Mansukhbhai Laxmanbhai Mandaviya, the current health minister of India raised many questions in the public domain when he took over the charge on the 7th of July 2021. He was even given the charge for the ministry of chemicals and fertilizers, but because of the COVID situation, his portfolio of health got more attention than anything else.
Although Mansukhbhai Mandavia has been in Indian politics for many years now, his taking over from Dr. Harshvardhan as the health minister has found a new interest in him from the public. Because of the COVID situation, the health ministry has been doing more than overtime since last year and a half, then how come a minister of state who was handling Transport and Highways ministry suddenly became health minister of India and that too of cabinet-level? Was the question on many social media users’ minds.
To get the answer one must know the background of Mansukhbhai Mandavia and how the hard work he did for so many years paid in the end.
Early Life of Mansukhbhai Mandavia
Just like many other success stories Mansukhbhai’s life also started in a middle-class family in Gujarat. He is the youngest of the four sons of Laxmanbhai Mandavia who is a farmer in the Bhavnagar district of Gujarat. Born on 1st June 1972, at Hanol village of the Palitana taluka of Bhavnagar district, Mansukhbhai took his primary education at a government school in Hanol itself and later went to Songadh Gurukul to complete his higher secondary schooling.
At Songadh Gurukul itself, Mansukhbhai did a certificate course for Veterinary Live Stock Inspector under Gujarat Agriculture University. Later he completed a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Bhavnagar University.
Political Career of Mansukhbhai Mandaviya
Mansukhbhai must have huge likings for politics and that is why he joined the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad or ABVP and in quick time he was included in the ABVP’s Gujarat State Executive Committee as a member. His ABVP affiliation later earned him the position of the leader of the Gujarat State BJP Yuva Morcha and then President of BJP Palitana as well.
In the 2002 Gujarat Assembly Elections Mansukhbhai Mandavia created history by getting elected as the youngest MLA in Gujarat. His performance as the MLA of Palitana must have impressed the top BJP leadership of Gujarat as he, later on, became the Chairman of Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation Limited in 2010.
Two years later Mansukhbhai Mandavia became the Member of Parliament for the first time when he was elected for Rajya Sabha and ever since he has been a member of the upper house of our parliament.
Because Mansukhbhai worked under Narendra Modi, the current Prime Minister of India and Chief Minister of Gujarat when he got elected as the youngest MLA of Gujarat, he was an instant choice to be part of the first-ever Narendra Modi cabinet at the center. Not only that long back before Mansukhbhai became the minister in 2014, but Narendra Modi has also praised his skills and working abilities in public many times.
On 5th July 2016 he had sworn in as the Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping along with Chemical and Fertilizers. He worked under cabinet ministers Nitin Gadkari and Sadanand Gowda respectively.
As a Minister of State Mansukhbhai Mandavia was part of many foreign delegations that went with Honourable President and the Vice President of India. The major countries he visited as a part of the various delegations are China, Israel, Oman, UK, Germany, Hungary, Brazil, Argentina, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, New Zealand, and Australia.
As a Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Mansukhbhai Mandavia managed to increase the per day highways construction speed to 28.04 km per day that was once at 16.61 km per day. Not only this but as the minister of state for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Mansukhbhai Mandavia made it possible to decrease the cost of Urea and other fertilizers and also made neem coating of the urea a reality to stop black marketing of the same. Apart from that, his ministry established over 5,200 Jan Aushadhi stores across India under the Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojna initiative.
Mansukhbhai Mandavia was also honored by Unicef for taking extra care of women’s healthcare and also for distributing 100 million sanitary napkins through Jan Aushadhi stores established across the nation.
Social Services and Nation Building Activities by Mansukhbhai Mandavia
Mansukhbhai Mandavia is also known for his various social services and nation-building activities across Gujarat. When he became the MLA of the Gujarat Assembly for the first time he organized a 123 km-long padayatra to boost the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ initiative taken by the then State Government of Gujarat. This padayatra was called ‘Kanya Kelavani Jyot Padyatra’ with the aim to enlighten 45 educational backward villages of his assembly constituency Palitana.
Two years later in 2006 Mansukhbhai Mandavia again took a padayatra for 127 km and connected 52 villages of his constituency. This time along with Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’s slogan he also added Vyasan Hatao to it to aware people of all bad addictions like smoking and chewing tobacco in different manners.
But the moment of reckoning for Mansukhbhai Mandavia came just last year when he undertook Dandi Padyatra to spread messages of Mahatma Gandhi under the 150th Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Birth Celebrations. This padayatra was 150 km long and was started with a tree plantation. Not only that Mansukhbhai Mandavia also flagged off a bike journey took by Surat youngsters that were 22,000 km long and spread across three months.
Out of the Box Thinking Through Idea Box
Mansukhbhai Mandavia is also known for his out-of-the-box thinking. He has put on a wooden box outside his ministry of health doors and has named it ‘Idea Box’. He has put forward this idea for the first time when he was the Minister of State for Ports, Shipping, and Highways as well. The idea behind the idea box is that the bureaucrats who want to share their different ideas with the minister for improvement in ministry matters or things related to it, but somehow they do not feel comfortable sharing them directly, can write their ideas and put them in that Idea Box fixed outside the ministry main doors.
Mansukhbhai even attracted media attention when despite being a minister he used to come to the parliament on his bicycle and not in his official car. He was regular in doing this practice and that showed that this was not for the show-off or wasn’t a photo-op. This also suggests that Mansukhbhai Mandavia has his roots fixed deep down.
This is what Mansukhbhai Laxmanbhai Mandavia, the Cabinet Minister for Health, Chemicals, and Fertilizers is all about. Hope after reading this article you are knowing much more about him than before.
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