Prime Minister's Office

English rendering of PM Modi's message on the occasion of 14th Foundation Day celebrations of Umiya Mata Temple in Junagadh, Gujarat

Posted On: 10 APR 2022 7:29PM by PIB Delhi

Umiya Mata ki Jai!

The popular, gentle and determined Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Bhupendrabhai Patel, my colleague in the Union Cabinet, Parshottam Rupala, all the ministers of the state government, my colleagues in the Parliament, all other MLAs, all the elected representatives of the panchayats and municipalities, Umadham Gathila President Valjibhai Faldu, other office bearers and all the dignitaries from far and wide of the society and mothers and sisters present in large numbers - whom I pay special tribute today on the occasion of the 14th foundation day of Maa Umiya. Many wishes and greetings to all of you on this auspicious occasion!

I had the privilege of laying the foundation stone of Mata Umiya Dham Temple and Umiya Dham Campus in December last year. And today I am glad that you have invited me to this grand event at Gathila. I would have been happier had I been physically present. Yet, it is a happy occasion for me that I can meet senior dignitaries from afar.

Today is the ninth day of Chaitra Navratri. I wish Maa Siddhidatri fulfills all your wishes. Our Girnar is the land of chanting and penance. Mother Amba resides in Girnar Dham. Therefore, Girnar Dham is also the land of knowledge and initiation. I bow to the holy land where Lord Dattatreya is seated. It is by the grace of Maa that all of us have always remained concerned about Gujarat, have been striving for the development of Gujarat and have always been contributing something or the other for the development of Gujarat.

I have always felt the power of this collectivity. Today, the ‘Pragatya Mahotsav’ of Lord Ramchandra ji is being celebrated with great grandeur in Ayodhya and across the country. It is also very important for us.

It is not something new for me to come among you and bow at the feet of Mata Umiya for the last 35 years. Someone just told me that I had the privilege to come here and dedicate the temple in 2008. This holy abode has always been the center of reverence, but it has also become a center of social consciousness and tourism. Today there are more than 60 rooms, several marriage halls and a grand restaurant. By the grace of Maa Umiya, all of you have made conscious efforts to fulfill all the needs of the devotees of Maa Umiya and society. And I congratulate all the trustees, caretakers and the devotees of Maa Umiya for its expansion in the short span of 14 years.

Our Chief Minister made a very emotional observation. He said that this earth is our mother, and if I am a devotee of Umiya Mata, then I have no reason to hurt the Mother Earth. Will we give medicine or transfuse blood to our mother at home without any reason? We know we need to give mother as much as she wants. But we have assumed for Mother Earth that she wants this or that. Will the Mother not be detached with us?

As a result, we can see so many problems. To save Mother Earth is a massive campaign. We were living life in the water crisis in the past. Drought was our perennial concern. But we have made a lot of efforts for water conservation since we started campaigns of building check dams, water harvesting, Per Drop More Crop, Drip Irrigation and implemented the SAUNI scheme.

When I was Chief Minister of Gujarat, I would tell chief ministers of other states regarding the efforts and money spent for ensuring water in my state. Most of our government's time was spent in providing water. So other states were surprised, because they were not aware of this problem. We slowly came out of that problem, because we started a mass movement with the cooperation of all of you. And that mass movement was for the welfare of the people. Today there is awareness of water. But still I believe that we should not remain indifferent to water harvesting, because it needs to be done before the arrival of rains. Ponds need to be dug deeper and drains have to be cleaned. If we do all these things, only then will water accumulate and seep into the earth. Similarly, now we will have to think about how to get rid of chemicals. Otherwise, one day Mother Earth will say it is enough now and I do not want to serve you. No matter how much you sweat, or how many expensive seeds you sow, there will be no yield. Mother Earth has to be saved. We are lucky that we have got such a Governor in Gujarat who is completely dedicated to natural farming. I have been informed that he went to every taluka of Gujarat and organized many farmers' conferences for natural farming. I am happy and Rupala ji was telling us that lakhs of farmers have moved towards natural farming and they are feeling proud. It is also true that natural farming cuts down the cost. Now that the soft spoken and determined Chief Minister has given a call, it is the responsibility of all of us to make his sentiments come true. Farmers across the villages of Gujarat should come forward for natural farming. The way Keshubhai and I worked hard for water, similarly Bhupendrabhai is working hard for Mother Earth.

All the people of Gujarat should join in his efforts to save Mother Earth. And I have seen that you never hold back in whatever work you undertake. I remember I was very worried about ‘Beti Bachao’ (Save the girl child) in Unjha. The number of daughters was on the decline in the temple town of Maa Umiya. Then I bowed at the feet of Maa Umiya and sought a promise from the people of society to save daughters. And I am proud that the devotees of Maa Umiya  and Maa Khodaldham and the entire Gujarat took a pledge. As a result, there was a lot of awareness regarding feticide and saving the daughters. Today you are witness to the achievements of daughters of Gujarat. Our Divyang daughter from Mehsana went to the Olympics and held the Indian flag high. There were six daughters from Gujarat among the players who went to the Olympics this time. Who wouldn't be proud of it? Therefore, I think the true devotion toward Maa Umiya results in this power and we should move forward with this power. The more we put emphasis on natural farming, the more we help Bhupendrabhai, our Mother Earth will flourish. Gujarat will bloom. It has progressed, but will bloom further.

