President Ram Nath Kovind was addressing the public rally in Shirdi after hoisting the sacred flag of Shri Saibaba Samadhi centenary year. Mrs. Savita Kovind, Governor of Maharashtra C. Vidyasagar Rao, chief minister Devendra Fadanvis, Union Minister for Civil AviationPusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Leader of opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Guardian Minister of Ahmednagar district Prof. Ram Shinde, MP Sadashiv Lokhande, MP Dilip Gandhi, MLA Snehalata Kolhe, President of Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi Dr. Suresh Haware, vice president Chandrashekhar Kadam, trustees Bhausaheb Wakchaure, Bipin Kolhe, Adv. Mohan Jaykar, Pratap Bhosale, Yogita Shelke, Chief Executive officer of Sansthan Rubal Agrawal were on the dais.
Initially, Dr. Haware welcomed all dignitaries and audiences and informed centenary year of Shri Saibaba Samadhi will be observed from today. He said that there are 8500 Sai temples in the whole world and every where the centenary year will be celebrated. Five major activities will be conducted throughout year to mark the centenary year which shall include celebration festivals such Ramnvami, Dusesehra, Gurupournima, etc, social programmes such as blood donation camps, cultural such bhajan sandhya, etc, awakening and Sai Paduka darshan in the whole country as well 25 foreign countries.
President Kovind said further that he was requested to come and grace the occasion, but, he told that he himself is blessed by Shri Saibaba. He said that he is Sai devotees since last 26-27 years and was coming to Shirdi to seek the blessings of Shri Saibaba. Saibaba's Shirdi has increased the spiritual glory of Maharashtra. Saibaba is in everybody's heart. We find the photo's of Shri Saibaba in Rikshwas, shops, hospitals, houses, offices. Even doctors pray Saibaba to get the success while treating patients. He appreciated the use of renewable energy sources by Sansthan. He wished trust for the centenary year and also government of Maharashtra for looking into Sansthan's activities. He told that International airport opened today will increase the connectivity of the devotees.
Chief Minister Fadanvis said that Kakadi airport constructed for Shirdi is the first airport in the nation which started by state government. The additional work for landing big size planes will completed soon. This airport will boost up the economy of Shirdi and surrounding areas. It will not be limited for travelling but will be utilized for other purposes. He said about 25,000 to 50,000 people will get the employment for their survival due to this airport. He lauded about the activities to be executed during centenary year. He told that Rs. 3200 crores have been granted by state government for various developments projects during the centenary year. Shirdi is attraction of the people in the whole world. Saibaba's 'Sabaka Malik Ek' message carries the meaning that there is differentiation amongst the people of various casts and creeds. This message will propagate in the world.
Union Minister for Civil Aviation Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju said that Indian aviation is the fastest growing aviation in the world under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Indian aviation is connected with 70 different destinations. Today, Shirdi is connected with commercial flight. Prof Ram Shinde said that it is the pride moment for us that President of India is with us to grace the occasion of centenary year. Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said that we were dreaming since long period about airport, today, it has come into reality. He expressed thanks to all chief ministers in the last 9 year tenure who had helped for the airport. He requested President to help for the district and state for the development. He opined that our new dreams are started again from today.