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DDC elections show the strength of our democracy: PM
Development of Jammu and Kashmir is one of the biggest priorities of our Government: PM

Today, I had the opportunity to hear experience about the Ayushman Bharat Yojanafrom two beneficiaries of Jammu and Kashmir. These are not just your experiences for me. Sometimes, when we hear the words of contentment from those for whom we work, make decisions, those words become blessings for me. These blessings give me great strength to work more and harder for the poor. Incidentally, both the brothers from Jammu and Srinagar run a very small business, one is a driver and the other does something else, but this scheme is proving to be very handy in times of distress. I felt very good to hear from you. It is the commitment of our government that the benefits of development schemes reach the last man, the poorest of the poor and every nook and corner of the country.Present at this function today my cabinet colleague Home Minister Shri Amit Shah ji, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhanji, brother Jitendra Singhji, who is working with me as minister of state in PMO, Lieutenant Governor of Jammu-Kashmir Shri Manoj Sinha ji, all my other colleagues from Parliament, public representatives of Jammu and Kashmir and my dear brothers and sisters from Jammu and Kashmir.

Today is a very historic day for Jammu and Kashmir. Today, all the people of Jammu and Kashmir are going to get the benefit of AyushmanYojana. The SEHAT scheme is a very big step in itself. And, I am also very happy to see Jammu and Kashmir takingthis step for the development of its people, and, therefore, congratulations to Shri Manoj Sinhaji and his entire team, all the government employees and the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir, on my behalf. I wished that this programmewasheld yesterday.If it could have been heldon the 25th, on the birth anniversary of Atal ji, but due to some other engagements, I could not do it yesterday.So, I had to fix today's date. Atal ji had a special affection for Jammu and Kashmir. Atal ji had been consistently guiding us to work on the principles of Insaniyat (Humanity), Jamhooriyat(Democracy) and Kashmiriyat (Identity of the people of Kashmir). With these three mantras and strengthening the same spirit, Jammu and Kashmir is moving forward today.

Friends,

Before I go into the benefits of this scheme in detail, I would like to say since I have gotthe opportunity to be amongst you today, I congratulate the people of Jammu-Kashmir for strengthening democracy. Electionsto the District Development Council have written a new chapter. I was monitoring every phase of these elections to see how, despite such a biting cold and corona, the young, elderly and women were arriving at booths. They stood in queues for hours. I noticed a hope and a zeal for development on the face of every voter in Jammu-Kashmir. I have also seen in the eyes of every voter in Jammu-Kashmir the confidence of a better future, bidding adieu to the past.

Friends,

In these elections, the people of Jammu-Kashmir have worked to strengthen the roots of democracy and I would also like to say that the way the administration of Jammu-Kashmir and the security forces have conducted this election, these elections were held in a transparent way with noble intentions from all the parties. I feel so proud when I hear about free and fair elections from Jammu-Kashmir and our faith in the power of democracy getsstrengthened further. I also congratulate the administration and the security forces. You have not done a small job; you have done a great job. Had I been face to face with you today, my words of appreciation for you would have run short. You have done such a great job. You have created a new trust in the country and the entire credit goes to Manojji and his government and all the people of the administration. There is a moment of pride for India.

Friends,

This three-tier panchayat system in Jammu-Kashmir is, in a way, the dream of Mahatma Gandhi's Gram Swaraj. In a way, these elections have realized Gandhi’s dream of Gram Swaraj and today the Panchayati Raj system in the countryhas achieved perfection in the land of Jammu-Kashmir. This is the beginning of the leadership in the new decade and the new era. Over the years, we have tried day and night to strengthen grassrootsdemocracy, democratic institutions in Jammu-Kashmir. And the brothers and sisters of Jammu-Kashmir would know that there was a time when we were part of the Government of Jammu-Kashmir. We had our deputy chief minister, we had ministers, but we renounced that pleasure for power. We came out of the government. You know the issue on which we came out of the government. Our issue was we wanted panchayat elections and rights to citizens of the villages of Jammu-Kashmir. We wanted to give them power to make decisions of villages. On this issue, we left the government and hit the streets with you. And today I am happy that most of the people you have elected at the block, panchayat or district level live among you and they have won elections.They have also faced the same difficulties that you have. Their joys and sorrows, their dreams, their hopes are also fully in consonance with your happiness and sorrows, your dreams and expectations. These are the people who have been able to secure yourblessings not on the strength of their names but on the strength of their work and today you have given them the right to represent you. The youth who you have elected today will work with you and work for you. I also congratulate those who have been elected, and who have not been victorious this time, I would say that you should not be discouraged and should continue to serve the people. If not today, victory might be in your destiny tomorrow. This is what happens in a democracy.Who gets the opportunity should serve, who does not get a chance he should remain active always. You are also preparing them for big roles for your region as well as the country in the near future. These elections in Jammu-Kashmir have also exhibited how strong democracy is in our country. But I also want to share another pain with the country today. Jammu-Kashmir organized the three-tier Panchayati Raj elections peacefully and gave the people their rights within a year of becoming a Union Territory. Now, these elected people will decide the future of their villages, districts and blocks in Jammu-Kashmir.But there are some people in Delhi who keep cursing, criticizing and insulting Modi day in and day out and teach me new lessons on democracy every day. I want to hold up a mirror to them. Look at Jammu-Kashmir, within a short span of becoming a Union Territory; they proceeded to work with the three-tier Panchayati Raj system. But see the irony, on the other hand, despite the Supreme Court’s order in Puducherry, Panchayat and municipal elections have not happened. Those who teach me democracy every day, it is their party which is in power there. You will be surprised the Supreme Court has given this order in 2018. But the government there, which does not have any faith in democracy, is constantly avoiding the matter.

