Address by Governor 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 Jal Vihar, Raj Bhavan, Mumbai at 5.30 pm on 17 May 2018
Shri Rajendra Barwale, President, Vasantrao Naik Agricultural Research and Rural Development Foundation, Shri Avinash Naik, Executive President, Smt Bakul Patel, former Sheriff of Mumbai, Advocate V B Patwardhan, Shri Deepak Patil, Padma Vibhushan Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan, Padma Bhushan Pandit Arvind Parikh, all distinguished recipients of Padmashree Awards, the recipient of National Bravery Award, invitees, ladies and gentlemen,
Good evening and a warm welcome to all of you to Raj Bhavan.
I am very happy to meet all the National Awardees and to congratulate them on their being conferred the most prestigious Padma Awards and other National Awards.
Recognition at the highest level is as much an honour for the State, and for all of us, as it is for the recipients.
Today’s felicitation organised by the Vasantrao Naik Foundation is important, primarily because it provides us an opportunity to convey our collective appreciation and felicitations to all the recipients of the Padma Awards and other National Awards.
I congratulate the distinguished recipient of the Padma Vibhushan Award, the recipient of the Padma Bhushan Award and all the recipients of Padmashree Awards. I also congratulate the young recipient of the National Bravery Award from Maharashtra for doing the State proud.
Vocalist Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan and sitar player Pandit Arvind Parikh are pride of the nation and institution in themselves. Their contribution to the field of music is immeasurable.
Likewise, the contribution of every awardee is unique. Every award recipient has enriched our society with their contributions and we are justly proud of them.
Ladies and gentlemen,
For more than three decades now, the Vasantrao Naik Agricultural Research and Rural Development Foundation has sustained with dedication, the tradition of felicitating the Padma Awardees and National Awardees from Maharashtra. I congratulate the Foundation and its office bearers for their excellent work.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today’s programme began with the beautiful singing of the Maharashtra Geet, “जय जय महाराष्ट्र माझा, गर्जा महाराष्ट्र माझा”
These magical lines penned by lyricist Raja Badhe and originally sung by Shahir Sable remind us of the greatness of Maharashtra.
Huan Tsang, renowned Chinese traveller, is said to have visited Maharashtra between 640 – 641 AD. It is said that the Chinese traveller was impressed by the prosperity of the region. He had made two interesting observations about Maharashtra and its people.
His first observation was that the people of Maharashtra were learned, hard-working and of a high moral stature.
There is no doubt, and no change in the situation, even after 1300 years, since he made the observation ! Maharashtra remains ‘Bahuratna Vasundhara’, a Gold Mine of learned and hard-working people with high moral stature.
The Chinese Traveller made the second observation that the soil of Maharashtra was rich and fertile and was regularly cultivated.
Even today, the soil is rich and fertile and cultivated regularly. Unfortunately agriculture has come under tremendous stress in some other areas of the State, due to acute scarcity of water and global climatic changes. There is an urgent need to make our agriculture sustainable and profitable for farmers and prevent suicides by farmers. It is here that the role of organisations like the Vasantraao Naik Rural Development and Agricultural Foundation assumes significance.
The late Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Vasantrao Naik was a great visionary. He was the chief minister of Maharashtra when the State witnessed the most severe droughts during the period 1970 – 73. The Employment Guarantee Scheme, devised by him to provide work to the affected agriculturists, has since been adopted at the national level in the form of MGNREGA.
I will appeal to the Vasantrao Naik Foundation to work closely with agricultural universities in Maharashtra and help the State to double the income of farmers by 2022 as envisioned by our Prime Minister.
Ladies and gentlemen,
During the last 58 years since the formation of Maharashtra in the year 1960, 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.
Maharashtra is regarded as the economic engine of the nation. However, Maharashtra is also the Cultural Hub of India. The State is a leader in Arts and Fine Arts, including Music, Dance, Literature, Sculpture, Architecture, Paintings and many other areas.
We have musicians who are inheritors of a long tradition dating back to thousands of years.
Today, artists from all parts of India and even those from outside have made Maharashtra their home because of the encouragement and support, the people of the State have lent to their art.
Speaking of classical music, I am proud to say that Maharashtra is home to top artists representing nearly all Gharanas. We also have the best instrumentalists from all over the country living in Maharashtra. Likewise Maharashtra is a leader in various forms of classical dance, theatre and other art forms. We must maintain this leadership in Indian music, dance and arts by encouraging the young generation to pursue their passion in music and other arts vigorously. For this purpose, we must encourage and support Gurus who are training disciples and we must also institute scholarships to help promising students.
I am extremely happy that we are today honouring the men and women who have enhanced the pride and prestige of Maharashtra with their superb work. I want to tell all the Padma Awardees and the Bravery Awardee that I am proud of you and Maharashtra is proud of you.
With these words, I convey my appreciation to the President and Trustees of the Vasantrao Naik Foundation and wish the National Awardees success in their future endeavours.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!