Jai Mata Naina Devi !
(Dussehra Greetings in local language)
Governor of Himachal Pradesh Shri Rajendra Arlekar Ji; the popular Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Shri Jai Ram Thakur Ji; National Party President of Bharatiya Janata Party, our guide as well as the son of this soil Shri JP Nadda Ji; my Cabinet colleague and our MP Shri Anurag Thakur Ji; Himachal Pradesh's BJP President and my Parliamentary colleague Suresh Kashyap ji; my Parliamentary colleagues Kishan Kapoor ji, Sister Indu Goswami ji and Dr Sikander Kumar ji; other ministers, MPs and MLAs, and a large number of people who have come to bless us all. My dear brothers and sisters! Best wishes to all of you and all the countrymen on the occasion of Vijayadashami!
This auspicious festival will give us a fresh energy to walk on the path of accomplishing the five 'pranas' or vows which the country has taken for the 'Amritkaal' by overcoming every evil. I am fortunate that on the Vijayadashami day, I have been given the opportunity to present to the people of Himachal Pradesh projects related to health, education, employment and infrastructure worth thousands of crores of rupees. And coincidentally, it is Vijayadashami and we have got the opportunity to sound the bugle of victory. Moreover, it marks the beginning of every future victory. Bilaspur is receiving two gifts; one related to education and the other healthcare. One is the Hydro College while the other is AIIMS.
Brothers & Sisters,
As Jairam ji mentioned, after handing over these development projects to you here, I am going to witness another cultural heritage. After several years I will have the privilege of being a part of Kullu Dussehra once again. I will also seek blessings for the country by participating in the Dussehra Rath Yatra of Lord Raghunath ji and hundreds of other deities. And today as I have come here to Bilaspur, my old memories have been refreshed. There was a time when we used to roam around in this area. Sometimes I, Dhumal ji and Nadda ji used to walk through the market. We had also passed through the streets of Bilaspur here with a huge Rath Yatra event. And then the Swarna Jayanti Rath Yatra too passed through the main market and a public meeting was held. And I have come here several times and have been amidst you all.
While working in Himachal, I have got the opportunity to be a witness to Himachal's development journey continuously. And I was just listening to the previous speeches. Anurag ji was speaking with a lot of enthusiasm that Modi ji did this and did that. Even Nadda ji and our Chief Minister Jairam ji were saying that Modi ji did this and that. But let me tell the truth. Who did these things? Should I tell? Today whatever is happening is because of you all. You have done it. It has happened because of you. Had you showered your blessings only on Modi ji in Delhi but not on Modi ji's colleagues in Himachal Pradesh, then there would have been hurdles and obstacles in all the works or projects here. It is due to Jairam ji and his team that the projects that are conceived in Delhi are being implemented at a fast pace here. That is why this change is happening. And this AIIMS has been built due to the power of your 'every single vote'. If a tunnel is built then it's due to the power of your vote; if hydro engineering college is being set up, again that's the power of your vote; if a medical device park is being set up, then it is again due to your power. 'One single vote' has power. So today, I am starting development projects one after the other keeping in mind the expectations of Himachal Pradesh.
For a long time, we have seen a distorted thinking prevailing in the country regarding development. What was this thought? ‘Good roads should be only in a few states, certain big cities and around Delhi; All the top class educational institutions should be in big cities; And all the good hospitals should be in Delhi and not anywhere else; the big industries and businesses should be set up in large cities’. In fact, the basic facilities particularly in the hilly regions of the country used to reach only in the end, after waiting for several years. The result of that old thinking was that it created a huge imbalance of development in the country. Because of this, a large part of the country lived under inconvenience.
In the last 8 years, the country is now moving ahead with a new thinking, modern thinking, leaving behind that old thinking. Whenever I used to come here, I used to constantly notice that people here depended only on one University. And when it came to treatment or medical education, people depended on IGMC Shimla or Tata Medical College. Speaking of serious diseases or education or employment, people of Himachal were compelled to go to Chandigarh and Delhi at that time. But in the last eight years, our double engine government has taken the development story of Himachal to a new dimension. Today Himachal also has a Central University, IIT, IIIT and Indian Institute of Management (IIM). Now AIIMS, the largest institute of medical education and health in the country, is also enhancing the pride of the people of Bilaspur and Himachal.
