Addressing his monthly Mann Ki Baat radio program, Prime Minister Narendra Modi defended the decision to supply medicines to other countries and said it is inherent in India’s culture to help one another. “While we stepped up efforts to fulfill our needs, we also paid heed to the cry of help that came from other parts of the world,” Mr Modi said.India has taken these decisions while keeping true to its culture. Everyone is facing medicine shortage, and in these times, even if India doesn’t provide medicines, no one would have faulted it because every country would prioritize the lives of its citizens, he said.
“But we decided in keeping with our culture. We undertook the task of providing medical supplies to the needy across the world, and have completed this humanitarian task.“Today when I speak to heads of state of various countries on phone, they make sure to express gratitude to the people of India. When they say, ‘Thank you India, Thank you, people of India,’ we feel greater pride in our country,” the Prime Minister said.
Mr Modi extended his best wishes to the people on the occasion of Akshaya-Tritiya and Ramzan. He said ‘Kshay’ means destruction but ‘Akshay’ means indestructible. “This year, it bears a special significance; it reminds us that no matter how many disasters are wreaked upon us, the human spirit of fighting is inexhaustible,” he said. He also urged the members of the Muslim community to celebrate Ramzan with a spirit of restraint, goodwill, sensitivity, and service.
The Prime Minister said India’s fight against coronavirus has become people-driven. “It is you who are putting up a fight. Every citizen is a soldier in this battle. In every neighborhood, people are helping each other; providing food to the poor, arranging rations, ensuring lockdown, making hospital arrangements, or producing medical gear, the entire country is marching ahead together,” Mr Modi said.
“For instance, our farmer brothers and sisters are toiling day and night amid the scourge to ensure that none in the country goes to bed hungry. Also, some are waiving off rent; some others depositing entire amounts received through prizes and pension in PM CARES.“Some are donating vegetables grown on farms, others are feeding a multitude of the underprivileged. Some are making masks; at places, our construction workers are whitewashing and painting schools meant for quarantine stay.
“This altruistic bent of mind is gaining strength in recent years in our country; crores of people are giving up gas subsidies or senior citizens relinquishing their railway grants, leading the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ or getting toilets constructed; there are innumerable examples.
“The government has come up with a Digital Platform called covidwarriors.gov.in. Through this platform, the government has linked social organizations, civil society, and local administrations with each other. It did not take long for 1.25 crore people to be part of this portal.
“They comprise doctors, nurses, ASHA-ANM workers, our friends from NCC and NSS, professionals from myriad fields, all of them have made the platform their own. Many of you might be aware of a special campaign called ‘Lifeline Udan’ undertaken for ensuring the supply of medicines to every corner of the country. “Within a short period, our colleagues clocked a flight distance of three lakh kilometers, delivering over five hundred tons of medical supplies to you in the farthest corners of the country,” PM Modi said.
He praised the state governments for their active role in dealing with the pandemic. The Prime Minister also highlighted the decision to introduce an ordinance to protect the health workers, saying that it was necessary. Concluding the program, Mr Modi urged people to cover their faces with masks or home-made ‘gamchha’ and avoid spitting in public, to protect themselves and others from the virus.
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