Bharat Mata ki – Jai, Bharat Mata ki – Jai, Bharat Mata ki – Jai
The soft spoken and popular Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Bhupendra bhai Patel, my senior colleague in Parliament and MP from Navsari and your representative Shri C.R. Patil who made Navsari proud by winning with the biggest margin in the last elections, my colleague in the Union Cabinet Darshana ji, Ministers of the Government of India, MPs and MLAs, all the Ministers of the State Government and my dear brothers and sisters who have come here in large numbers!
Today I am taking special pride in the Gujarat Gaurav Abhiyan that such a huge program could never happen in a tribal area even when I was Chief Minister for so many years. Today I am proud of the fact that the people who took responsibility for Gujarat after I left the state, especially Bhupendrabhai and C.R., are instilling new confidence with zeal and enthusiasm and as a result there are more than five lakh people in front of me. I am proud of the fact that my friends are able to do what I could not do during my tenure and your love is growing continuously. And that's why I am extremely proud. I bow my head to Unai Mata Temple from this holy land of Navsari! I am privileged to be a part of the Gujarat Gaurav Abhiyan on this land which boasts of tribal potential and resolve. Gujarat takes pride in the rapid development that has taken place in the last two decades and new aspirations as a result of this development. The double-engine government is sincerely carrying forward this glorious tradition.
Today, I have got an opportunity to launch and lay the foundation stone of projects worth more than Rs 3,000 crores. I am grateful to Bhupendrabhai and the state government for inviting me to join this sacred service. All these projects will make life easier for crores of friends of South Gujarat, including Navsari, Tapi, Surat and Valsad. The projects related to electricity, water, road, health, education and all types of connectivity, especially in our tribal areas, will create new employment opportunities. Today I congratulate all my brothers and sisters of this region and Gujarat for all these development projects.
Brothers and sisters,
You sent me to Delhi eight years ago for the service of the nation with blessings and expectations. In the last eight years, we have succeeded in aligning crores of new people and many new areas with the dreams and aspirations of development. There was a time when our poor, Dalit, deprived, backward, tribal, women, all of them, used to spend their entire life in fulfilling their basic needs. Those who governed for the maximum time during this long period of independence did not make development their priority. They did not develop the regions, the sections, which needed it the most, because it takes a little more effort to do this work. Villages and tribal areas were deprived of the roads. Most of the poor families who got pucca house, electricity, toilets and gas connection in the last eight years were my tribal, Dalit and backward brothers and sisters. Our villages, poor and tribal brothers and sisters were deprived of pure drinking water. It would take years for any vaccination campaign to reach villages, poor and tribal areas. Though the vaccination campaign used to make it to the cities and it used to be applauded in TV news channels and newspapers. But the remote areas remained deprived. Now tell me my brothers of Gujarat, have you been vaccinated. Raise your hands and tell me whether everyone got it for free or not. Did you need to pay? The concern about the far-flung forests is in our culture.
The absence of banking services was also the highest in the village and tribal areas. In the last 8 years, our government has laid maximum emphasis on the welfare of the poor, on providing basic facilities to the poor, following the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’.
Now our government has started a 100 percent empowerment campaign for the poor. No poor or tribal should be left out of the benefits of any scheme made for him and he should definitely get its benefit. Now our government is working in this direction at a fast pace.
I got a bit delayed here because I was listening to the tribal brothers and sisters of our region regarding their well-being and problems. I was trying to understand how they benefited from the government schemes. When you connect with the masses then the support for development also grows. The double- engine government of Gujarat is engaged in the campaign of cent percent empowerment with full force. I congratulate Bhupendrabhai, CR Patil and their entire team.
My memories are getting refreshed today as I have come to Chikhli after a long time. I have a long relationship with you. Since there were no proper means of transport in those days, I would get off the bus with a bag on my shoulder and would visit the families in so many villages. I don’t remember remaining hungry ever when I used to be among you for so many years. This love and blessing is my strength. I got an opportunity to work among tribal brothers and I learnt a lot from them. There is solidarity, cleanliness, discipline among tribal brothers and sisters. You go to Dang or any other tribal region and you will find everybody walking in a line whether it is morning, evening or night. They follow each other. There is reasoning behind it. Today the tribal society has emerged as believing in community life, assimilating the ideals and protecting the environment.
Today, everybody mentioned about projects worth 3,000 crore rupees. I remember there was a time when Gujarat had a Chief Minister from the tribal region and there was not even a water tank in his own village. Hand pumps that were installed would dry up within 12 months due to depositories. When I assumed office in Gujarat then I built a water tank in his village. There was a time when a Chief Minister of Gujarat had built a water tank in Jamnagar. There were huge pictures on the front page of newspapers of Gujarat that the Chief Minister inaugurated a water tank. I have seen those days.
