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Allocating budgets will not suffice. We need to make focused efforts at developing the tribal belt of Gujarat

Upliftment of the tribal population and development of the regions they reside in was at the core of the hour-long speech by Shri Narendra Modi at Mahatma Mandir. Organized by the Tribal Development Department of Gujarat, the event had Shri Modi addressing a workshop on ‘Vanbandhu Kalyan and Developing Talukas: Marching Ahead’ in the morning hours of 19th December.

Underscoring the phenomenal growth of Gujarat on various fronts, Shri Modi emphasized on the need for more focused efforts towards development of the State’s tribal belt. “This is possible only if we link things, take a holistic approach and initiate comprehensive efforts at bettering the way-of-life for the tribal population of Gujarat,” said Shri Modi.

Urging the audience to do their bit towards improving the lives of the underprivileged, Shri Modi cited the example of Kutch and its transformation in the past decade and how it had contributed to a rise in tourism. “With places of religious significance, the tribal belt from Umargam to Ambaji entails tremendous scope for tourism. A step further can also be taken by developing prospects for adventure tourism. After the emphasis on eco tourism, the shift now needs to be made to adventure tourism, as this will attract the current-day generation to visit these spots, and thus promote better financial prospects for this region,” said Shri Modi.

Underscoring the agricultural brilliance of this region, Shri Modi said, “The agricultural produce of this region is devoid of any chemicals. Taking this forward, we should look at branding the produce as organic and promoting it across the world, resulting in revenue generation for the Adivasis. Also, efforts at training the farmers to improve productivity, without compromising on nutrition, and providing them with marketable opportunities, should be our focus,” emphasized Shri Modi.

“With extensive advertising and promotion, we have drawn the attention of everyone to Saputara. Tourism increased by manifold and even led to employment creation. When Saputara develops where does the money go? It fills the stomachs of our tribal brothers and sisters,” said Shri Narendra Modi, while citing the tremendous development potential put forth by Saputara. He asked the audience to direct their efforts and focus upon practical solutions towards improving the tribal segment. “Allocating budgets will not suffice. We need to be determined to develop these areas on various fronts, one of which could be water, wherein the concept of ‘terrace talavdi’ – prevalent across the tribal stretch – could be given an impetus. This will, in turn, boost other related segments like agriculture, animal husbandry and poultry farming. Yet another segment worth putting a focus on is the dairy industry, wherein focused efforts could lead to an increase in the financial situation of the tribal populace. Teaching tribal kids and training them in sports, promoting modernization in farming in regions like Dahod, and allocating funds, which is nearly 40,000 crores, in the right manner, will go a long way in promoting development of the tribal belt. A revolutionary change can be brought only if we look at the scenario in a holistic manner. Rather than taking only economic development as the goal, we should focus equally upon the aspect of human development index,” said Shri Modi.

Other workable efforts put forth by Shri Modi included proactive efforts at the taluka level, with brainstorming sessions on the development of the taluka through active contribution from one and all, and the resuming of the Wadi project which empowered the tribal women. “We should have detailed brainstorming on how to develop Talukas more. A roadmap can be prepared,” said Shri Modi. Applauding the Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana, Shri Modi encouraged the audience to contribute and develop it as the benchmark for quality of life, sustainable growth and a matter of pride for the nation.

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