Leh (Ladakh), Aug 27: Appreciating the beauty and serenity of Ladakh and its peace-loving people, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Friday said that the way the Union Territory is emerging as a self-reliant entity in the face of adverse geographical and other challenges, is exemplary.
His remarks came at the inauguration of the Parliamentary Outreach Programme for the empowerment of Panchayati Raj Institutions of the Union Territory of Ladakh at the Sindhu Sanskritik Kendra, Leh.
Strongly emphasising that national interest should be at the centre of every effort of our people and that the interest of people of the country should be paramount, Birla also enumerated the quick development journey of the region which received a boost after August 5, 2019, when Ladakh was given the status of a separate Union Territory to ensure participatory development opportunities for the people of the region. He also said that the development of the nation can happen only through the spirit of solidarity and collective efforts.
Emphasising the importance of the region from a geographical as well as a strategic point of view, Birla said that the development of Ladakh is both a regional and national prerequisite. He also spoke about the region’s immense tourism potential and enumerated the unique architecture of the territory, to handicrafts and other products that can become the basis of self-reliance and development for the people in the longer term.
Appreciating the contributions and valour of the people of Ladakh in India’s defence, he said that the people of Ladakh are always ready to give supreme sacrifice to the nation, whenever needed.
Birla underlined that the people of Ladakh have set an important example for others and Kargil Vijay is an example of this spirit. The Lok Sabha Speaker also commended the liveliness of the people of the union territory.
Speaking about the depth of democracy on the grassroots level in the region, Birla said that Ladakh traditionally has had a system of self-government in the villages. He further said that Panchayati Raj institutions are directly connected with the people due to which they can take care of people’s problems and provide solutions as well.
Birla underlined that it has always been his endeavour to have regular discussions and dialogue with democratic institutions of different regions across the nation so as to ensure mutual exchange of ideas and experiences. He added that through regular discussion and constructive dialogue, the faith of the people in a democracy is strengthened. He added that with this approach democratic institutions can be made sturdy, accountable and transparent.
The programme was also attended by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai and Minister of State for New and Renewable Energy and Chemical and Fertilisers Bhagwant Khuba, Ladakh Lieutenant Governor RK Mathur, Member of Parliament Satyapal Singh among other dignitaries.