Maharashtra Day: Celebrating the State’s spirit on its Diamond Jubilee

Najooka Javier
Friday, 1 May 2020

May 1, 2020, marks the 60th anniversary of the formation of the State of Maharashtra and we have a lot of reasons to be proud of the State. 

With 10,500+ confirmed cases and 8,200+ active cases, Maharashtra is leading the COVID-19 scoreboard in India. The number of coronavirus positive cases reported each day keep increasing and with it, increases the feeling of uncertainty.

Mumbai, the capital, has reported the highest number of cases, only to be followed by the State’s second-largest city – Pune. Engines to the national economy, the two major cities have been under a complete lockdown for over a month now, and it doesn’t seem that the scenario will change in the coming days. From industries (small and large) to farmers and daily wage workers, the lockdown has impacted livelihoods.

The State, the region, has fought many battles over the centuries, but nothing of this sort.

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Back in the days, when the region of Maharashtra was not a State, The States Registration Act of 1956 defined state boundaries based on language. But the State of Bombay had multi-lingual people – Gujarati, Konkani, Marathi and Kutchi – and this arrangement did not work.

The Sanyukta Maharashtra Samiti then began a movement to establish a separate state for Marathi and Konkani speaking people. Incidentally, on May 1, 1960, as per the Bombay Registration Act, Maharashtra acquired its statehood.

May 1, 2020, marks the 60th anniversary of the formation of the State of Maharashtra and we have a lot of reasons to be proud of the State.

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Maharashtra battles with the same historical vigour 

From Marathas to swadeshis, the region has seen resilient characters at large. The State is fighting a novel battle, but the vigour is that of the olden times. The region’s COVID warriors have had their guards up since the first day and have not let the spirit die. 

Setting an example is Mumbai’s mayor Kishori Pednekar. In an attempt to encourage the healthcare workers and contribute to the fight against coronavirus, Pednekar donned her nursing uniform and visited Mumbai’s BYL Nair Hospital. 

Giving us reasons to celebrate every day, the unsung heroes of Maharashtra have been working relentlessly to keep us safe. Risking their own safety every moment the police force has been vigilantly fulfilling their innumerable duties. While also ensuring discipline, tracing contacts and protecting people 24x7.

The force has also been going out of their way to make sure the spirit of the people doesn’t fade. From celebrating birthdays, helping the needy, ensuring speedy assistance to all and providing humorous moments on social media, the police forces have gone out of their way to smoothen things for citizens.

The healthcare staff has also been stretching hours to attend to the growing number of COVID-19 patients in the State. Retired doctors have been called back to service along with the final year medical students. The State has also come together to fight the battle against the virus by providing make-shift isolation wards in buses and grounds.

Maharashtra has also been on the forefront in the preparedness for a vaccine. Pune’s Serum Institute of India has begun working on the production of a possible vaccine, in an attempt to be ready if it proves effective. Additionally, the ARAI has also developed a special face-shield for COVID-19 warriors. Also, during the crisis, Abhijit Pawar, the chairman of AP Globale and MD, Sakal Media Group, invested in the Pune-based Mylab to scale up the production of the testing kits.

Even the Mumbai-headquartered conglomerates like Tata and Reliance among others have gone out of their way with their investments to help tackle the pandemic.

From private to government, employees have willingly accepted pay-cuts to ensure their companies stayed afloat and also ensuring the possibility of using the extra funds in the battle against COVID-19.

It is also important to remember, though Maharashtra has the fastest rate of doubling cases, it also has the highest testing rate, minimising the cases of no detection. 

Commenting on the spirit of the state, Ajay Joshi a committee member of the Chemist Association of Mumbai said, “The efforts put in by our warriors are commendable. It is not easy to leave home every day knowing the potency of the virus. But the safety of the people is of utmost importance.”

People taking efforts

It is not only the effort of the administration that helps in times like these but also the cooperation of its people. Along with adhering to the restrictions placed by the government, some people have taken it on themselves to ensure that the poor don’t go hungry. 

 

The authorities are also trying to ensure that the people of Maharashtra don’t miss out on the season’s most-loved fruit – mango. Efforts are being made to transport mangoes from rural to urban areas in the safest way possible. The farmers are also able to sell their produce over the internet.

The State has assured there will be no interruption in the availability of essential food items. Despite the challenges, the administration and has been actively working on providing the best possible services.

Similarly, local administrations have gone out of their way to help the migrant labourers. 

“We have the fighting spirit within us since the time of Shivaji Maharaj. The battle against the virus is on day and night. Our warriors are doing a commendable job and should be lauded. We do have shortcomings, but we are all trying our best. We are also ensuring no one goes hungry. Almost 6.5 lakh packages of food are being distributed, and special care is being taken of those following Ramadan. We are all in this together,” said a source from BMC told Sakal Times.

It is also noteworthy that, today, the per capita income of Maharashtra is 50-60 per cent higher than that of Indian average. Over these years, the states’ nominal income has increased by more than 1,000 times from what was Rs 2500 crore in 1960-61.

The State has been on an upward trajectory right since its formation in 1960, and while on that journey, Maharashtra has made significant contributions to the national growth.

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It is indeed commendable that in such testing times, the State has come together in a never-say-die spirit. Together we and taking tremendous efforts to emerge victoriously from the battle.

This gives us hope for a better tomorrow and makes this Maharashtra day extremely special.

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