Mirror Now hosted the Mirror Now Summit – Chhattisgarh on September 20, 2023, in Raipur.
Themed ‘Path to Progress,’ the Mirror Now Summit brought together state leaders and visionaries to shape a holistic development agenda for the State. The Summit spotlighted critical sectors essential for Chhattisgarh‘s progress and economic advancement.
Chief Guest, Bhupesh Baghel, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, speaking about the initiatives taken by the State government for nurturing Chhattisgarh to progress, said that the State government has implemented a series of effective measures, including debt waivers, value addition to agricultural produce, and initiatives aimed at enhancing farm income. “These concerted efforts have yielded positive results, notably a significant reduction in the Naxal movement within the state. This accomplishment reflects the government’s commitment to addressing economic challenges in the region and fostering a more stable and secure environment for its residents,” he said.
Talking about the women’s reservation bill, Baghel emphasised that for the central government to demonstrate a genuine commitment to enacting the women’s reservation bill, it should ensure its implementation for the 2024 elections, including reservations for women in the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) categories.
Baghel attacked the BJP government stating that the people in the country especially women are facing the brunt of extreme price rises of basic commodities. “To divert their attention and capture votes, such allurements are being offered. The women reservation bill won’t be possible till 2029 elections as the 2021 census has still not been conducted,” he said.
He stated that the Congress party welcomed the bill on women’s reservation as it was the brainchild of the Rajiv Gandhi government.
According to Baghel, the Congress party is never involved in caste-based politics and is demanding a caste-based census to ensure benefit to the most deprived sections of society.
“The caste-based census is not just for Politics or for the votes; Reservation does not reach to many marginalised castes even now. Also, the benefits of the various government schemes are not able to reach to each and every section of the society. Unless and until the caste-based, economic status-based census is not done it is futile to come out with any welfare programme as it would not reach the more needy section of the society,” he said.
On the topic of “One nation, one poll,” Baghel has expressed concerns that this proposal while appearing to create a unified electoral process, may be primarily motivated by a political agenda to garner votes for the BJP government. It is crucial, he suggests, to ensure that such reforms are carried out with genuine intentions and in the best interest of the nation.
The plan to boost employment through the Gothan and Godhan Nyay scheme, as highlighted by Baghel, focuses on the development of cow shelters. “Out of the 10,200 Gothan schemes initiated, an impressive 6,500 of these cow shelters have achieved self-reliance. Under this scheme, the state government incentivized farmers by offering Rs 2 per kilogram of cow dung, which was subsequently converted into valuable vermicompost. The state government has already disbursed approximately Rs 265 crore to farmers and generated revenue of Rs 300 crore by selling the compost back to the same farmers,” he said.
MK Anand, MD and CEO, Times Network, said, “In Chhattisgarh, we are witnessing a model for the future—8% GSDP growth in FY23, outpacing the national average, yet securing India’s second-best fiscal health. This isn’t just about numbers; it’s about a balanced portfolio in agriculture, manufacturing, and services, combined with transformative gains in public health and women empowerment. The Mirror Now Summit serves as a critical event in envisioning a Chhattisgarh that harmonizes double-digit growth, cultural ethos, and environmental stewardship. I’m confident that discussions and deliberations with the State leaders and visionaries will forge pragmatic solutions and a resolute action plan to propel the State’s progress.”
The Mirror Now Summit in Chhattisgarh witnessed the participation of distinguished personalities including Kamalpreet Singh, Secretary, Agriculture Production Commissioner, who shed light on Chhattisgarh’s Sustainable Agriculture Revolution, Pradeep Sharma, Advisor to CM (Agriculture), shared insights into the state’s efforts in enhancing farming methods for economic growth, Nand Kumar Sai, Chairman, CSIDC, contributed to discussions on the state’s holistic progress, and Alok Shukla, Principal Secretary, Chhattisgarh, highlighted Chhattisgarh’s commitment to accessible, high-quality healthcare services, Atal Shrivastava, Chairman, Chhattisgarh Tourism Board, emphasized on the State’s rich cultural and natural heritage.