- Greetings to NRIs residing in USA who have gathered across 12 cities to celebrate Gujarat day.
- The colour of your (NRIs) passports may change but the colour of your blood will not.
- The position Gujarat has achieved today, is all because of the efforts and hard work put in by the six crores Gujaratis.
- Gujarat has growth with the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ with all three sectors of the economy showing equal growth rates.
- I invite all of you – Gujarat is yours. Gujarat is as much yours as it is of Narendra Modi’s. You should benefit from the development of Gujarat.
On the morning of Sunday 20th May 2012, Shri Narendra Modi delivered an extensive speech to NRIs settled across 12 cities of USA where he beautifully charted out Gujarat’s growth story in the last decade.You can view the details of the event here.
Complete text of the speech
Greetings to all brothers and sisters of Gujarat residing in USA!!! Today we all have gathered here to celebrate the foundation day of Gujarat that falls on May 1. I welcome you all with “Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat!” I congratulate all those who are living abroad; however, at the same time I would want all of you to never forget your own country. By organizing various programs, we are trying our best to keep the new generation well informed and updated.
Whether you are a Gujarati or a non-Gujarati, an Indian residing in any part of the country, will always talk about Gujarat and the state’s development anywhere he goes in the world. People from across the world want to know what is happening in Gujarat.
When I took the responsibility of the state in my hands, I got the opportunity to serve six crores Gujaratis. And I can say that with conviction that people of Gujarat don’t have a limited vision.
When I was given the responsibility to serve the state, we thought of working for the development of Gujarat for the development of India. We will also implement those activities, which will not only benefit Gujaratis but also people living outside Gujarat. When everyone today is struggling to change their destiny and that of the nation, then why should we be left behind? With this thought, we try to develop our own state.
Brother and sisters, if something wrong happens in a state, it is the Chief Minister who gets all the flak for it. In the same way, if something good happens, it is the chief minister who gets all the appreciation. Talking about Gujarat, I would say the position the state has achieved today, is all because of the efforts and hard work put in by the six crores Gujaratis. This is the reason why Gujarat is being praised by everyone. Today on the occasion of Gujarat Day I want to congratulate all of them.
While talking about Gujarat, who can forget to mention about Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel? India’s freedom struggle was divided into two strands—non-violent and revolutionary. National personalities like Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel led the non-violent movement, while revolutionaries like Shyamji Krishnavarma inspired the revolutionary nationalists. As Gujaratis, what makes us proud is the fact that the freedom struggle involved people from Gujarat in a major way.
Gujarat has always been a state with an expanded vision. We all know that Gujaratis have made their presence felt globally and are global citizens. They accept and imbibe vivid traditions and are open to cultures across the globe. People of Gujarat are known for their easy-going nature as they get along with others without creating much problem. This is the reason why people love being friends with Gujaratis. All of you have carved a niche for yourself in USA and Canada with dignity, and thus I congratulate you and give my best wishes, as well.
Brothers and sisters, to make this program a success, my friends have been putting in a lot of efforts for the past so many months and I am aware about it. Some of you have written letters to me. You have showed interest in knowing what is happening in the state. Some friends also made few suggestions. I was really glad to learn that Gujaratis residing outside India still have a desire to know about the state’s welfare. Your letters spoke about your love for the state that is still alive. You don’t wish to hear anything bad about the state. I assure you that your wishes will not go waste.
Friends, one thing that is clear from the development plans of the government of Gujarat are that with the same Constitution, laws, rules, and systems in practice, we can make India a great place to live. Gujarat is only an example of it. In 2001, when I took over the administration, our revenue deficit was Rs 6,700 crore. Today we are showing revenue surplus. In USA, people talk about tax issues and if the US government makes 1% of changes in tax, it becomes a topic of discussion in the entire US.
Friends, I would like to quote this gladly that in the past 10 years, Gujarat has not raised tax in any of the fields, not even 1 paisa increase. We reduced our expenditures instead and continued running the services with the old tax policies. We cut down the expenses and brought efficiency in the systems. This is the reason we are having revenue surplus today.
