Amity, social harmony in Kerala under stress: Sonia Gandhi
Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 02: Kerala's social harmony and amity have come under stress and strain, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said on Tuesday as she advocated for a new development strategy for strengthening the bonds of brotherhood among people and overall development of the southern state.
"Kerala has been a lesson to other parts of the country and indeed the world on how to preserve and promote social harmony and amity. This has come under stress and strain and future development strategy must have, as one of its basic objectives, the strengthening of the bonds of brotherhood (and sisterhood) that have been the hallmarks of Kerala's wonderfully diverse society," Ms Gandhi said in a message to a virtual summit organised by Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Development Studies (RGIDS) in Thiruvananthapuram.
RGIDS is an economic think tank aligned to the Congress ideology, in the poll-bound state.
The summit, Pratheeksha 2030, is the culmination of the RGIDSs elaborate and extensive consultations in India and abroad to prepare an action plan for Kerala's development over the next decade.
Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh inaugurated the summit.
Referring to the much talked about Kerala Model of Development, Ms Gandhi said today the state faces new, unprecedented challenges and it has been accentuated by COVID-19 pandemic and called for fresh thinking on economic growth and social security in the southern state.
"It's clearly time for fresh thinking on economic growth that will revive investments, create productive jobs, protect the environment, build resilience to climate change, mitigate natural disasters, enhance social security for organized and unorganized labor and improve, the well-being of farmers and their families", she said in the message read out in the summit.
The Congress president said over the past six decades and more the Kerala Model of Development has resulted in many impressive achievements for the state in areas like public health, education and literacy, gender empowerment and social justice. But Kerala faces new, and I may so, unprecedented challenges.
"These challenges have been accentuated by the crisis the entire world has had to confront due to Covid-19 pandemic that has still not run its course", she said.
Hailing the summit, Ms Gandhi said these consultations have resulted in the preparation of a Vision Document that is being released today.
"Actually, this not just a Vision Document; its also a Mission Document that presents a detailed road map for fulfilling the aspirations of the people of the state", she said and congratulated the RGIDS team headed by senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala and director B S Shiju that has "worked so hard" on this initiative.
"All I wish to add is that the Indian National Congress will soon, by winning the trust and confidence of the people of the state, begin implementing the Vision/Mission Document in letter and spirit," she said.