January 26, 2001, the date etched in the memory of every Gujarati when hundreds lost lives and thousands lost their shelter in Kutch, a district worst hit by earthquake. However, it rose from the debris in two years and became the growth engine for the entire state with two thriving ports and base for several mega industries.
The tale of gritty Gujarat has taken shape of a coffee table edition authored by journalists Swapan Dasgupta and Ashok Malik, who visited Kutch and witnessed the entire process of its rehabilitation, The book The Spirit of Gujarat - Turning Adversity into Opportunity' was inaugurated by former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam at Ahmedabad Management Association in the city.
Speaking on the occasion, Dasgupta said he was amazed by the pace of the rehabilitation work. "It takes years together for a region to bounce back, but Kutch was a milestone when after three years, everything was in order. It was the spirit of the land that we wanted to depict in the book," he said.
Chief minister Shri Narendra Modi said Gujarat set landmarks as far as 2001 rehabilitation work was concerned. "After London of World War II, Bhuj in Kutch was the only case where new development took place as per old TP schemes," he said.
The Chief Minister said experts from Sri Lanka, Iran, Bangladesh and China had come to Gujarat to study the model and to implement it back home. The quake also initiated the state government to establish first of its kind institute for seismology.