Bharat Mata Ki Jai!
Bharat Mata Ki Jai!
All of you have come from different corners of the district to bless us all and I was told that you have all been here for about two and a half to three hours. Your patience, this love, your enthusiasm and joy and this entire atmosphere gives me a new strength and energy to work for you. It gives me new confidence. So, first of all my heartiest greetings to all of you!
For the last twenty years all of you have given me your support and your love. I am fortunate to have this warm relationship with you. And everything has been given to me by the tribal brothers, sisters and mothers. Probably no one else in politics has this kind of fortune. And you have showered me with this relentless and unconditional love for 20 straight years. Therefore, no matter where I am, in Gandhinagar or Delhi, only one thought comes to my mind and that is to keep serving you at every opportunity.
Even today, projects worth hundreds of crores of rupees have either been inaugurated or their foundation stones have been laid in the entire tribal area including Tapi-Narmada. The programmes organized yesterday and today include projects that are worth more than the total annual budget of the earlier governments. It's for all of you.
This is for you only. Don't assume that we are doing this only for the bright future of your children. Your parents have spent part of their lives in the jungles. They had to live under difficult circumstances. Some of those difficulties are now gone. Yet there are some challenges that you have been facing. But I have made a promise to you. That is why I work day and night to ensure that your children do not have to suffer from the hardships that you have faced. That's why we want to develop the tribal area.
We work hard in the interests of the tribal areas and for the welfare of the tribal brothers because we have grown up with the blessings of all of you. Also, you have seen the working culture of the earlier governments in this area. You don't speak, but you know everything.
Make the comparison between the earlier Congress governments and the BJP governments of today across the country. The Congress governments were not at all concerned about your bright future. They are always concerned about elections and they make promises before elections. Later, they forget those false promises.
But the BJP government gives topmost priority to the welfare of the tribals. We work for our tribal brothers and sisters to help them become powerful and capable. We ensure that their entire region progresses in the best possible way. The nature of the Congress government was to mock the tribal tradition.
If I ever wear a traditional tribal turban or a jacket, they would make fun of the attire in their speeches. But I would like to tell the Congress leaders that they are making fun of the tribal leaders, their traditions, and their culture for political brownie points. Yes, the tribal brothers will never forget it and will give a befitting reply at the right time.
On the one hand, the Congress governments did not understand the value of the things made by the tribals whereas for the BJP governments understood the power of Van-Dhan and we wanted to ensure that the forest produce gets its real value in the world markets.
Brothers & Sisters,
Wherever the BJP government has been formed in the country, it is giving top priority to the welfare of tribals. We are the most active government compared to any other government, working in a dedicated way. Congress governments ruled for decades after independence and they have never bothered to resolve the problems of the tribal brothers and sisters. But we have always thought about the speedy development of tribal brothers and sisters and have thought about providing the best facilities to them for future development. The Congress governments have never thought about these things. We have been working relentlessly to ensure that you get maximum facilities.
As we are working to provide various facilities, I believe the Congress people will come and try to spread false propaganda. But my tribal brothers and sisters will give a befitting reply to their arrogance.
We have launched various campaigns to ensure that every house is a pucca house and has electricity, gas connection, toilets, medical centres near the house, means of earning livelihood and a playground and school for the children as well as proper roads. I remember Gujarat has done remarkable work. I still remember that when I became the CM for the first time, the people from the cities used to say - " If electricity is available at least in the evenings, we will be happy". Today, Gujarat has 24 hours electricity. So when I became the CM and decided to provide electricity, do you know which district was the first to get electricity for 24 hours? Do you remember?
In Gujarat, Dang district was the first to get 24 hours electricity under Jyoti Gram Yojana. That is, electricity was delivered to 300 villages of tribals and 24 hours electricity was given to all. The benefit was provided to every household. If there were other leaders, they would have chosen a city like Ahmedabad or Vadodara, because in that case their photographs would have been printed in the newspapers. Who would have printed their photographs in Dang? But for me, the welfare of my tribals was my greatest priority and it was a great inspiration for me as I noticed that as soon as electricity reached these places, children started showing interest in studies and the people's lives changed. Seeking inspiration from that, when I became the Prime Minister, I calculated the number of such villages in India without electricity.
