Share
 
Comments

 

 

Roots of progress: Planting trees for Gujarat’s holistic development

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow on the auspicious occasion of Pavitra Baras in the holy month of Shravan, I will inaugurate this year’s Van Mahotsav. In the last few years, the annual Van Mahotsav campaigns in Gujarat have added a totally new meaning to concepts of social forestry. It also brings out our determination and commitment to ensure that our future generations inherit a greener planter from us.

To inaugurate this year’s Van Mahotsav I will travel to Mangadh, a beautiful hill village located in Panchmahal’s Santrampur Taluka. It is the soil of Mangadh that produced some extremely brave Adivasi heroes who sounded the bugle of revolt against the unjust colonial imperialism. Back in 1913 the British mercilessly killed 1507 Adivasis when they had assembled to protest endless exploitation, reminding us of the brutal Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. It was for the first time since the First War of Independence in 1857 that the spark of patriotism was ignited among the people of Gujarat with so much intensity, dedication and idealism.

The Adivasis were led by Govind Guru, a beacon of bravery and inspiring leadership. Through his spiritual teachings, he worked for the cause of freedom, rights and self-respect of Adivasi communities. He tirelessly worked towards creating awakening among his people so that his community can develop at par with the rest of the society. 

Govind Guru was a man truly ahead of his time. The contribution of individuals such as Govind Guru remains edged in the memories of time and is something that simply cannot be erased from the annals of history. The people of Gujarat will never forget the mammoth contribution of its proud sons such as Govind Guru in taking the nation on the path towards freedom.

Today when we commence the Van Mahotsav 2012 from Mangadh, we are paying our wholehearted tributes to these brave individuals who sacrificed themselves at the altars of truth and justice. A Govind Guru Smriti Van with 1507 trees along with various exhibits will be set up as a tribute to these heroes. The oneness that our Adivasi friends have with nature is very well known and I am certain this step will enable many others to get inspired not only by the likes of Govind Guru but also the importance one must give to conserving our forests.

It is our firm belief that every initiative of the Gujarat Government must be a full-fledged mass movement! There is nothing more sacrosanct than the complete and active involvement of people power. In this regard, we ensured that all major Government initiatives are held not from the confines of the state capital but out there among the people. The Van Mahotsav is no exception- you would be interested to know that since 2005, the Mahotsav has been organized in different parts of Gujarat that is blessed with a distinct cultural and historical significance. There we strive to leave behind a permanent memory in the form of a ‘Van’ that serves as a cultural and tourist spot in its own right be it ‘Punit Van’ in Gandhinagar (2004), ‘Mangalya Van’ in Ambaji (2005), ‘Tirthankar Van’ in Taranga (2006), ‘Harihar Van’ in Somnath (2007), ‘Bhakti Van’ in Chotila (2008), ‘Shyamal Van’ in Shamlaji (2009), ‘Pavak Van’ in Palitana (2010) and ‘Virasat Van’ in Pavgadh (2011). This truly becomes a unique opportunity to explore our culture and strengthen our roots with history.

Gujarat is leaving no stone unturned to enhance the green cover across the state. Just a week ago, I was extremely pleased to read a newspaper report that said that Gandhinagar is India’s tree capital. Latest figures show that 53.9% of Gujarat’s capital is covered with trees which means there are 416 trees for every 100 people in the city. In our country geographical area under tree cover is 2.82%, while for Gujarat the number stands at 4%. In 2003, we had 25.1 crore trees outside the forest cover and by 2009 the number went up to 26.9 crore; in the next ten years we are working towards taking it to 35 crore. Infact, I am delighted to share that Gandhinagar, Vadodara and Bhavnagar are cities that are greener than most green cities of the country.

Friends, worshipping Mother Nature is an integral part of our rich culture. In our culture we believe that God resides in the trees! I am sure that this effort of Van Mahotsav will go a long way in creating a greener and more beautiful Gujarat. We must plant as many trees as possible- Infact very often I tell parents to plant 2 trees on the birth of a girl child.

I am attaching a copy of a book on Govind Guru and a report “Status of Tree Cover in the Urban Areas in Gujarat”. I congratulate the Forest Department in bringing out such an important report on tree cover in our cities. I am sure you will enjoy reading these fine pieces of work.

 

Yours

Narendra Modi

 

E Book- Mangadh Kranti na Nayak- Shri Govind Guru

E Book - Status of Tree Cover in the Urban Areas in Gujarat 

 

 

Govind Guru Smriti Van - Watch

Vave Gujarat Campaign – Watch

সেবা অমসুং সমর্পনগী চহি 20 তাক্লিবা ফোতো 20
Mann KI Baat Quiz
Explore More
জে. অমসুং কে.গী নৌশেরাগী দীপাবলি কুহ্মৈদা ইন্দিয়ন আর্ম ফোর্সেসকী লান্মীশিংগা প্রধান মন্ত্রীগা ৱারি-ৱাতায় শানখ্রে

Popular Speeches

জে. অমসুং কে.গী নৌশেরাগী দীপাবলি কুহ্মৈদা ইন্দিয়ন আর্ম ফোর্সেসকী লান্মীশিংগা প্রধান মন্ত্রীগা ৱারি-ৱাতায় শানখ্রে
India achieves 40% non-fossil capacity in November

Media Coverage

India achieves 40% non-fossil capacity in November
...

