Address on the occasion of Unveiling of the Statue of Padmashree Dr Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil, Inauguration of the Bharat Ratna Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Auditorium and Inauguration of Sau Sindhutai Vikhe Patil Cardiac Centre, Ahmednagar

    प्रकाशित तारीख: February 16, 2016

    Address by Shri CH Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra on the occasion of Unveiling of the Statue of Padmashree Dr Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil, Inauguration of the Bharat Ratna Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Auditorium and Inauguration of Sau Sindhutai Vikhe Patil Cardiac Centre at Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Auditorium, Ahmednagar at 1100 hrs on Tuesday, 16 February 2016

    Padma Bhushan Dr Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, Founder President, Padmashree Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil Foundation, Shri Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Hon’ble Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and Chairman of the Foundation, Smt Shalinitai Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Shri Ram Shinde, Hon’ble Minister of State and Guardian Minister of Ahmednagar, Shri Dilip Gandhi, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Hon’ble Dr Patangrao Kadam, Founder, Bharati Vidyapeeth, Pune, Shri Shivaji Kardile, Member of State Legislature, Shri Arun Jagtap, people’s representatives, Heads of various educational institutions, members of faculty, students, invitees, ladies and gentlemen,

    आज अहमदनगर येथे येऊन तसेच आपणा सर्वांना भेटून खूप आनंद वाटला.

    मी हळू हळू मराठी शिकत आहे. पुढच्या वेळी पूर्ण मराठीत बोलीन.

    I consider it a great honour and privilege to have been asked to unveil the statue of Padmashree Dr Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil. I am also happy that this newly created beautiful auditorium has been named after former President of India Dr A P J Abdul Kalam.

    At the outset, I thank Shri Radha Krishna Vikhe Patil ji for inviting me to do the honour.

    I was pleased to note that the Foundation has opened a Cardiac Centre in the name of Sau Sindhutai Vikhe Patil, where poor persons will be provided quality healthcare at affordable costs.

    It is heartening to see the sapling planted by Padmashri Dr Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil having grown into a large banyan tree covering diverse areas as agriculture, education, banking and so on.

    I was pleased to know from Radha Krishna Vikhe Patil ji that the Foundation has been running several educational and professional education institutions in Loni, Nashik, Ahmednagar and Pune offering education from KG to PG and well beyond, right upto Ph D.

    It goes to the credit of Balasaheb Vikhe Patil ji and others that they carried forward the rich legacy of Dr Vitthal Rao Vikhe Patil Ji and cherished the ideals of the founding fathers.

    I congratulate the Padmashree Dr VItthalrao Vikhe Patil Foundation for its services to society especially in the areas of higher education, agriculture and healthcare.

    Shri Balasaheb Vikhe Patil who is present amongst us is himself a one-man institution. Building on the strong foundations of cooperative movement laid down by his illustrious father, Balasaheb launched several education institutions and contributed to the socio-economic development of the region and empowerment of a large number of people. I convey my sincere appreciation to him on this occasion. I also convey my appreciation to Radha Krishna Vikhe Patil, Smt Patil and other members of the Vikhe Patil family and trustees of the Foundation on this occasion.

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    The economic history of Maharashtra would be incomplete without a reference to Maharashtra’s cooperative movement, one of the earliest success stories scripted by the State. And, any reference to the cooperative movement would be incomplete without a reference to the contribution of one towering personality from the State – Padmashree Dr Viththalrao Vikhe Patil.

    Dr Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil was truly a visionary. He had a sincere urge for the welfare of farmers. Gifted with earthly wisdom, he diagnosed the problems of our agrarian society and lifted an entire generation of farmers from the vicious circle of poverty, illiteracy and indebtedness.

    There is a famous saying in Marathi: एकमेकां सहाय्य करू, अवघे धरू सुपंथ. Dr Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil brought this saintly advice into practice by creating prosperity in rural areas through the cooperative movement.

    I venture to say that Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil was a Yug Purush. In my estimation, he was, and he will remain, one of the most influential persons of the 20th century Maharashtra.

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    India has truly arrived on the global stage. The perception of India in the eyes of the world has changed remarkably. India is no longer looked up as a developing country. It is seen as a developed country. As the world’s largest democracy, nations of the world are keen on India playing an important role in the affairs of the world.

    The biggest strength of India today is its youthful population. It is estimated that by 2021, the proportion of working age population in India will be 64 percent. It will make us as the largest supplier of workforce in the world in another decade.

    It is imperative that we equip the youth with the best of education and employable skills and most importantly, imbibe in them the spirit of enterprise. Spirit of enterprise is extremely important.

    Last week the High Commissioner of Bangladesh in India, a very senior diplomat, met me in Raj Bhavan. He said, Bangladesh created a revolution in the textile and garment sector by providing only 20 days of skill training to its people.

    Today Bangladesh has emerged as a major textile exporting country in the world and manufactures clothes for European brands. Apart from textiles, microfinance has contributed to the empowerment of millions of poor women in his country, he said.

    Now, if a small country like Bangladesh, whose geographical area is less than half the geographical area of Maharashtra can create a revolution with skill development and microfinance, I think Maharashtra, with its highly educated manpower can set off many revolutions simultaneously.

    I think, the first revolution Maharashtra should launch is in the area of horticulture and food processing.

    India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. Within India, Maharashtra has the potential to become the fruit basket of the world. However, the value addition to fruits and vegetables in our country is just 7 per cent and processing only around 3 per cent of production. Almost 98 per cent of farm produce is sold as it is harvested. Apart from this, more than 25 per cent of production is lost during harvest and post- harvest operations.

    I wish to appeal to the youths, to become entrepreneurs and create agro-based start-up ventures. I want our youths to dream big, conquer the global markets and make ‘Brand India’ a global name through their efforts.

    Last week, I visited the Marathwada Agriculture University at Parbhani. I was impressed to see the technologies in agriculture and food processing developed and innovated by the University and its researchers.

    ‘Make in India’ revolution is unfolding not just in the industrial sector, but also in the agriculture sector. However there is a need for greater interface between the industry and our research institutions so that the best innovations can be brought to the doorstep of our farmers.

    As Chancellor of 20 Universities in the State having total student strength of 30 lakhs, I want to see prestigious educational institutions such as this one to become centres of national excellence and innovation. It should be the endeavor of the Foundation to develop at least one of its institutions, one department or one college – on par with the best in the world.

    During my meetings with Vice Chancellors, I always hear about the problem of shortage of good teachers. This is surprising. India has tremendous wealth of knowledge and teachers training institutions to provide good teachers to the world. Unfortunately our own institutions are suffering from shortage of good teachers. Today I wish to appeal to the Dr Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil Foundation to take it up a challenge and produce good teachers for the State in all disciplines. I am sure you can do that.

    As I said, this is a land of a silent revolutionary. It is the responsibility of all of us, and more so of the Foundation, teachers and students, to fulfill the dream and vision of late Dr Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil ji though their services to the people and to the nation at large. You will have my best wishes in your endeavuors, now and always.

    While paying my respects to the late Dr Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil, I congratulate the Foundation for its sustained good work.

    आपणा सर्वांना पुन्हा एकदा शुभेच्छा देतो आणि आपले दोन शब्द संपवतो. आपली भेट होईलच. तोवर धन्यवाद. जय हिंद, जय महाराष्ट्र.