Bill Gates praises Odisha for transforming Slum areas



Bhubaneswar: Bill Gates, the Co-Founder of Microsoft and Bill & Melinda Gates foundation during his Odisha visit expressed delight at the remarkable transformation observed in slum areas of Bhubaneswar.

His happiness was evident during his visit to the Biju Adarsh Colony in the Maa Mangla Basti in Bhubaneswar, accompanied by State Government officials. In addition to inquiring about the well-being of the slum residents, Gates interacted with members of women’s self-help groups (SHGs).

Anu Garg, the Development Commissioner, highlighted, “We showcased to him the provision of land rights, tap water connections, toilets, and power supply to the slum dwellers. He was pleased to witness the metamorphosis of the slum area into a model colony.”

G Mathi Vathanan, Additional Chief Secretary of Housing & Urban Development, mentioned that Bill Gates engaged with beneficiaries of various government welfare schemes.

A resident of the colony shared that Gates interacted with them, querying about the improvements in their lifestyles due to the implemented schemes. “He inquired about our previous living conditions and our current status,” she mentioned.

Later, Bill Gates paid a visit to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s residence, discussing technology-driven initiatives for farmer empowerment.

“Great pleasure meeting @BillGates, Co-Founder of Microsoft and philanthropist. We had an insightful discussion on our technology-driven initiatives for farmer empowerment, along with various welfare programs like #JagaMission, #MissionShakti, #OdishaSchoolTransformation, #BSKY, and healthcare improvements,” Patnaik shared on X.

He commended the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its support in fostering innovation for inclusive benefits. “Expressed gratitude for his acknowledgment of Odisha’s welfare initiatives and accomplishments across various sectors through #5T transformative governance,” he added.

Gates also visited Krushi Bhawan, the headquarters of the Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Department.

Since 2017, the State has collaborated with the Foundation to advance shared objectives concerning enhancing farmers’ income, ensuring nutrition security, and bolstering climate resilience.

“A partnership that has enabled the state to lead in digital public infrastructure, introducing farmer-centric systems such as the Krushak Odisha database, GO-SUGAM portal, and Ama Krushi extension system,” stated a senior official.

With strategic backing from the Foundation, successful pilots focusing on crop diversification through the Maize Mandi and agriculture production cluster (APC) projects have been completed. These initiatives have now been scaled up across the state, according to Arabinda Kumar Padhee, Principal Secretary Agriculture & Farmer’s Empowerment.

Discussions also centered around a forward-looking roadmap for digital agriculture in the State, aiming for Odisha to become one of the pioneering states in implementing end-to-end technology solutions in agriculture, livestock, and fisheries.

Bill Gates interacted with two accomplished women farmers in the state who have augmented their incomes through the digital public infrastructure provided by the department.

Dr. Padhee provided an overview of the success story of the Odisha Millets Mission, highlighting its role in improving the livelihoods of tribal communities in the State.


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