Friends,

After decades of waiting, the local body polls were held in Puducherry in 2006. The term of the people who were elected in this election ended in 2011. It also shows the big difference between the words and actions of some political parties, and how serious they are towards democracy. It has been so many years, Panchayat elections are not being allowed in Puducherry.

Brothers and sisters,

The central government is constantly trying that there should be a bigger role for the people of villages in the development of the villages. Panchayati Raj institutions are being given more power from planning to implementation.You have also seen how much the responsibility of panchayats has now increased to meet the needs of the poor. The benefit is also being seen in Jammu-Kashmir. Electricity has reached the villages of Jammu-Kashmir. The villages here have become open defecation free today. The entire administration under Manojji's leadership is also working very fast to construct roads in villages amidst difficulties. The mission of providing potable water to every household is proceeding at a rapid pace in Jammu-Kashmir. Efforts are being made to ensure piped drinking water to every household in the state in the next 2-3 years. The strengthening of local governance in Jammu-Kashmir will bring great impetus to development activities.

Friends,

Today, the development of the people of Jammu and Kashmir is one of the top priorities of our government. Our government is making every decision for the betterment of the state whether it is women empowerment, opportunities for youth, the welfare goals of dalits, victims and the underprivileged or constitutional and basic rights of the people. Today, democratic institutions like Panchayati Raj are spreading this positive message of hope. Today, we have succeeded in instilling confidence among the people that change is possible and these changes can be brought about by their chosen representatives. We are giving opportunities to the aspirations of the people by introducing democracy at the grassroots level. Jammu-Kashmir has its own great heritage and its illustrious people are adopting ways and suggesting new ways to empower their region.

Friends,

Before Ravi, Beas and Sutlej, there are many other sub-rivers which merge into the Jhelum River, which is called the lifeline of Jammu-Kashmir, and then all these rivers are immersed in the Great Indus River. The great Indus River is synonymous with our civilization, our culture and development journey. Similarly, the revolution of development also comes with many ideologies like sub-rivers and tributaries and becomes one big ideology. With this thought, we are trying to bring about a change in the health sector also. Our government has launched a number of schemes like many small streams and everyone has the same goal --to revolutionize the health sector. When we provided gas connections to the sisters and daughters of the country under the UjjwalaYojana, it should not be seen as a scheme to provide fuel only. We tried to liberate our sisters and daughters from smoke, to improve the health of the whole family. Even during the pandemic, about 18 lakh gas cylinders were refilled in Jammu-Kashmir. Similarly, you take the example of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. More than 10 lakh toilets were constructed in Jammu-Kashmir under the campaign. But the aim is not only confined to building toilets; it is also an attempt to improve the health of the people. There is cleanliness through toilets and many diseases have also been prevented. Now, as part of this, the Jammu-Kashmir Ayushman Bharat-SEHAT Scheme has been launched today. You think, when everybody in the state gets free treatment of Rs. 5 lakhs under this scheme, how much convenience will be there in their lives. So far, the Ayushman Bharat Scheme was being availed by about 6 lakh families in the state. Now, after the SEHAT scheme, the same benefit will be available to about 21 lakh families.

