A person can choose his own path, tread righteously on it and be close to God. Others have always maintained that their own path is the only one that will Lead to God. I once had an opportunity to attend the UN Summit, where Sri Sri Ravishankar was also present. In the presence of Kofi Annan, and after a long discussion, a proposal was passed which mentioned that all cults in the world are equal and worthy of respect. You will be surprised to know that three days later, I received a 35-page long statement from the Christian head saying that we don’t agree with this concept of equality as we are higher than other cults. Those who believe themselves to be higher than others are inviting destruction whereas those who believe in equality can never create trouble. Having love and respect for all is our tradition which we have got from our Rishis, saints and teachers, and it is an inherent part of our cultural heritage. I can love the entire world only if I love my own heritage. I can think about the welfare of the entire mankind, only when I start loving all people. That is why I say that we should bow down to Mother Shabari and together wait for Ramrajya, enjoying the process in the same manner as Mother Shabari enjoyed her lifelong wait for Lord Rama.
There will be immense change in the financial situation here. Already, I can see a huge difference today compared to my previous visit. This district gets sufficient rainfall in monsoons but there is always a great scarcity of water after the monsoon gets over. An improvement can be brought by the use of check-dams and other instruments of water conservation. You will be happy to know that even today some of the largest cities of India such as Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, and Delhi do not have 24-hour electricity. But every village of Dang district gets 24- hour, three-phase electricity as Dang was the first district to be covered under the Jyoti Gram Scheme.
Gujarat is the only state that has a concrete plan called “Gujarat Pattern” for the progress of backward classes. The Gujarat Government provides money to the deprived. The forest people themselves decide the developmental work that they wish to be carried out – be it a well in the village, a proper road or additional rooms for the village school. The State Government has paid out around ` 600-700 crores directly in the hands of the forest people and has experienced exemplary honesty. The Forest people have spent each and every penny for the development of their region, leading to more than fifty thousand projects materializing. Their own initiative and diligence has given shape to more than fifty thousand projects with the help of approximately 800 crores rupees. I am proud to say that if anyone wants to see the principle of trusteeship propounded by Mahatma Gandhi in action, they should visit the forest people and tribals of Gujarat. They have used each and every penny which they had been given for developmental tasks. We are ready to support such a pure community in their progress. For the first time, the Gujarat Government has conceptualized a plan which will open up new vistas of development for the forest people through the medium of infrastructure development.
It is our intention to serve the forest people in order to fulfil the debt towards Mother Shabari for her devotion to Lord Rama. Our government has taken a vow to work for great-grandsons of Mother Shabari who waited for Lord Rama’s arrival and we are fully committed to it.