“Kerala shines as a beacon of progressive ideas where every voice matters and the spirit of unity paves the way for a brighter future,” Chief Minister of Kerala and a Communist party leader, Pinarayi Vijayan told the Kerala Diaspora in at the American regional meeting of the Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS) on June 10th, 20203.
Vijayan on Sunday addressed hundreds of members of the diaspora community from the state of Kerala at a public event on Times Square. On Saturday, he inaugurated the American Regional Conference of the Loka Kerala Sabha, a non-resident Keralites’ convention in New York.
“We have made giant strides in every sector over the last six years,” he said. Addressing the public event at the center of the popular Times Square, Vijayan highlighted Kerala’s progressive values, social harmony and equitable growth.
He outlined infrastructure development and investments in public schools and the health system and other sectors undertaken and economic growth and development achieved by his administration. He further said the state is a model of inclusive development and has emerged as an example of people-centric progress.
Compassion and social justice drive “our policies that empower marginalized communities and foster equal opportunities for all,” the chief minister said. While achieving gains for the state, he and his administration have also addressed certain areas that required focus and attention, he pointed out.
Kerala formulated an action plan that resulted in the state achieving the prime position in the national food safety index. Vijayan noted that Kerala is the most literate state and its government schools and hospitals have been adjudged as the best in the country by several agencies, including the NITI Aayog.
“We have the best law-and-order situation. All this has been made possible because communal harmony and peaceful coexistence are always ensured. That is why there has not been even a single instance of communal violence in Kerala over the last several years,” he said amid cheers and applause from the audience.
Vijayan urged the Kerala Diaspora around the world “to continue to cooperate with us in the times to come to make your land more and more prosperous.” The chief minister also pointed out that Kerala became India’s first fully e-governed state in May. “It is a historic milestone in the internationally-acclaimed Kerala model of development and social progress. Through e-governance, we are championing transparency, efficiency and inclusivity. We are harnessing technology to ensure seamless access to diverse public services of which more than 900 are now available online.”
LKS is a common platform of Keralites living across the world, held in New York last week, had run into a political controversy over soliciting sponsorship for the event. Both state opposition parties, the Congress and the BJP, have flayed the Kerala government for seeking money to dine and share the dais with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of the CPI(M) at the meeting. Organized by the Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA) the latest regional conference of the LKS has got embroiled in a controversy over a policy of graded access for individual sponsors of the event, based on the amount they donate — a practice and policy similar to fundraisers by US political parties.
During a separate meeting with officials, Vijayan invited Pfizer, a multinational pharma major, to open a research center in Kerala. The CM invited Pfizer during a high-level meeting held in New York. The high-level delegation of Vijayan included Rajya Sabha M P John Brittas and the state’s Chief Secretary VP Joy, who made a presentation on the state. The meeting was attended by the Vice Presidents of Pfizer Dr M Raja, Dr Kannan Natarajan and Dr Sandeep Menon.
The pharma company’s officials al’o sought d’tails of the contributi’ns the southern state can make in the area of pre-clinical research. The group also discussed the possibility of effectively tilizing Kerala’s research knowledge in the areas of biotechnology, bioinformatics, statistics and applied mathematics, it said. The state officials, in turn, detailed the achievements of Kerala in the health sector. The Pfizer officials also shared their interest in working with the state’s new Digital Science Park, inaugurated recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As a next step, a delegation of top company officials would visit Kerala by September, the CMO statement added.
The LKS, comprising mainly prominent non-resident Keralite businesspersons and professionals, as well as MPs and MLAs from the state, was formed by the previous Pinarayi Vijayan government. Three LKS conclaves have so far been hosted by the state government, all in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, with the third and last one in June 2022.