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I like you Mr Modi. Your are a good person and an inspiring leader.

I like you because your intentions are driven purely for India. I saw that passion, care and love for our motherland and its people, in your eyes when we meet on August 6, 2021.

You called me your friend from Goa and that too me was such a wonderful way to describe our friendship.

I remember your laughter when I told you, about my retort to people who call me a ‘Bhakt of Modi’ – ‘I am a Bhakt, are you a Kambhakt’. It showed me your witty side.

I know you face immense criticism for the sincerity of your work; some decisions, some might not understand. But I see a plan behind your actions, that plan is not for the destruction of India but for its welfare. There are short-term objectives and then there are long-terms goals.

In our discussion for 25-minutes, I understood that you care for India, as a child cares for its mother. It is this single-minded courage of conviction that you possess that endears many committed nationalists like me to you as a person and as a leader.

It is not easy managing and governing India. It is diverse and often difficult to comprehend, especially the needs, wants and aspirations of the people of India.

I know it is impossible to be appreciated by every quarter in India but I can see most people in the country admire your efforts and dedication Towards a Better India. The people of India have a sense of hope in you and they are willing to put their trust implicitly in you.

The fact about your life that is inspiring to me is that you were a common citizen, who came from humble beginnings to work your way up the ladder of success. You were not born into aristocracy or political legacy. You have strived arduously over the years to rise up and take forward your visions and missions for Gujarat first as a state and now over the last seven-years India as a nation.

Your rise in the political space in India and globally has been phenomenal but it has not come without strife and hardships. You have surfed the tough waves of your political career with confidence and taken people that believed in you and followed you, along with you.

Life, in my simple understanding has been your greatest teacher.

It is wonderful to learn from your strategies in dealing with the different hurdles you have faced as the Chief Minister of Gujarat and now as the Prime Minister of India. I have been following your work since 2000. And it has not been an easy ride for you. Every step of the way has been a struggle but with each challenge you have emerged stronger than before and more determined. It as though, your challenges in life have moulded your career for the better. That grit you possess is infectious.

I realized in my personal meeting with you, which was huge high in my personal achievements of my life, that you are not pretentious. You are who you are and you just want to give your best to India in the best that you can give.

People look for perfection in their leaders. I do not think any leader can be perfect in his actions or decisions but he can be honest in his intentions and that’s what I found in you during our conversation. You are honest about your duty to the country and its people.

Such is the honesty you possess in your intentions for India, that dishonest people in India and nations outside of India fear you. They feared you when you were the Chief Minister of Gujarat, they fear you even more now that you are the Prime Minister of India for a second-term and I am quite confident you will be the Prime Minister for the third-term too. Our nation’s enemies know that under your leadership, India can strengthen its roots to grow into a global nation that is valued, respected and feared.

Your life’s experiences of 71-years is an interesting learning for most Indians because it is about a man from the grassroots of India who dreamed of a Better India and worked for the last several-decades to do his duty to the nation.

I am in awe of you as a politician but I have even more admiration for your humanness. You are good human being. You have a heart of care and concern for the common people.

The Congress has termed your birthday as ‘Panuati Day’ and ‘Bad Omen Day’. That is the pathetic level of their political maturity. Once tall political leaders and political parties have exposed their fall into an abysmal pit of degeneration and degradation. Such is their hate for you, because you have shafted their political arrogance with your governmental policies, some very tough decision, but most of all, they cannot get over your connect with the people of India. They don’t understand what makes people connect to you.

The answer to the question of your people connect is simple. You are one of them, you think like them, you act like them, you live like them and you dream like them. It is your simplicity and lack corruption in governance that makes people believe in you.

On your 71st birthday, I wish the very best for you and your years ahead as leader of one of the world’s most promising nation – India with our people of great ethos and culture.

Humbled that you considered me to be a your friend from Goa. I am glad to have a friend like you from whom I can learn.

You are a leader that has stirred a spirit of confidence in our people. It is a confidence that will reshape the future of India for the better.

Some people can continue to mock you for reasons known to them, I see you differently. And I am glad that our country at this point of time has you as our leader. You are not perfect but you are the best we have.