Bilaspur AIIMS is also a symbol of another change. It will be known as Green AIIMS which is completely environment-friendly. A short while back, all our colleagues had mentioned that the previous governments used to lay the foundation stones and forget about it after the elections. Dhumal ji had organised a drive once to find all those projects whose foundation stones were laid but the work was not done.
I still remember that I was once reviewing the railways. A railway line was to be laid near Una. The decision was taken 35 years ago. There was an announcement in Parliament, but then the file was closed. Who would have questioned Himachal? But he is the son of Himachal and cannot forget Himachal. And the speciality of our government is that if the foundation stone of a project is laid, it is also going to be inaugurated. The era of stalled and slow projects are gone, friends!
Himachal has always had a great contribution in the defense of the nation. Himachal, which is known throughout the country for the heroes that protect the nation, the same Himachal is now going to play an important role in saving the lives of people with this AIIMS. Till the year 2014, there were only 3 medical colleges in Himachal, out of which 2 were government. In the last 8 years, 5 new government medical colleges have been set up in Himachal. Till 2014, only 500 students could study in under-graduate and post-graduate medical courses, today this number has increased to more than 1200, that is, more than double. Every year many new doctors will come out of AIIMS and the youth associated with nursing will get training here. And I have to particularly congratulate Jairam ji's team, Jairam ji, the Minister of Health, Government of India and the Ministry of Health. We had taken this decision when Nadda ji was the Health Minister. So, he had a huge responsibility. I had also laid the foundation stone here. That was the period of the terrible corona pandemic. On top of that we know that it is difficult to do construction work in Himachal by bringing every single thing on the mountains. The work which is done in an hour on plains takes a day to be completed here in the mountains. Despite that and despite the Corona pandemic, the Ministry of Health of the Government of India and the team of the State Government under Jairam ji have successfully completed AIIMS. And today AIIMS has started functioning too.
Not only the medical college, we have moved in another direction as well. Himachal's role as a manufacturer of medicines and life saving vaccines is also being greatly expanded. Only three states of the country have been selected for the Bulk Drug Parks scheme and which state is one of them? Yes, it is Himachal. Are you proud of it or not? Is this the foundation stone for a brighter future of your children or not? Is this a guarantee of a bright future for your children or not? We work diligently not only for the present generation but also for the next generation.
Similarly, 4 states have been selected for Medical Device Park, where technology is being used extensively in medicine. Four states have been selected in the country to make special types of tools. India is such a vast country with a huge population, while Himachal is a very small state. But this is the land of heroes and I have had my share of food in this place. So, I must give back. And so can you guess where the fourth medical device park is being built? Friends, the fourth medical device park is being built in Himachal. Various stalwarts from all over the world will come here. The foundation stone of this medical device park in Nalagarh is part of this project. Thousands of crores of rupees will be invested here for the construction of this device park. Many small and medium scale enterprises related to this will develop nearby. This will provide employment opportunities to thousands of youngsters here.
There is another side of Himachal in which infinite possibilities of development are hidden and that is medical tourism. The climate here, the weather, the environment, the herbs here are suitable for good health. Today India is becoming a major centre of attraction for the world in terms of medical tourism. When the people of the country and the world want to come to India for medical treatment, the natural beauty of this place is such that they would want to tour the place. In a way, they will benefit in two ways, one is health and the other is tourism. So, Himachal is profiting in both the ways.
The central government is trying to ensure that the cost of the treatment of the poor and middle class is minimized, the quality of treatment is better and the treatment is accessible in close proximity. So today we are working on a seamless connectivity by building AIIMS Medical College, critical care facilities in district hospitals as well as health and wellness centres in villages. These aspects are being emphasized now. Under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, most of the families of Himachal are getting free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh.
Under this scheme, so far 3 crore 60 lakh poor patients have been given free treatment across the country, and out of this 1.5 lakh beneficiaries are from Himachal. So far, the government has spent more than 45 thousand crore rupees on the treatment of all these people in the country. If there was no Ayushman Bharat scheme, then these poor families would have had to pay almost double of it i.e. about 90 thousand crore rupees from their pockets for treatment. That is, the poor and middle class families are getting the best treatment and saving so much money on healthcare.
