Governor of Rajasthan Shri Kalraj Mishra ji, Union Minister Shri Narendra Singh ji Tomar, all other ministers, my colleagues in the Parliament, legislators, all other dignitaries, and crores of farmers from various parts of the country who have joined us in this event! I extend my greetings to crores of farmers of the country from the land of Rajasthan. Today, my dear brothers and sisters from Rajasthan are also adding to the grandeur of this significant event.
The land of Khatu Shyam Ji instills confidence and hope in devotees from all over the country. I am fortunate that today I have the opportunity to initiate several development projects for the nation from Shekhawati, the land of warriors. Today, nearly 18,000 crores of rupees have been sent to the bank accounts of millions of farmers as part of the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi from here. This amount has been directly deposited into their accounts.
Today, 1.25 lakh PM Kisan Samriddhi Kendras have been started in the country. These PM Kisan Samriddhi Kendras established at the village and block levels will directly benefit crores of farmers. Today, the 'Open Network for Digital Commerce' (ONDC) has also been launched for more than 1,500 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and our farmers. This will make it easier for farmers sitting in any corner of the country to sell their produce to markets anywhere.
Today, a new 'Urea Gold' has also been launched for the farmers of the country. In addition to this, different cities in Rajasthan have received the gift of new medical colleges and Eklavya Model Schools. I extend my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to the people of the country, the people of Rajasthan, and especially to my farmer brothers and sisters.
The region of Sikar and Shekhawati in Rajasthan is indeed a stronghold of farmers. The farmers here have always proved that there is no obstacle that can stand in the way of their hard work. Despite the scarcity of water, farmers here have reaped bountiful crops from the soil. The capability and hard work of the farmers can extract gold from the soil. That is why our government stands shoulder to shoulder with the farmers of the country.
After so many decades of independence, today we have a government in the country that understands the pain and concerns of the farmers. Therefore, decisions have been taken continuously in the interest of the farmers by the Government of India in the last nine years. We have established new systems for farmers, from seeds to markets. I remember that we launched the Soil Health Card scheme from Suratgarh in Rajasthan in 2015. We have provided crores of Soil Health Cards to farmers across the country under this scheme. It is due to these cards that farmers now understand the health of their soil, and they are using fertilizers accordingly.
I am glad that another significant scheme is being initiated for the farmers from the land of Rajasthan. Today, more than 1.25 lakh Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samriddhi Kendras have been dedicated to the nation. All these centres will truly pave the way for the prosperity of farmers. In a way, they are one-stop centres for the farmers.
Farmer brothers and sisters often have to go to different places for the purchase of goods related to agriculture and for other needs. Now, you won't have to deal with such difficulties anymore. The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samriddhi Kendras will provide seeds and fertilizers to the farmers. Additionally, these centres will offer tools and other machines related to farming. These centres will also provide modern information related to farming to the farmers. I have seen that due to the lack of accurate information about government schemes, my farmer brothers and sisters suffer significant losses. The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samriddhi Kendras will now serve as a reliable source of timely information about every scheme.
This is just the beginning, and I urge my fellow farmers to adopt this habit as well. Even if you don't need to buy anything related to farming, but if you have gone to the market and if there is a Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samriddhi Kendra in the town, do visit it. See what's happening there. You must have observed when our mothers and sisters go to buy vegetables but if they come across a saree shop, even if they don't need to buy one, they still visit it. They want to know what's new, what variety is available. My farmer brothers and sisters should also take out a little time and develop this habit - whenever you go to a town and there's a Kisan Samriddhi Kendra, make sure to visit it. Check out every variety, see what's new. You will gain immense benefits from it. Friends, the country will have more than 1.75 lakh Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samriddhi Kendras established by the end of this year.
The current government at the Centre is working with complete honesty to reduce the expenses of farmers by sharing their expenses. The PM Kisan Samman Nidhi is the world's largest scheme in which direct money is transferred to the bank accounts of farmers. If we add today’s 14th instalment, over 2.6 lakh crore rupees have been directly sent to the bank accounts of farmers. This amount has significantly aided farmers in managing various small expenses.
Urea prices are also an example of how our government is saving the money of our farmer brothers. And farmers from across the country please listen to me carefully. You know how the devastating pandemic of Corona struck, followed by the war between Russia and Ukraine, causing a significant upheaval in the markets. It led to severe disruptions, especially in the fertilizer sector. But our government did not allow the impact of all this to fall on our farmers.
