World Water Day 2023: Nation is indebted to Shastri Ji for self-dependent in food grains, says Narendra Singh Tomar

On the occasion of World Water Day 2023, which coincided with first day of Vikram Samvat 2080, Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar praised the leadership of former Prime Minister ‘Bharat Ratna’ Late Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Ji saying his initiative of doing farming at Prime Minister’s residence inspired Indian farmers to attained self-reliant in food grain production.

“Shastri’s personality was incomparable. At the peak of food grain crisis in 1965, he, not only did farming at his official residence, but also exhorted the farmers of country to go to field with a slogan of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ so that as a country we could become self self-reliant and never had to depend on others. Like Shastri Ji, today people follow our Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Tomar said citing example of how people gave up gas subsidy on PM’s call.

Tomar was speaking at a function organised on the occasion of World Water Day 2023 by Dhanuka Group. 

The Minister also unveiled a newly made portrait of Shastri Ji and a booklet on his life written by his grand-son Sanjay Nath Singh amid presence of family members of the late Prime Minister – son Anil Shastri, grand-sons Siddhartha Nath Singh and Vibhakar Shastri and daughter-in-laws.

Other eminent persons who graced the event were Union Minister Giriraj Singh, Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes Vijay Sampla, former Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Member of Parliament —Virendra Singh and Rajendra Agarwal, Director of AIIMS Dr. N. Shreenivasan, Agriculture Commissioner PK Singh, former Secretary of DARE & DG ICAR Dr. RS Paroda, National Vice Chairman of Confederation of All India Traders Satya Bhushan Jain, Suresh Jain and RG Agarwal, Chairman of Dhanuka Group among others.

Speaking on the occasion, Tomar said, “Shastri Ji dedicated his entire life for welfare and progress of farmers. If India is self-reliant (aatma-nirbhar) in food grains today, a lot of credit for this goes to Shastri Ji and it is my honour to unveil a new portrait of Shastri Ji.”

The newly unveiled portrait, which has ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ slogan ingrained on it, will be presented to all the members of Parliament including both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Earlier in the day, Dr. Rabindra Nath Padaria, Joint Director (Extension), ICAR-IARI, New Delhi; Dhanuka Group chairman, Working President of All India Farmers Association & Grandson of Shastri Ji Sanjay Nath Singh  jointly addressed a press conference to highlight the importance of water conservation.

Addressing the media, Agarwal said, “It is estimated that 70-80% of water is used for agricultural purposes in India. With ever decreasing groundwater level, there is an utmost need to promote drip and sprinkler irrigation techniques instead of the conventional flood irrigation technique. Such precision irrigation system has enabled countries like Israel, with more than 60% waste land to flourish as a world leader in the agriculture sector producing high-quality and high-yield crops. We as a country need to adopt precision farming in a big way, which will result in saving water, while increasing crop quality, production, and profitability.”

Sharing his views during the media briefing, Padaria said, “In the last 30 years, our cropping pattern, our technique of crop cultivation, and our preferences have turned water-intensive. The approach requires course correction and the time is ripe for changing our crop pattern. This will benefit all stakeholders including farmers.”

As part of the celebrations of World Water Day, various documentaries on water and related subjects were showcased to guests, which included policymakers, bureaucrats, academia, representatives of the industry and media among others.

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