Another issue that comes to my mind is malnourishment. It is not good that our children in Gujarat remain malnourished. The mother tells her son to eat, but he does not eat. There is no poverty, but the eating habits are such that the body is not nourished. If a daughter has anemia and gets married at the age of 20-22-24 years, how will the child grow in her womb. If the mother is not strong, what will happen to the child? Therefore, we should be concerned about the health of all children and daughters in particular.

I believe that all the devotees of Maa Umiya should visit villages and ensure that no child from any society should remain malnourished. If the child is strong, the family will be strong and if society is strong then the country will also be strong. You are celebrating ‘Patotsav’ and also organizing blood donation programs etc today. Now you do one thing. Organize a healthy child competition across villages through the Maa Umiya Trust. There should be competition among all the children aged 2-4 years and the healthy child should be rewarded. The whole atmosphere will change. It's a small task, but we can do it well.

I am told that many marriage halls have been built here. Marriages do not take place throughout the year. What is the use of that place (when there are no marriages)? We can run coaching classes for poor children and people of the society can come forward to teach them for an hour or two hours. There would be better utilization of the place. Similarly, this can be used as a center of yoga. One can visit Maa Umiya in the morning and there can be yoga sessions for about 1-2 hours. If the place is utilized properly, only then it will become the center of social consciousness in the true sense. We should make efforts in this regard.

This is the period of Amrit Mahotsav of freedom. In a way, it is a very important period for us. Every citizen should have this dream and resolve where would be we, our villages, our society and our country when we would be celebrating the hundred years of independence in 2047. We can bring such consciousness through the Amrit Mahtosav whereby good works can take place in society now to the satisfaction of our new generation. It has occurred to me that on the occasion of 75 years of independence, we can build 75 Amrit Sarovar (ponds) in every district. Old ponds can be made bigger, deeper and better. Seventy-five ponds in every district! Imagine when the centenary of independence would be celebrated after 25 years then that generation will see that the people of the villages had built these ponds on the 75th anniversary of the country’s independence. The power of the village gets enhanced with ponds. A ‘Patidar’ (landlord) becomes ‘Panidar’ (water donor) when there is water. Therefore, we can take up the campaign of building 75 ponds in every district under the guidance of Maa Umiya. And it is not a big issue. We are such people that we have built lakhs of check dams. You imagine how great a service it would be. It should be completed before 15th August 2023. It will be inspiring for society. I believe a senior member of the village should be called to hoist the flag near the pond on every 15th August. Rather than calling the politicians, call the senior member of the village and organize the program of flag hoisting.

Today is the birth anniversary of Lord Ramchandra ji. When we remember Lord Ramchandra ji, we are reminded of Shabari, Kewat, Nishad etc. It means that the one, who takes care of the backward community of the society, gets a place of respect in the mind of the people in future. Devotees of Maa Umiya should consider the backward people of the society, the depressed and poor of any society as their own. Rama became Lord Rama and Purushottam and was glorified because he worked and lived among the poor people of society. While ensuring their own progress, the devotees of Maa Umiya should also worry that no one is left behind. Only then our progress will be genuine otherwise, the one who is left behind will pull back the one who is making progress. Then we will have to work harder. Therefore, along with moving forward, if we keep uplifting those behind us then all of us will move forward.

There is ‘Pragatya Mahotsav’ of Lord Ram and ‘Patotsav’ of Maa Umiya and such a huge number of people have gathered. Therefore, I urge you that we faced the huge crisis of Corona and its danger is not over. It is still appearing somewhere. This is very deceptive. Therefore, we don’t have to lower our guard. People across the world are astonished that India administered 185 crore doses of vaccines to its people to tackle Corona.  It became possible due to the cooperation of society. Therefore, it is necessary to create awareness on a large scale. Similarly, it is about cleanliness and the campaign against single-use plastic. Why should these campaigns not become our nature? We worship cows, are devotees of Maa Umiya and have respect for the animals. As a devotee of Maa Umiya, it is not befitting if cows eat plastic. It is necessary that we move forward keeping these things in mind. I am happy that you have taken up several social works. Along with the religious fervor, you have organized the blood donation programs etc by taking the entire young generation along with you. My best wishes to all of you. It is a matter of great pleasure for me to have the opportunity to be amongst you, even from afar.

Many greetings to all of you! I bow at the feet of Maa Umiya!

Thank you!

Disclaimer: This is a translation of the Prime Minister's address. The original speech is in Gujarati language.



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