Majuli: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that people cutting across all caste and creed celebrate Kati Bihu to ward off evil and pray for a verdant and prosperous agricultural yield. Speaking at a central function organized by the Cultural Affairs Department in association with District Administration at Majuli, Chief Minister Sonowal said, “Kati Bihu augurs an environment wherein we pray to the Almighty for the prosperity of our agricultural fields so that the auspicious flame of the earthen lamp and Akash Banti burn down the insects and pests detrimental to the growth of agriculture”.
Sonowal said that for the first time after 70 years of country’s independence, Kati Bihu was celebrated centrally in Majuli with an aim to generate belongingness of the younger generation of the state to Bihu which is an indispensable part of Assamese culture. Through Kati Bihu, efforts are made to render knowledge to the State’s younger generation regarding climate, agricultural produce, and culture of the State. Chief Minister Sonowal said that ‘Akash Banti’has a special significance which means that before any noble endeavor, prayer to Almighty with discipline and dedication set a foundation of abundance and prosperity. He also said that the 21st century is the century of science and technology where everybody has to co-exist with the development of science and technology. Science has given a new dimension to agricultural growth. He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his tenure as the Chief Minister of Gujarat has introduced the concept of soil health card which determines the quality of health. Similarly, the Assam government has introduced a system of soil health cards to help 23 lakh farmers of the State. Stating that six thousand farmers of Majuli also received soil health cards, Sonowal said that the government has taken the steps for providing soil health cards in the State.
Agriculture has lent strength to the six thousand year civilization of India, Sonowal said that through agriculture the socio-economic and cultural foundation of the State has to be made robust. He also said that moved by Gandhian philosophy, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has concentrated on Swachh Bharat, Fit India Movement, Water Conservation, etc. He also said that the agricultural produce of the farmers of the State is being sold in Dubai, Abu Dhabi as Assam is strongly perched to achieve the target of doubling the farmers’ income by 2022. Minister of State (i/c) for Culture Naba Kumar Doley, Member of Parliament Pradan Baruah, MLA RamakantaDeuri also spoke on the occasion. Sonowal also felicitated 10 progressive farmers. Synchronizing with the occasion, 1001 earthen lamps were lit. Later, Sonowal participated in a programme of lighting AkasahBanti.