THE STATE will shed its BIMARU image and become number one in fulfilling all millennium goals laid down by the United Nations, said Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan here on Monday.
He was speaking as chief guest at ‘Stand Up’ campaign in support of Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and against poverty, organised by Sicon-Dicon and Asha Foundation at Nehru Stadium.
UNO Director for Millennium Campaign Salil Shetty was also present on the occasion. The 24-hour event will find a place in the Guinness World Book of Records.
Chouhan made the promise of increasing the per capita income in the State from the current Rs 14,000/person to Rs 50,000/per person annually by 2015. The State is number one in the country as far as implementing Employment Guarantee Scheme is concerned and large-scale construction of roads and water bodies in the State will go a long way in improving existing infrastructure and generating employment.
Recounting his achievements, Chouhan said that more than two lakh water bodies have been excavated in a record period of three months. Efforts have been made to bridge the skewed sex ratio of 1,000 males to 927 females and a unique policy of awarding an informant with Rs 10,000 prize in helping uncover sex-determining centres has been initiated. The government is firm on bringing about legislation for giving 50 per cent reservation to women in local body elections.
He gave a long account of the schemes launched for females starting right from birth till her marriage and even continued after her death in the form of the recent Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia scheme for pregnant women.
Similarly, the ratio of 29 lakh children not going to school has been brought down to a lakh by starting the ‘school chale hum abhiyan’. Farming is being made a profitable proposition by encouraging a drift from the traditional methods and crops by encouraging other varieties and patterns including herbal farming and horticulture. Interest rate of agriculture loans that used to be as high as 14.5 percent have been brought down to seven percent and ‘kisan’ credit cards and crop insurance have been promoted.
Referring to the award received by him for the best performing State at the hands of the President, he stated that the condition has changed and progress is being made on all fronts and at this pace, the goals would be achieved by 2015. The priorities as set in this campaign would be increasing literacy, providing safe drinking water and fighting HIV/AIDS.
Reciting the lines of Swami Vivekanand “wake up and strive for your goals”, Chouhan tried to infuse the thousands of youngsters present as school/college students towards the goals of the campaign aimed at poverty alleviation. He reiterated that the government working alone could never achieve this goal unless the society works in tandem.
‘‘The youth have the fire, zeal and dream to transform their environment into an idyllic utopia and the time has come to
realise this potential.’’ He later administered the oath to fulfill this goal.
Mission director Shetty thanked the State Government and local authorities for their help in taking a step forward towards realisation of these goals. He said that Chouhan had become the first elected representative in the world to participate in a public function for this cause and administer an oath towards the attainment of these goals.
He pointed out that the condition in most parts of the world and in Madhya Pradesh were not up to the mark not because of destiny, but because of human choices. The goals would be achieved if and only if people stand up for their rights.