Brothers and sisters, when we took over the administration, Gujarat was undergoing a very rough phase. An earthquake struck Gujarat in 2001 and devastated the state. The world assumed that after such a mass destruction, the state would not be able to stand up again. Famine and cyclone too hit the state at one point of time. It was during this time only that I was given the responsibility to handle the affairs, and get the state back on tracks. We have been able to scale great heights, only because of the faith that you have put in us.
We tried developing Gujarat on the foundation of three pillars with apt balance and without making big talks. The three foundation pillars are agriculture, industrial development, and service sector. We have put in our efforts to move ahead with equitable growth in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors.
Today when I am discussing all this with you after 10 years, it is possible that you might be sitting in USA or Canada. The color of your passport may have changed, but the color of your blood can never change. Now that when you are miles away from your home country, it becomes my responsibility to share the account of state with you, as well. I shall be sharing the account not only with those who give their votes to my government, but to all citizens
India’s agricultural growth hasn’t gone beyond 3%. The Indian government has been talking for the last 10 years to make it 4%, but in vain. Rivers like Ganga and Yamuna, Krishna and Godavari flow in the country and dams like Bhakra Nangal are built, but what to do of them, when the government is not taking initiative to utilize and tap the resources’ energy? We have one perennial river Tapti, as other rivers of the state dry up during the summers. We get water only during the rainy season. On the other side of the desert, is Pakistan. Now, we had to develop by overcoming these hurdles. I am proud to tell you today that against the national agricultural growth of 3%, we have made a growth of 11%. Even in the Western world, such a growth is considered a miracle.
We have made developments in such a manner that when we came into power 10 years ago, our agricultural income was Rs 14,700 crore. Today, we have reached the level of Rs 98,000 crore. This is the progress we have made. And where does this money go? It goes into developing the villages and growth of farmers. There are people who engage in spreading rumors. Some people say because of industrial growth in Gujarat, agricultural land has been used up. I am aware that agriculture plays a vital role in an economy and we are not here to cause any harm to either agriculture sector or villages. I want you to remember that before 2001, agricultural land in Gujarat was 108 lakh hectares. In past 10 years, we have developed the agricultural infrastructure and agricultural land. Today, I say with pride that we converted 37 lakh hectares of land into agricultural land and now have 145 lakh hectares of agricultural land. It has happened for the first time in a state that share of agricultural land increases with industrial development. You’ll not see this kind of model anywhere else. However, we have achieved this.
Earlier a Vanbandhu farmer in Gujarat used to possess a small piece of land and earn not more than Rs10-15,000 a year from it. You’ll be amazed to know that today the tribal farmer in Surat, Valsad and Dang districts is growing cashew nuts. These cashew nuts are now giving competition to Goan cashew nuts. You can see how change can be brought. In horticulture, earlier we were at 61 lakh mega tons and now we have reached the production level of 181 lakh mega tons.
People are spreading lies that industries have been set up on agricultural lands in Gujarat. It is our misfortune that in today’s world of information technology, lies spread fast. In the last 10 years, in the field of milk production, Gujarat has improved by 68%. And I say this with pride that the government in Delhi has to wait for the milk from Gujarat to reach the milk depots so that they can get started with the day’s activities after having their morning tea. You go to the South East countries and you get to buy vegetables from Gujarat in their markets. You go to Afghanistan and you can buy tomatoes exported from Gujarat there. This is an example of what growth in agriculture is like. In the field of milk production, we have outnumbered everyone and the progress made is unmatched. We are known for White Revolution. Now we are in the making of another second White Revolution that is of cotton. When I came in 2001, 23 lakh bale of cotton were produced. Today we are growing 1 crore and 23 lakh bale of cotton. You can imagine how much we have progressed. Our cotton is being sold across the world. Chinese too buy our cotton.
We know that land has its limits as population is increasing. If we have to meet the challenges, we will have to increase the productivity. I want to give an example of how we increased the productivity. Let’s take an example of bananas. The industrialized countries use technology, genetic engineering and tissue culture. Today the global production of bananas is 16.93 ton per hectare. This is the global figure. In Gujarat the banana production figure is 54.76 ton per hectare. Take the example of onions. Today, the onion producing countries in the world are producing 18-19 lakh tons. The farmer of Gujarat produces 26-27 lakh tons per hectare. Today our potatoes are exported to Canada. In Canada, chips are made out of these potatoes only. Gradually, food processing industries are coming into Gujarat. Farmers from Gujarat have established a world record producing 87 ton of potatoes per hectare. And I don’t think in the next 10 years, anyone can break this record.
