“MANY organisations were at the forefront doing relief and rehabilitation work soon after the devastating earthquake of 2001, serving the effected in whatever way they can. However after a decade only a few are still trying to help out the development of Kutch. Sewa International and Sewa Bharati are among the few who have continued their mission even after a decade and this is the indication of their commitment and perseverance,” exclaimed Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Narendra Modi while inaugurating the Sewa International Design & Development Centre at Jiapar Village in Kutch, Gujarat on June 21.
The Chief Minister arrived right on dot in the remote village Jiapar for the inauguration of the newly constructed building of the SIDDC that surprised many. Beating the scorching sun and powerful wind, more than 7,000 people had gathered for the inaugural function and to listen to the popular leader. Women were present in dominant number. This Design & Development Centre is already serving more than 400 women drawn from 16 villages, from a rented nearby location.
Shri Narendra Modi was received by Trustees of Sewa International Shri Jay Prakash, Shri Bimal Kedia, Shri Rameshbhai Mehta, Shri Haribhai Halai and Shri Jadavjibhai Gorasia at the newly constructed premises of the Centre. After unveiling the plaque and planting a sapling, Shri Narendra Modi lighted the lamp. He spent a good time observing the activities within centre and having chat with the women trainees and the production team. He also watched the ladies doing embroidery before setting off to an eagerly waiting gathering.
Shri Narendra Modi established a direct communication with the gathering through the chanting of Bharatmata ki jai and said in his typical style in Gujarati mane yad chne das varas pahelan meyn Narayanpur nu lokarpan karyun hatu (I very well remember that I had inaugurated this village Narayanpur a decade earlier). He did not miss to pay homage to the founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Poojaniya Dr Hedgewar by paying floral tributes and reminding people of Dr Hedgewar’s contribution to nation building activity. He also took opportunity of reminding people of the changes that have come about in Kutch after the earthquake. Development of the infrastructure, rebuilding and resettlement at the speed not seen before was achieved.
The Chief Minister exhorted the potential strength of Bharat by stating that “this is a country of the youth with 67 per cent population below the age of 35 years providing the leverage to this country to excel in world market in this century, provided the youth is empowered with required skills and apt orientation that can empower Bharat for an edge to compete with neighbouring China.”
He took special note of Sewa International for coming up with help at the need of the hour in Kutch during earthquake of 2001 and also appreciated the efforts and initiatives taken for rehabilitation in the Indo-Pak border area of Kutch especially for the empowerment of women by training and developing their designing skills in matching the demand of the modern market. His quips that enthused the gathering were Khusbu Gujarat ki and Kutch nahi dekha to Kuchh nahi dekha (flavour of Gujarat and if one has not seen Kutch, one has seen nothing) which is an effort to promote Gujarat tourism and opening the gates for handicraft industry of Kutch.
Shri Narendra Modi explicated the initiative of Gujarat government in promoting self help groups of women and in training them to develop production and marketing skills with professional touch. His government, he informed, has made special provision of funding and promoting this idea through “Mission Mangalm” setting aside Rs 1,600 crore for the strengthening of SHG movement in the State.
Chairman of Sewa International Shri Jai Prakash welcomed the guests on the dais while Shri Ramesh Bhai Mehta elaborated the Sewa International activity in Kutch post rehabilitation. Prant Sewa Pramukh Shri Ashok Rawal elucidated the rehabilitation programme after the earthquake taken up jointly by Sewa Bharati Gujarat and Sewa International. Chief Guest Shri Ashok Bhai Shah, Mumbai and Guest of Honour Shri Babubhai Ahir appreciated the arts and crafts of Kutch and promised to provide marketing platform for the finished goods from this Design & Development Centre.
Shri Raghunath Verabally received the felicitation from Shri Narendra Bhai Modi on behalf of India Development & Relief Fund in the absence of Dr. Vinod Prakash, Presidnet of IDRF. Kutch Kala Sewa Trust is the implanting agency in Kutch looking after the activities of SIDDC. President of Kutch Kala Sewa Trust Shri Hari Bhai Halai thanked the honourable guests and the gathering at the end.