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HP chief minister Virbhadra Singh greets people on Independence Day

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has said that August 15 is a day of joy for all of us.
People of Himachal Pradesh have made significant contribution in the freedom movement. Incidents like 'DhamiGoliKand', 'PrajaMandal Movement', 'Suket Satyagraha' and 'Pajhotha Movement' drew attention of the national leaders at that time, he said
The Chief Minister said this indeed a day of rejoicing and celebrations. But, at the same time it provides an occasion to sneak into our past.
Himachal Pradesh came into existence after eight months of independence by integration of 30 princely hill states. It wore a picture of poverty and backwardness. It was an arduous task for the State and its people to keep pace with the other states of the country. But the hardworking and honest people, with strong political will of our leadersconverted the challenges into opportunities.
The pace of development in the State slowly but steadily gained momentum. Today, with the persistent efforts of the people of the State, Himachal Pradesh is one of the front runner and the most progressive State of the country.
The present Congress Government assumed office on 25th December, 2012 and with it a new era of economic self-reliance and self-sufficiency dawned this hilly State. During these years, the State has achieved spectacular progress in the field of health, education and inclusive growth. The State has been adjudged as 'Best State' in the country in the field of education and inclusive growth. Himachal has been declared the first Open Defecation Free bigger State in the country.It has also won the 'KrishiKarmanaya Award' for increasing food grain production.
During this period, the State Government has given special attention to welfare and upliftment of the weaker sections of the society, he said.
Social security pension has been enhanced from Rs. 450 to Rs. 700 per month thereby benefitting3,89,168 old aged, widows and physically challenged persons.
All the mentally challenged persons are also being provided social security pension without any income limit. This has benefitted over 9,000 special people of the State.
Marriage grant for the persons with disabilities has been enhanced from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000. Housing subsidy under different housing schemes has been increased from Rs. 48,500 to Rs. 1,30,000.
To ensure food security to all in the State, cent percent population has been brought under the fold of public distribution system. Over 37 lakh people are getting 3 kilogram of wheat at Rs 2 per kilogram and 2 kilogram of rice at Rs. 3 per kilogram per month under 'Rajiv Ann Yojana', the Chief Minister said.
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