We have progressed in technology. For the first time, farmers in Gujarat have produced sugar-free potatoes. This is good news for the dieticians and health-conscious people. These potatoes are produced by tissue culture.
We have attended to the industrial sector in a similar manner. There was a time when only the southern corridor – Valsad, Surat—was regarded as the “Golden Corridor.” We decided to set up industries on wastelands where sea coast exists and farming cannot take place. We brought industries to all areas. Once we were limited only to chemical, fertilizer, pharmaceutical and service-related industries as these industries caused pollution. However, in 10 years span, we made an entire shift. Now we have given priority to engineering- based-industries which are non-polluting.
Today, China and Gujarat are being talked about. This is mainly because of the fierce competition between the two in the field of manufacturing industries. Gujarat is going ahead of China in the same. There was a time when utensils made in China would rule the market. However, today our ceramic industry is competing against China and we are capturing the global export market. We could never imagine that Gujarat can become the automobile hub of Asia. Today Gujarat is becoming the automobile hub of the world. And I can say with pride that there is no vehicle in the world, of which even a small part is not being produced on the land of Gujarat. There is not a single vehicle in the world which doesn’t use parts manufactured by the laborers of Gujarat. We have done this work in the field of automobile industry. Today automobile industries are coming to Gujarat, including those from America.
Today, as I address you, I also invite you to visit Gujarat during the upcoming 2013 Vibrant Gujarat Summit and Uttarayan festivities.
Last time when your president of Chamber of Commerce had come and delivered a speech, he said he wants to see the day when the entire America becomes a part of the commerce of Gujarat. Canada is already our partner. Canada and Gujarat have many joint ventures. We have had five business summits, where MoUs worth 870 billion US dollars were signed. In 2011 more than 50 companies from the US took the initiative to invest in Gujarat with an amount approximately Rs 15,000 crore. And Ron Somers, a business giant of America, had come to Gujarat and discussed in detail about what can be the benefits of joint business ventures between Gujarat and the US. Ford is also coming to Gujarat. Earlier also many big American companies have come to Gujarat.
Gujarat has made progress in the industrial sector. The state is also concerned about generating ideas for the better future of our next generation. We think about the environment too. There are only four governments across the world that have separate climate change department. And I say this proudly that amongst these governments, Gujarat government is one which has a separate climate change department. We are progressing towards environment friendly development.
Take for instance, water. There was a time when even after going down to 1,200 ft, one couldn’t find water. However, now because of our water-harvesting program, water level has risen from 3 m to 13 m. Now people are able to get water from the wells. There was a time when just 4% houses in Gujarat, had water running in their taps in the kitchens. This I am talking about 21st century and not 18th century. We worked hard and now 76% houses, including houses in tribal areas, people get water. You can very well notice how small things can be changed.
We gave new dimension to the infrastructure. Everyone knows about the “Jyotigram” plan of Gujarat. Gujarat has electric supply 24x7, 365 days. Even Delhi doesn’t have this arrangement. No state capital in India has electricity for 24 hours. No village in India has electricity available for 24 hrs. Gujarat is the only place where there is electricity for 24 hrs.
Perhaps, even the prosperous countries of the world don’t have broadband connectivity in the villages. Gujarat is the only state where 18,000 villages have broadband connectivity. You can talk to them through video-conferencing from USA. Sitting in the US, if you want an account of your land all through the year, you can do this online. In this way, Gujarat has made use of technology and we benefit greatly from this. We have brought conferencing through technology. On the other hand a state like Maharashtra, doesn’t have technology. Their resources are being wasted. Our income is about Rs500 crore more than theirs. It is all because we have made use of technology. We have same number of vehicles, roads and rates, but our income is more. We have achieved this with the help of technology.
We have drilled gas in order to bring change and development. For 2,200 km gas drills have been laid out. We have supplied gas with pipeline. We are supplying Narmada water to some 9,000 villages of Gujarat through pipeline. We have done all this in the last 10 years in order to change the quality of life. Because of this, as I said earlier, our industrial development is 10-12% and agricultural development —11%. In service sector also, we have made presence felt with the same strength.
