President of India Droupadi Murmu arrived Nagaland Wednesday on her two-day maiden visit after landing at Dimapur airport where she was received by Nagaland Governor Jagdish Mukhi and other senior district and army officials.
The President then flew by an army helicopter to Kohima and on arrival at Kohima Assam Rifles helipad, she was received by Nagaland Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi, chief minister Neiphiu Rio, deputy CM Y Patton, chief secretary J Alam and senior government officials. Murmu was also accorded a guard of honour by 44 Mountain Brigade, 1st Gorkha Rifles.
Later, addressing a public reception accorded to her at Kohima’s Capital Cultural Centre, Murmu focussed on potential of Naga youth, women empowerment, infrastructure for education and to tap into agriculture potential so as to make Nagaland the organic food basket of India. She acknowledged that youth of Nagaland were dynamic, immensely talented and creative.
She also said with a literacy rate of over 80%, skilled young men and women of Nagaland, well-versed in the English language, were working in the IT, hospitality and other sectors across India. Murmu also stressed on providing the youth with a holistic education as key to help them achieve their true potential.
On the occasion, President Murmu also virtually inaugurated/laid foundation stones of various projects such as new schools and buildings, roads, bridges, hostels, smart class rooms across Nagaland etc.
She expressed the hope that the new initiatives related to schools and hostels for girl-children, Eklavya Model Residential Schools, and smart classrooms project would give further impetus to education in the State.
Murmu also said literacy rate among women in Nagaland was higher than the national average for women. She also noted that Nagaland state was the safest place for women in the country and opined that this demonstrated the high respect given to the women in Naga society.
She also congratulated Phangnon Konyak on becoming the first woman elected to Rajya Sabha from Nagaland and urged upon women in Nagaland to come forward and get more involved in public life. She said if women were empowered, there would be more development in society.
While acknowledging Nagaland as land of brave warriors, Murmu said this reflected the in the indomitable spirit and courage of Naga soldiers that has been long recognised as exemplary. She said the nation was proud of brave men and women of Nagaland serving the Indian armed forces.
“Captain Neikezhakuo Kenguruse and Sepoy Imliakum Ao, two great sons of Nagaland, displayed exceptional valour and fierce determination in fighting the enemy during the Kargil War. I look forward to visiting Kohima War Cemetery tomorrow and pay homage to the brave soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice while defending the nation,” she stated. Murmu also said Nagaland could be truly proud of institutionalising its traditional mode of local self-governance through Nagaland Village and Tribal Councils Act, 1978. She acknowledged that village councils and village development boards were today established modes of decentralised governance all over Nagaland.
She also lauded the state’s pioneering concept of communitisation with the aim of building a partnership between the government and community for effective management of public sector institutions to improve service delivery.
Pointing out that about 70% of agricultural produce in Nagaland was traditional and organic, the President mentioned that the State had much to offer in agriculture and farm produce. In fact, she said the entire Northeast had the potential to become the organic food basket of the country. She said the agro and horticultural produce of Nagaland had great demand in the market and expressed joy that three agro produces – Naga tree tomato, Naga cucumber and Naga Mircha – were GI tagged. She claimed that opening of Naturally Nagaland outlets by the State government had provided a new platform to local entrepreneurs, farmers and weavers to sell traditional handicrafts and handlooms and varieties of organic products.
Murmu observed Nagaland had tremendous potential in tourism, adding that Naga tribes were known for their vibrant culture and rich heritage, exemplifying ‘Unity in Diversity’.
She noted that Nagaland had made significant progress on various development parameters and acknowledged the role of successive State governments and the people. As Nagaland would complete 60 years of statehood, she exhorted everyone to rededicate towards the goal of a more prosperous and developed State.
While stressing that the Act East Policy was focused on overall development of the North-eastern region, she expressed confidence that roads and bridges under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana that were inaugurated by her would give a new boost to connectivity in the region.
Addressing the gathering, Nagaland Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi said Nagaland with distinct culture and heritage, takes pride in the diversity that makes the fabric of Modern India.
He noted that diversity that is reflected in the customs and social structure, language, religion and ethnicities was a key asset that Nagaland hold to unlock India’s potential and propel the nation to rise in global significance.
He said the collective participation of every citizen of the country from the upper echelon to the grass-root will pave the way for greater nation building and ensure that India emerges as a dynamic and robust democratic polity.
The governor also said that as India celebrates 75 glorious years of Independence and march towards the next milestone, the vision and mission of an Atmanirbhar Bharat was surely in the making.
Rio seeks Murmu’s support to resolve Naga issue: State chief minister Neiphiu Rio sought the support of President Murmu in resolving the decades old Naga political issue.
He said the ceasefire and dialogue with the Naga political groups have been continuing for 26 years. Rio also said that the Framework Agreement of 3 August, 2015 signed between government of India and NSCN (I-M) and the Agreed Position of November, 201 7 by the NNPGS was signed recognising the unique history and position of the Nagas.
He exuded confidence that an early solution to the Naga political issue, would give a boost to the Naga youth and people to contribute much more to the Nation’s economy through their God given rich talent and genius.
“We seek your gracious support in resolving the long pending political issue,” Rio stated.
He also expressed gratitude to the Government of India for the special provisions extended to the state by incorporating Article 371 A in the Constitution of India, whereby land and its resources, traditional customs and practices are protected.
Rio also mentioned that the election of Murmu as “President of the largest democracy in the world had sent a very positive message to the rest of the World about the inclusive nature of our polity and Nagaland favoured 100% support to her candidature.”
Welcoming the President of India deputy chief minister Y. Patton said the initiative to visit Nagaland so soon after taking over as the President of the country, shows deep concern and regard for the people of Nagaland for which Patton said Nagaland was truly honoured and privileged to receive her.
He also thanked President’s for visiting Nagaland and other North Eastern States soon after becoming the President of India, saying this showed her deep concern for the people of Nagaland and the Northeast.
Welcoming the President of India, deputy chief minister Y. Patton said Murmu’s visit Nagaland, soon after becoming the President, showed deep concern and regard for the people of Nagaland.
He said Murmu was not only first ever President from a tribal community but also the youngest President. This he said was an inspiration to all tribal people across the country, including Nagaland.
Based on the strengths of strong community values and a population that was young and highly literate, Patton said Nagaland is leaving no stone unturned to achieve further goals of development in all the spheres and sectors particularly in agriculture and tourism.
He exuded confidence that her visit will help understand deeper and give more insight about Nagaland and the people.
Host of ministers, legislators, senior government officials, representatives of tribal leaders, students and others attended the civic reception.
The President was also felicitated by Central Nagaland Tribes Council, Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organization, Tenyimi Peoples’ Organization and other tribes and community representatives. State chaplain Rev. T. W. Yamyap Konyak pronounced the invocation prayer.