The Uttarakhand government led by Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has launched a slew of schemes to address issues like infant mortality, incentives for the girl child and easy provision of drinking water. The government also has plans to enrich and preserve the diverse flora and fauna in the state while improving education and healthcare facilities in the state.

By Prathima G Kulkarni

Uttarakhand, previously known as Uttaranchal, is a scenic state surrounded by nature and has a rich cultural heritage. It is one of the northern states of India, which was established on the 9th of November 2000 as the 27th state. Uttarakhand was initially part of Uttar Pradesh before it was formed into a separate state. It consists of 13 districts grouped into two divisions known as Kumaon and Garhwal. Kumaon consists of 6 districts where as Garhwal consists of 7. Apart from these four new districts were added by the then Chief Minister, Ramesh Pokhiryal on 15th of August 2011.

The scenery and the surroundings are mesmerizing as it is situated in the foothills of the great Himalayas and has many hills, rivers, glaciers, dense forests, and snow-covered mountains are which make it an amazing tourist destination. Many tourists from different states of India and abroad visit the state throughout the year.

Previously the foothills of Uttarakhand were covered with dense forests and recent efforts put into reforestation have helped in restoring the natural beauty of the region. These forests various plant and animal species, which include animals, like Bharal, Snow leopards, Leopards, and Tigers along with diverse plants and rare herbs. Two of India’s great rivers, Ganga that originates at Gangotri and Yamuna originating at Yamunotri take birth in the glaciers of Uttarakhand.

Uttarakhand is also known for its Hindu culture and is famously known as “Dev Bhoomi” which means the Land of Gods. The reason behind this is that many temples and pilgrimage centers are located throughout the state. Uttarakhand is known for its Char-dhams, which are considered the four most sacred and revered Hindu temples of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. Badrinath and Kedarnath are two of the most famous pilgrimage destinations for Hindus.

The Hindu population in the state is 88% which majorly includes Rajputs and Brahmins. Muslims are the largest minorities along while Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Jains make up for rest of the population. The native languages spoken are Garhwali and Kumaoni. Hindi is the most widely spoken language. Uttarakhand is the only state in India that has Sanskrit as its official language.

The Government of Uttarakhand consists of an executive branch which is led by Governor of Uttarakhand, a legislative branch led by the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and a judiciary branch, led by the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand. The head of the state is Governor who is appointed by the President of India while the Chief Minister is the head of government and is given the executive powers. The state has two capitals. Gairsain is the summer capital and Dehradun is the winter capital. Each city houses the Vidhan Sabha as well as the Secretariat.

Government Schemes for the betterment of the state and people

The Government of Uttarakhand has introduced a number of schemes in 2020, under the dynamic leadership of its Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, which focus on the well being of the people and the development of the state. Below are some of the important schemes:

Vaishnavi Suraksha Yojana:

This is one of the great initiatives taken by the state government to improve the sex ratio in the state.The scheme has been launched under the central government’s `Beti Bachao; Beti Padhao’ campaign. The scheme requires parents to send a selfie with their girl child soon after birth and send it to the government. The government will issue them with a`Vaishnavi’ kit. The kit consists of the basic necessities a newborn girl child would require.A toll free number is being launched to enable mothers to send details of their newborn girls. The government is also planning on providing vaccination/immunization and other health benefits for the girl child.

Saubhagyavati Yojana:

This scheme is majorly for the pregnant ladies and the newborns.In this scheme, the state government is planning on providing 2 separate kits including food and clothes to pregnant ladies as well as infants.The main agenda is to provide knowledge about maintaining proper hygiene along with consuming nutritious food to stay healthy. This will help in the reduction of the Maternal Mortality Rate as well as Infant Mortality Rate.This scheme will be available to every family in the state.

Rs. 1 Tap Water Connection Scheme:

This scheme is launched under the Jal Jeevan Mission. The water connection for all the houses will be provided at the rate of Rs.1 per house. The announcement “Ek Rupaiye Mai PaaniKa Connection” Scheme was made by the chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. The main objective of this scheme is to provide clean drinking water to all citizens and avoid water borne infections.

With these and other schemes addressing areas like education, healthcare and public amenities, Uttarakhand government is aiming to significantly improve the quality of life all across the state.