I am delighted for another reason too. Our mothers, sisters and daughters have benefitted the most with such government schemes. And we are aware that despite a lot of pain and trouble in the body, our mother and sisters have a nature of keeping mum about it. They do not tell anyone in the family. They tolerate the pain, keep working; and they take care of the whole family. It is because they feel that if the family members come to know about the disease or the children find it out, then they would get them treated after taking loans. The Mother thinks that she would bear the illness but wouldn't let her children go in debt. So she would not spend money on hospitals. Who will think about these mothers? Should these mothers continue to suffer from such misery silently? What is the use of a son like me then? Therefore, in the same spirit the Ayushman Bharat scheme was born so that my mothers and sisters do not have to live with the burden of illnesses. Mothers and sisters form more than 50 percent of the beneficiaries under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
Whether it is the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to build toilets, the Ujjwala scheme to provide free gas connections, the campaign to provide free sanitary napkins, the assistance worth thousands of rupees for nutritious food to every pregnant woman under the Matru Vandana Yojana, or be it our campaign to supply tapped water at homes, we are doing all these works one after the other to empower my mothers and sisters. The happiness, convenience, respect, safety and health of mothers-sisters-daughters is the biggest priority of the government of double engine.
Jairam ji and his entire team have brought the schemes formulated by the central government on the ground at a very fast pace and with great spirit have also expanded their scope. It is right in front of all of us. The work of providing tapped water to every house has been completed at a very fast pace. In the last 3 years we have given more than double the number of tap connections provided to Himachal in the last 7 decades. In these three years, more than 8.5 lakh new families have got piped water facilities.
Brothers & Sisters,
The nation is appreciating Jairam ji and his team a lot for another aspect. That is for expanding the efforts of the central government regarding social security. Today, there is hardly any family in Himachal, where one or the other member does not get the facility of pension. The efforts to provide assistance related to pension and medical expenses to such families, especially to those who are destitute or have some serious illnesses, are commendable. Thousands of families of Himachal Pradesh have also benefitted immensely from the implementation of ‘One-Rank One-Pension’.
Himachal is a land of opportunities. And I would like to congratulate Jairam ji once more. Vaccination work is going on all over the country but Himachal is the first state in the country which has completed 100% vaccination for your safety. Hence, there is no room for lackadaisical work. Once decided, it has to be done.
Here electricity is generated from hydro power. There is fertile land for fruits and vegetables. And tourism provides endless employment opportunities here. Lack of better connectivity was the biggest hurdle in front of these opportunities. Since 2014, efforts were being made to bring the best infrastructure in every village of Himachal Pradesh. Today the work of widening the roads of Himachal is also going on everywhere. At present, about 50 thousand crore rupees are being spent on connectivity projects in Himachal. When the work of four lane highway from Pinjore to Nalagarh will be completed, then not only the industrial areas like Nalagarh and Baddi will be benefited, but the passengers travelling from Chandigarh and Ambala towards Bilaspur, Mandi and Manali will also be benefitted. Moreover, a network of tunnels is also being laid to free the people of Himachal from the curved roads.
Unprecedented work has also been done in Himachal in terms of digital connectivity. In the last 8 years, not only the 'Made in India' mobile phones have become cheaper but the network has also reached every village. Himachal Pradesh is also moving very fast in terms of digital transactions due to better 4G connectivity. The maximum benefit of the 'Digital India' campaign is being reaped by my brothers and sisters of Himachal. Earlier the people had to go to the offices located in the plains for every little work like paying bills, or bank related work, admissions, or applications. It used to take a day or so. Sometimes one had to stay overnight. Now for the first time in the country, 'Made in India' 5G services have also started, the benefit of which is going to reach Himachal very soon.
I congratulate Himachal for the laws framed and changed by India regarding drones. Himachal is the first state in the country, which has made the state's drone policy. Now the use of drones for transportation is going to increase tremendously. For example, we can pick up the potatoes from Kinnaur with drones and bring them to some big market in a very short time. Our fruits used to perish but now can be picked up by drones. There are going to be several advantages in the coming days. We are striving for this type of development, which increases the convenience of every citizen and every citizen is linked to prosperity. This will fulfil the resolve of a 'developed India' and a developed Himachal Pradesh.
I am glad that on the auspicious festival of Vijayadashami, I have got the opportunity to sound the bugle of victory amidst the blessings of all of you. I once again congratulate you all for all the development projects including AIIMS. Say aloud with me with both the fists closed -
Bharat Mata Ki Jai! Say it loudly -
Bharat Mata Ki Jai!
Bharat Mata Ki Jai!
Bharat Mata Ki Jai!
Thanks a lot!