We are ashamed of what these people have done. There were 18000 villages where not a single electric pole had reached. We launched a campaign and today there is not a single village in India that does not have electricity. I have learnt these things from Dang by closely watching Dang's work. Hence, the tribal area has been the biggest medium of education in public life for me. In order to develop agriculture in the tribal areas, you probably remember that we had started the Bari scheme in Valsad district.
My tribal brothers and sisters hardly have a bigha or two bighas of land and that too with potholes. Now what will they do in such a situation? You work hard and grow millets but that is not enough to even satiate your hunger. Understanding that concern, we brought the Bari scheme and even today when we go to the areas near Valsad, we can see that my tribal brothers and sisters have started cultivating cashew nuts on a small land. They are producing fruits like Mango, guava, lemon and chikoo. Now my tribal brothers are cultivating cashews which are competing with Goa.
And this Bari project has changed people's lives and its impact has reached all over the country. Our tribal brothers have produced fruits on barren land. They have started cultivating bamboo. At that time our President was Shri Abdul Kalam. He had said that he wanted to come to see this and I had invited him to come. It was his birthday. He did not avail any facility and went straight to the tribal villages of Valsad district. He witnessed the Bari project there and praised it profusely.
This Bari project has brought a sea change in the lives of our tribal people. How is the problem even for our tribal brethren? It received a lot of rainfall but the water used to run off. And there was scarcity of drinking water in the summer season. The Congress governments did not even have the time to pay attention to this. I have also seen that some of those leaders used to get water tanks built in their villages, but those water tanks were not filled even once.
I have also seen such days. When I became the CM, I ensured the filling of these tanks. I always had this habit of looking after the tribals. Like electricity, we started working in the direction of ensuring water. We had installed hand pumps everywhere and this was discussed everywhere. Today we are developing water grids. We also laid the network of canals and lift irrigation systems to supply water to the remotest tribal villages. Water was lifted from the Daba-Kantha canal to supply that to my tribal brothers and farmers. Thus, three types of crops have started growing in this area. My farmer brothers should get the benefit of this scheme worth hundreds of crores of rupees. We have ensured that this water reached my mothers and sisters in the tribal areas. As a result, the water facility has improved.
There was a time in Gujarat when only 25 out of 100 Houses had water available to them within the house. The hand-pumps also used to be far away. Today, due to the hard work of Bhupendrabhai's government in Gujarat, 100 out of 100 houses have got piped water supply. A lot of work has been done in this direction.
Brothers & Sisters,
To meet the basic needs of the tribal area, we have started the Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana. Today Mangu Bhai is with us here. I am proud to say that now he is the Governor of Madhya Pradesh. Mangu Bhai is the son of a tribal mother in Gujarat. Now he is doing welfare-related work as the Governor of Madhya Pradesh. Fortunately today, on such an auspicious occasion, he has come to this event and has blessed all of us.
When Mangu bhai was a Minister here, he had dedicated his entire life for the cause of the tribals and has been a remarkable leader. Bharatiya Janata Party has developed such a remarkable tribal leader and he is the pride of the tribal society all over the country. And as a result of the projects started under the leadership of Mangu Bhai, today in our tribal districts, in Tapi district, many of our daughters have started going to schools and colleges. Many sons and daughters of the tribal society have started studying science and are becoming doctors and engineers or have started getting into nursing courses. Now they have started going abroad too.
20-25 years ago the entire tribal area had only a few tribal ashram schools. There was no science stream in schools. If there is no science faculty in 10th-12th standard, then how would my tribal children become engineers and doctors? I pulled everyone out of this issue. Today, the children are becoming doctors and engineers and are bringing laurels to the country, the society and the tribal area with education. We have done this work. Congress did not even consider doing such things.
Brothers & Sisters,
Congress had a different way of thinking and working. We have changed the old ways of thinking and working. Yesterday in Gandhinagar in Gujarat, I inaugurated an ambitious programme named 'Mission School of Excellence'. The aim is to take world class technology to schools. In Gujarat, there will be about 4,000 such schools in the tribal areas because I have trust in our tribal sons and daughters. If they receive good quality education, they will attain great success in the world. I have complete trust in tribal sons and daughters.