Nm on the go

Always be the first to hear from the PM. Get the App Now!
...
ভারতনা কোবিদ ভেক্সিন দোজ করোর ১০০ কাপখিবা অমসুং কাপ্পা হেনগৎলক্লিবা অসিনা মীয়াম্না শরুক য়াবনা করম্না মাইপাকপা পুরকপা ঙম্বগে তাক্লি
October 22, 2021
Share
 
Comments

India completed vaccination of 100 crore doses on October 21 in about nine months since starting vaccination. The journey from anxiety in early 2020 to assurance has happened, and India has emerged stronger, thanks to the world's largest vaccination drive.

It has been a truly Herculean, bhagirath effort involving multiple sections of society. For any effort to attain and sustain speed and scale, trust of all stakeholders is crucial. One reason for a successful campaign was the trust that people developed in the vaccine and the process followed, despite various efforts to create mistrust and panic. There are some who only trust foreign brands. However, when it came to something as crucial as the Covid-19 vaccine, Indians unanimously trusted

'Made in India' vaccines. This is a significant paradigm shift.

All for One, and One for All

India's vaccine drive is an example of what India can achieve if the citizens and the government come together with a common goal in the spirit of people's participation, or jan bhagidari. Initially, many doubted the capabilities of 130 crore Indians. Some said India would take 3-4 years, while others doubted people coming forward to get vaccinated. There were those who said there will be gross mismanagement and chaos, while others doubted India's ability to manage supply chains.But just like the 2020 national lockdown - janta curfew - and subsequent lockdowns, the people showed how spectacular the results can be if made trusted partners.

When everyone takes ownership, nothing is impossible. There was a lot of pressure from different interest groups to give preferential treatment to them in vaccination. But GoI ensured that there is no VIP culture in the vaccination drive.

In early 2020, it was clear to us that this pandemic will have to be eventually fought with the help of vaccines. We started preparing early. We constituted expert groups and started preparing a roadmap right from April 2020. Till today, only a handful of countries have developed their own vaccines. More than 180 countries are dependent on an extremely limited pool of producers, and dozens of nations are still waiting for the supply of vaccines.

Imagine if India did not have its own vaccine. How would India have secured enough vaccines for such a large population? How many years would that have taken? It is here that credit should be given to Indian scientists and entrepreneurs for rising to the occasion. It is due to their talent and hard work that India is truly aatmanirbhar when it comes to vaccines. Our vaccine manufacturers, by scaling up to meet the demands of such a large population, have shown that they are second to none.

GoI has been an accelerator and enabler of progress. It partnered with vaccine-makers right from day one, and gave them support in the form of institutional assistance, scientific research, funding, as well as accelerated regulatory processes. All ministries came together to facilitate and remove any bottlenecks as a result of the 'whole of government' approach.

In a country of the scale of India, it is not enough to just produce. Focus has to be on last-mile delivery and seamless logistics. To understand the challenges involved, imagine the journey taken by one vial of vaccines. From a plant in Pune or Hyderabad, the vial is sent to a hub in any of the states, from where it is transported to the district hub. From there, it reaches a vaccination centre. This entails the deployment of thousands of trips taken by flights and trains. During this entire journey, the temperature has to be maintained in a particular range that is centrally monitored.

We are the Nation

For this, over 1 lakh cold-chain equipments were utilised. States were given advance notice of the delivery schedule of the vaccines so that they could plan their drives better and vaccines reached them on the pre-decided days. This has been an unprecedented effort in the history of independent India.

All these efforts were complemented by a robust tech platform in CoWIN. It ensured that the vaccine drive was equitable, scalable, trackable and transparent. This ensured that there was no scope for favouritism or jumping the queue. It also ensured that a poor worker could take first dose in his village and the second dose of the same vaccine in the city where he works, after the required time interval. In addition to a real-time dashboard to boost transparency, the QR (quick response)-coded certificates ensured verifiability. There are hardly any examples of such efforts not only in India but also the world.

In my 2015 Independence Day address, I had said that our country is moving ahead because of 'Team India', and this 'Team India' is a big team of our 130 crore people. People's participation is the biggest strength of democracy. If we run the country through the participation of 130 crore Indians, our country will be moving ahead 130 crore steps every moment. Our vaccination drive has yet again showed the power of this 'Team India'. India's success in its vaccination drive has also demonstrated to the whole world that 'democracy can deliver'.

The success achieved in the world's largest vaccination drive should further spur our youth, our innovators and all levels of government to set new benchmarks of public service delivery that will be a model not only for our country, but also for the world.