Gujarat MP Mansukh Mandaviya becomes India’s next health minister

Mansukh Mandaviya, health minister, Narendra Modi

In the cabinet reshuffle, the portfolio of Health and Family Welfare has gone to Gujarat based Rajya Sabha MP Mansukh Mandaviya who took oath in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new cabinet as the Union Health Minister.

He will additionally hold the portfolio of the Chemical and Fertiliser ministry.

Mandaviya was inducted into 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.

Known for his padyatras, Mandaviya rose to fame after he covered long distances on foot for spreading awareness over various causes. He organized his first yatra as a legislator in 2005 when he walked 123 km through 45 educationally backward villages in Palitana to advocate girls’ education. His second yatra was in 2007, under the theme ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ and ‘Vyasan Hatao’ wherein he covered 127 km crisscrossing 52 villages.

Mandaviya was born in a middle-class farmer family in a small village Hanol in the Palitana taluka of Saurashtra’s region Bhavnagar district. He became the youngest MLA at the age of 28 years in 2002. He studied veterinary science at the Gujarat Agricultural University’s Dantiwada campus. He later did his masters in political science.

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