Hope you are doing fine. I apologize to you as I will have to speak in Hindi in the beginning, because the friends from media requested me that it would be better if I speak in Hindi. Therefore, I decided to acknowledge their request.
The soft-spoken and popular Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Bhupendrabhai Patel, my senior colleague in Parliament and President of Gujarat Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party Shri C.R. Patil, Minister in Gujarat Government Jagdish Panchal, the sons of this soil, Shri Kirtisingh Vaghela and Gajendra Singh Parmar, Members of Parliament Shri Parbatbhai, Shri Bharat Singh Dabhi and Dineshbhai Anavadia, Chairman of Banas Dairy and energetic colleague Shankar Chaudhary, other dignitaries, sisters and brothers!
I bow before this holy land of Maa Nareshwari and Maa Ambaji. I also greet all of you. This is perhaps for the first time in my life that about two lakh mothers and sisters are blessing us all today. I could not hold my emotions when you were blessing me. The blessings of the mothers of the land of Maa Jagdamba are priceless and the core of priceless power and energy. I respectfully bow to all the mothers and sisters of Banas.
Brothers and sisters,
I have been to different places here in the last one or two hours. I also interacted in great detail with the beneficiary sisters of the government schemes related to the dairy sector. I also got the opportunity to visit the new complex where the potato processing plant has been built. I am very impressed by what I saw, the discussions that took place and the information given to me during this entire period and I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the colleagues of the Banas Dairy and all of you.
Here one can experience clearly how the rural economy and the empowerment of mothers and sisters can be strengthened and how the cooperative movement can give a push to the AatmaNirbhar Bharat campaign. A few months back, I had the opportunity to lay the foundation stone of Banas Dairy Sankul in my parliamentary constituency Varanasi.
I express my heartfelt gratitude to Banas Dairy for taking the resolve from the soil of Gujarat to serve the farmers and cattle-rearers of my parliamentary constituency of Kashi. I am indebted to all of you as an MP of Kashi and I especially thank Banas Dairy from the bottom of my heart. Today my happiness has increased manifold by being a part of the program to launch the Banas Dairy Sankul here.
Brothers and sisters,
The inaugurations and foundation stones of various projects are the best examples of building the future with our traditional strength. Banas Dairy Complex, cheese and whey powder plants are important in the expansion of the dairy sector, but Banas Dairy has also proved that other resources can also be used to increase the income of local farmers.
Now tell me, is there anything to do with potatoes and milk, is there any connection? But Banas Dairy also found the connection between the two. Along with milk, buttermilk, curd, cheese, ice cream, Banas Dairy has empowered the farmers through products like Aloo-Tikki, Aloo Veg, French Fries, Hash Brown and Burger Patties. This is also a good step towards making India's local products global.
We can see how Kankrej cows, Mehsani buffalos and potatoes can change the fortunes of the farmers of Banaskantha, a district with scanty rainfall. Banas Dairy provides the best potato seeds to the farmers and also gives them better price of potato. This has opened a new avenue for potato farmers to earn crores of rupees. And it's not just limited to potatoes. I have constantly talked about Sweet Revolution and called the farmers for honey production for additional income. Banas Dairy has also adopted this seriously. It was a pleasure to know that Banas Dairy has made a great plan regarding groundnut and mustard, which is the strength of Banaskanta. Your organization is also setting up oil plants to give impetus to the government's campaign for self-sufficiency in edible oil. This is a big incentive for oilseed farmers.
Brothers and sisters,
Today a Bio-CNG plant has been inaugurated here and the foundation stone for four Gobar Gas plants has been laid. Banas Dairy is going to set up many such plants across the country. These are going to help the government's ‘Wealth from Waste’ campaign. Many goals are being achieved simultaneously through GobarDhan. It is reinforcing cleanliness in villages, cattle farmers are generating revenue from cow dung and Bio-CNG and electricity are being generated from cow dung. Importantly, the organic manure procured through this process will help the farmers a lot and will be a step towards protecting our Mother Earth. When such initiatives of Banas Dairy will reach the entire country then our rural economy and villages will be strengthened and our sisters and daughters will be empowered.
Gujarat’s pinnacle of success and development makes every Gujarati proud. I also experienced this yesterday at Vidya Samiksha Kendra in Gandhinagar. Vidya Samiksha Kendra is becoming a great force to shape the future of the children of Gujarat and our future generations. The use of technology in our government primary school is a wonder for the world.
Although I have been associated with this sector from the beginning, I had specially gone to see it in Gandhinagar on the invitation of the Gujarat government yesterday. I am very happy to see the expansion of Vidya Samiksha Kendra and the excellent use of technology. This Vidya Samiksha Kendra has emerged as a centre giving direction to the entire country under the leadership of our popular Chief Minister Shri Bhupendrabhai.
Earlier I was scheduled to be there for an hour, but I was so engrossed in understanding everything that I spent two-and-a-half hours. I also talked at length with the school children and the teachers. Many children belonged to different places - South Gujarat, North Gujarat and Kutch-Saurashtra.
Today, this Vidya Samiksha Kendra has become a center of energy, a living energy for more than 4.5 lakh teachers and more than 1.5 crore students from more than 54,000 schools of Gujarat. This center has been equipped with modern facilities like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data Analysis, etc.