Today I feel proud that I am inaugurating projects worth 3,000 crore rupees in the tribal region. When we do anything, there are people who link it with elections. I challenge anybody to find a single week during my tenure when no development work was carried out. You won’t find such a single week throughout my 22-23 years of tenure in governance. But those who only pick up faults feel that all this is happening because of impending elections. Why I am saying this because when I came up with a huge water project for this tribal region in 2018, many people remarked that elections are due in 2019 and therefore, Mr. Modi is enticing people. Today I am proud that those people turned out to be liars. Today, I have made drinking water accessible here. At that time, no one could digest it. Even C.R. and Bhupendrabhai had doubts. Generally, there is a slope of three to four feet, but this was like climbing a 200-storey mountain. To draw water from the bottom and take it atop the hills! If somebody eyes elections, why would he take so much trouble for just 200-300 votes? He would spend his energy somewhere else. We are not interested in winning elections. We want the welfare of the people of the country. It is the people who win elections for us. We are in governance because of the blessings of the people. The Astol Water Supply Project is a marvel in the world of engineering. Similarly, it is the project in Dhanki in Surendranagar district! I would urge the technical students from colleges and engineering universities to study the way we have ensured water here and the Narmada water in Dhanki. Professors should also visit this place and see how the water is brought to the hills despite the hurdles and how to augment the water level by installing pumps. It is an amazing achievement.
I have lived beyond Dharampur and in Saputara also. Despite a good rainfall, water was not in our destiny as it used to flow away. We decided to ensure drinking water for our tribal brothers settled in remote areas, hilly regions and forests. We launched such a huge campaign for them. This is not the campaign for elections. We always maintain that we inaugurate a project whose foundation stone we lay. And today I am privileged to inaugurate this project also. This is our commitment to live for the people. We are not the ones who waste time in political ups and downs. For us, being in the government is an opportunity to serve people and think about their welfare.
Covid engulfed the entire world, but India is the only nation to administer 200 crore doses of vaccines. Today people feel empowered when water reaches Sandalpore, Khergam, Rumla and Mandvi. Today foundation stones of so many projects have been laid which will relieve the problems of more than 11 lakh people. The drinking water projects, whose foundation stones have been laid today, will ensure water to more than 14 lakh people in Jesingpura, Naranpura and Songadh. Those who are 20-25 years old would not be aware of the water crisis here. Their fathers and grandparents have gone through those troubles. But I do not want the new generation to suffer such problems. They should have a progressive life full of happiness. In the past, whenever there was demand for water, an MLA would get the hand pump installed and inaugurate it. And within six months, instead of water the hand pump would release air only. Was it not happening? One would be tired of moving the handle of the pump up and down, but water would not come out. Today, we are providing water through taps. I remember the entire tribal belt from Umargam to Ambaji did not have a single science school. The belt had people from upper class, OBC and tribal communities as well. And if somebody gives speeches regarding a proposed medical or engineering college without a science school, will it do any good? This is the first thing I did in 2001. I built science schools so that my tribal children could also become engineers and doctors. I am proud today that what we started as science schools are now leading to medical and engineering colleges. Today universities are being built in the tribal belt. Govindguru University, Birsa Munda University in the tribal region!
One has to go far and wide in the forests for the sake of development. And we have done this. We plan to change the lives of lakhs of people, whether it is building roads or laying optical fiber. Today Navsari and Dang districts are benefiting the most because of such projects. I have to especially congratulate Dang district and south Gujarat. I congratulate Dang district for taking up natural farming and doing wonders. More than 10 lakh people in Navsari are going to benefit from a hospital and medical college being built at the cost of more than Rs 500 crore. Now it is not necessary to study English if we have to ensure a bright future for our tribal brothers and sisters or the sons of tribal communities, OBCs and backwards wishing to become doctors. They will become doctors by studying in their mother tongue. Brothers, when I was in Gujarat, we started Vanbandhu Yojana. Today the fourth phase of Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana is going on under the leadership of our Bhupendrabhai. This is an example of how the speedy development of tribal areas is ensured with a package of 14,000 crore rupees. This is happening under the leadership of Bhupendrabhai government. I remember I launched WADI project here near Valsad. The then President Abdul Kalam ji spent the entire day on his birthday and reviewed the WADI project here. He reviewed the entire project and told me that ‘Modi ji, you are really changing the lives of the people of the villages’. The tribal brothers and sisters had very little land, barely half an acre where nothing grows. But they did the cashew cultivation under the WADI project. This has happened here.
Brothers and sisters, development should be all-round, universal and all-encompassing. We are working in that direction. There are many such projects happening on the soil of Gujarat today. It gives me strength to work for you when you come in such a large number to bless me. It is the blessings of mothers and sisters which propel me to do more. We have to take Gujarat and India forward with this strength. I thank you very much for your blessings. I also congratulate the state government for undertaking such progressive projects in a time-bound manner and reaching the last mile people of society. Wishing you all the very best.
Bharat Mata ki Jai, Bharat Mata ki Jai, Bharat Mata ki Jai.