New Delhi, 11 June 2021: Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the newly revamped Hardayal Municipal Heritage Public Libraryin Chandni Chowk, Delhi today. He dedicated the library that houses an enormous collection of rare books to the entire nation. The library has beenrenovated with a public investment of more than Rs 3 crores.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Harsh Vardhan also informed the audience that the country’s steadily declining active cases, a trend sustained for 28 days and less than 1 lakh cases for the 4th day today have allowed a sliver of opportunity to him to be with the people of his constituency physically.

The Union Health Minister expressed his admiration at the of the rare collections in the library such as the Persian Mahabharata, translated by Abul Fazl and composed in the court of Emperor Akbar, a copy of ‘the History of World’ from 1677 AD, handwritten Bhagavata Purana of 1810 AD, Bhrigu Samhita, an old copy of Quran in Hindi, the first book ever written in ‘Briji’, the native language of the Yamuna plains. Started in 1862, the library has archived copies of Delhi Gazette from 1917 till 1988 and has many rare gems in its collection including 350 manuscripts and 8000 old books which were in need of proper archiving and storage before the reconstruction. The Minister was apprised that several court cases including one involving the fate of a village on the eve of Partition was settled in court in favour of India sourcing evidence from the library.

Strongly advising adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour to everybody present on the occasion, he said that the decrease in cases should never inculcate a sense of complacency among the public. He noted, “this behavioral pattern of putting masks on and off intermittently, improper wearing of masks and not following the strict COVID Appropriate Behaviour contributed to the second wave of COVID. When many of our doctors, nurses became Corona Warriors in an act of self-sacrifice to protect us, with many of them eventually succumbing to COVID, it is our moral duty to do the maximum to support them. The laxity in COVID Appropriate Behviour hurts the Pavitra Smriti of the fallen.”

Speaking on digitization drive of the governmentin the context of digitalization of Library Archives, Dr. Harsh Vardhan remarked, “Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has relentlessly pursued the mission of a Digital India. In the entire lockdown, people could get government benefits directly transferred to their accounts; the JAM trinity has enabled the Direct Benefit Transfer of to the account of 10 crore farmers at the push of a button.Similarly, National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) currently being implemented in UTs will bring speed, transparency and accountability in our health system. Suchdigital interventions in other areas have vastly improved the lives of Indians.” He observed that these interventions have shattered the popular saying of 1980s that for 1 rupee allocated by the Union government, only 15 paisa actually reach the intended beneficiaries.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also assured those present that the Government would soon have enough vaccines at its disposal to fully vaccinate every adult 18+ years of age: “With increase in production capacity, we have more vaccine in June compared to May. As capacity improves, supply would ease and soon there will be enough vaccines to immunize every citizen.”

Sh. Vijay Goyal, Ex-Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha,Shri Shyam Jaju, Ex-National Vice President, BJP,Sh. Jai Prakash, Mayor, NorthDelhi Municipal Corporation, Smt. Anamika, Mayor, SouthDelhi Municipal Corporation, Sh. Nirmal Jain, Mayor, EastDelhi Municipal Corporation, Sh. Chhail Bihari Goswami, Chairman, Standing Committee, Sh. Yogesh Kumar Verma, Leader of House, Smt. Sunita Kaushik, Joint Secretary, HMHPL, Sh. Ravinder Kumar, Area Counsellor and were present at the event.