Go anywhere and you’ll find people greeting one another by saying “Kem Chho?” (How are you?). Even in 5-star hotel, a Gujarati would take along khakhra and thepla with him or her. You’ll see Gujarati tourists in every corner of the world. This is how Gujaratis are by nature. Gujaratis might be visiting several tourist destinations, but Gujarat was never a tourist destination itself. People didn’t know that Gujarat had so much to give as a tourist destination. We have Gir lions, 1,600 km of coastline and have the white desert. People could not see all this, but I saw and visualized. I dreamt to show all this to the world. And in order to do so, we spread the message everywhere – spend some days in Gujarat. The result is that the overall growth of India last year was 10%. Gujarat was never on the tourism map. Today the tourism growth rate of Gujarat is 16%. Country’s average is 10% and our growth rate is 16%.
From this you can make out how much we have progressed in the service sector. Because of this, hospitality industry has grown to a large extent. You have heard a lot about our hotels and motels. Many people are coming up with big resorts. Several people are investing in the hospitality industry, which in future is going to turn into a big sector in tourism development.
We developed industry and service sector, but for whom? All this is for the poor. There should be a change in the lives of the poor. We have developed these systems for the poor. Living in India, you would know how difficult it is to call an ambulance in times of emergency. You wouldn’t know in what time the ambulance will reach the spot. Today, we have the 108 service and it has come as a blessing for the people. In the US similar services are available. We have got the opportunity to save thousands of lives. I can say this with pride that in the US for one patient a hundred dollars are spent for this service, while in Gujarat, only 50 cents are spent for the same. You can imagine with how much reduction of expenditure we have developed this system and how much efficiency we have brought.
In our country, every citizen including the President believes that child mortality rate and female mortality should be decreased. Sometimes, during a delivery, the mother and the daughter both die and sometimes the daughter dies. This is an unhappy event. Thus we brought ‘Chiranjeevi Scheme’. Under this scheme, poor women are brought to the maternity ward for delivery on time. There was a time when no more than 40% of deliveries used to take place in the hospital. Today, I can say this proudly that about 98% of deliveries take place in the hospital under the supervision of a knowledgeable person, no matter how poor the mother is. Because of this, I get to save lives of thousands of mothers and children. Because of this, we have witnessed a change in our life.
Basically we have brought a quality change in the lives of people. Whenever a Gujaratis returns from the US, he or she expresses displeasure on the cleanliness. This is true. It is very obvious for the NRIs to feel uncomfortable because of the kind of life they have experienced in the US. And when NRIs’ kids visit Gujarat, they tell their parents that they don’t want to stay here and want to go back to the US, because of cleanliness and hygiene issues. We have made efforts in this direction too. Earlier, in our villages, there were no toilets available. For the past 10 years, we have been putting in efforts into building of the toilets. In Gujarat, out of 56 lakh households, 46 lakh didn’t have toilets. Friends, I can say that today we have built toilets in 44 lakh households and in the coming days, will complete the work in the remaining 2 lakh households.
Our people residing outside India tell us so many times that they want to do some good work for their own country and so what should they do?. I tell them there will be many people willing to build temples, schools and colleges. There will be big board installed, reading contributions made from so and so. However, if you wish, you can work for the cleanliness of 10 poor families of your village and the government will provide the money for this. The Indian government gives an award for “Nirmal Village” based on parameters of cleanliness. In the past, Gujarat had only 4 Nirmal Villages while today there are 4,434 Nirmal Villages. We have to take this further and we are taking it further indeed.
