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A praiseworthy effort to strengthen India's integrity: Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat

The Government of India has recently launched a novel initiative to strengthen India's integrity by spreading awareness about our diversities. The name of the initiative is 'Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat'. Let us know about this new initiative and participate to know more about ourselves.

India is known for the unity in diversities. There is no other country in the world which is as diverse, multi-cultural, multi-lingual as India. As for example, in my native state of West Bengal, we can easily note more than fifteen communities which have different languages, different cultural aspects and who claim to be original inhabitants of the state. The same can be witnessed in every other state of India. In spite of such mind-boggling diversities, the people of this great country are bound together by shared traditions and values. It has always been felt that such unseen bonds of unity must be strengthened by enhanced and continuous mutual interaction among the people of different regions of India. This would encourage reciprocity and enrich the traditional value system of the people.

Keeping this in mind, the Government of India has started an initiative named 'Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat'. This initiative was announced by the Prime Minister on 31st October, 2015, on the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who is considered as the unifier of the country after independence. Subsequently, the Finance Minister talked about this initiative in his Budget Speech for 2016-17.

Objectives of the initiative

The objectives of 'Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat' initiative are as under:-
  • To celebrate the unity in diversity of India
  • To strengthen the traditionally existing emotional bonds among the people
  • To promote national integration through a deep engagement between all states and union territories through planned engagement between states
  • To showcase the rich heritage and culture, customs and traditions of states for enabling the people to understand and appreciate the diverse culture of India
  • To establish long-term engagements
  • To create an environment which promotes learning by sharing best practices and experiences.

Key themes of 'Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat'

In this initiative, it has been decided that to celebrate the idea of India as a nation wherein different cultural units across the country interact with each other, the glorious manifestation of diverse cuisine, music, dance forms, theatres, movies, handicrafts, textiles, local sports, paintings, sculpture, etc. will enable people to imbibe the chord of bonding.

Keeping this in view, the states and the union territories are to embark on a mission to enhance their cultural, academic and economic ties by entering into a wide range of mutual engagements with another state/union territory initially at one-to-one basis. The co-operation and exchanges will be in the fields of music, drama, cuisine, dance forms, other aspects of culture, educational exchanges, trades and in other different ways. All states and union territories are to be covered under this initiative. Thereafter, district-level parings will be initiated. The district-level parings would be independent of the state-level pairings. The first year state/union territory pairings are mentioned below:-
  • Jammu & Kashmir : Tamil Nadu
  • Punjab : Andhra Pradesh
  • Himachal Pradesh : Kerala
  • Uttarakhand : Karnataka
  • Haryana :Telangana
  • Rajasthan : West Bengal
  • Gujarat : Chhattisgarh
  • Maharashtra :Odisha
  • Goa : Jharkhand
  • Delhi : Sikkim & Assam
  • Madhya Pradesh : Manipur & Nagaland
  • Uttar Pradesh : Arunachal Pradesh & Meghalaya
  • Bihar : Tripura & Mizoram
  • Chandigarh : Dadra & Nagar Haveli
  • Puducherry : Daman & Diu
  • Lakshadweep : Andaman & Nicobar

Dedicated website: Final few words

Government of India has developed a dedicated Website for this initiative. The Website is: http://ekbharat.gov.in/. All of us can get relevant and latest information about this initiative from the Website.

I feel that we must actively participate in this novel initiative which will definitely strengthen our Indian-ness and at the same time encourage the resplendent cultural diversities displayed by each and every state and union territory of this great country.

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Author: Reena Upadhya18 Sep 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 5

Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat is an educational program. In this program, each state will culturally connect with other states. For example, if Punjab picks up Andhra Pradesh, students in Punjab will learn 100 Telugu sentences, one Telugu song, and food as well as about other cultural diversity of Andhra Pradesh. Students in Andhra Pradesh get to learn 100 Punjabi sentences, one Punjabi song, Punjabi food and other cultural values of Punjab. After one year, students will travel to the state they have picked and participate in the food festivals and various cultural programs to gain more familiarity with the culture of the state they picked. This is how one state culturally connects with the other state which is the main objective of this program. Every year, every state gets to pick other states and become familiar with their respective wide cultures and diversities.

Even common man can give his views and ideas related to this program. To encourage the participation and make this program a big hit, initiatives are taken by starting a contest. Any citizen of India can submit an entry wherein he/she has to propose an idea that has a very innovative approach. The idea should be for better functioning of the program. They can even expand their views and give an idea about how governments at state and central level should work and how private sectors and modern-day communication assets should help that will help in the better functioning of the program. Through this contest, a number of innovative ideas can be collected from people.

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