By: Meetanjali Sood Kalra
Himachal is celebrating its 68 years of existence today. The state was established as a Chief Commissioners’ Province on this day in the year 1948. State of Himachal Pradesh Act was passed by the Parliament on 18th December 1970 and the new state of Himachal came into being on 25th January 1971.
The state actually came into existence after the merger of 30 princely states and was given a Union Territory status after the hill areas of Punjab were merged with it on 1st November 1966 under the Punjab Reorganization Act.
The day is celebrated throughout with great enthusiasm and fervor and functions are organized at state and district levels to mark the occasion. March past, cultural programs and unfurling of national flag remain the main attractions of the entire ceremony.
The state has made a tremendous progress and has come a long way since then. Every year the state government comes out with new policies and programs for speedy upliftment of weaker sections of the society. At the time of its formation only six villages had an access to electricity but today almost every single house in the state has electricity, and about 70% villages have the provision of water supply.
Himachal Pradesh has made a stupendous growth in last six decades and has come out as a pioneer of over all development. The state has not only made development in the field of education and development but has given a good infrastructure to both urban and rural areas.
Youngsters of the state are making a name for themselves in the field of sports, music, fashion, cinema, technology and defence. Fruit cultivation has proved to be an economic boom and has gone international fetching over Rupees 3 billion annually.
Gradually the state is also making a mark on the world tourism map, as it is one of the major contributors to state economy. Himachal has been blessed with beautiful landscapes attracting tourists from all over the world. It is probably one of the states that have remained untouched by external customs and every village has its own story to tell.
Information Technology has played a major role in rural development of the state. An improved Cellular and Internet service has seen a fast growth even in rural areas. The government has made basic education available to all rural schools and is still making efforts to improve the quality of education in Himachal Pradesh.
Himachal has not only made a vast progress but has also emerged as a role model for hill area development for many other states. The standard of education has reached to a considerably high level today and has left behind many other prosperous neighbours in the field of primary education.
As per 2001 census figures the state’s literary rate has touched 77.13% against 65.66% and the per capita expenditure is almost as twice compared to India as whole. The literacy rate in Himachal has gone beyond 80% according to a census done in the year 2011. The literacy rate and and female count has increased manifold and still has a good scope of increment.In 2001, total population was 6,077,900 in which males were 3,087,940 while females were 2,989,960. The total population of Himachal counts up to above 60 lacs according to the state census 2011 and is growing at an average rate.
Presently many NGO’s are working in diverse backward areas for the development and upliftment of underprivileged by different programs of awareness. ‘Beti Hai Anmol’ is an initiative of state government to give a timely benefit to girls of families living below the poverty line. Unlike these many other schemes like ‘Mukhya Mantri Kanyadan Yojna’, or ‘Mata Shabri Mahila Sashaktikaran Yojna’ have been implemented to ensure a balanced economic status to women.
Ever since the government and its people have been making continuous efforts to take Himachal to high growth trajectory and must keep putting in more efforts to push it into the league of ‘Most Developed State’.