Calling on the people of both Barak and Brahmaputra valleys to join hands to take the state into high growth trajectory, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday urged the people of the state to harmoniously work towards optimum realisation of the potentials and resources of the state for making it one of the best states in the country, while speaking on the occasion of Shilpi Divas, death anniversary of Jyotiprasad Agarwala, one of the greatest icons of Assam.

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True respect would be shown to the great Jyotiprasad Agarwala, only when the youth of the state pledges to take the state forward in all aspects like intellectual, artistic, cultural and sports among others, the CM said.

Urging the young generation of the state to follow the ideals of humanism, peaceful co-existence and harmony as shown by Jyotiprasad Agarwala, the chief minister quoted the lines ‘gose gose pati dile fulore sorai’ from Agarwala’s song to explain the cultural doyen’s love for Assam’s natural beauty and his clarion call to the people for maintaining pristine environment of the state.

This becomes more relevant in today’s time for the people to involve themselves in protecting the environment and the state government has also initiated efforts in this regard by planting ten crore tree saplings.

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Sonowal also said that though rivers were considered as symbols of natural calamity and destruction now they are regarded as best resources and if the potentials of mighty rivers and their tributaries are harnessed properly then Assam can rapidly move on the path of development.  Terming the artists as the messengers of peace, the chief minister urged the people to follow the ideals of great artists for maintaining peace and harmony in the society. Steps have already been taken to formulate the state film policy and artists must offer their suggestions and opinions in this process, he said. The state boasting artists such as Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, Bishnu Prasad Rabha, Bhupen Hazarika, Hemanga Biswas et al cannot lag behind in any aspect and we all must strive hard for making Assam one of the best states, he said.

Sonowal also presented the Silpi Bota (Artist Award) 2018 to renowned artists Anima Borthakur and Kula Baruah. The award carries a cheque of Rs one lakh, a citation and a sorai among others. The chief minister also felicitated former noted employee of Jyoti Chitraban Narayan Das and daughters of Jyoti Prasad Agarwala Gyanashree Pathak and Satyashree Das in today’s programme. The chief minister also announced that the state government has increased the artist pension from Rs 4000 to 8000 and number of beneficiaries of the pension has also gone up.

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