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Saturday: Chief Minister Narendra Modi today extended his warm greetings to the people of Gujarat on the eve of the state's entering its 51st year of its foundation. Even as the year of the state's golden jubilee comes to an end, begins a new Golden Age. Rather, he said, it is the golden jubilee which laid the foundation stone for a more powerful golden age for Gujarat.

In his message to the people on Gujarat's ‘Gaurav Diwas', he said, the yearlong celebration has in a way helped each Gujarati contribute his mite in the state's all round development. The message reads:

Dear Brothers and Sisters of Gujarat settled all over the World,

We, as Gujaratis, had begun a march to build the fate of Gujarat on May 1, 1960. A host of Gujaratis, led by great persons like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Shyamji Krisna Varma, Ravishankar Maharaj, Indu Chacha, besides creative and literary persons, gave us boundless love and energy, guided us and gave us an opportunity to work relentlessly for the progress of the state.

‘Aapnu' Gujarat belongs to all who have directly or indirectly did contribute something for the state, who have love for Gujarat, who have sacrificed something, who have spent their life in the jail and all those who have faced the blows of the canes for the cause of the state.

In a novel trend witnessed perhaps nowhere else in the world, we tried to involve every Gujarati, young or old, resolved to take in the state to greater heights at individual, social, provincial or national level in the outgoing year.

I thank all who those walked in unison with us and even those who did not, because all of us desired to take Gujarat ahead. All of us want brighter days ahead.

Even the administrative machinery showed extraordinary commitment in this people's march to progress. All my karma yogi brothers and sisters, government officers and employees, covered so many miles during the last one year, which they might not have done during the last one decade, to make a success of various programme within in one year of the golden jubilee, which is difficult to do in five years. It is perhaps for the first time in the span of last 10 years that government officers, employees and all my Karma Yogis ran around. It is no small achievement.

A lot has been discussed about the state's development in the 21st Century. Gujarat has put forth a new model of people's participation before the world. Every Gujarati feels, “It is my Gujarat. I must do something for my Gujarat.” The state's golden jubilee celebration provided an ideal environment for the same and thus the year would etch a lasting impression in my mind.

In a way, the golden jubilee year has laid the foundation stone for a Golden Age for Gujarat. Even as the state's golden jubilee comes to an end, it heralds the beginning of Golden Age.

The foundation laid during the year of golden jubilee – be it in the field of agriculture or infrastructure, energy or technology, knowledge or human resources, to bring about revolution in water management, white revolution or green revolution – would come in good stead in any walk of life.

We have also undertaken a new task under ‘Mission Mangalam' to involve Gujarat's women as well as the poor in the development of the state.

You will be happy to know that 4,500 performers set to create a world record at the state's cultural function on May 1, 2011 comprise children from the slums who have been by accomplished artistes. The spectators would see for themselves the talent hidden in children living in slums. This is to bring them in the mainstream, increase their confidence and provide abundant joys to their parents.

Earlier too, many events were planned and tuned in during this year of golden jubilee to particularly to involve poor people's participation in a big way, such as ‘Khel Mahakumbh', Chess or ‘Vanche Gujarat'.

As I have been repeatedly saying, we have to scale new heights. Our goal is to take everybody along in the march to development to ensure progress in every walk of life. Whatever we have achieved, I want to share it with my brothers and sisters. It is not time to sit back. We still have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. We have many more miles to walk.

Gujarat has served the nation in a big way, just when the nation was passing through a pessimistic atmosphere. People thinks that nation's condition cannot be changed, everything here is bad; people are bad; nothing good can happen here. But, the way Gujarat has achieved the heights of growth; has infused a new hope in the atmosphere. We have proved that with the same laws, same governments, same rules, same officials, and same files – great success can be achieved with a clear direction and people's support and participation. This has instilled a faith in people that a gloomy condition of our country can be changed, that the growth is possible.

Gujarat has brought ‘growth' on to the center stage. Everywhere people are talking about development, and you must be feeling it. All our problems have their solutions in growth. All our miseries can be cured with growth. If we want our sufferings to go, we'll have to make growth. Be it the field of education, health, agriculture or infrastructure – only one thing is needed – growth. Education is a tool which can bring poor out of poverty. I want to take mother Sarswati to the houses of poor and want to give them a strong foundation for future. With holding the finger of mother Saraswati, one can easily reach to the abode of mother Lakshmi. And that is the reason why we are stressing ‘Gyan Shakti'. I want to thank the Gujaratis of world around.

