Gandhinagar, Dec 29 (IANS) The biennial Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit (VGGS) usually sees a veritable Who's Who in the Gujarat government and the Centre attending it, but this time there will be an exception when the three-day event begins on January 18.
Mansukh Mandaviya, the Union Minister of State for Roads, Transport and Highways, Shipping, Chemicals and Fertilizers, who is also a lawmaker from Gujarat, will be already on a week-long "Padayatra" (foot march) to spread the ideology and values of Mahatma Gandhi beginning January 16 just when the high-profile industry event takes place.
The Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit (VGGS) 2019 will be held between January 18 and January 20 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with several Union Cabinet ministers and top officials, will be there.
The 9th edition of the Summit, a brainchild of Modi when he was the Chief Minister, is expected to see a horde of nation's bigwigs from political to government to business to celebrities during the various events that will take place at the upmarket convention centre, Mahatma Mandir, in Gandhinagar. The flashy convention centre is also Modi's creation.
Union Minister Mandaviya, meanwhile, will commence his Padayatra from Gram Daxinamurti Institute at Manar in Talaja taluka (Block) in Bhavnagar district from January 16. The yatra will criss-cross 150 villages through the week before it concludes at the Gandhian Lok Bharati Institute in Bhavnagar's Sanosara.
"The theme of the Padayatra is - 'Towards Gandhian Principles and Values'. Before the yatra begins we will also have pre-events where village folks having made significant contribution to the development sector will be felicitated, besides cultural and other events," Mandaviya said.
"We have designed the route through the villages which have institutes of 'Buniyadi or Nai Taleem' envisaged by Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom struggle."
The Union Minister said: "The programme is part of the celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Bapu. Through this yatra, we hope to connect today's youth with Gandhian principles for the formation of an ideal society devoid of exploitation, violence, injustice, inequality, brotherhood, compassion and love for nature."
During every night halt, the yatra would have cultural programmes based on Gandhi and his "Eleven Vows". Eminent speakers related to Gandhiji's works will address the gatherings.
The programmes -- to be carried out with the help of several NGOs, educational and social institutes related to Gandhi -- will also have events on cleanliness, medical camps, rehabilitation camps, agriculture guidance etc, the Minister said.