Hearty greetings to all the people of Devbhoomi on Himachal Day!
What a wonderful coincidence that during the 75th year of the country's independence, Himachal Pradesh is also celebrating its 75th Foundation Day! On 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav', all our efforts are underway to ensure that the nectar of development continues to reach every person of Himachal Pradesh.
Atal ji had once written about Himachal-
बर्फ ढंकी पर्वतमालाएं,
नदियां, झरने, जंगल,
किन्नरियों का देश,
देवता डोलें पल-पल !
Fortunately, I too have got the opportunity to witness the priceless gifts of nature, manifestation of human ability and to live among the hardworking and diligent people of Himachal who have to build their own fortune by taming difficult hilly terrains.
When Himachal Pradesh was formed in 1948, it was posed with herculean challenges.
Being a small mountainous region, with difficult conditions and tough terrain, there were more challenges than possibilities. But the diligent, honest and hardworking people of Himachal had converted this challenge into opportunities. Many parameters like horticulture, surplus power, literacy rate, rural road network, door-to-door water and electricity facilities show the progress of this hill state.
For the last 7-8 years, the Central Government has been making relentless efforts to ensure that the condition of Himachal, the facilities there are made better. The double engine government has taken the initiative of expanding rural roads, widening of highway, and expansion of railway network in collaboration with our young colleague, Himachal's popular Chief Minister Jairam ji and the results of the same are now visible. As connectivity is getting better, Himachal's tourism is entering new areas and new regions. Each new region is coming up with new experiences in terms of nature, culture and adventure for the tourists, and opening up endless possibilities of employment and self-employment for the locals. The health facilities are being improved and we have seen the result of the same in the form of rapid vaccination drive against coronavirus.
Now we have to work at a rapid pace to bring out the full potential of Himachal Pradesh. In the coming 25 years, we will see the completion of 100 years of the formation of Himachal Pradesh as well as the country's independence. This is the "Amritkal' of new resolutions for us. In this period, we have to take Himachal further in areas like tourism, higher education, research, IT, bio-technology, food-processing and natural farming. Himachal Pradesh will also benefit greatly from the Vibrant Village Scheme and Parvatmala Yojana announced in this year's budget. These schemes will also increase remote connectivity, promote tourism and create new employment opportunities in Himachal Pradesh. We need to expand the greenery of Himachal and make the forests richer. The excellent work done regarding toilets should now encourage other parameters of cleanliness too. For this, public participation will have to be increased further.
The welfare schemes of the Centre have been very well propagated by Jairam ji's government and his entire team. Himachal has done a commendable job especially in terms of social security. Honest leadership, peace loving environment, blessings of gods and goddesses and the hardworking people of Himachal; everything is unparalleled. Himachal Pradesh has everything needed for rapid development. I hope Himachal continues to contribute in building a prosperous and strong India!
Thanks a lot!