We have built more than ten thousand schools in the tribal areas in the last twenty years. We have started Eklavya Model Schools and residential schools for daughters so that they can get educated. We have also arranged sports for them. Today, the sons and daughters of tribal areas organize Khel Kumbh. They even emerge victorious. This is their strength. We have developed Birsa Munda Tribal University in Narmada and Govind Guru University in Godhra for the tribal children.
We have also doubled the budget of scholarships for tribal children. The number of Eklavya Model Schools has also been increased. If the tribal children want to study abroad or get higher education, then we also have financial assistance for them.
Today our tribals are doing commendable work in major countries all over the world. The way our government has brought transparency, has engaged in corruption-free work and has brought 'Khelo India', our tribal children are seeking a plethora of opportunities.
Brothers & Sisters,
I had brought the Van Bandhu scheme to Gujarat. Bhupendrabhai is taking that scheme forward even today. More than one lakh crore rupees were spent on it from the tribal villages of Umargaon to Ambaji.
More than one lakh crore rupees was spent on the work of its second phase. And these children were provided with many new schools, medical colleges and nursing colleges one after the other. Under this scheme, Rs 2.5 lakh crores have been spent for the tribals. About 2.5 lakh houses have been built in Gujarat. We have worked to ensure that my tribal brothers get a pucca house, a land lease and its ownership as well.
Brothers & Sisters,
In the tribal areas during the last five-seven years, about 6 lakh houses and land leases have been given to one lakh tribal families. I still remember that when you gave me the opportunity to serve, the problem of malnutrition was plaguing the tribal society. The bodies of our daughters aged 11, 12 or 13 years were not developed as they should have by that age. So, we were concerned about them and through Sanjeevani Doodh Yojna, milk and food grains were delivered to every village for the children. We also started more than 1500 health centers and I have campaigned all over the country for creating awareness against diseases like sickle cell anemia. We are working to ensure the best treatment for it so that my tribal families who have been suffering from sickle cell disease for centuries can get rid of it. So, we started the Bhagirath scheme for that.
Brothers & Sisters,
We want to ensure that we are able to get rid of the diseases and that too as soon as possible. We launched the POSHAN scheme to ensure nutritious food to our children and also to the women during pregnancy. We are helping by providing kits worth thousands of rupees. Moreover, we are also running the Indradhanush scheme to get the mothers, sisters and children vaccinated so that they do not fall prey to serious diseases like Bell's palsy .
Also, during more than 2.5 years of the corona pandemic, we decided to provide free ration to the crisis-stricken poor people in the villages and forests and also the middle class people. About 80 crore people were given free ration. People around the world are stupefied on learning about this figure! We didn't let the poor go hungry. We have made such arrangements and spent Rs 3 lakh crore for the poor. No family should go hungry and no child should go to bed hungry. We are the ones who care about them.
Our mothers and sisters suffer a lot when they have to cook in the smoke coming out of the fuelwood. Sometimes, they would lose their eyesight. Therefore, we have given you gas connections and gas cylinders. I congratulate Bhupendrabhai as on Diwali we have decided to give two cylinders free to all of them. With the blessings of our mothers and sisters, we get the strength to accomplish new things. Thousands of families have benefited because of the same.
We have come up with the Ayushman Bharat scheme. If you are suffering from any disease, then this son of yours is ready to clear that medical bill of up to Rs 5 lakh. You will get Rs 5 lakh every year, not just one lakh. If you live for forty year's starting from now, you will be able to use five lakh rupees every year for your illnesses. Ayushman Yojana works like gold. Wherever you carry it, you will get money immediately from the hospitals. If you need to get operated, again this will help you out.
Plus, it is not necessary that you must avail the benefits of this scheme only in Tapi, Vyara or Surat. You can carry this golden card wherever you go - Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and so on. Simply show the card and the hospitals will open their doors for you. Brothers, we have done this work for the welfare of the poor. We want to ensure that our tribal society does not face any problem. What a great contribution our tribal society has made in the freedom movement! Several brave men have contributed to the freedom movement. And tribal leader Birsa Munda had sacrificed his life, but the previous governments have forgotten him. Several children might have heard the name of Birsa Munda for the first time. Now it has been decided to celebrate the birthday of Birsa Munda on 15th November as Tribal Pride Day.
