced recovery in a post COVID-19 scenario. The package is holistic in its design and encompasses small traders, farmers, self-employed workers, fishermen, tribals etc.
The state government has also provided loans of up to Rs.1 lakh at a nominal interest rate of 2% to small traders, shopkeepers, self-employed workers etc.
Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has appealed the nation to become self-reliant, i.eAatmanirbhar. In order to realise the same, the Union Government led by the Prime Minister came up with assistance worth Rs.22 lakh crores for MSMEs, youths, farmers, street vendors etc. The state of Gujarat has responded to the call of the Prime Minister through its Aatmanirbhar Gujarat Package.
Development is synonymous to Gujarat. We must learn to accept the challenges and overcome them with a smile on our face in order to achieve new heights of development.
Let us pay a tribute to the brave freedom fighters on this Independence Day by working hard to make India a global guru.
The state government lauds the efforts of health staff, doctors, police personnel and all others who are on their toes 24×7 to save the lives of the citizens amidst the global pandemic.
Source: Information Department, Gujarat