There is no place for violence in the Constitution as well as in “our” culture, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Thursday, as he hailed the sacrifices of security forces involved in anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh.
“In some parts of the country, a few people, misguided by Naxalism, tried to create environment of violence and fear. Our culture and tradition and, above all, our Constitution do not have any place for violence,” he said.
The President was addressing a gathering after dedicating to the country, the new hospital building of Lt Baliram Kashyap Memorial Medical College in Bastar district.
He said the administration and the society has come a long way in winning the confidence of misguided youth.
The government has made efforts through non-violence and developmental activities to curb the menace of violence and terror, President Kovind said.
He appreciated the efforts of the state government and the Centre to bring development to Naxal-affected regions, and the people’s support for these initiatives.
“I salute the supreme sacrifices made by the police and paramilitary personnel in Naxal-affected regions while ensuring security of people and protecting the state’s integrity,” Kovind said.
“Today is Kargil Vijay Diwas and I also salute the Indian Army and its families for their sacrifices,” he added.
Hailing the Raman Singh government’s development initiatives in Bastar, the president said the region has witnessed a remarkable transformation which is evident from roads, educational institutions, Internet connectivity and other facilities in the area.
Without the development of Bastar, growth of Chhattisgarh cannot be imagined, and there can be no development of the country unless Chhattisgarh develops, he said.
The newly-built hospital will emerge as a key centre of modern medical sciences and set a high standard in medical education and services in the entire country, President Kovind said.
On this occasion, the president also launched the state government’s `Sanchar Kranti Yojna’, under which smartphones are to be distributed free to 50 lakh persons 45 lakh women and five lakh youth.
In terms of connectivity, this scheme will end the gap “between Bastar and Bengaluru”, he said.
Kovind also suggested people spend at least two days a year among tribals, who he said live close to nature, and try to understand their pain and problems.
“Yesterday, on July 25, I completed one year in the office….after getting invitation from Chief Minister Raman Singh, I had decided to spend time far away from Delhi with my adivasi brothers-sisters and children (on that day).
“I have always been close to adivasi brothers and sisters and I feel affinity with them,” said Kovind, who visited Dantewada district on Wednesday.
Government is making efforts to improve the lives of those living in small cities and tribal areas, to provide housing to the poor, and make available toilets, drinking water and electricity in these areas, the president said.
People in tribal-dominated and rural areas are actively taking part in the initiatives undertaken by the Centre and the state government, he said.
The President also mentioned Kunwar Bai from Chhattisgarh’s Dhamtari district who became a mascot of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and who passed away earlier this year, as well as 60-year-old Govindi Bai, who has emerged as a mascot for computer literacy for adults.
He hailed the achievements of Indu Manikpuri, a student of Dantewada-based Astha Vidya Mandir who received the Abdul Kalam Ignite Award, and sprinter Hima Das from Assam who won a gold medal in a world championships.
Kovind also talked about his experience of visiting the Siachen Glacier and said the army personnel were guarding the country’s borders under tough circumstances.
Chief Minister Raman Singh was also present on the occasion.