ADDRESS AT THE CLOSING CEREMONY CELEBRATIONS OF 50TH YEAR OF THE FORMATION OF KERALA THRISSUR, KERALA
20-12-2006 : Thrissur
Economically Developed, Prosperous Kerala
?Beautiful minds lead to creativity?.
It is always a pleasure to visit this beautiful State of India. Thomas Bracken sometime in the 1880?s wrote a poem about New Zealand where that country was referred to as God?s own country. I am very happy that this title God?s own country which has been used by New Zealanders to describe their own country for more than 120 years, has been adopted by the people of Kerala to describe their own State. With all its natural wealth, beautiful surroundings and enlightened people, Kerala is really and literally God?s own country. My hearty congratulations.
On the occasion of the conclusion of celebrations of 50 years of Birth of Kerala State, let me extend my greetings to the people of Kerala. Kerala has been a frontrunner in many fields, the object of envy by many and worthy of emulation by all. It is gratifying to recall that Kerala has been a trendsetter not only in education but also in the fields of art and culture and in regard to social and religious harmony. I have personally experienced this when I was fortunate enough to live here for over twenty years working at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. I learnt a lot during those years from the State and its people and its beautiful waterways, seas and above all, the intensive rain in both monsoons and also music. What is that learning? The learning is: beautiful environment creates beautiful mind; beautiful minds are creative. Creativity, indeed, is the foundation for growth. I am also very happy that the cultural capital of Kerala, the culture indeed is the connectivity of human minds.
During December 2005, after my address to the Kerala Assembly, I visited nine institutions in different districts of Kerala and interacted with the professionals, farmers, students and the members of medical community. The places of my visit include Kochi, Thrippunithura, Thodupuzha, Parumala, Kayamkulam, Vallikavu, Thiruvananthapuram. In these places, first I greeted the farmers for their success in organic farming and pesticide free farming. What is important there in Thodupuzha is, value addition to cash crops like pine apple fruit and ginger. In healthcare, I was impressed by the special school being run for special children at Thrippunithura and the new 350 bed Ayurveda hospital. The important point we discussed was Ayurveda hospital should aim at bringing out a document giving the diseases uniquely cured by Ayurveda. The college in partnership with the hospital should embark on the systematic development of molecule to drug as is being done in the Allopathic system. The state-of-the-art hospital at Parumala under the leadership of Dr. Cherian is carrying out valuable research in tissue culture for heart valves and is also performing heart operations. It is a hi-tech hospital in a rural setting. It is indeed noteworthy. At Vallikavu, I handed over 500 ready built houses to the tsunami affected people. I saw there compassion with divine blessings flowing all around. At Thiruvananthapuram in the international conference on bio-tech research I suggested that the researchers should examine the possibility of using stem cells for cancer treatment. I also suggested, mapping of the 200 varieties of genetic mutations leading to cancer, which can be beneficial for prescribing the pinpointed treatment to the patients. In essence, the entire visit made me feel that a dynamic situation is flowing all around Kerala touching many walks of life. I was indeed very happy.
Missions for Kerala
I had occasion to visit this State on 28 July, 2005, when I had the opportunity to address the Members of the Kerala Legislative Assembly. I still remember the rapt attention with which the entire Assembly heard me, when I, in all humility, suggested 10 specific missions for the upliftment of the entire economic spectrum of this beautiful State. People and media and the political systems evolved an Action Plan for implementing the missions. In fact, the Government of Kerala last month sent me a detailed action taken report on each of those missions. I am happy about the progress being made and I am sure all the missions will become a reality in a time bound manner.
Progress and Prosperity
With a brilliant past, the State undoubtedly is poised for a more brilliant future. God has given you adequate natural resources, Providence has bestowed you with beautiful natural surroundings and you have people who are not only literate but educated in the real sense, who have shown unadulterated commitment to making the State a really progressive one. In fact, the people of Kerala are synonymous with the spirit of adventure, openness, enterprise and above all have absolute tolerance. It is these qualities that go to make a society great. I hope the days ahead will see this beautiful State unmistakably marching towards higher and higher levels of all round progress and prosperity.
