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Place : Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar Speech Date :3-10-2011

  • Very impressed to know the Danish government has set a goal to be completely independent of fossil fuel by 2050- Gujarat too believes in such initiatives and realizing them.
  • Gujarat first State to develop a 500 MW Solar Park in the Country. Part of Gujarat’s commitment to green and renewable energy.
  • How to conserve energy more important than how to create it.
  • My book, ‘Convenient Action: Gujarat’s response to Challenges of Climate Change’ lists simple ways in which energy can be saved- one example being in ground water irrigation.
  • Gujarat is one of the four Governments in the world which has a separate department for Climate Change. Also to build a ‘solar city’, a first of its kind.
 

Mr. Freddy Svane, His Excellency the Ambassador of Denmark, other friends from the Royal Embassy of Denmark, friends from the Danish industry, My colleagues from the State Government, Ladies and Gentlemen !

I am very happy to be part of this important seminar jointly organized by the Danish Government and Government of Gujarat. This is a very important moment in the history of renewable energy sector. It marks the coming together of Denmark and Gujarat. Denmark is the global leader in wind power. Gujarat is emerging as global hub of renewable energy. I am very impressed to know that the Government of Denmark has set a goal of being completely independent of fossil fuel by 2050. Gujarat too believes in setting ambitious goals and realizing them.

Gujarat is the first State to develop a 500 MW Solar Park in the Country. Blessed by the nature in the form of strong radiation, Gujarat has huge potential in solar energy. If only 0.1% of Gujarat’s land is set aside for solar energy, the potential is 10,000 MW of solar power! In wind energy too, we are strategically placed, with a long coast line of 1600 Km. Blending the nature’s gift with human endeavour, Gujarat is committed to Green and Renewable Energy.

Friends, to my mind, the issue of how to generate renewable energy is a secondary one. The primary issue should be how to save energy in an environment of ever increasing energy needs. And let me tell you, it is possible. It is also possible to live a quality life even by consuming lesser energy. It is possible to produce more, both in agriculture and industry, by consuming lesser. This issue has become important in view of Climate Change. We must organize our life styles and production cycles in a way that we save energy.

More and more consumption will not help us to come out of the vicious cycle of Carbon emission. I have listed some thoughts on this in my book on climate change which is titled as ‘Convenient Action: Gujarat’s response to Challenges of Climate Change’. In this book, I have listed somesimple ways in which energy can be saved. For example, we have brought a paradigm shift from ground water irrigation to surface water irrigation by constructing thousands of minor irrigation structures.

Very simple measures like farm ponds and check dams have saved energy from drawing ground water. On the other hand, it has brought up our groundwater levels. With participation of people, we have constructed half a million such water harvesting structures. We have also popularized drip and sprinkler irrigation to save water and thereby save energy. We have widely resorted to use of energy efficient devices in Government buildings. A small initiative like forming the Child Energy Guardians (Bal urja rakshak dal) to create awareness has gone a long way in saving energy.

The second important issue is: how to save energy in transporting it. You are aware that a sizeable portion of the energy is required in transporting the means of energy. It has a cost; it has further environmental impacts. And en route there are losses too. Learning from our experience in conventional energy, let us develop technologies and devise systems so that the losses are minimal. We cannot reverse the clock of human civilization. Rather, we have to produce energy in a more decentralized way so that it does not need to be transported or transmitted.

We have to set up such technologies and processes which are sustainable. I am glad to say that recent thinking on Renewable Energy is addressing many of these issues. Producing solar power on roof tops, in fields, solar powered devices and gadgets are examples of such solutions where not only we produce renewable energy but we produce in a decentralized way.

Thus, when we talk of Renewable Sources of Energy, it is not enough to tap hitherto untapped sources. We must talk of a total shift in the entire chain of energy management- the way energy is produced, transmitted, distributed, transported and consumed. Whether it is non renewable energy or renewable energy, we must focus on efficiency in generation, transmission and distribution. Today, our focus is on making the generation of renewable energy cheaper.

But tomorrow even if we get a break-through in technology and are able to produce cheap renewable energy, the need to optimize its management across the chain still remains.

Friends, the place where we are sitting today is being developed as a ‘Solar city’. Gujarat is the first state in the country to introduce the concept of a solar city. Government of India has announced Gandhinagar as the Model Solar City.

Further, we have signed Power Purchase Agreements for almost 1000 MW of Solar Power. In wind power, with an installed capacity of 2255 MW, we are contributing more than 4500 million units of electricity. Thus, we are saving more than 3 million tonnes of coal & avoiding carbon dioxide emission of 4.5 million tones every year. We have created a conducive environment for this sector through our comprehensive Solar and Wind Energy Policy.

Gujarat also has a strong potential of biomass energy and is exploring it in a focused way. We have also taken definite steps to tap the potential of tidal energy.

Friends, our commitment to Renewable Energy is a subset of our commitment to address the issue of Climate change. I have been saying that it is an issue of ‘Climate Justice’. It is a part of our concern for the future generations. It is a part of our concern for the poor and the less privileged who are the worst sufferers of climate change.

Gujarat is one of the four Governments in the world which has a separate department for Climate Change. We have dedicated Rs.36 billion for this issue.

But we want to do better. We want to be the best not only in harnessing for present day needs, but also in conserving them for future. I am quite sure that this seminar will suggest new ways to promote investment, technology innovation and transfer in these fields.

It is very important to exchange views and ideas to make this world a better place to live. The debate is no longer on why renewable energy. It is only on how to do it in an efficient and economic way. I am sure this gathering will through more light on the way forward. You will be doing a great service to the humanity. Because the whole world is looking for right answers to many right questions in this field. I wish you all the very best.

Thank you.