I want to share the truth about the prices of fertilizers with all my fellow farmers in the country. Today, the bag of urea that we give to farmers of India for Rs. 266, the same bag of urea is available to farmers in our neighbouring country Pakistan for nearly Rs. 800. Similarly, the bag of urea that we give to farmers of India for Rs. 266, the same bag of urea is available to farmers of Bangladesh for nearly Rs. 720. The bag of urea that we give to farmers of India for Rs. 266, the same bag of urea costs Rs. 2100 to farmers in China. And do you know how much this bag of urea costs in America these days? The same bag of urea for which you pay less than Rs. 300 is being sold to American farmers for more than Rs. 3,000. You can see the difference between Rs. 300 and Rs. 3,000.
Our government will not let Indian farmers suffer due to the prices of urea. The farmers of the country are witnessing and experiencing this truth every day. When they go to buy urea, they have full confidence that this is Modi's guarantee. If you ask the farmers what is guarantee, you will come to know about it.
In Rajasthan, all of you farmers grow coarse grains like bajra (millet) with your hard work. And in different corners of our country, there are different types of coarse grains being cultivated. Now our government has given the recognition of ‘Shree Anna’ to these coarse grains. All the coarse grains will be identified under the name of ‘Shree Anna’, and our government is taking India's coarse grains to the world's biggest markets. It is due to the government's efforts, the production, processing, and export of ‘Shree Anna’ products are increasing in the country. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the White House in the United States for a dinner hosted by President Biden. I was pleased to see that there was a dish of our coarse grains on the plate there too.
The ongoing efforts are bringing immense benefits to our country and to the small farmers in our Rajasthan who are involved in cultivating coarse grains and ‘Shree Anna’ crops. Numerous initiatives being taken in the country are bringing about significant positive changes in the lives of farmers.
India's development can happen only when the villages of India are developed. India can become developed only when its villages are developed. That's why today our government is working to bring every facility to the villages of India, similar to what is available in cities. You all are aware that there was a time when a significant population of the country was deprived of healthcare services. Crores of people used to live their lives relying on fate. It was assumed that good hospitals are only in Delhi, Jaipur, or other big cities. We are changing this situation too. Today, new AIIMS (All India Institutes of Medical Sciences) and new medical colleges are being established in every part of the country.
As a result of these efforts, today the number of medical colleges in the country has exceeded 700. There were only 10 medical colleges in Rajasthan 8-9 years ago. Today, the number of medical colleges in Rajasthan has increased to 35. This not only provides better medical facilities in and around our own districts but also produces a large number of doctors through these institutions. These doctors are becoming the foundation for improved healthcare services in small towns and villages.
For example, the new medical colleges that have opened today will benefit many areas, including Baran, Bundi, Tonk, Sawai Madhopur, Karauli, Jhunjhunu, Jaisalmer, Dholpur, Chittorgarh, Sirohi and Sikar. People will no longer have to travel to Jaipur or Delhi for medical treatment. Good hospitals will now be available near your homes, and the sons and daughters of the poor will also have the opportunity to become doctors by studying in these medical colleges. Moreover, our government has paved the way for medical education to be taught in the mother tongue. Now, there will be no hindrance for any son or daughter of a poor person from becoming a doctor due to not knowing English. And this is also a guarantee of Modi.
Brothers and sisters,
For decades, our villages and the underprivileged were also left behind mainly because there were no good schools in rural areas. The children from backward and tribal communities used to dream big, but they had no way to fulfil those dreams. We have significantly increased the budget for education, improved resources, and opened Eklavya Model Tribal Schools. This has brought immense benefits to our tribal youth.
Success becomes significant when dreams are ambitious. Rajasthan is a state that has astonished the world with its magnificence for centuries. It is our responsibility to preserve that heritage and propel Rajasthan towards modern development. Therefore, our priority is to create modern infrastructure in Rajasthan. Recently, two hi-tech expressways were inaugurated in the state - a crucial section of the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and the Amritsar-Jamnagar Expressway, both adding new chapters to Rajasthan's development story. The people of Rajasthan have also been gifted the Vande Bharat train.
The Indian government is currently investing in infrastructure and developing facilities related to tourism, which will create new opportunities for Rajasthan as well. When you invite tourists with the slogan 'Padharo Mhare Desh,' the expressways and good rail facilities will welcome them.
Our government has expanded the facilities at the Khatushyam Ji Temple under the Swadesh Darshan Yojana. I believe that Rajasthan's development will gain even more momentum with the blessings of Shri Khatushyam. All of us will give a new identity to the pride and heritage of Rajasthan in the whole world.
The Chief Minister of Rajasthan Shri Ashok Gehlot ji has been unwell for the past few days, facing discomfort in his feet. Today, he was supposed to attend this program, but he couldn't make it due to that problem. I pray for his good health. I dedicate all these important developments and initiatives for the welfare of the farmers and the people of Rajasthan and express my heartiest congratulations and best wishes. With this, I conclude my speech.
Thanks a lot!