This year lights, statues of deities were made in India due to COVID-19: Aidtyanath

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Gorakhpur, Nov 14 (PTI) Promoting locally made products, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday said that due to coronavirus this year lights and statues of Gauri–Ganesh didn't come from China, and everything was made in the country by potters and at gaushalas (cow sheds).

Addressing a gathering at Vantangia village Tinkonia Number-3, Adityanath said, 'I appeal to all to light a diyaa (earthen lamp) in the name of martyrs.' 'We all have to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream come true. Due to corona, 'deep' (earthen lamps), light jhaalar, statues of Gauri–Ganesh didn't come from China and everything here was made by potters and at the gaushalas.

'Artists of Aurangabad-Ekla village of Gorakhpur showcased terracotta products in an exhibition in Lucknow, where they said that they earned Rs 8 lakh in three days. A 'deep' stand was sold for Rs 22,000. There is demand but efforts were not made (earlier). We need to be 'vocal with local',' he said.

The chief minister said that the benefits of government schemes took 70 years to reach forest villages like Vantangia and now, one could walk to the district headquarters in 70 minutes from here.

'Earlier the people of administration did not even visit the place, I knew the situation and condition of this place and so for the past four years all benefits of the Centre and state government have been reaching here. Earlier we used to sit in huts at Vantangia village, but now pucca houses have been constructed here and this is true Diwali.' The Vantangia community comprises people who were brought here from Myanmar during the colonial rule for planting trees. The community faces problems related to the use of natural forest produce as the forests inhabited by them were not considered as revenue villages.

However, in 2018, in a bid to bring the forest-dwelling community into the mainstream, the chief minister declared their 18 settlements as revenue villages.

Adityanath also said that his government didn't consider caste or religion for development schemes.

'Everyone should think that no one stays deprived of development and they could get benefits of schemes and electricity. People's representatives like MPs, MLAs have information about the benefits of government schemes and it should reach the people,' he said.

He also mentioned the decrease in deaths due to encephalitis. 'From 1977 to 2017, at least 50,000 children died of encephalitis. This year only 21 died and soon we will eradicate the deadly disease,' he said. PTI CORR NAV AAR AAR