The Governor of Karnataka, Mr. Thawar Chand Gehlot ji; the popular Chief Minister, Basavaraj Bommai ji, my cabinet colleague Prahlad Joshi ji, Ministers of the Government of Karnataka, MPs, MLAs, all other dignitaries present on the stage and my dear brothers and sisters of Mysuru!
Karnataka is one of those states in the country where both the economic and spiritual prosperity of the country are seen simultaneously. Karnataka is a perfect example of how we can fulfil the resolutions of the 21st century while enriching our ancient culture; and in Mysuru, this amalgamation of history, heritage and modernity is visible everywhere. Hence, Mysuru has been chosen this time to celebrate our heritage on the International Day of Yoga and to connect crores of people of the world with a healthy lifestyle. Tomorrow, countless people from around the world will connect with this historical land of Mysuru and perform yoga.
Brothers & Sisters,
This land has given many great personalities like Nalwadi Krishna Wadiyar, Sir M Visvesvaraya ji and Rashtrakavi Kuvempu to the country. Such personalities have contributed significantly to the heritage and development of India. These great personalities have taught and shown us the way to connect the life of common man with facilities and respect. The double engine government is working shoulder to shoulder with full force in Karnataka. We are witnessing the mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas', here in Mysuru today. A short while back, I spoke to the beneficiaries of several government schemes for the welfare of the people and that is why I was late in coming on the stage; because they had so much to tell and I too enjoyed listening to them. So, I was interacting with them for quite a long time. And they have shared a lot. But we have also taken an initiative to overcome the problems of those people who cannot speak; a centre has been launched today which encourages better research for their treatment. Also, with the foundation stone being laid for the Mysuru Coaching Complex Project, the Mysuru railway station will be modernized and rail connectivity will be strengthened here.
My dear brothers and sisters of Mysuru,
This year is the 75th year of independence. In the last 7 decades, Karnataka has seen many governments. Various governments were formed in the country as well. Every government talked a lot about the welfare of the villagers, poor, dalits, deprived, backward classes, women and farmers as well as formulated certain schemes for them. But their reach was limited; their influence was limited; their benefits were also limited to a small area. In 2014, when you gave us the opportunity to serve at the centre, we decided to change the old systems and methods. We started work on mission mode to make government benefits and government schemes reach every person and every section of people who were entitled to it. They should get the benefits they are entitled to!
Brothers & Sisters,
In the last 8 years, we have extensively expanded the schemes for the welfare of the poor. Earlier, they were limited to only one state, but now they have been made accessible to the whole country like the 'One Nation, One Ration Card'. For the last two years, more than 4.5 crore poor people of Karnataka have been getting the facility of free ration. If a person from Karnataka goes to other states for work, even then the same facility will be available to him there under 'One Nation, One Ration Card'.
Similarly, the benefit of Ayushman Bharat scheme is being availed all over the country. With the help of this scheme, 29 lakh poor patients of Karnataka have got free treatment so far. As a result, the poor could save Rs 4000 crore.
I just met a young man called Nitish. His whole face was disfigured because of an accident. He got a new life because of Ayushman card. He was so happy and full of confidence because his face was restored to what it was before. I was so delighted to hear his words because the use of every penny from the government could instil a new confidence in the lives of the poor and could infuse new strength to enable them of taking new resolutions.
If we had given the money directly to them, they might not have undergone the treatment. If the beneficiaries of this scheme live in any other state, even then they are getting the full benefits there as well.
In the schemes made by our government in the last 8 years, priority was given to the spirit that these should reach all sections of the society, all areas of the society and touch every corner of the country. On one hand, we have given many incentives to the youth under the start up policy, while on the other hand the money of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi is also reaching the farmers continuously today. Under PM Kisan Nidhi, more than 56 lakh small farmers of Karnataka have received about Rs 10,000 crore in their accounts so far.
On one hand we have a PLI scheme of about Rs 2 lakh crore to promote industries and manufacturing sector in the country, while on the other hand through Mudra Yojana, PM Svanidhi Yojana and Kisan Credit Card campaign, the small entrepreneurs, small farmers, livestock farmers and street vendors are being given easy loans from banks.
You might also like to know that under the Mudra Yojana, lakhs of small entrepreneurs of Karnataka have been given loans of more than Rs.1 lakh 80 thousand crores. Being a tourist destination, this scheme has helped a lot for the people providing home stays, guest houses, and other services. PM Svanidhi Yojana has also helped more than 1.5 lakh street vendors of Karnataka.
