Srinagar, Oct 31: Jammu and Kashmir has achieved a remarkable distinction by being adjudged the Best Performing State & Union Territory in the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) and Meri Mati Mera Desh (MMMD) programs. Chief Secretary of J&K, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, was honored with this prestigious award by the Prime Minister on the occasion of the region's foundation day on October 31st, during the closing ceremony of Meri Mati Mera Desh at Kartavya Path, New Delhi.
This accolade underscores the positive spirit and progress witnessed in the region since August 2019. Jammu and Kashmir has consistently demonstrated its enthusiasm for growth and development, with the latest evidence being its exceptional performance in the 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' program.
The AKAM program was conducted across all regions of J&K with an exemplary and vibrant participation of the public, particularly the youth. The region hosted more than 1.75 lakh events, with an astonishing participation of over 83 lakh citizens. Jammu and Kashmir proudly stands at the top of the table among all States and Union Territories in the country.
Similarly, the Meri Maati Mera Desh program, which celebrated the closing ceremony of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' and commenced on August 9, 2023, witnessed enthusiastic participation. The program aimed to encourage all citizens to acknowledge the sacrifices of national heroes (veers) and pay homage to the motherland's soil. Key components included honoring martyrs, committing to nation-building, renewing the motherland, paying tribute to the armed forces, and hoisting the symbol of pride - the Tiranga.
Just as in AKAM, the participation level of Jammu and Kashmir remained unparalleled. The region achieved 100% coverage of Panchayats and Urban Local Body (ULB) wards. In the first phase of Meri Maati Mera Desh, J&K organized over 1.70 lakh events from August 9th to 31st, 2023, with unprecedented public participation.
During the second phase of Meri Maati Mera Desh, all villages and wards were covered, and grand Amrit Kalsh Yatras were organized across J&K with full public participation. Festive celebrations were also conducted in every block and municipal body from October 1st to 13th, 2023, with enthusiastic public engagement.
The final phase of Amrit Kalash Yatra was organized from Srinagar to Jammu on October 26th, 2023, while the Yatra moved from Jammu to the National Capital on October 27th, 2023, joining the national contingent on October 29th. The soil from each village in J&K will now be a part of Amrit Vatika, symbolizing unity and integrity.
Jammu and Kashmir stands tall among the states and UTs of the country, having organized a record of 1.74 lakh events under the Meri Maati, Mera Desh Program, with public participation exceeding 80% of the total population. This represents the highest ratio of public participation in any State or UT.
These milestones signify the region's socio-cultural transformation over the last five years. It has not only provided economic upliftment opportunities to its people but has also resulted in significant improvements in other human development index indicators. This transformation has been a boon to the common citizens of this picturesque region, who are now the biggest beneficiaries of this historic change.