At the outset the Prime MInister said that today, for him, is a day of Matru Vandana (mother worship). He started his day by seeking blessings from his mother who entered her 100th year today. After that, he inaugurated the redeveloped temple of Shree Kalika Mata at Pavagadh Hill, where he prayed for the country and asked the goddess for strength to serve the country and realisation of the country’s pledges in the Amrit Kaal. He then bowed to the vast ‘Matru Shakti’ present on the occasion.
Noting the 21000 crore rupees worth projects of today’s programme, the Prime Minister said that these projects will give strength to the conception of India’s development through Gujarat’s development. He said that this huge investment in maternal health, houses for the poor, connectivity and higher education will give a boost to the industrial development of Gujarat. Many of these projects, he said, are related to the health, nutrition and empowerment of women. He said today, the efforts of the double engine government to make women empowerment the fulcrum of development got a new push by the blessings of Maa Kalika. “Rapid development of women, their empowerment is equally important for the rapid development of 21st century India. Today India is making plans and taking decisions keeping in mind the needs and aspirations of women”, he said while recognizing many familiar faces in the gathering. The Prime MInister said that opportunities have been thrown open in all the sectors for women and the government has made schemes for the empowerment of women keeping in mind every phase of their life cycle. “Vadodara is a suitable city for the celebration of matru shakti because it is a city giving sanskars like a mother. Vadodara is a city of Sanskaras.This city takes care of those who come here in every way, supports them in happiness and sorrow and gives opportunities to move forward.” This city, said the Prime Minister, has inspired personalities like Swami Vivekananda, Maharishi Arvind, Vinoba Bhave and Babasaheb Ambedakar. Shri Modi also recalled the role that the city played in his personal journey. He also said that in 2014 he was blessed by both Vodadara and Kashi Vishvanath. He reiterated the importance of maternal and women health. Mother’s health is important not only for her but for the entire family, especially for the child. “Malnutrition was a big challenge here two decades ago when Gujarat gave me the opportunity to serve. Since then we started working in this direction one after the other, whose fruitful results are being seen today”, he added. The Prime Minister also talked about measures to deal with the sickle-cell problem in tribal areas. He said that the decision to celebrate September as ‘Poshan Mah’ -nutrition month will help the women in Gujarat. Beyond nutrition, the government has worked to provide a conducive environment to women through schemes like Swachh Bharat and Ujjwala.
“We have tried to give more opportunities in the decision making space, to promote women in Gujarat at every level. Understanding the management ability of women, sisters have been given leadership roles in many projects related to the village”, The Prime MInister continued. He also reiterated the commitment to ensure a central role for the women in the financial decision making of the family. Jan Dhan Accounts, Mudra Yojna and swarojgar Yojana are contributing towards this cause. Shri Modi also listed measures for the welfare of the urban poor and middle class. Urban poor families have already received 7.5 lakh houses. 4.5 lakh middle class families have received help in construction of houses, he said. Schemes for fair rent and Swanidhi Yojna are also helping the rural poor and middle class segment, the Prime MInister emphasized. Along with welfare measures work is on for industrial and infrastructure development of the state, he pointed out.
The Prime Minister said that the measures for tourism development in Gujarat will benefit Vadodara a great deal . Pavagadh, Kevadia have been developed as tourism hubs. Vadodara is witnessing massive improvement in railways and aviation infrastructure. Similarly, with Central university, Rail University, Birsa Munda Tribal University is bringing new energy in the education sector, the Prime Minister said.
Details of the Programmes:
The Prime Minister dedicated and laid the foundation stone of various Railway projects worth over Rs 16,000 crores. These include dedication to the nation of 357 Km long New Palanpur – Madar Section of Dedicated Freight Corridor; Gauge Conversion of 166 Km long Ahmedabad–Botad Section; electrification of 81 Km long Palanpur – Mitha Section, among others. The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of redevelopment of Surat, Udhna, Somnath & Sabarmati Stations, along with foundation stones of other initiatives in the railway sector. These projects will help lower logistics cost and boost industry and agriculture sector in the region. They will also improve connectivity in the region and enhance passenger amenities.
Under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, a total of 1.38 lakh houses will be dedicated by the Prime Minister, including houses worth around Rs 1,800 crore in urban areas and houses worth over Rs 1,530 crores in rural areas. In addition, Khat Muhurat of around 3000 houses worth over Rs 310 crores was also done.
During the programme, the Prime Minister dedicated and laid the foundation stone of various development works at Kheda, Anand, Vadodara, Chhota Udepur, and Panchmahal, worth over Rs 680 crore, which are aimed at furthering ease of living in the region.
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of Gujarat Central University in Kundhela village of Dabhoi taluka of Gujarat. Located at about 20 km from Vadodara city, the University will be constructed at a cost of around Rs 425 crores and will cater to higher education needs of over 2500 students.
With a focus on improving maternal and child health, the Prime Minister launched ‘Mukhyamantri Matrushakti Yojana’, which will have an outlay of Rs 800 crores. Under the scheme, pregnant and lactating mothers will be given 2 kg of chickpeas, 1 kg of tur dal and 1 kg of edible oil free of cost from Anganwadi Centres every month. The Prime Minister also dispersed around Rs 120 crores towards ‘Poshan Sudha Yojana’, which is now being extended to all tribal beneficiaries in the state. This step is being taken after the success of the experiment of providing pregnant and lactating mothers from tribal districts with Iron and Calcium tablets and education on nutrition.