Prez advises Kerala to focus on tourism, knowledge industry

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New Delhi, Nov 1 (UNI) President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today called upon the people and the Government of Kerala to harness the resources of their state and focus on development of major sunrise industries like tourism, knowledge industry, health and exports.

''In the last five decades, Kerala has progressed a great deal and today, it proudly stands at the forefront for its achievements in human development, particularly in the fields of education, health and empowerment of women,'' she said during a function held to mark the Kerala Day.

''I am also glad that on this occasion, imaginative programmes relating to Clean Kerala Mission, total physical fitness and scholarships for higher education are being launched,'' Ms Patil added.

She said the state was a land of exceptional natural beauty and one of India's top tourist destinations. Its tropical forests, fascinating backwaters, misty hill stations, many rivers, beautiful lakes and characteristic coconut trees have created ''God's own country''.

The growth of tourism in Kerala is commendable and its further development could help in generating additional revenues and employment, Ms Patil said.

''Hence efforts should be made to keep the environment unpolluted, the waters pristine and the air clean by adopting eco-friendly practices. An environment friendly Kerala would ensure that tourists continue to look forward to their travel to Kerala,'' she added.

While commending the state's achievements, she cautioned against the return of communicable diseases, and called for putting in place a proper system of waste management.

''The Clean Kerala Mission is timely and should go a long way in maintaining health and further improving the quality of life of the people. An action plan, with targets to be achieved, in a specified time frame is required to achieve the objectives of the Mission,'' she said.

UNI

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