Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat, Mansukh Mandaviya, on Wednesday took part in PM Narendra Modi’s new cabinet as the Union Health Minister. Mandaviya took the office of the Union Health Ministry from Harsh Vardhan as the country fought against the COVID-19 pandemic. He was also allocated for the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers again.
He was earlier presented as minister of state for ports, shipping and waterways and minister of state for chemical and fertilisers. He was entered in the Union council of ministers as a Minister of State in 2016. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2012 and re-elected in 2018. He became the Chairman of Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation in 2011 when Modi was the Chief Minister.
Born in a middle-class peasant family in a small village Hanol in the Palitana taluka of Saurashtra’s region Bhavnagar region, Mandaviya became the youngest MLA at the age of 28 years in 2002. His affection for animals drove him to study veterinary science at the Gujarat Agricultural University’s Dantiwada campus. He later did his masters in political science.
He is popular for his padyatras where he covers long distances on foot for a noble cause connecting villages and spreading awareness. He performed his first yatra as a legislator in 2005 when he walked 123 km through 45 educationally backward villages in Palitana to uphold girls’ education. His second yatra was in 2007, under the theme ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ and ‘Vyasan Hatao’ wherein he covered 127 km criss-crossing 52 villages.
In 2019, he commenced a week-long Padyatra to cultivate the doctrines and values of Mahatma Gandhi. The 150-km route of the yatra covered 150 villages.
He is an active partaker of Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) and in May 2019, he was honoured by the Unicef for his contribution to women’s menstrual hygiene.