New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday April 10 said along with spiritual dimension, centres of faith play a major role in spreading social consciousness.
On the occasion of Ram Navami, Modi virtually addressed the 14th Foundation Day celebration at Umiya Mata temple at Gathila, Junagadh, in Gujarat.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala were among those present on the occasion.
The Prime Minister greeted the people on the auspicious occasion of the foundation day of the temple and Ram Navami.
He also expressed gratitude for getting an opportunity of dedicating the temple in 2008 and paying his obeisance to Maa Umiya since many years.
Modi expressed happiness that apart from being an important place of spiritual and divine importance, Umiya Mata temple at Gathila has become a place of social consciousness and tourism.
The Prime Minister said as a devotee of Maa Umiya, it is not possible for people to cause any damage to mother earth.
“As we do not feed unnecessary medicines to our mother, we should not use unnecessary chemicals on our land too,” he added.
Modi spoke about measures to preserve the land with the help of water preservation schemes like ‘Per Drop More Crop’.
He recalled the ‘Jan Andolan’ (people’s movement) undertaken during his term as Gujarat’s Chief Minister.
“We cannot afford to relax on the movement of water preservation. Mother Earth needs to be protected from chemicals,” the Prime Minister said.
He reiterated the need to promote natural farming.
Modi added that as he and former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai (Patel) worked for water, the current Chief Minister is working for mother earth.
The Prime Minister also expressed happiness that by the grace of Maa Umiya and other deities and efforts of the Gujarat government, the gender ratio has improved and the ‘Beti Bachao’ movement showed good results.
He said a large number of girls from Gujarat are representing the country in the Olympics.
He also emphasised the need to be active against malnutrition among children and girls.
Modi also reiterated the importance of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and ‘Amrit Kaal’. He asked the people to raise awareness and resolve about the shape of the society, village and the country in their hearts.
He also stressed his vision of 75 ‘Amrit Sarovars’ in every district.
“For the people of Gujarat who had made thousands of check dams, this should not be too big a task but the impact of this effort will be huge,” he said.
Modi asked this task to be completed before August 15, 2023, and urged for a social movement on this issue, adding that social consciousness must be the driving force.
Talking about the occasion of Ram Navami, the Prime Minister said, “When we think of Ramchandra ji, we remember Shabri, Kewat and Nishadraj too. They have gained a place of respect in the hearts of people over the years. This teaches us not to let anyone be left behind.”
Referring to the efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic, Modi added that the infection is deceptive and we have to remain vigilant against it.
“India has performed an amazing feat of administering 185 crore doses of vaccines,” he said and credited social awareness for it and other movements like ‘Swachhta’ and single-use plastic reduction.
Inauguration of the Umiya Mata temple was also done by Prime Minister Modi in 2008 when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Based on suggestions given by him in 2008, temple trust has expanded its scope into various social and health-related activities as well such as free cataract operations and Ayurvedic medicines for economically weaker people.