On Sunday, Shri Kovind was speaking on the occasion of Civic Reception of the President of India organized by the state government at Birla Auditorium. President’s wife and the First Lady of India Smt. Savita Kovind was also present.
President Shri Kovind expressed gratitude for the public felicitation offered to him and thanked the people of Rajasthan for their warm welcome. He recalled his long association with Rajasthan and said many words of praise for the rich natural resources, culture, heritage, struggle, history, valour and lifestyle of the people of Rajasthan. He said that during his frequent visits to various districts of the state in the past, he learned about the culture and life of its people.
Shri Kovind further said that Rajasthan had contributed in the making and development of India. He said that the state’s branding was unique for promotion of tourism. He shared his experience of sipping olive tea, a unique preparation from the olive fields in Bikaner with the Isreali Prime Minister some months ago. He invited the people of Rajasthan to visit Rashtrapati Bhawan whenever they come to Delhi.
Governor Shri Kalyan Singh, on this occasion, welcomed and honoured the President on behalf of the people of Rajasthan. In his address, Governor said that Shri Kovind was a highly skilled personality and a legal luminary. He has decorated the highest seat of democracy by his simplicity and soft-spoken nature, Shri Singh said. He had reached to the post of President of India by his hard work and walking on the path honesty, love and dedication for the country, the Governor added.
Chief Minister Smt. Vasundhara Raje, in her address, called President Shri Kovind a symbol of struggle for upliftment of the deprived sections of society. She said that he was a source of inspiration for all of us. she thanked the President and assured him that these three schemes would be instrumental in supporting the deprived and poor people in the state to the mainstream.
During the function, President Shri Kovind launched three welfare schemes initiated by the state government. These schemes include Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Antyodaya Swarojgar Yojana and Sundar Singh Bhandari EBC Swarojgar Yojana initiated to give loans upto Rs. 50 thousand at interest rate of 4% to 50 thousand families each without any collateral. The third scheme inaugurated by the President on Sunday was for waiver of loans and interest upto Rs. 2 lakh by Rajasthan SC-ST Financial and Development Cooperative Society given to entrepreneurs belonging to SC, ST or OBC communities, sanitation workers or divyang people for setting up enterprises during the year 1980-81 or thereafter.
The first scheme launched today include one for SC, ST or Other Backward Communities belonging to the state and the second scheme for the Economically Backward Classes (EBC) of the general category. During the event, Shri Kovind also distributed cheques worth Rs. 50,000 each to 10 beneficiaries of the entrepreneurship promotion schemes and loan waiver certificates to five beneficiaries of loan waiver scheme.
Smt. Raje talked about many other projects initiated by the state government for empowerment of the scheduled and backward class people which include free coaching for admission to prestigious educational institutes; Ambedkar International Scholarship; increase in subsidy rate and loan amount for SC, ST people for setting up industries; and opening of Ambedkar Bhawans in all local bodies headquarters.
The Chief Minister highlighted the state’s success story saying that her government was working on the idea of Educated and Healthy Rajasthan. She said that in past four and half years government schools have either been upgraded or developed as model schools in about 10,000 gram panchayats. This resulted in Rajasthan stepping up from 26th position to 2nd position in the country, she said. She added that due to better environment following upgradation and mobilisation of resources including teachers, over 12 lakh students had migrated from the private schools to the government schools.
Smt. Raje said that Bhamashah Health Insurance Scheme was another landmark welfare initiative through which poor people were getting health services costing from Rs. 30,000 to 3 Lakh even at the private hospitals. The state government also gave one-time farm loan waiver upto Rs. 50,000 to benefit 28 lakh farmers of Rajasthan. Farmers had also been benefited by decreasing interest rate on farm loans from 12.1% to 5.5%. Through this scheme, loans amounting to Rs. 80,000 crores, the highest for any state in the country, were proposed to be distributed, she said. 25 lakh farmers, who availed cooperative crop loans, had been given life insurance cover, she added.
The Chief Minister said that Bhamashah Yojana, the country’s unique Direct Benefit Transfer scheme for women empowerment scheme was also initiated in Rajasthan. In this scheme, a woman member has been nominated as head of the family, she said, further adding that by now over 5.66 crore people had been enrolled under this. She also talked about the Mukhyamantri Rajshri Yojana to promote save girl child and various scholarships, scooty, laptop, cycle and transport voucher distribution schemes for promotion of education of girls.
During his speech, the President spoke words of praise for Governor Shri Singh calling him a visionary and experienced leader. Praising Chief Minister Smt. Raje for her vibrant leadership Shri Kovind congratulated her and her Team Rajasthan for various welfare schemes initiated for the needy and deprived.
Rajasthan Assembly Speaker Shri Kailash Meghwal, Home Minister Shri Gulab Chand Kataria, Jaipur Mayor Shri Ashok Lahoti, Members of the State Cabinet, public representatives, government officials and other dignitaries were present during the event.