Remembering Nanaji A Festive Tribute to the Modern Dadhichi
Four-day Gramodaya Mela, held in Chitrakoot to pay tribute to Bharat Ratna Nanaji Deshmukh, remembers the modern Dadhichi with cultural fervour and scientific knowledge
Siddheshwar Shukla
Chitrakoot: The ninth death anniversary of Bharat Ratna Nanaji Deshmukh was observed in recognition of his ideas to integrate cultural practices with scientific knowledge. On this occasion, a four-day event titled as ‘Gramodaya Mela: Aadi Gram Kumbh’ was organised by the Deendayal Research Institute (DRI) at his workplace in which the exhibitions and events showcased the progress, heritage, culture and development in various sectors of the country. The farmers, agriculture scientists, development experts, innovators, academicians and personalities from various states and the departments of Central Government participated. The event concluded on February 27, the death anniversary of Nanaji.
Above: RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi inspecting the Exhibition held during the Gramodaya Mela. Below left is a drone view of the Gramodaya Mela and below is a Buffalo bull, Hira, from Haryana 
Addressing the gathering on the concluding day, RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi said Nanaji was a sage in a truer sense. “Today, we have gathered here to pay tribute to the great soul. We organise such events to revive our strength so that we could walk on the path shown by him. Those great souls, who are selfless but dedicate their lives for society, are referred to as sages in Bharatiya culture. They do nothing for themselves, but a lot for future generations. Throughout his life, Nanaji’s thoughts were centred for progress and pride of Bharat. Nanaji was such a personality who realised his dreams on the ground,” he added. He exhorted the gathering to contribute to the progress of the nation as per the best of their capacities. “Today, the country has achieved a glorious position due to the valour and sacrifice of our brave soldiers. We have moved on the path of victory. We all should have a goal to contribute to the nation. This should be the parameter for success,” he said.

 RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi addressing the gathering
Madhya Pradesh Governor Smt Anandiben Patel, Minister for Agriculture in Uttar Pradesh Government Shri Surya Pratap Shahi, President of DRI Shri Virendrajit Singh, former Minister for Energy in Madhya Pradesh Government Shri Rajendra Shukla, MP from Satna Shri Ganesh Singh, MP from Banda-Chitrakoot Shri Bhairon Prasad Mishra and Principal Secretary of DRI Shri Atul Jain were also present. Vice Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi Gramodya University Dr Naresh Chandra Gautam, Vice Chancellor of Rani Durgawati University, Prof. Kapildev Mishra, and Vice Chancellor of Jagatguru Rambhadrachrya Divyang University, Prof Yogesh Chandra Dube, politicians, eminent personalities, agricultural scientists of various disciplines also graced the Gramodaya Mela.

Distinguished audience during the concluding ceremony of the four-day Gramodaya Mela in Chitrakoot 
Smt Anandiben Patel said Nanaji was a national sage. “He was a visionary. ‘We do not live for us, but for ours and ours are those who are sufferers and marginalised’, this was his goal. He established DRI on March 8, 1968, in the memory of his closest friend Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya to achieve his mission,” she said. “He was ‘Dadhichi of Modern Age’ who worked throughout his life for the betterment of the society and pride of the nation. Before leaving this world for heavenly abode he dedicated his body to a medical research institute through a will in his lifetime. He used to say that the tribals are dearer to him than Shri Ram,” she added. She also remembered his works for the tribals like Krishan Devi Vanvasi Girls School, Ramnath Ashram Shala and Pramanand Ashram Paddhati School etc that caused a paradigm shift in the life and development of tribal people in the region.
Villagers enjoying Bhandara during the Gramodaya Mela 
Haryana’s Buffalo Bull
Hira, the buffalo bull of Chaudhary Kapoor Singh who came from Hisar District of Haryana was a talking point among the dairy farmers of the region. Kapoor informed that the daily expenses on Hira are Rs 1,000. He takes a walk of 5 km per day. The framer informed he had earned Rs 1.6 crore in the past three years through breeding.
President of DRI Shri Virendrajit Singh said there should be efforts for Indianising the foreign knowledge and updating the indigenous knowledge and practices. “We all are the brainchild of Bharat Ratna Nanaji Deshmukh. He presented a model of integral humanistic philosophy of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. We all should dedicate ourselves to proceed on the path shown by him,” he added.
Governor of Madhya Pradesh Smt Anandiben Patel speaking 
In the Gramodaya Mela, several exhibitions were held by various departments of Central government, state governments, private sectors, small industries and cottage industries. In the exhibitions, besides the public welfare schemes of the government agencies, food courts, entertainment, Khadi-Gramodyog and seminars were also organised. The exhibitions by states of Haryana, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh were the centres of attraction by the visitors. It was for the first time that TRIFED of Ministry of Tribal Affairs participated in the Gramodaya Mela in which 200 tribal artisans from 20 different states participated with their handicraft items. These handicrafts were the primary attraction for the villagers of the region. Shri Virendrajit Singh informed that DRI has been working for holistic development of the people in the region. The institute has been organising events to integrate the villagers with the scientific knowledge related to agriculture, education, health, empowerment, self-reliance, and animal husbandry etc. In this fair animal health camp and healthy animal competitions were also organised.
A workshop was organised on ‘Dissemination of Information and Technology in Agriculture’ in which 86 agriculture scientists participated from throughout the country. Addressing the gathering Shri Surya Pratap Sahi said India should utilise the technology in agriculture sector on the pattern of Israel and the Philippines. Director General of Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) Dr Trilochan Mahapatra also visited the Gramodaya Mela and interacted with agriculture scientists and farmers. A seminar was also organised on ‘Standardization and Quality Examination of Ayurveda Medicines’.
On this occasion, Shri Ramcharita Manas Paath was organised that concluded with a Bhandara (Community Meal) on February 27 in which prasadam were also distributed among the participants. A yajna was organised on the conclusion of the Paath. The Bhandara was organised on a contributory basis in which the villagers had voluntarily donated a handful of rice and Re 1 as a contribution.
The villagers of the region enthusiastically gathered to pay their respect to Nanaji Deshmukh. Besides, his followers from other states and also from foreign countries also participated. The villagers of around 600 villages in 50 km range of DRI Chitrakoot voluntarily participated in organising the Gramodaya Mela.