From the people of Goa, my family and myself: Happy Birthday Mr Modi!

Author Name : Savio Rodrigues

Disclaimer:

This article was first published in Goa Chronicle.

It is part of an endeavour to collect stories which narrate or recount people’s anecdotes/opinion/analysis on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi & his impact on lives of people.

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Swachhata and governance reforms will shape Modi's legacy: Hardeep Singh Puri
October 17, 2021
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On October 7, 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi completed 20 successful years in high public office. First, as chief minister of Gujarat, and then as Prime Minister, his two tenures as chief executive have redefined leadership. Nowhere is this more visible than in the historic Swachhata campaign.

The first accomplishment is the massive rejuvenation of water bodies in Gujarat. From acute scarcity to water adequacy in a mere two decades, the turnaround for a state that was perennially short of water is astounding. Not only did Modi as CM oversee the construction of the Narmada canal, he also led the augmentation of all canal systems and water sources in the state. It led to the state government spending more than Rs 1 lakh crore in the last two decades to build 184,000 check dams and 327,000 farm ponds while deepening 31,500 ponds and reviving 1,000 abandoned step-wells. These measures have resulted in a 77% increase in irrigable area and 55% increase in ground water recharge today.

As PM, his focus on rejuvenating water systems-especially in our cities-is now bearing fruit. His aim: to make the country 'water secure' through the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation 2.0 (AMRUT 2.0) and Jal Jeevan Mission.

The guiding philosophy is based on the Gandhian principles of Sarvodaya and self-sufficiency. Gandhiji was the first proponent of Swachhata - he highlighted the importance of cleanliness, saying "sanitation is more important than Independence" at the Banaras Hindu University in 1916.

On October 2, 2005, Modi launched the Gujarat Urban Development Year-the 'Nirmal Gujarat' programme was the thread that connected Gandhiji's unfulfilled dream to Modi's belief that universal sanitation was the fulcrum on which development would stand. The programme introduced many innovative features such as community involvement, women-led implementation, and focus on behavioural change, demand-driven approach, and financial incentives.

The strides made in Gujarat informed his idea of the Swachh Bharat Mission to convert Gandhiji's dream into a reality. A few cynics thought it would be impossible to become an Open Defecation Free (ODF) country. We have gone from a meagre 38% ODF status in 2014 to almost 100% today, the notable exception being the state of West Bengal.

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission - Urban (SBM-U), this government has built more than 73 lakh toilets and increased the solid waste management processing capability of urban areas from 18% in 2014 to more than 70% today. Taking it to the next level, the Centre launched the SBM-U 2.0 to capitalise on this momentum, and go from being an 'ODF India' to a 'Garbage-free India'.

The PM is reimagining cities by undertaking the most comprehensive planned urbanisation exercise in the world. We have unlocked the trapped potential of our cities by making a quantum leap in urban investments. In the last six years alone, the Modi government has spent Rs 11.83 lakh crore-a seven-fold increase over the Rs 1.57 lakh crores that was spent between 2004 and 2014-on upgrading critical urban infrastructure while mainstreaming climate change, gender, heritage, and equity.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - Urban (PMAY-U) - this government has sanctioned almost 1.14 crore houses, with beneficiaries already moving into more than 51 lakh housing units. The AMRUT Mission has addressed the needs of basic civic infrastructure in 500 cities with populations of more than 1 lakh. This has now been followed by AMRUT 2.0 which envisages universal water supply with tap connection in all statutory towns in the country. The Smart Cities Mission has embedded a culture of innovation in urban development that all the 4,378 urban centres can replicate.

These initiatives reflect PM's coherent vision for the pyramid of urban development in India - right from the basic needs of sanitation and housing to advanced digital solutions and mobility.

I firmly believe that he has done more to reform governance than any past administration. One only needs to look at the sheer scope of reforms that he has effected: be it toilets, bank accounts, digital services, drinking water, electricity, defence, or cities, he has stamped his vision on the country.

Author Name: Hardeep Singh Puri

Disclaimer:

This article was first published in The Economic Times

It is part of an endeavour to collect stories which narrate or recount people’s anecdotes/opinion/analysis on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi & his impact on lives of people.