You celebrated the golden jubilee year with a great fervor. Golden jubilee celebrations were held in around 250 cities of India, including the cities outside of Gujarat. This is not a small thing. Places where even five Gujarati families were living; they also celebrated golden jubilee programmes. Gujaratis everywhere in the world celebrated golden jubilee year in their own way. Even with a lighting a single lamp they celebrated the occasion. Golden jubilee year, once again, united all of us, connected us; and this will turn out to be our power in future.

Come; let us use this collective energy as a device, as a catalyst, to building a majestic future.

Let us do something more; something better; something new. And let us do it together. Whatever we have – we have it because of you and through you. Whatever we'll have in future – we'll have it because of you and through you. We are perhaps just serving as a means; doers are you only.

Gujarat's present is the foundation for its future. Let us march ahead towards future with enthusiasm, step ahead towards a golden era. Let us serve our nation in a great way. I pay my obeisance to all those great people who devoted their lives for Gujarat. I heartily extend my well wishes to you all for the beginning of a Golden Age.

Jay Jay Garvi Gujarat…

Jay Jay Swarnim Gujarat…

Jay Jay Swarnim Gujarat…

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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today interacted with Governors of States regarding the Covid-19 situation and ongoing vaccination drive in the country, through video conferencing.

Prime Minister said that in the battle against Covid, along with the vaccines, our values and sense of duty are our biggest strengths. Praising the citizens who participated in this battle last year considering it their duty, he said that the same feeling of Janbhagidari needs to be encouraged now as well. He said that the role of the Governors, through appropriate utilization of their social capacity, thus becomes all the more critical to achieving this. Governors are an important link to ensure better coordination between State Governments and society, he said, adding that the combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needs to be harnessed.

Prime Minister suggested that the Governors can actively engage to ensure that social institutions collaborate seamlessly with the State Governments towards micro containment. He said that their social network can help ensure an increase in the capacity of ambulances, ventilators and oxygen in hospitals. Along with spreading the message about vaccination and treatment, the Governors can also spread awareness about AYUSH related remedies.

Prime Minister noted that our youth, our workforce, is an important part of our economy. Hence, it is important to ensure that our youth follows all Covid related protocols and precautions. He said that the Governors’ role is also critical in ensuring the greater engagement of our students in University campuses towards this Janbhagidari. We also need to focus on better utilization of facilities at University and College campuses, he added. He said that just like last year, NCC and NSS also have a key role to play this year as well. Prime Minister said that the Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle and their coordination with State Governments and guidance to institutions of the State will further strengthen the nation’s resolve.

Discussing the rise in the number of Covid cases, the Prime Minister said that in this stage of the fight against the virus, the country stands to gain from last year’s experience and improved healthcare capacity. He discussed the increase RTPCR testing capacity and noted that the country has become Aatmanirbhar with respect to kits and other material related to testing. All this has led to a reduction in the cost of RTPCR tests also. He added that most of the products related to testing are also available on the GeM portal. Prime Minister emphasized the significance of increasing tracking, tracing and testing, and said that RTPCR testing needs to be increased from 60% to 70%. He said that it is pertinent to ensure that more and more people get tested.

Prime Minister underlined that the government is committed to ensuring adequate availability of vaccines. He highlighted that India has become the fastest nation to reach the landmark of 10 crore vaccinations. Noting the positive impact of Tika Utsav in the last four days, he said that in this period, the vaccination drive was expanded and new vaccination centres also came up.

Interaction

The Vice President of India, Union Home Minister and Union Health Minister also attended the interaction.

The Vice President appreciated the Prime Minister for leading the fight against Covid and his proactive steps to develop the infrastructure required to tackle the pandemic. He also highlighted the scientific community's contribution in giving a vaccine to India and the whole world. He also talked about the contribution of healthcare workers, sanitation workers, and other frontline workers who have played a vital role during the pandemic.

The Vice President called upon the Governors to bring up a coordinated front by leading all-party meetings in their respective states and engaging with civil society organisations to spread awareness about covid-appropriate behaviour. The Vice president said that a 'Team India spirit' cutting across policy lines should be adopted, and in this regard, Governors as the 'Guardians of the State' could guide the State Governments.

Union Home Minister stressed the importance of saving each and every life. Union Health Secretary gave a presentation on Covid cases and vaccination drive. He gave an overview of how India has followed a proactive and pre-emptive approach in this endeavour.

The Governors shared details of how their respective states are tackling the spread of the virus and coordinating activities towards ensuring a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive, while also mentioning the deficiencies of healthcare facilities in the States.

They gave suggestions for further improvement in the efforts and shared plans of how Janbhagidari can be increased through the active social engagement of various groups.