Praises the service spirit of people of Gujarat
“We should follow words of Sardar Patel and should love our country, make our destiny with mutual affection and cooperation"
“Amrit Kaal inspires us to remember those personalities who played a big role in awakening public consciousness. It is very important for today's generation to know about them”
“The country is now connecting its traditional skills with modern possibilities”
“What is the power of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas', I learnt this from Gujarat
“Whole world is full of hope about India and with the speed with which the economy has made a comeback after the difficult times of Corona”


Present in the program Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Bhupendra Bhai Patel ji, my colleagues in the Central Government, Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Shri Parshottam Bhai Rupala, Darshana Ben, my Lok Sabha colleague and the President of Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party, Shri C.R.Patilji, Saurashtra Patel SevaSamaj president Shri Kanji Bhai, all the respected members of the SevaSamaj, and a large number of brothers and sisters! Saurashtra Patel SevaSamajis starting a very noble project today on the occasion ofVijaya Dashami. I wish you all and the entire nation a very Happy Vijaya Dashami.


Ramcharitmanas aptly describes the devotees of Lord Shri Ram. It is said in Ramcharitmanas:

''प्रबल अबिद्या तम मिटि जाई।

हारहिं सकल सलभ समुदाई''॥

That is, unawareness, ignorance and darkness are eliminated with the blessings of Lord Rama and by following him. All the negative forces are defeated. And following Lord Rama means following humanity, following knowledge! Therefore, Bapu had imagined a society based on the ideals of Ram Rajya from the soil of Gujarat. I am happy that the people of Gujarat are strongly pursuing as well as strengthening those values. This initiative taken by the Saurashtra Patel SevaSamaj in the field of education is also a part of this. Today the BhoomiPoojanceremony of Hostel Phase-1 has been performed.

I have been told that the work of both the phases will be completed by 2024. A large number of youths, sons and daughters will get a new direction from your efforts and they will get an opportunity to make their dreams come true. I congratulate the Saurashtra Patel SevaSamaj for these efforts, and especially its president Shri Kanji Bhai and his entire team. I am also very satisfied that there is an effort to take every section of the society along while undertaking these works of service.


When I see such acts of service in different fields, I feel proud of the way Gujarat is carrying forward the legacy of Sardar Patel. We have to always remember what SardarSaheb had said. SardarSaheb had said that we should not let caste and creed become a hindrance. We are all sons and daughters of India. We all should love our country, make our destiny with mutual affection and cooperation. We all are witness to how Gujarat has always strengthened these sentiments of SardarSaheb. Nation First is the life mantra of the followers of SardarSaheb. You will find this life mantra everywhere in the people of Gujarat wherever you go in the country or abroad.

Brothers and sisters,

India is currently in its 75th year of independence. Along with new resolutions, this virtuous era inspires us to remember those personalities who played a major role in awakening public consciousness. It is very important for today's generation to know about them. It is the austerity and penance of many such people behind Gujarat’s unprecedented progress. There were many such personalities, especially in the field of education, who played a major role in strengthening the education system of Gujarat.

We all probably know about the great man Shri Chhaganbha, who was born in North Gujarat, and today he is remembered across the state. He firmly believed that education is the biggest means of empowerment of the society. Can you imagine that he established the SarvaVidyalayaKelavani Mandal in Kadi 102 years ago in 1919? This was the vision of Chhaganbha. His life mantra was – ‘KarBhala, HogaBhala’ (a good deed always comes around) and with this inspiration he kept shaping the future of the generations to come. Gandhiji appreciated Chhaganbhaji and said that he was doing a great service when he came to meet him in 1929. He asked people to send their children to study in Chhaganbha's Trust.


I would also like to mention another individual who spent his present for the future of the coming generations of the country and he was Bhai Kaka. Bhai Kaka did a lot of work to strengthen the education system in the areas around Anand and Kheda. Bhai Kaka himself was an engineer, his career was going well, but on the advice of SardarSahab, he left his job and came to work in Ahmedabad Municipality. Later he moved to Charotar where he managed the Charotar Education Society in Anand. Later he also got associated with the CharotarVidya Mandal. Bhai Kaka had also dreamed of a rural university at that time --a university whichshould be in the village and the subjects of the rural system should be at its core. With this inspiration, he played an important role in setting up the SardarVallabhbhaiVidyapeeth. Bhikhabhai Patel was also like him who worked with Bhai Kaka and Sardar Patel.