Vidya Samiksha Kendra analyzes 500 crore data sets every year. Tasks related to assessment test, examination at the end of session, school recognition and attendance of children and teachers are done. Vidya Samiksha Kendra has an important role in ensuring the identical time table across all the schools in the state, setting question papers and evaluation of answer sheets. Due to this centre, the attendance of children in schools has increased by 26 percent.
This modern center can bring massive changes in the field of education in the entire country. I would also ask the concerned ministries and officials of the Government of India to study the Vidya Samiksha Kendra. The concerned ministries of different states should also come to Gandhinagar and study its mechanism. The more children of the country get the benefit of the modern system like Vidya Samiksha Kendra, the more bright the future of India will be.
Now I should concentrate on Banas. When I have to visit the land of Banas, I bow my head respectfully to Shri Galba Kaka for conceptualizing Banas Dairy. The dream of Galba Kaka, the farmer’s son, about 60 years ago, has become a huge banyan tree today. He has created a new economic power for every household of Banaskantha. Therefore, I pay my respects to Galba Kaka. I also salute the mothers and sisters of Banaskantha for taking care of animals like their own children. The mothers and sisters of my Banaskantha themselves hesitate to drink water if the cattle do not get fodder or water. They do not leave the cattle alone even if they have to leave their houses for attending any marriage in their family or festival. It is the result of renunciation and penance of mothers and sisters that Banas has flourished today. Therefore, I respectfully bow to the mothers and sisters of Banaskantha.
Banas Dairy did commendable work even during Corona. It built a medical college in the name of Galba Kaka and now it is focusing on potatoes, animals, milk, cow dung, honey and runs the energy center. It is now engaged in the education of the children. In a way, the cooperative movement of Banas Dairy has become the center of a bright future for the entire Banaskantha. There should be a vision for that too and it is evident the way Banas Dairy has expanded in the last seven-eight years. It is due to my belief in Banas Dairy that I was always present in any program when I was Chief Minister and now that you have sent me to Delhi I have not even deserted you. I was always with you in your moments of happiness and sorrow.
Today Banas Dairy is working in UP, Haryana, Rajasthan and Odisha from the land of Somnath to Jagannath, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand to give maximum benefits to their cattle rearers. Being the world's largest milk producing country, the livelihood of crores of farmers depends on milk. Even the top economists do not pay attention to the figures regarding this industry. In our country, 8.5 lakh crore tonnes of milk is produced annually. The decentralized economic system in villages is an example of this. The production of wheat and rice is also not 8.5 lakh crores tonnes compared to milk production. The milk production is much more than that. And small farmers having two-three-five bighas of land get the maximum benefit of the dairy sector. Life becomes difficult for our farmer brothers when there is no rain or shortage of water. In such a situation, the farmers feed the family by rearing cattle. This dairy has taken utmost care of small farmers. I went to Delhi with this upbringing regarding the concerns of small farmers. I took responsibility of small farmers of the entire country, and today, I deposit two thousand rupees directly in the accounts of farmers thrice a year.
A former Prime Minister earlier said that only 15 paise out of one rupee from Delhi reaches people. And this Prime Minister says that out of every rupee spent by the Centre, the entire 100 paise reaches the beneficiaries and money is deposited into the accounts of the farmers. I congratulate everybody from my heart to the Government of India, the Government of Gujarat and the cooperative movement of Gujarat for doing all these things together. They should be applauded.
Just now Bhupendrabhai referred to organic farming very passionately. This is my experience that once people of Banaskantha get to understand something, they do not back out. Initially, it requires hard work. I remember I was tired of telling people to abandon electricity. The people of Banas used to think that Modi does not know anything and used to oppose me. But when the farmers of Banas finally realized its benefits, they went 10 steps ahead of me. They launched a huge campaign to preserve water, adopted drip irrigation and today the people of Banaskantha are bringing revolutionary changes in the field of farming.
I have full faith that people will consider the waters of Maa Narmada in Banas as the god’s offering. The country is celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav of freedom on the occasion of 75 years of independence. I urge the people of Banas to build 75 huge ponds so that there is enough water in this dry land after a spell of one or two good rains. If you make such arrangements and make a beginning to build ponds, this land will become virtuous. I expect the people to run a massive campaign in this regard in the next two-three months before the arrival of the rainy season in June so that all the 75 ponds are brimming with water by August 15, 2023 on the occasion of the Amrit Mahotsav of freedom. As a result, we will overcome minor problems. I am your companion like somebody who works in the field. Therefore, I want to work with you as a companion by standing with you.
Now Nada Bet has become a centre of tourism. Gujarat has shown the example how to develop the border district of India. The Rann festival on the border of Kutch has made the villages of the entire region economically vibrant. With the launch of the border viewing point at Nada Bet, all the villages along the border of Banas and Patan districts will come to life with tourism. There will be several opportunities for livelihood even in the remotest villages. This is the best example how there can be many avenues for development and how can we bring changes in the most difficult situation by remaining in the lap of nature. I am offering this priceless gem to the citizens of Gujarat and the country. I am also grateful to Banas Dairy for inviting me for this program. Raise your hands and say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ loudly.
Bharat Mata ki – Jai, Bharat Mata ki – Jai!