Brothers & Sisters,
Over the past 8 years, we have empowered social justice with an effective last mile delivery. Today, the poor are convinced that they will also certainly get the benefits of the schemes whose benefits have already been availed by their neighbour. His turn would come. A strong trust of receiving 100% benefits i.e. saturation, without discrimination and leakage, has been developed in the families of common men in the country. When 3.75 lakh poor families of Karnataka get pucca houses, then this trust gets stronger. When more than 50 lakh families of Karnataka start getting piped water supply for the first time, then this trust grows further. When the poor is free from the worry of basic amenities, then he engages in the development of the nation with more enthusiasm.
Brothers & Sisters,
During the 'Azadi Ka AmritKaal', every necessary step is being taken to ensure the participation of everyone in the development of India. Our 'Divyang' friends had to face difficulties at every step. Our government is constantly making efforts to minimize the dependence of our differently-abled companions on others. So in our currency, new features have been added in the coins for the convenience of the 'Divyang'. Courses related to the education of differently-abled are being enriched all over the country. Emphasis is being laid on making public places, buses, railways and other offices 'Divyang-friendly'. Common sign language has also been developed to reduce the problems of ''Divyangjans' on moving from one place to another. Necessary equipment has also been given free of cost to crores of ''Divyangjans" of the country.
Even today, the modern Sir M Visvesvaraya railway station in Bangalore, which has been inaugurated, has Braille maps and special signages and a ramp facility in the subway connecting all the platforms. In Mysuru, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing is providing a great service. Centre of Excellence has been inaugurated today for this institute to help the 'Divyang' human resources of the country to become an important force for building a strong India.
For those who cannot speak, this centre will encourage research related to better treatment of their problems, provide solutions to improve their lives and empower them. And today I would like to make a special request to the youth from the start-up world that as you have ideas and are innovative thinkers, your start-ups can also do a lot for my 'Divyang' brothers and sisters. Your start-up can develop many such things which can give a great new strength to my 'Divyang' brothers and sisters in life. And I believe that the youth from the world of start-ups will join me in the concern for my 'Divyang' brothers and together we will do something good for them.
Brothers & Sisters,
Modern infrastructure plays the biggest role in making life and business easier. The double engine government in Karnataka is working in this direction in a huge way. In the last 8 years, the central government has sanctioned about Rs 70 thousand crore for 5000 Km of national highways in Karnataka. Today, the foundation stone of national highway projects worth more than Rs 7,000 crore has been laid in Bangalore. The Central Government is going to spend about Rs 35,000 crore this year to create thousands of employment opportunities and connectivity in Karnataka through National Highways. I am glad that due to the double engine government in Karnataka, these projects are getting off the ground and getting completed at a faster pace.
Rail connectivity has benefitted Karnataka even more in the last 8 years. The work that has been started for the modernization of Mysuru railway station and Nagenahalli station will make life easier for the farmers and the youth here. Nagenahalli is also being developed as a coaching terminal and MEMU train shed for suburban traffic. This will reduce the present burden on Mysuru yard. With the running of MEMU trains, commuters travelling to and from Mysuru city on a daily basis from central Bangalore, Mandya and other adjoining areas will be benefitted a lot. With this, tourism of Mysuru will also get a strong boost and new employment opportunities related to tourism will also be created.
I want to give you another example of how the government of double engine is working for the development of Karnataka and for improving the connectivity here. Before 2014, the government at the centre, in the railway budget, used to make an average provision of Rs 800 crore for Karnataka every year. I would request the Media friends from Karnataka to keep this in mind. The previous government used to make an average provision of Rs 800 crore every year. But now, a provision of about Rs 7,000 crore has been made in the budget by the central government this year. That is, a straight increase of more than 6 times. For Karnataka, work is going on over projects worth more than Rs 34,000 crore for railways. Even in terms of electrification of railway lines, you will be surprised to hear the way our government has worked. Let me give you a statistical figure. Pay attention to it. During the ten years prior to 2014, i.e. from 2004 to 2014, only 16 km of railway lines in Karnataka were electrified. But during our government's tenure, about 1600 km of railway lines have been electrified in Karnataka; 16 Kilometre in 10 year and 1600 Kilometre in these 8 years! This is the working speed of the double engine.
Brothers & Sisters,
This pace of overall development of Karnataka should remain like this. Let the double engine government continue to serve you like this. With this determination we are always ready to serve you and your blessings are our greatest strength. You have come in such a large number to bless us. Your blessings give us immense strength to serve you more.
I once again congratulate all of you from the bottom of my heart for these various schemes. I am deeply grateful to you for the way Karnataka has welcomed me today in Bengaluru and Mysuru. And tomorrow when the whole world celebrates Yoga Day, when the world is connected with yoga, then the eyes of the whole world are going to be on Mysuru too. My best wishes to you and heartiest congratulations! Thanks a lot!