Those who know little about Gujarat, I want to introduce VallabhVidyanagar. As many of you would know this place lies between Karamsad-Bakrol and Anand. This place was developed so that education could be spread and the development work of the village could be accelerated. Veteran civil service officer H.M. Patel was also associated with VallabhVidyanagar. When SardarSaheb was the Home Minister of the country, H.M. Patel was counted among the people very close to him. Later he also became the Finance Minister in the Janata Party government.


There are so many names that are coming to my mind. If we talk about Swarashtra, our MohanlalLaljibhai Patel, whom we knew as Mola Patel, had built a huge educational complex. Another MohanbhaiVirjibhai Patel ji had worked to strengthen the education system in Amreli by establishing a hostel called 'Patel Ashram' more than a hundred years ago. Keshawaji Bhai,Arjibhai Virani and KarshanbhaiBecharbhai Viranibuilt schools and hostels in Jamnagar decades ago to educate daughters. Similar efforts by people like Naginbhai Patel, Sakalchand Patel andGanpatbhai Patel can be seenin the form of different universities of Gujarat. Today's occasion is also a great day to remember them. If we go through the life story of all such people, we will find how they achieved bigger goals with small efforts. This collectivity of efforts leads to the biggest results.


With your blessings to a very ordinary person like me, who had no family or political background or who had no roots in casteist politics, you gave a chance to me to serve Gujarat in 2001. The power of your blessings is so huge that I continue to be privileged to serve the country uninterrupted for more than 20 years, first in Gujarat and now the country.


I have learnt the power of 'SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas' from Gujarat itself. There was a time when there was a dearth of good schools in Gujarat and there was a shortage of teachers for good education. With the blessings of Umiya Mata after visiting KhodalDham, I sought people's support to solve this problem and associated them with me. You would recall that Gujarat started the ‘Praveshotsav’project to change this situation. Projects like ‘Sakshardeep’ and ‘Gunotsav’were launchedto improve the quality of education in schools.

Then there was also a huge challenge of dropout of daughters in Gujarat. Our Chief Minister Bhupendra Bhai also mentioned it just now. There were many social reasons as well as practical reasons. Many daughters could not go to schools even if they wanted to because there were no toilets for them. To solve these problems, Gujarat got inspiration from the Panchshaktis (five powers), i.e., knowledge power, manpower, water power, energy power and defence power! Toilets were built for girls in schools. The result of efforts like VidyaLaxmi Bond, SaraswatiSadhanaYojna, Kasturba Gandhi BalikaVidyalaya was such that not only did the standard of education improve in Gujarat, but the school dropout rate also declined sharply.

I am happy that there are greater efforts now for the education and the future of daughters. I remember you had started ‘BetiBachaoAbhiyan’ from Surat and later spread it to all over Gujarat. I remember whenever I used to visit you I would not miss an opportunity to tell you about this bitter truth. I did not care whether you agreed with me or got angry, but I always insisted on this bitter reality about saving daughters. And I am happy that all of you welcomed it. I was fortunate to associate myself with your great effort when you took out a march from Surat to the entire Gujarat and administered oaths to people to save daughters. It was a great effort by you. As Bhupendra Bhai was referring to Raksha Shakti University in Gujarat and I also want to reiterate it because those who are watching the program should also know about it. In such a short span of time, Gujarat has shown a new path through innovative initiatives like Raksha Shakti University, the world's first Forensic Science University, Law University and DeenDayal Energy University, as well as the world's first Children's University, Teachers’ Training University, Sports University, Kamdhenu University, etc. Today the young generation of Gujarat is getting the benefit of all these efforts. I know most of you are aware of these initiatives and BhupendraBhai has also mentioned them, but I am repeating these things in front of you because you gave me whole-hearted support and the experiences gained from those efforts are resulting in big changes in the country today.


