Mumbai, March 12 (IANS) Stressing the need for the state’s welfare measures to reach the poor for creating an inclusive society, President Pratibha Patil Monday said that these measures will not reach the needy if those implementing them do not display an attitude of service.
Speaking at the inauguration of the centenary celebrations of Maharashtra’s first chief minister Yashwantrao B. Chavan at the iconic Gateway of India here, she also said India has made considerable progress in agriculture and food production through the Green Revolution, and the “next challenge” is to ensure food safety for all.
Paying tributes to Chavan’s leadership, Patil proclaimed him to be the architect of modern Maharashtra, and recalled his contribution in making it a progressive state.
She also mentioned the sterling contribution Chavan made in national politics as the then defence minister, home minister and the external affairs minister.
On the occasion, the Y.B. Chavan National Award was presented to former Air Force Chief and Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh. Singh, 93, headed the Indian Air Force, when Chavan was the defence minister and was instrumental in planning and carrying out successful air attacks during the 1965 war with Pakistan.
The Award carried a citation and a cash prize of Rs.5 lakh. Singh, however, donated the cash prize back to Y B Chavan Pratishthan, with a request to use the money for the welfare of the needy.
Present on the occasion were Governor K. Sankaranarayanan, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, and eminent scientist and Y.B. Chavan National Awards jury chairman Anil Kakodkar amongst others.
As many 600 artistes performed a dance-drama depicting the life of Chavan.