The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu, attended the civic reception hosted in her honour by the Government of Nagaland and virtually inaugurated/laid the foundation stone for various projects related to education, road infrastructure and financial sector at Kohima today .
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the development of infrastructure is a key parameter for the growth of a state. The ‘Act East Policy’ of the Government of India focuses on the overall development of the North-Eastern Region. She expressed confidence that roads and bridges under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana which were inaugurated today will give a new boost to the connectivity in the region.
The President said that the dynamic youth of Nagaland is immensely talented and creative. With a literacy rate of over 80 per cent, the skilled young men and women of Nagaland, well-versed in the English language, are working in the IT, hospitality and other sectors across India. Providing the youth a holistic education remains the key to help them achieve their true potential. She was confident that new initiatives related to schools and hostels for girl-children, Eklavya Model Residential Schools, and smart classrooms project will give further impetus to education in the state.
The President noted that the literacy rate among women in the state is higher than the national average and Nagaland is the safest place for women in the country. She said that this demonstrates the high respect given to the women in the Naga society. She urged women of Nagaland to come forward and get more involved in public life. She said that if women are empowered, there would be more development in society.
The President said that Nagaland could be truly proud of institutionalising its traditional mode of local self-governance through Nagaland Village and Tribal Councils Act of 1978. She noted that today Village Councils and Village Development Boards are established modes of decentralised governance all over Nagaland. She was happy to note that Nagaland has introduced the pioneering concept of Communitisation with the aim of building a partnership between the government and the community for the effective management of the public sector institutions to improve service delivery.
Pointing to the fact that about 70 per cent of the agricultural practice in Nagaland is traditional and organic, the President said that the whole North-East has potential to become the organic food basket of the country. The good quality agro and horticultural produce of Nagaland has great demand in the market. She was happy to note that three agro products – Naga tree tomato, Naga cucumber and Naga Mircha –are G.I. tagged. She said that the opening of Naturally Nagaland outlets by the state government has provided a new platform to local entrepreneurs, farmers and weavers to sell traditional handicrafts and handlooms, the beautiful Naga shawls and varieties of organic products.
The President said that there is a tremendous potential of tourism in Nagaland. The Naga tribes are known for their vibrant culture and rich heritage that exemplifies our motto of ‘Unity in Diversity’. Songs and dances, feasts and festivals are an intrinsic part of Naga life. The Hornbill Festival has become a popular platform for capturing and showcasing the colourful and beautiful culture of the state.
The President said that Nagaland has made significant progress on various development parameters. For that, she appreciated all successive governments and the people of Nagaland. She said that as Nagaland completes 60 years of statehood, all should rededicate themselves towards the goal of a more prosperous and developed Nagaland.