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Chief Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)'s annual extravaganza Kankaria Carnival on Saturday evening. And while he was at it, he also put forth some very interesting views.

Hon'ble CM said, "Earlier, Kankaria used to be in the news mostly for the wrong reasons, as lots of people used to commit suicide there. At the Kankaria Carnival this year, a majority of the participants are from the slum areas of Ahmedabad. I request Amdavadis to encourage the city's slum kids to achieve great heights in life."

Shri Modi added that last year during the carnival, he had asked AMC officials to include slum kids in it. This year has been different, as the officials have taken the pains to include students from government schools, municipal schools as well as slums. "For slum kids, performing before the who's who of the city is an opportunity," he stated.

While addressing those present, Modi remembered late speaker of the Gujarat legislative assembly Ashok Bhatt, and asked AMC officials to name the Jamalpur Bridge after him. Meanwhile, amidst tight security, the carnival saw hundreds of citizens who had gathered to celebrate Christmas. The lake, beautifully decorated with laser lights and others, will be open for visitors till December 31. Entry is free of cost.

City mayor Asit Vora welcomed the CM and the visitors, and said that after the renovated lake was thrown open to visitors, it attracted 90 lakh visitors.

The AMC will also inaugurate the 'Kids City' on December 31, he added. This year too, the AMC has organised sports like parasailing, bubble ride, etc for visitors' recreation at Kankaria, apart from boating in the lake. The participants at the carnival have prepared 630 types of different rangolis around the lake.

While announcing the third Kankaria Carnival in Ahmedabad between 25-31 December, the Mayor of Ahmedabad had highlighted that the ‘bubble ride' from Germany as a special attraction this time. Presented above are the photographs of this ride. The photos also represent the water skiing ride, and push the round ride.

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Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle against Covid: PM
Combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needs to be harnessed in this fight: PM
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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.