Bharat Mata Ki -- Jai, Bharat Mata Ki -- Jai
First of all, I would like to apologize to the people of Dahod. In the beginning, I will speak in Hindi for some time, and after that I will talk in my mother tongue.
The soft-spoken and popular Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Bhupendrabhai Patel, my colleague in the Union Cabinet and the country’s Railway Minister Shri Ashwini Vaishnawji, my colleague in the Council of Ministers Darshanaben Jardosh, my senior colleague in Parliament and Gujarat Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party President Shri C. R. Patil, Ministers of the Government of Gujarat, MPs, MLAs and my dear tribal brothers and sisters who have come here in large numbers.
Today, lakhs of sisters and brothers from tribal areas are present here to bless us. It is believed that the place and environment where we live impact our life. During my early period of public life, my area of operation was the entire tribal region of the eastern Gujarat from Umar village to Ambaji. Staying among tribal community, spending life with them and understanding them were part of my early years of life. These tribal mothers, sisters and brothers guided me, taught me a lot, and today I am motivated to do something for you because of that.
I have seen the lives of the tribal community very closely. And today I can respectfully say that the life of my tribal brothers and sisters is as pure as water and as soft as buds whether it is Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand or any tribal region of India. I have spent a very long time with many families of Dahod in this region. Today, I am privileged to meet all of you.
Brothers and sisters,
This is the reason that the double-engine government of Gujarat and India is committed to ameliorate the problems of the tribal society across the country, especially our sisters and daughters, with the spirit of service.
Brothers and sisters,
As part of these efforts, projects worth more than Rs 22,000 crore for the development of Dahod and Panchmarg have been either inaugurated or the foundation stone laid today. Among the projects that have been inaugurated today, one is a drinking water project and several others to make Dahod a smart city. The life of mothers and sisters of hundreds of villages of Dahod is going to be very comfortable with this drinking water project.
Another important initiative related to the aspiration of this entire region has begun today. Dahod is now going to become a big center of Make in India also. The workshop which was set up here for the steam locomotive during the period of servitude will now give impetus to the Make in India campaign. Now a factory worth Rs 20,000 crore will be set up in Parel in Dahod.
I used to visit the Servants Quarters of Parel in the evening whenever I would visit Dahod and I loved that region of Parel tucked in the middle of small hills. I used to get an opportunity to spend time with nature there. But I was pained to see Parel and the entire railway sector turning lifeless gradually. But after becoming the Prime Minister, I had a dream that I would make it alive and glorious once again. Today my dream is being fulfilled with the huge investment to the tune of Rs. 20,000 crore in the entire tribal areas and creation of employment for thousands of youth.
Today the Indian Railways is becoming modern with the rapid electrification. Separate Dedicated Freight Corridors are being developed for goods trains. It is important that locomotives are manufactured in the country so that goods trains can run fast and there is rapid and affordable transportation of goods. There is a rapid demand for electric locomotives in foreign countries. Dahod will play a huge role in meeting this demand. Whenever the youth of Dahod would visit abroad, they would get to see Dahod-made locomotives running there and would be immensely pleased.
India is now one of the few countries in the world that makes powerful locomotives of 9,000 horsepower. Thousands of youth will get employment from this new factory and the possibilities of new business will grow nearby. A new Dahod will be formed. Sometimes it seems that our Dahod is going to outcompete Baroda through hard work.
I have spent many decades of my life in Dahod but today your enthusiasm is unparalleled. There was a time when I used to come by scooter or bus to attend many programs here. Many programs were organized here when I was Chief Minister. But such a huge program did not happen when I was Chief Minister. Today, I am feeling proud that Gujarat’s popular Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel has organized such a wonderful program never seen in the past. Such a huge ocean of people in front of me! I congratulate Bhupendrabhai, CR Patil and their entire team very much.
