Gandhinagar, Jul 23 (PTI) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the future of a country is determined by the number of youngsters visiting libraries and not by the number of factories operational or its military strength.
Shah visited his paternal village Mansa in the Gandhinagar district of Gujarat to inaugurate and lay the foundation stones for a host of projects including a library building.
"The future of any country is not determined by how many industrial units are functioning there, how powerful its Armed Forces are, or how much tax it collects. The country's future is decided by how many of its youths go to libraries," he said.
Shah recalled going to a library in his village in his young days and gaining knowledge of the country and the world. At a time, due to lack of facilities, as many as 9,730 books in that library had to be deposited to the government for their upkeep, he said.
Many of these books have been kept in the newly constructed three-story building, he said, adding the library will be (digitally) linked so that students can access books from 30 other libraries.
"There are ten computers, but we have space for 40 computers. We will increase the facility once the students start using it," said the Union minister for home and cooperation.
Shah also inaugurated the new kitchen for students of schools at Mansa and surrounding areas started by The Akshaya Patra Foundation -- a not-for-profit organisation that addresses classroom hunger and malnutrition in India.
The kitchen will serve nutritious mid-day meals to 26,000 children studying in 190 schools in the region under the Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman (PM POSHAN) initiative.
Shah also chaired a meeting with officials regarding the interlinking and renovation of the village lake and the upgradation of the civil hospital. He said the library that existed in his village when he was young had helped him gain knowledge of the country and world.
Speaking on the occasion, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said that as the Member of Parliament (MP) from Gandhinagar constituency, Shah had dedicated funds of over Rs 9,000 crore in the last three years.
Mahatma Gandhi and 'Sardar' Vallabhbhai Patel brought Swaraj to the country, and now, the duo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah is establishing good governance through the politics of development, he said.
-With PTI Input