Address at the felicitation of the Padma Awardees and winners of National Bravery Awards from Maharashtra
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the felicitation of the Padma Awardees and winners of National Bravery Awards from Maharashtra organised by the Vasantrao Naik Agricultural Research and Rural Development Foundation at Darbar Hall, Raj Bhavan, Mumbai at 5.30 pm on 11 May 2016
Dr B R Barwale, President, Vasantrao Naik Foundation, Shri Avinash Naik, Executive President, Smt Bakul Patel, Dr N P Hirani, Advocate Nilay Naik, Shri Mushtaq Antulay, Shri Deepak Patil, Advocate V B Patwardhan, all distinguished Padma Awardees from Maharashtra, all young recipients of National Bravery Awards from the State, invitees, ladies and gentlemen,
Good evening and a warm welcome to all of you to Raj Bhavan.
I am very happy to meet all of you and to share your joy on your being conferred the Padma Awards and the other National Awards. We were pleased to watch you receiving the prestigious award from the Hon’ble President of India at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
This function is unique, as it provides us an opportunity to convey our collective appreciation to all the recipients of the Padma Awards and the Bravery Awards. This felicitation, organised in the Darbar Hall, is a pat from the State for your outstanding achievement and a gesture to say, ‘We are proud of you’ !!.
I congratulate all the recipients of Padma Bhushan Awards, recipients of the Padmashree Awards and also the young recipients of the National Bravery Awards from Maharashtra for doing the State proud.
For nearly three decades, the Vasantrao Naik Agricultural Research and Rural Development Foundation has been felicitating the recipients of the Padma Awards and also those of other National Awards.
As the name of the Foundation suggests, the Foundation is also helping the cause of Rural Development and Agricultural Research by honouring scientists and researchers in the field of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.
I congratulate the Foundation for honouring excellence in various walks of life and for continuing the tradition of felicitating the National Awardees from Maharashtra.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today’s programme began with the Singing of the Maharashtra Geet, “जय जय महाराष्ट्र माझा, गर्जा महाराष्ट्र माझा”
These magical lines arouse a feeling of pride for the State among each one of us. These lines also remind me of formation of Maharashtra.
Many of you might be aware that it was in this Raj Bhavan premises that India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had unveiled the map of Maharashtra on the 1st of May 1960, and announced the formation of the State of Maharashtra.
On the 56th anniversary of Maharashtra Foundation Day, on 1st May this year, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis and I installed a plaque at the very place from where the formation of the new State of Maharashtra was announced.
We have also raised a 150 feet tall flag post to fly the National Flag at the place. I invite all of you to visit the place and take inspiration from the Flag before leaving Raj Bhavan.
During the last 56 years, Maharashtra has made spectacular progress in terms of economic and human development. We have further strengthened our position as the economic power-house of the country. We have succeeded in improving the standards of living of our people as reflected by various indicators of socio-economic development.
Mumbai is often referred as the financial capital of India. But I want to assert that Maharashtra is also the cultural capital of India. The State has maintained its leadership in music, dance, fine arts, folk arts, tribal arts and other performing arts and literature.
The Indian film industry based in Mumbai has earned universal acclaim because of its popularity and appeal in the entire world. As Governor, I often meet foreign dignitaries coming to Mumbai. They invariably mention about Bollywood and they are keen to invite Bollywood film crews to their country for shooting.
The State has been a land of Saints and social reformers. This is also a land of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Mahatma Phule, Shahu Maharaj, Lokmanya Tilak, Veer Savarkar, Maharshi Karve, Dr Ambedkar and many others. People of the State are inheritors of this great legacy of progressive thought and scholarship.
Maharashtra is fortunate in having a mature political leadership right from its inception, which guided the destiny of the State.
Among various chief ministers of Maharashtra, the State cannot forget the work done by late Shri Vasantrao Naik. Shri Naik had the distinction of being the longest serving Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
Today, Maharashtra is passing though the worst drought and water scarcity in Marathwada and some other districts.
The State had witnessed a severe drought and famine during 1971-1974 when Shri V P Naik was the Chief Minister.
As Chief Minister, late Shri Naik launched the revolutionary Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme which proved to be a boon for millions of farmers. The EGS scheme introduced by him, was later adopted on national scale and is implemented even today in the form of MGNREGA.
Late Shri Naik was also instrumental in setting up four Agricultural Universities in Maharashtra.
Marathwada water crisis has come as a warning for all of us. We will have to accord highest priority to managing our water resources. Modernisation of agriculture coupled with management of water resources can help us create prosperity in our rural areas. This will hasten the process of development of Maharashtra.
You are all achievers of Maharashtra and we shall have great expectations from you for the State. I have no doubt in my mind that together we can make Maharashtra ‘Sujalam and Sufalam’ through our individual and collective efforts.
With these words, I congratulate each one of you once again, and wish the Vasantrao Naik Foundation success in its good work.
Jai Hind. Jai Maharashtra.