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Namaskar!

Wishing you all a very Happy 7th International Yoga Day!

Today, when the whole world is battling the corona pandemic, Yogahas remained a ray of hope. Even though no major public events have been organized in countries around the world and in India for almost two years, the enthusiasm for Yoga Day has not diminished a bit. Despite Corona, the theme of this year's Yoga Day "Yoga for Wellness" has intensified the enthusiasm for Yoga among crores of people. I pray that every country, society and individual stays healthy, and let's all come together to become each other's strength.

Friends,

Our sages had termed Yogaas "समत्वम् योग उच्यते"i.e., remaining steadfast in every situation. They had made restraint a parameter of Yoga, being resolute in happiness and sorrow. Today Yoga has proved itin this global tragedy. In these one and a half years, so many countries, including India, have faced a huge crisis.

Friends,

Yoga Day is not the age-old cultural festival for most of the countries of the world. People could easily forget and ignore it in this difficult time. But on the contrary, the enthusiasm and love for Yoga has increased among the people. In the last one and a half years, there have been lakhs of new Yoga seekers in every part of the world. Everyone is trying to implement the first synonym of Yoga, which is said to be restraint and discipline, in their life.

Friends,

When the invisible virus of Corona hit the world, no country was prepared for it, from the point of capabilities, resources, or mental toughness. We have seen that Yoga became a great medium of self-confidence in the face of adversity. Yoga helped people to muster confidence to fight this disease.

When I talk to frontline warriors and doctors, they tell me that they also made Yoga their protective shield in the fight against Corona. Doctors also made themselves strong with Yoga, and also used it to help their patients recover quickly. Today, one finds so many stories from hospitals where doctors and nurses are teaching Yoga to patients, and patients sharing their experiences. The experts of the world are also stressing the importance of breathing exercises like ‘Pranayama’ and ‘Anulom-Vilom’ for strengthening our respiratory system.

Friends,

The great Tamil saint Thiruvalluvar has said: "नोइ नाडी, नोइ मुदल नाडी, हदु तनिक्कुम, वाय नाडी वायपच्चयल" i.e., if there is a disease, diagnose it, go to its root, find out what is the cause of the disease, and then ensure its treatment. Yoga shows this way. Today medical science also lays equal emphasis on healing and Yoga is beneficial in the healing process. I am satisfied that today experts from all over the world are conducting various types of scientific research on this aspect of Yoga.

Many studies are being done on the benefits of Yoga to our body, on the positive effects it has on our immunity. Nowadays we see that in many schools, children are being taught Yoga-Pranayama for 10-15 minutes before the start of the online classes. It is also preparing the children physically to fight against Corona.

Friends,

The sages of India have taught us-

व्यायामात् लभते स्वास्थ्यम्,

दीर्घ आयुष्यम् बलम् सुखम्।

आरोग्यम् परमम् भाग्यम्,

स्वास्थ्यम् सर्वार्थ साधनम् ॥

That is, by doing Yoga, we get good health, strengthand a long happy life. For us health is the greatest fortune, and good health is the means of all success. Whenever the sages of India have spoken about health, it is not only physical health. That is whythere is so much emphasis on mental health in Yoga along with physical health. When we do ‘Pranayama’, meditate andperform other yogic activities, we experience our inner-consciousness. Through Yoga, we experience our inner strength which is so strong that no problem of the world, no negativity can shatter us. Yoga shows us the path from stress to strength and from negativity to creativity. Yoga takes us from depression to ecstasy and from ecstasy to blessing.

Friends,

Yoga tells us that so many problems might be out there, but we have infinite solutions within ourselves. We are the biggest source of energy in our universe. We do not realise this energy because of the many divisions that exist. At times, the lives of people exist in silos. These divisions reflect in the overall personality as well. The shift from silos to union is Yoga. A proven way to experience a realisation of oneness is Yoga. I am reminded of the words of the great Gurudev Tagore, who said and I quote:"the meaning of our self is not to be found in its separateness from God and others, but in the ceaseless realization of Yoga, of union."

The mantra of वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्’, which India has followed since ages, is now finding global acceptance. We all are praying for each other's wellbeing, if there are threats to humanity,Yoga often gives us a way of holistic health. Yoga also gives us a happier way of life. I am sure Yoga will continue playing its preventive, as well as positive role in healthcare of masses.

Friends,

When India proposed the International Day of Yoga in the United Nations, the spirit behind it was to make this Yoga science accessible to the entire world. Today, India has taken another important step in this direction along with the United Nations and WHO.

Now the world is going to get the power of the m-Yoga app. In this app, many videos of Yoga training will be available in different languages of the world based on the common Yogaprotocol. It is also a great example of the fusion of modern technology and ancient science. I am sure the m-Yoga app will play a big role in expanding Yoga across the globe and making the efforts of One World, One Health a success.

Friends,

It is said in the Gita:

तं विद्याद् दुःख संयोग-

वियोगं योग संज्ञितम्।

That is, Yoga is liberation from suffering. We have to carry forward this journey of humanity, which is Yoga, by taking everyone along. No matter what the place, situation, age, Yoga definitely has some solutionfor everyone. Today the number of people who are curious about Yoga is increasing very much in the world. The number of Yoga establishments in the country and abroad is also increasing. In such a situation, it is necessary that the basic philosophy of Yoga should reach every person while keeping intact its foundation and core.And this work should be done by the people associated with Yoga, the masters of Yoga andYoga preachers together. We ourselves have to take the pledge of Yoga, and we have to connect our loved ones also with this resolution. This mantra of 'Yoga to Cooperation' will show us the way to a new future and will empower humanity.

I wish you and the entire human race the very best on International Yoga Day.

Many thanks!