Brothers and sisters, we are also paying attention to education sector as well. We want the poor families to get education. I whole-heartedly believe that if Goddess Saraswati blesses these families, then the day will not be far when Goddess Lakshmi too showers her blessing on them. Thus, we want every member of a poor family to be educated. There was a time when our dropout rate was embarrassing. Dropout rate in Gujarat are now at 2% and there is a cent percent enrolment rate in the state. Today there is no child that we haven’t succeeded in sending to school. We have achieved 100% enrolment. This, we have been able to receive only after putting in days and days of hard efforts. In June, the temperature is about 40-45 degrees. There is nothing to be seen on the roads except dust. In such harsh weather my government officials go to houses and convince parents to let their children come to school. We have made many plans for education. We have appointed 1 lakh teachers. We have built more than 50,000 school rooms, so that poor children should get education. With this we have made a lot of progress in education. There was a time when in Gujarat in medical education, there were not more than 500 seats. Today in the same field, we are about to reach approximately 6,000 seats. We will reach this benchmark in about a year. In engineering field, we had about 8000 seats. There are many students, who go to foreign land to study engineering and they know how difficult it is to get admission outside India. Today, in my Gujarat there are some 42,000 seats in engineering colleges. I’m not including ITI. I’m not including other institutes. I’m talking about degree engineering colleges. You can imagine to what level we have taken education and how much we have valued it.
At times, our friends visiting us from abroad show their deep concern about pollution. Brothers and sisters, there was a time when Ahmedabad was regarded as one of the most polluted cities in the world. But we changed the life of Ahmedabad. We made Sabarmati water available and also purified it. There was air pollution because of the vehicles. We brought CNG-free vehicles. And today my Ahmedabad is counted amongst the three major non-polluted cities of the world. We have emphasized upon greenery. Recently, newspaper —Times of India conducted a survey throughout the country on livable cities across India and I am proud enough to tell you that Ahmedabad gathered appreciation too. This shows how we have dealt with the development issues.
There are many subjects to talk about. Even if we are given a week to discuss the development taking place in Gujarat, we would still need some more time. There is no field left is left untouched or where we have not tried to bring a change. Recently only we did a great job in the field of solar energy. Friends! India’s contribution to solar energy is 120 megawatts. India and Gujarat together began the work in the field of solar energy. Our policies came into existence simultaneously. They got the solar energy technology made available 10 days before us. They decided to give Rs 19 and we decided on Rs 13.We reduced the price, but despite that, the production of solar energy in the entire India, didn’t go beyond 120 megawatts. Last month Gujarat offered 600 megawatts of solar energy to the country. We have experimented something new and drawn attention towards our work. We have come up with the canal solar project. Gujarat is a state that has the longest canal network of the world. You’ll be glad to know that the world’s longest canal network is that of our Narmada Plan. We have installed solar panel above the canal and begun production of electricity this way. At the moment, we have produced 1 megawatt of electricity on an experimental basis on a 1 km stretch. Its advantage is that nowadays when the land has become expensive, we don’t need extra land. We used the space above the canal where the water flows. An advantage of using this space is that during daytime, the water evaporates, however, after installing the solar panel canal on one km stretch, a crore litre of water is saved from being evaporated. This water will reach our fields. These solar panels produce 16% more electricity than normal solar panels. The Indo-Pak border in Kutch, near Rajasthan, people would never visit the place, however, today because of the solar park people come and visit the same. Today, the biggest solar park in Asia is in our state. Within a year, we will make a name for ourselves in the solar energy field as the biggest solar producing state in the world. We will become the world capital of solar energy. We place so much emphasis on environment-friendly life and lifestyles. You will realize that today, Gujarat is progressing towards development.
But we are not going to get stuck here. We have to take life in a new direction. Brothers and sisters, we are visionary. We have a coastline of 1,600 km. On this coastline, we will set up a new modern Gujarat that we cannot even imagine about. Our project at Dholera is 2 ½ times bigger than Shanghai and more modern. In Shanghai, global discussion takes place however, in days to come we will see even Dholera making news. In future, because of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, Gujarat’s economic map will see changes.
When we talk about development, we want to make a name for ourselves in the world. Similar to zero man-days and zero power cuts, we want to deal with terrorism with zero tolerance. In agriculture our dream is value addition. Whether we sell mangoes, or mango pickle; tomatoes or tomato ketchup; cotton or readymade garments of cotton, all we want to do is pursue value addition. This will help my state’s farmers to become prosperous and race ahead of their competitors. The cotton from the farm will produce the thread for making the cloth. The readymade garments thus produced will then be sold in the world market. We are coming with a new policy to build a compact unit, so that textile industry can be promoted and more people can get jobs. We want to go for value addition.