Today the education system of the country is also being modernized through the new National Education Policy. In the new National Education Policy, there is the option of teaching professional courses in the mother tongue also. Very few people understand how huge an impact it is going to have. The child of the village and even the poor can now make his dreams come true. Language will not be an obstacle in his life. Now studies are not limited to degrees, but they are being linked with skills. The country is also connecting its traditional skills with modern possibilities.


Who else other than you can understand the importance of skill? Once upon a time most of you left your homes, farms, relatives and friends in Saurashtra and came to Surat to chisel diamonds. Eight to ten people used to live in a small room. But it was your skill that led to your growth today. Therefore, PandurangShastriji referred to you as gem artists. Our Kanji brother is an example in himself. Irrespective of his age, he kept on studying and went on adding new skills. And even today you ask Kanji Bhai, perhaps he must be learning something new. This in itself is very inspiring.


Skill and ecosystem together are laying the foundation of New India today. The success of Start-up India is in front of us. Today India's start-ups are making a mark across the world and our unicorns are making a record. The entire world has high hopes about India with the speed with which our economy has made a comeback after the difficult times of Corona. Recently, a global organization has also said that India is again going to become the fastest growing economy in the world. I am sure Gujarat will, as always, will be best and do its best in its efforts to build the nation. Now Bhupendra Bhai Patel ji and his entire team are committed to this mission of Gujarat’s progress with a new energy.


By the way, I have got an opportunity to address the people of Gujarat in such detail today for the first time after the formation of the new government under the leadership of Bhupendra Bhai. My association with Bhupendra Bhai, as a fellow worker, is more than 25 years old. It is a matter of great pride for all of us that Bhupendra Bhai is a Chief Minister who is also knowledgeable in technology and is equally grounded. His experience of working at different levels is going to be very useful in the development of Gujarat. For almost 25 years he has closely seen, worked and led the administration at the grassroot level first as a member of a small municipality, then as the chairman of the municipality, followed by corporator of the Ahmedabad Metropolitan Municipality, the chairman of the standing committee of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, and then as the chairman of a reputed institution like AUDA.I am glad that today such an experienced person is leading Gujarat's development journey forward at a rapid pace.


Today every Gujarati is also proud of the fact that Bhupendra Bhai has an unblemished record despite being in public life for so long, holding such high positions and even after working for 25 years. BhupendraBhai speaks very little but never compromises in his work. Working like a silent worker, like a silent servant, is his style of working. Very few people know that Bhupendra Bhai's family has always been devoted to spirituality. His father has been associated with the spiritual field. I am sure that Gujarat will develop all-round under the leadership of Bhupendra Bhai, who has such good values.


I also have a request for all of you regarding the AmritMahotsav of Independence. All of you should also take some resolution and start a mission to give something to the country during this AmritMahotsav. This mission should be such that its impact should be visible in every nook and corner of Gujarat. I know of your potential and you can do this together. An important part of your efforts should be to inspire our new generation to live for the country and the society.Following the mantra of 'Seva Se Siddhi' (service to success), we will take Gujarat and the country to new heights. I am fortunate to be amongst you after a long time and I am literally watching everybody and all the old faces are in front of me.

With these best wishes, many thanks to all of you!

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Cabinet approves development of Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi
June 19, 2024

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today approved the proposal of Airports Authority of India (AAI) for development of Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi including Construction of New Terminal Building, Apron Extension, Runway Extension, Parallel Taxi Track & Allied works.

The estimated financial outgo will be Rs. 2869.65 Crore for enhancing the passenger handling capacity of the airport to 9.9 million passengers per annum (MPPA) from the existing 3.9 MPPA. The New Terminal Building, which encompasses an area of 75,000 sqm is designed for a capacity of 6 MPPA and for handling 5000 Peak Hour Passengers (PHP). It is designed to offer a glimpse of the vast cultural heritage of the city.

The proposal includes extending the runway to dimensions 4075m x 45m and constructing a new Apron to park 20 aircraft. Varanasi airport will be developed as a green airport with the primary objective of ensuring environmental sustainability through energy optimization, waste recycling, carbon footprint reduction, solar energy utilization, and incorporation of natural daylighting, alongside other sustainable measures throughout the planning, development, and operational stages.