CM blogs at start of Shala Praveshotsav & Kanya Kelavani Abhiyan

Published By : Admin | June 15, 2013 | 19:34 IST


3 extremely satisfying days with the future of Gujarat

 

Dear Friends,

For the next three days, the entire Team Gujarat goes to school! Yes, senior Ministers, officials and myself are going to spend the next three days in the rural areas of Gujarat, going to villages and asking parents to educate their children as a part of the Shala Praveshotsav and Kanya Kelavani Abhiyan 2013-2014. We will go to the rural areas of Gujarat on 13th-14th-15th June and in the urban areas of Gujarat on 20th-21st-22nd June.

I vividly recall when I had taken over as the Chief Minister, an official came to me to discuss dropout rate in our primary schools. The numbers that were in front of me left me startled! Why does such a vibrant state have such high drop out rates? Why is the girl child lagging behind in primary education? We decided to tackle this menace immediately and that is how the Kanya Kelavani Abhiyan was born.

Be it scorching heat or thunderous rain, my Cabinet colleagues, officials and I set out to the villages, we tell the parents, give us your child so that we can take them to school. I can say without doubt that taking a toddler to school is one of the most satisfying moments in my many years in public life. There is no better joy than laying the foundations of a strong future for these little children.

After a decade of doing this, I am glad to share that our efforts have received immense success. The drop out rate, which stood at 17.83% in 2003-2004 has drastically come down to 2.04% in 2012-2013 for Standard 1-5 and the drop out rates for Class 1-7 has dropped significantly from 33.73% in 2003-2004 to 7.08% this year. The results of the Kanya Kelavani Abhiyan are also for all to see. In the last decade, female literacy has increased from 57.80% to 70.73% today.

While there is tremendous improvement, we want to go higher. You must have noticed that whenever results of the Class X and XII Board Exams are announced, the most common headline is- girls outshine boys yet again. It just shows that if we give the right opportunity to our women, they can do wonders. This is what we seek to do through the Kanya Kelavani Abhiyan and Shala Praveshotsav.

We noticed that a common reason for the high drop out rate among girl students was lack of adequate sanitation facilities. Thus, we constructed over 71,000 sanitation blocks. Similarly, we saw that the state did not have enough classrooms to facilitate quality education for our youngsters so we built over 1,04,000 classrooms in the last decade. We did not stop there. In this age, where technology is constantly redefining the world, it is a crime to keep our youth away from these advances. That is why we have equipped over 20,000 schools with computer facilities. 

Friends, let us all become partners in this quest for ensuring education for all.  Look in your neighbourhood, in your offices, ask your support staff if they send their children to school and if they do not, inspire them to do so. Education brings employment as well as opportunity. And, by doing this, we are not only safeguarding the future of the child but also adding a new strength to the future of Gujarat. We are also doing a great service for our nation, who will greatly benefit from the intellectual power of these youngsters, the seeds of which we are fortunate to sow today.

 

Yours,

Narendra Modi

 

 

Shri Narendra Modi's audio message at the start of Kanya Kelavani and Shala Praveshotsav 2013-14

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Tribute to Srimat Swami Smaranananda Ji Maharaj
March 29, 2024

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the grand festival of Lok Sabha elections, the news of the demise of Srimat Swami Smaranananda Ji Maharaj brought my mind to a standstill for a few moments. Srimat Swami Smaranananda Ji Maharaj was a pioneer of India's spiritual consciousness and his demise is like a personal loss. A few years ago, the demise of Swami Atmasthananda Ji and now the departure of Swami Smaranananda Ji on his eternal journey has left many people bereaved. My heart, like that of crores of devotees, saints and followers of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, is deeply saddened.

During my visit to Kolkata earlier this month, I had gone to the hospital to enquire about Swami Smaranananda Ji’s health. Just like Swami Atmasthananda Ji, Swami Smaranananda Ji too dedicated his entire life for spreading the ideas of Acharya Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Mata Sharada Devi and Swami Vivekananda across the world. While writing this article, the memories of meetings and conversations with him are getting refreshed in my mind.

In January 2020, during my stay at Belur Math, I meditated in the room of Swami Vivekananda. During that visit, I had a long conversation about Swami Atmasthananda Ji with Swami Smaranananda Ji.

It is widely known that I had a close relationship with Ramakrishna Mission and Belur Math. As a seeker of spirituality, I have met different saints and mahatmas and been to many places over the period of more than five decades. Even in Ramakrishna Math, I got to know about the saints who dedicated their lives to spirituality, among whom personalities like Swami Atmasthananda Ji and Swami Smaranananda Ji were prominent. Their sacred thoughts and knowledge provided contentment to my mind. In the most important period of my life, such saints taught me the true principle of Jan Seva hi Prabhu Seva.

The lives of Swami Atmasthananda Ji and Swami Smaranananda Ji are an indelible example of the motto of Ramakrishna Mission ‘Atmano Mokshaartham Jagaddhitaaya Cha’.

We all are inspired by the work being done by Ramakrishna Mission for the promotion of education and rural development. Ramakrishna Mission is working on India's spiritual enlightenment, educational empowerment and humanitarian service. In 1978, when the disastrous flood struck Bengal, Ramakrishna Mission won the hearts of everyone with its selfless service. I remember, when an earthquake ravaged Kutch in 2001, Swami Atmasthananda Ji was among the first people to call me and offer all possible assistance for disaster management on behalf of the Ramakrishna Mission. Under his direction, Ramakrishna Mission helped many people who were affected by the earthquake.

Over the past years, while holding various positions, Swami Atmasthananda Ji and Swami Smaranananda Ji laid great emphasis on social empowerment. Those who know the lives of these great personalities will definitely remember how serious these saints were towards modern education, skilling and women empowerment.

Among his many inspiring traits, one thing that impressed me the most was Swami Atmasthananda Ji’s love and respect for every culture and every tradition. The reason for this was that he used to travel continuously and had spent a long time in different parts of India. He learned to speak Gujarati while living in Gujarat. He used to even speak with me in the language and I loved listening to his Gujarati!

At different points in India's development journey, our motherland has been blessed by many saints and seers like Swami Atmasthananda Ji, Swami Smaranananda Ji who have ignited the spark of societal change. They have motivated us to work with a collective spirit and address all the challenges our society faces. These principles are eternal and will act as our source of strength as we embark on developing a Viksit Bharat during the Amrit Kaal.
Once again, on behalf of the entire nation, I pay homage to such saintly souls. I am confident that all the people associated with the Ramakrishna Mission will further move ahead on the path shown by them.
Om Shanti.