Mr. Anil Goswami was born in Jammu, in the State of Jammu & Kashmir on 14th Jan. 1955. He had his education in schools, colleges and Universities located in different parts of India. He was selected for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1978 and has been working in Jammu & Kashmir since then. Mr. Goswami has held many senior positions in the Government and has been associated with the development of the holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi Ji since the take over of its management by a Statutory Board in 1986. Mr. Goswami lives with his family in Jammu.
The holy Shrine of Vaishno Devi Ji is visited by I.s of pilgrims every year. Indeed, the number of pilgrims coming for Darshan has been rising every year, especially since 1986 when the management and administration of the holy Shrine was taken over by a statutory Board set up under the Shri Mare Vaishno Devi Shrine Act, 1986. Most of these pilgrims are very keen to know the myths, legends and stories associated with the Shrine. Many others are curious to know about the various developments that have taken place since the management of the Shrine was put on a permanent footing. Unfortunately there was nothing comprehensive enough with which the curiosity of the pilgrims could be assuaged. Of course, there was some literature available in the market but it was sketchy and usually did not satisfy the inquisitive reader. It was, therefore, felt that an attempt should be made to write a book where most of the information sought by the pilgrim could be available at one place. The present book is the result of this effort.
A substantial part of the book has been written in the first person and the pronoun "we" has been used quite liberally. This is due to the fact that most of the work that was done for developing the area at and enroute the holy Shrine was done by I and my colleagues. It was a team effort and I felt that it would not be fair to my colleagues to write in the third person as that would impart it a very impersonal touch. There is nothing impersonal about our feeling for the holy Shrine. We ache for it. The initial thrust to the development of the area of the holy Shrine was provided by Mr. Jagmohan during his tenure as Govemor of Jammu and Kashmir (198489). especially from September 1986 onwards. We worked at break neck speed during those days to show the world that we could make a difference and we succeeded. T. tenure of Mr. Girish Chandra Saxena as Govemor witnessed a period of consolidation. The new Board became financially stronger and more mature . General K.V.Krishna Rao's tenure as Governor saw the Shrine Board breaking new grounds. Ambitious new schemes were drawn up and taken up for execution. The wont that was done at Vaishno Devi could not have been accomplished without the unstinted and total support of the Board that was managing the affairs of the holy Shrine. Indeed, it would be difficult to find a Board that could have been more understanding and generous. And throughout this period, dynamic officers of Jammu and Kashmir were working with dedication to conven dreams into realities.
Enormous work has gone in to making the area of the holy Shrine what it is today. No person could have done it single handedly. In fact. some of the finest officers of Jammu and Kashmir worked tirelessly to create something we could all be proud of. Of course, nothing is ever perfect. Nevertheless, the arrangements put into position for managing the yatra to Vaishno Devi Ji are fairly efficient and they work. That is reason enough to feel proud.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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