The year has begun for the people of Assam on a remarkable note. For the first time in 45 years, there was zero poaching of the State’s rhinos. A feat which honourable Prime Minister has noted and hailed. The credit for this goes to the forest staff and the Assam Police who brave all kinds of danger to guard the cherished unicorn. No wonder, this feat has been hailed around the world. For me this reflects how the Government can achieve a lot by delegating individuals and departments with their respective responsibilities and not meddling in their affairs while monitoring their activities for necessary support.
This is precisely what various awardees of Assam’s highest civilian awards also represent. Their silent and unbridled dedication to the cause of humanity has shown through, with or without the Government. Each one of these awardees represent the epitome of dedication to humanity. It would be unfair on my part to choose one over the other. The selection has been free of bias and best. I expressed my personal gratitude to them for their service to the State and its people.
Our Government has been unrelenting in elevating Assam’s infrastructure to world class standards. Continuing with our December month’s commitment in building major infrastructure across the State, this month we announced a series of projects for Guwahati, the capital city as well as the Gateway to South East Asia. These projects will go a long way in easing life for its people and those coming here from all parts of the world, including industries and investors. The partial commissioning of the water supply project is another step in that direction.
India’s Presidency of the
G20 could not have come to
us at a better time than this
as the country has embarked
well on its course to lead
the world in more areas
than one. I have personally
towards these events as we
get ready to put our
best foot forward.
The fact that we have come of age in terms of the perception can be gauged from the fact that we are hosting five important meetings related to G20 in the coming months starting as early as this week. One could not have imagined important financial and cultural leaders from the most powerful countries and zones of the world to assemble in Assam; however, things have changed not only in the State but also in the country, especially with the kind of leadership provided to the nation by our honourable Prime Minister. India’s Presidency of the G20 could not have come to us at a better time than this as the country has embarked well on its course to lead the world in more areas than one. I have personally supervised preparations towards these events as we get ready to put our best foot forward. These events will open new doors of opportunities by showcasing Assam’s rich cultural heritage, nature & potentials. We are waiting with bated breath to welcome guests, including youths, to this beautiful land of ours whose diversity, both ethnic and cultural, is surely to attract these delegates from around the world.
Amid all this, our Government has not forgotten the welfare of the masses. Different schemes that we had announced last year are well and truly on course to meet their target dates while we embark on newer vistas, especially for our youths, which I had announced in my Republic Day speech.
Towards the end of the month, we took a landmark decision to curb the menace of child marriage in the State, a fact which, it seems, has slipped out of the psyche of the society. The National Family Health Survey (V) has painted a grim picture of Assam. I have no doubt in my mind that we are way better than what statistics reflect, yet the figures are there for all of us to see. To bring things back on track, my Cabinet took a decision to launch a major drive against this social issue. Rural pockets of the State have thrown figures and incidences which are hard to believe. Any conscious individual cannot sit tight after receiving such a dismal picture. Let me assure you that we will strictly enforce existing laws on child marriage through actions at the ground using resources we have to ensure that when the next NFHS comes, we can hold our head high.
We are indeed holding our heads high on the basis of the fact that our historical Moidams in Charaideo, the former seat of the Ahom kingdom, have been nominated by the Government of India to Unesco for recognition in the ’s World Heritage Site (Cultural) tag. This year, Assam’s entry, selected from 52 entries, is the only one from India, which will compete with hundreds of entries from around the world in various sections for their recognition. I must tell you that behind the scenes efforts by our cultural experts would not have resulted in anything had not the Prime Minister personally spared time to drive home its importance. We have been working on it since 2014. Although there are processes that our entry needs to comply with during the next few months, as a first step the nomination has allowed the world to take note of these historical and culturally rich heritage of the State.