The tribal societies have existed in the country for centuries. Mother Shabri existed during the era of Lord Rama; but no ministry for the welfare of tribals was formed in the country since independence until Atal ji's government was formed . For the first time when the BJP government was formed, a separate ministry was also formed for the tribals and a separate budget was allocated for the tribals. That is when attention was being paid to the tribals. Congress could also have done this work, but it did not do it. BJP came, created a separate budget and the ministry for the tribals. Now work is being done for their development. Atal ji's government had formulated the Gram Sadak Yojana. We built the roads to the villages of the tribal area.
Brothers & Sisters,
This double engine government is working with double will power. Our government has increased the MSP limit from 12,000 to 90,000 in all production. We have added 90 thousand things produced in our tribal areas to the list. We also prioritized the nomadic tribes. A separate board was formed for that. There were many laws in our country earlier which the British had made for their selfish interests. As a result, tribals could not even cut bamboo. If they did, they had to go behind the bars. If a tribal brother cuts bamboo and sells a bamboo product, he can earn a livelihood this way. Our government changed the old law. I pointed out that bamboo is grass, not a tree. Anyone can cultivate bamboo, cut it and sell it. This is the right of my tribals. This son of yours came and changed the laws of the British era. Today some of my tribal brothers have become the owners of bamboo cultivation. In eight years we have increased the budget for the tribal area three times. With all these efforts, tribals should be able to get employment, tribal daughters will get opportunities for progress and self-employment.
Today, the country is proud of its tribal daughter as the President. This has happened for the first time in the country. Similarly, our Mangu Bhai holds the post of Governor. We have brought this change. The tribals have made a huge contribution to the freedom struggle. They have never bent before the British. There are many such incidents regarding tribal society which have been forgotten by all. Therefore, I have decided to build incredible museums to house these stories and heritage from the tribal history of the different states. We must take the children with us to these museums and tell them about the sacrifices and contributions made by our tribal brothers during the freedom struggle. So we must feel proud of it and seek their blessings. I want to teach the same to our future generations.
Brothers and Sisters,
This double engine government is also doing a lot in the field of tourism. Let's talk about Dev Mogra. Not even a single CM of Gujarat had heard the name of Dev Mogra. I visited Dev Mogra. Now the face of Dev Mogra has changed completely. Fairs are organized there. And there are various other facilities. Similarly, now Saputara town has become a complete hub of employment.
Today the Statue of Unity has become the hub of employment for the tribals of the entire region. There has been a lot of development going on. Today, a road connecting the two is being built for this. Even pilgrimage areas will lie on the route. Just look at the number of ways by which the tribal population will be able to earn. Now the old days are gone when my tribal brother had to live on a city's footpath to work as a labourer building roads. Now he can earn a livelihood by staying at his home. I want to provide them with such strength.
This development partnership is meant to empower the poorest of the poor. The government of double engine is continuously making efforts to level up the skills of our tribal youth. We are walking with the mantra of 'Everyone's efforts'. We are striving hard to ensure that even the poorest of the poor, the people in the lowest strata of the society could become a part of the development journey and the developmental society could take their responsibility.
Brothers and Sisters,
The BJP government is for the welfare of the poor and tribals. We are striving hard to work with all our hearts for the welfare of the poor, the oppressed and the backward section of the society. And that is why you all come in such large numbers to bless us. Your blessings are our energy and inspiration. Your blessing is our strength. Your blessings are our resolve to do our work. Your blessings motivate us to dedicate our lives for you; and with your blessings we will continue to walk on the path of your development in the days to come. We want to keep working for your comfort. I conclude my speech by dedicating the various development projects to you. Raise both of your hands and speaker aloud with me -
Bharat Mata Ki-Jai
Louder - Bharat Mata Ki-Jai
Louder- Bharat Mata Ki-Jai
Thanks a lot.