All India â€˜Shikharâ€™ Writers Conference being organized at Mandi adds glory, which is a hub of literary and cultural activities to the conference as well as to the town itself. Shri Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister said this, while presiding over two-day long Shikhar conference at Mandi today.Chief Minister said that â€˜Dev Bhoomiâ€™ Himachal Pradesh was a repository of a rich cultural, literary and traditional legacy which needed to be preserved through such intellectual seminars and activities at regular intervals.
Referring to the role of writers in upholding our social, cultural and human values, Chief Minister said that they reflected true picture of all facets of our society.
Emphasizing the importance of Mandi town for its rich cultural heritage,Shri Virbhadra Singh said that it was known as â€˜Chhoti Kashiâ€™ and a century old silk trade route to Tibbet and China. Mandi also opens up new vistas of literary research and deliberations due to its long association with literary activities.
Shri Virbhadra Singh urged the participating littÃ©rateurs to come forward to explore the hidden literary treasure of Himachal Pradesh, which had produced scores of noted writers dedicated to the promotion of â€˜Pahariâ€™ culture and traditions.
Chief Minister disclosed that, to start with, Himachal Pradesh Government had decided to introduce Urdu language in as many as 100 schools and it would be further ushered in other schools on demand basis. He reiterated the commitment of his government to patronize other Indian languages also.
Chief Minister said that Himachal Pradesh had become a model state in the country in overall development and particularly in social service sector, human resource development and providing better health services. He said that the government was taking all precautions to strike a balance between the development of the state and preservation of environment. He said that it had been made mandatory for all power projects to release at least 15 per cent of total water volume of the river down stream. He said that in future, all the projects would be commissioned on run of the river, so that the local people in catchments areas are not displaced and environment not damaged.
Shri Virbhadra Singh said that Himachal Pradesh was replete with vast limestone reserves, which would be exploited and harnessed in a planned and scientific way without disturbing our ecology.
Chief Minister also honoured veteran writers of the state, namely Dr. Sunder Lohia, Dr. Shushil Kumar Phull, Shri Ram Dayal Niraj on behalf of â€˜Shikhar Parivarâ€™
The Literary luminary Shri Kamleshwar, expressing his views, appreciated the efforts of the Government for organizing such literary events regularly and giving impetus to intellectualism in the state.
Noted Story writer and Member Prasar Bharti Smt. Chitra Mudgil, eulogized the Chief Minister for evincing personal interest in literary activities in the state.
A set of books of noted noble prize winner Orhan Paumak was presented to the Chief Minister by Shri Keshav Narain, President â€˜Shikharâ€™, while he also welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignatories.
Chief Minister also released a souvenir brought out by Shikar on the occasion.
As many as 40 renowned writers drawn from across the country are participating in this two â€“day long conference.