I must recall here a very enviable achievement that was made possible only because of the enlightenment of the people of Kerala. I am referring to the case of two children Benzy and Benson who unfortunately were infected with HIV and initially there were problems in accommodating them in the normal school. It is a tribute to the sagacity of the people of this State and the sincerity and efficiency of the administration at all levels that the initial hesitation and even objections were overcome and these children are now studying along with other children in a normal school like any other children. I am also happy to know that the educational expenses of these two children are being borne by a philanthropic act. With this beautiful experience what you have, I suggest that we ensure such things do not happen in any of the institutions in Kerala and we will ensure in other states as well. I have requested the Members of Parliament while addressing them on the occasion of World Aids Day to take special measures to prevent such occurrence.
Economically developed Kerala
The last 50 years have seen tremendous changes in all fields in this State. Change is a reflection of the urge to develop, for without changes and challenges, a society stales into stagnancy. We are living a world, where we have to veritably run to stay where we are. Thankfully enough, such initiative has been forthcoming in this State in abundant measure and that predicts a brilliant future for the State.
As I mentioned, when I addressed the Legislative Assembly a year and half ago, what is needed is the optimum exploitation of the resources available to you. I would even go to the extent of saying that you identify your strong points, nurture them to blossom forth as total strong-holds in those areas. It is not possible for every State to be self-sufficient in everything. A balanced practical approach to develop would entail emphasis on crucial sectors that the State is strong in and developing those sectors for the benefit of all. I am sure the Government and the entire administrative set up and the people at large of this State are fully aware of this and would pursue it with unfailing, relentless vigour.
In my address to the Legislative Assembly, I had gone in detail on the specifics of Kerala?s development missions and I do not want to repeat them here. I only wish to re-emphasise that the initiative taken by the State in pursuing them be sustained and pursued strongly for achieving the goals in the shortest possible time. On this occasion, when you are concluding the celebrations of the State?s 50 years of existence, allow me to once again extend my heartiest greetings to all the people of Kerala who are not only in Kerala but all over the world and also wish you a great prosperous future.
May God bless you.
Questions and Answers
PS Manjunath, Final Year MBBS student
1. Where do you rate Kerala in comparison to the other States?
Ans. In Human Development Index, Kerala is rated as No.1 in the country.
Dinesh Tomas Cherian, Final Year MBBS Student
2. Almost all National Leaders are either political figures/dictators. In such a scenario ? You being a man of great scientific knowledge and deep moral values, how has it helped you in leading the nation ?
Ans. We have many national leaders contributing to national development. For example, I attempted to give ten missions for the prosperity of Kerala during my address to the assembly in July 2005. The political system, media, domain expert and the citizens have discussed these missions in depth and have derived a time bound action plan for the implementation of these missions. If this approach is followed, we will definitely realize our goal of transforming India into developed nation by 2020.
Malini Gopal, Final Year MBBS Student
3. The students who are the future hope of India have become more oriented towards materialistic goals instead of being dedicated to nation-building. How do you view this problem?
Ans. Institutions have to become role models to promote societal work. While you are studying in a medical college, it is necessary for the college to take you for work in the rural areas at least once in a month. This type of habit of serving the society is created among the youth, they will definitely become dedicated to nation building. Such rural camps for eye care, cancer screening, dental and general health should become a part of your curriculum.
4. Ms. Jane Mary Johny, Final Year MBBS Student
Q. To become a superpower has been the long cherished dream of the teeming millions of this nation. As a constant inspirer of the idea of dreaming and achieving things in life how closer are we to realizing them ?
Ans. Our dream is to become a developed nation before 2020. My visit to various States and Union Territories in the country and interaction with people from various walks of life I can see the movement for realizing our dream has already commenced. Continuous effort in this direction by the 540 million youth of the nation will definitely enable us to realize the goal well before 2020.
Ms. Mirfath Ibrahim, Final Year MBBS student
5. What message do you have for the future doctors of the
Ans. You have all got to work for providing affordable medicare for the 700 million population living in six hundred thousand villages in the country. Also, you must take up advance research in areas of heart care, thrombosis, HIV AIDS, TB, malaria, hepatitis and eye care so that the population in the country is free from these diseases within a decade. Now, I would like to administer a five point oath to the medical professionals assembled here.
Five Point Oath for Medical Professionals
1. We the medical professionals realize that we are in God?s mission.
2. We will always give part of our time for treating patients who cannot afford.
3. We will treat at least 20 rural patients in a year at minimum cost by going to rural areas.
4. We will encourage the development of quality indigenous equipments and consumables by making use of them in all our operations assuring the reliability of the products.
5. We will follow the motto ?Let my brain remove the pain of the suffering humanity and bring smiles?.