One thing is important, brothers and sisters, and that is our mothers and sisters should not be left behind in this road to progress. They should also move forward in this progress, and therefore, the welfare and the participation of mothers and sisters in progress always remain core to my plans. If there is water crisis then mothers and sisters have to face the maximum problem. Therefore, I have resolved to ensure providing tap water. Very soon, I am going to fulfill this resolve due to the blessings of the mothers and sisters. I am going to get the opportunity to provide water to your homes. We have been successful in providing water through pipelines to more than six crore families in the last two-and-a-half years. In Gujarat too, we have ensured tap water to five lakh tribal families and it is going to pick up pace in the future.
Brothers and sisters, the crisis of Corona is not over yet and there are reports of war now. Now there is new problem in the midst of Corona. In spite of all this, the country is moving forward patiently in the midst of troubles and uncertainty. The government did not forget the poor even in the troubled times. The welfare of the poor, tribal, Dalit, OBC community who are on the last fringes of society was my top concern. I kept awake to ensure that the stove of the poor kept burning as the people of Dahod who go to cities for work returned home when everything was shut down. We have created a world record by providing free food grains to 80 crore families for the last two years.
We have dreamed that my poor tribal families should have a pucca house, toilet, electricity, water, gas connection and there should be a wellness centre, hospital and facilities of (Dial) 108 near their villages. The poor children should have the facilities of a good school and there should be good roads in villages. The Indian government and the state government are working together to ensure all these facilities in the villages of Gujarat. In this regard, we are moving forward.
It was a great joy for me when I sat with the beneficiaries of the different schemes of the Central and Gujarat governments and listened to their experiences before coming here. I can’t express in words. My mothers and sisters who have hardly studied till fifth or seventh standard said that they have resolved to keep Mother Earth free from chemicals by resorting to organic farming and their vegetables are being sold in the markets of Ahmedabad at double price. I could see the sparkle in the eyes of the mothers and sisters of tribal villages when they were talking to me. I remember there was a time when floriculture had gained momentum in Dahod and the flowers of Dahod were offered to the deities in Mumbai. Now our farmers have turned towards organic farming. When the tribal brothers usher in such a huge change, then you have to understand that everyone has to follow them. And Dahod has shown this by doing.
Today I got an opportunity to meet a Divyang couple and I was surprised that they started Common Service Centre with the financial help from the government. He told me that the government helped him a lot, but he has now decided not to charge a single penny from any Divyang person for the services. I salute this family. Look at the upbringing of the tribal families and we can learn a lot from them. The Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana was launched for the welfare of the tribal families. The south Gujarat suffered from sickle cell disease for long. So many governments came, but we decided to tackle it and today work is progressing on a large scale in this regard. I would like to assure tribal families that science will certainly help us and many scientific innovations are happening. We are working hard to resolve this problem of sickle cell disease which my tribal sons and daughters had to bear for years.
Brothers and sisters,
India is celebrating Amrit Mahotsav of freedom on the occasion of 75 years of independence, but it was the misfortune of this country that history has turned a blind eye to those who were the original fighters of freedom even after seven decades. They did not get their rightful dues. I took the initiative in this regard when I was in Gujarat. Our tribal youth Bhagwan Birsa Munda had made life difficult for the British during the 1857 freedom struggle when he was barely 20-22 years old. People forgot him, but we built a grand museum of Bhagwan Birsa Munda in Jharkhand.
I have to make a request the brothers and sisters of Dahod, especially the people of the educational world. You would know that 15th August, 26th January and 1st May used to be celebrated in different districts. There was once a festival in Dahod to commemorate the sacrifices of the tribal community of Dahod. Our tribal community had waged a battle for 22 days in Devgadh Baria and had made the British sweat in the mountainous region of Mangarh. And we cannot forget Govind Guru. Our government built a memorial of Govind Guru in Mangarh in remembrance to his sacrifices.