I have inaugurated India’s biggest food processing unit at Kheralu taluka in North Gujarat. This will provide jobs to many poor people. Thus, I want to work in this field in future. In a similar way, I want to pursue social sector that deals with issues relating to senior citizens. No widowed mother should live a helpless life. There shouldn’t be 60 plus parents, whose sons are looking after them and the government is just not bothered about them. The government should care about the senior citizens.
We have brought a scheme of Rs 200 crore for the poor people. For a poor person suffering from disease related to heart, kidney, or cancer, it will not be possible for him or her to get treated. We have decided that such patients will get treatment costing up to Rs 2 lakh. We don’t want that a poor patient should die of illness because of lack of money. Because of this, we have devised a scheme for the senior citizens hailing from poor families. We have perfected the delivery system. Our Garib Kalyan Mela (Poor Welfare Fair) has become famous in India as a model for delivery system.
Brothers and sisters, there are many things to discuss. We are making efforts to improve the quality of life. I request you that if you visit Gujarat, you should go to Wankaner. I want to give you this example. We requested the community of snake charmers – who used to go from village to village showing their skills– to educate their children. They said how they can educate their children when they don’t have a dwelling and are wandering all the time. The school won’t travel with them. I asked them if I provide them houses, will they educate their children. They said yes, if I give them houses to live, they will live at one place and educate their children. I built a small colony for snake charmers and acrobats near Wankaner. I can say with pride that children who used to show antics till recently, now go to schools regularly. They have learnt to use computers too.
Brothers and sisters, my focus is on making development along with improving lives of the poorest of people. For the welfare of the Vanbandhu of the regions from Umar village to Ambaji under Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana (Forest dwelling people’s Welfare Scheme), we have spent Rs 40,000 crore. About 33 talukas, along the 1,600 km long coastline from Umar village to Jakhau, come under Dhruva Sagar Project. Rs 21,000 have been spent in order to improve the lives of people of fishing community. In a similar way, we are working to improve the lives of people in cities so that they can avail facilities like house, education and health among others.
Brothers and sisters, Gujarat is celebrating 150th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. We have decided to celebrate this year as the year of youth. We have focused on skill development. If we have to compete against China, we have to concentrate on skill development and we are doing that. We are going to open many skill development institutions. Through these institutions, we have already begun the work of providing job opportunities to lakhs of youths who had earlier dropped after 7th or 8th standard. Recently, we did a program under which we provided employment to 65,000 youths. Perhaps it’s a record in India to provide jobs to 65000 in a week’s time. Indian government says in the last 5 years, out of all jobs provided to the youth in India, 78% jobs have been provided by the Gujarat government. The remaining 22% covers the rest of India. Brothers and sisters, I am proud of this. And despite such a large-scale industrial development, there are no strikes or labor unrests in the state.
We are progressing on the path of development with zero man-days laws. Gujarat is a peaceful place and pursues goodwill and development. Gujarat is working hard to change India’s destiny and eradicate poverty from the country. For this, we are making all the efforts and contributions we can. People from almost every state are coming to Gujarat to either settle; or invest money; or engage in labor work or last but not the least earn money and send it back to their home. We have taken Gujarat to such heights and we are proud of it. We have worked more than what is expected of us. Gujarat has worked for the welfare of the entire country. Indians living across the globe will look up to Gujarat with respect and Gujaratis living outside India can be proud of the fact that we have made such an effort.
Once again I invite all of you – Gujarat is yours. Gujarat is as much yours as it is of Narendra Modi’s. You should benefit from the development of Gujarat. You should try your luck there and acquaint your children with Gujarat and its development. Learn to love Gujarat and teach the same to others. Make an effort to make the world understand and acknowledge what all Gujarat, as a state, has achieved. Even after living miles away from the state, you have shouldered this responsibility well. You remember Gujarat, its festivals and also make the world familiar with these. This is a great work that you are doing. Once again, I give you my best wishes on Gujarat Day with the slogan of Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat. We all will keep up with Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat louder than ever. We won’t leave any stone unturned to fulfill the dream of our ancestors. I have taken a lot of your time. Today, I got the opportunity to address to my people across 12 cities simultaneously. Once again, brothers and sisters, let’s take Gujarat to a new high and set an example for others about how to develop and progress. With this expectation, I feel grateful that you all invited me and gave me this opportunity to talk to all of you. Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat, Bharat Mata ki Jai, Jai Hind!