Whether it is Devgarh Baria, Limkheda, Limbdi, Dahod, Santrampur, Jhalod, there was hardly any region where the tribal community had not taken arrows and descended into the battlefield against the British during the freedom struggle of 1857. It is there in history. Many of them were hanged. The British carried out similar massacre in this tribal region as it happened in Jallianwala Bagh. But history has forgotten everything. Therefore, I request the schools and teachers of Dahod to organize plays in schools and inspire students to write songs and refresh those events, including the sacrifices of Govind Guru, who is revered by the tribal community, on the occasion of 75 years of independence, so that the future generation should know about them and draw inspiration from them.
Brothers and sisters, I always had a dream that our tribal sons and daughters become doctors and nurses. When I became the Chief Minister of Gujarat, there were schools in this belt from Ambaji to Umargaon, but there were no science schools and colleges. In the absence of science schools and colleges, how could my tribal son or daughter become an engineer or doctor? Therefore, I started with science schools and decided to build one science school in every tehsil of tribal areas. And today I am glad that medical colleges, diploma engineering colleges, nursing colleges are running in tribal districts and my tribal sons and daughters are ready to become doctors. The sons from here have gone to study abroad through various schemes of the Government of India. Brothers and sisters, we have provided the direction of progress, and we are walking on that path. Today we are working to establish 750 Eklavya Model Schools across the country, that is, at least one Eklavya Model School in almost every district. We are ensuring that the children of our tribal community get modern education at the Eklavya Schools.
There were only 18 Tribal Research Institutes after independence, only 18 in seven decades. Bless me my tribal brothers and sisters, I built another nine in seven years. This is an example of how progress is made. We are concerned about progress, and that's why I made another initiative. I remember when I used to go amongst the people I would get to know about small issues. There was the facility of (Dial) 108 (the free telephone number for emergency services). When I came to Dahod and met some sisters. I used to visit their homes and would have lunch with them also. They told me that by the time a victim of snake bite could be rushed to hospital for emergency after dialing 108, he would die due to the poison which would spread in the body. This snake bite problem existed in South Gujarat, Central Gujarat and North Gujarat. Then I decided to ensure immediate injections to save people bitten by snakes and today this facility is available at 108.
Animal husbandry … today the dairy of Panchmahal is buzzing and carved a name for itself, otherwise, no one knew about it earlier. Gujarat has progressed in all the areas of development. I am happy that Sakhi Mandal is running in almost every village and the sisters themselves are leading the Sakhi Mandal. Hundreds and thousands of tribal families are getting its benefit. We are ensuring all-round development, be it economic progress, modern agriculture, tap water at every household, houses, electricity, toilets and schools for students. Today, when I am addressing in Dahod district and all my tribal leaders from Umargam to Ambaji are sitting on the stage, I have a wish and you can fulfill this wish. Will you fulfill it? Raise your hand and assure me that you will do it. This camera is recording everything and I will check it later. You have never disappointed me. I know that even a single tribal brother tells me that he will do something and he does it. At a time when we are celebrating 75 years of independence, can’t we build 75 ponds in every tribal district so that rain waters will fill them? If you take this pledge then entire belt from Ambaji to Umargam will be rich in water. Let us organize water festivals and create ponds during this Amrit Mahotsav of freedom. This virtuous period of 25 years between the 75th year of independence and 100th year of independence is very important. The country should be at such heights when the 18-20 years of youth today would be leading the country then. And I have full faith that my tribal brothers and sisters and Gujarat will not lag behind in this work. You came in such large numbers, blessed me and gave a lot of respect to me. I am one among you and have grown up among you. I have moved in life by learning a great deal from you. I am indebted to you and, therefore, I never miss an opportunity to repay your debts. Once again, I pay respectful tributes to all the freedom fighters of the tribal society and bow to them. I wish the future generation to take the country forward.
Say with me
Bharat Mata ki -- Jai
Bharat Mata ki -- Jai
Bharat Mata ki -- Jai