Friends,

In the last two years, more than 1.5 crore poor people have benefited from the Ayushman Bharat Yojana. This has also given a lot of relief to the people of Jammu-Kashmir in times of difficulty. About one lakh poor patients have been treated free of cost up to Rs 5 lakh in the hospitals. The diseases that are being treated the most are cancer, heart and ortho related diseases. These are the diseases, the expenditure on which can cause sleepless nights to any poor man. We have seen how a poor family, which has worked hard to come up a little bit or the middle class people movingup, get back into the cycle of poverty if there is a disease in the family.

Brothers and sisters,

The air in the valleys of Jammu-Kashmir is so pure, the pollution is so less that everyone wants it, and I would definitely like you to always be healthy. Yes, now I am satisfied that in the event of sickness, Ayushman Bharat-SEHAT scheme will be a companion to you.

Friends,

There will be another benefit of the scheme which needs to be mentioned again and again. Your treatment will not be confined to government and private hospitals in Jammu-Kashmir only. But you will also get this facility in the country where thousands of hospitals are linked under this scheme. Assume, you have gone to Mumbai and suddenly if you need it, this card will also be of your help in Mumbai. If you go to Chennai, it will also be helpful there and the hospital there will also serve you for free. Butif you have gone to Kolkata, there will be a problem because their government is not part of the Ayushman scheme. Some people are like this, but what can be done. There are more than 24,000 hospitals across the country where you will be able to get treatment under the SEHAT scheme. No restriction, no hindrance. No commission to anybody and there is no issue of any cut, no recommendation, no corruption. By showing the SEHAT scheme card, you will get treatment everywhere.

Friends,

Jammu and Kashmir is now marching on the path of the development of the country side by side. The work that has been done in the state in regard to corona is commendable. I am told that more than 3,000 doctors, more than 14,000 paramedical staff, ASHA workers, were busy day and night and still engaged. You also prepared the state hospitals in the fight against corona in a very short time. Because of such arrangements, we have succeeded in saving more and more patients of the corona.

Brothers and sisters,

The health sector in Jammu-Kashmir has never been given as much attention as it is today. Under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana, there is a target of creating more than 1100 health and wellness centres in the state. Out of this, work on more than 800 such centreshas been completed. The availability of medicines at Jan Aushadhicentres at very low prices and the facility of free dialysis have also benefited thousands of people. Two cancer institutes are also being set up in Jammu and Srinagar division. The work for two AIIMS is also progressing at a fast pace. Work is in progress to ensure more opportunities for the youth in Jammu-Kashmir itself for medical and paramedical education. Seven new medical colleges have been sanctioned in Jammu-Kashmir. This is going to create more than double the MBBS seats. In addition, 15 new nursing colleges which have been approved will create new opportunities for the youth. In addition, setting up of IIT and IIM in Jammu would also provide better opportunities for higher education to the youth. The projects that have been launched to enhance sports facilities in the state will help to showcasethe local talent in the world of sports.

Brothers and sisters,

Along with health, the new Jammu-Kashmir is moving fast in other infrastructure sectors. Hydro power is one of the best examples of how it has accelerated in the last 2-3 years. In seven decades, 3,500 MW of power capacity was generated in Jammu-Kashmir. In the last 2-3 years, we have added 3,000 MW more capacity. The work on projects under the Prime Minister’s Development Package is also happening very fast now. In particular, connectivity projects are going to change both the picture and fortune of the state. I have seen pictures of the spectacular railway bridge on Chenab and perhaps everybody of the country would have seen it on social media. Whose heads will not be held high in pride by looking at those pictures? The Railways are geared up to connect the Valley with the rail network in the next 2-3 years. There has been considerable progress on the light rail transit Metro project in Jammu and Srinagar. Efforts are on to complete the BanihalTunnel by next year. The government is also engaged in the completion of the semi ring road in Jammu at the earliest.

Friends,

When connectivity is better, it gives impetus to both tourism and industry. Tourism has also been the mainstay of Jammu and Kashmir. The schemes related to connectivity which the government is working on will also benefit Jammu and Kashmir. From carpets to saffron, from apples to basmati, what is not there in Jammu and Kashmir? Even during the lockdown caused by corona, the government took care that the apple growers here have least of the problems. In order to ensure the arrival of goods in markets in a timely and proper manner, our government also decided a few months ago that the Market Intervention Scheme for apple procurement will continue as of last year. Under this, apple is being procured by the government through NAFED and directly from the farmers. The payment of the apple purchased is also being madedirectly to the farmers' bank accounts through Direct Benefit Transfer. Under the scheme, 12 lakh metric tonnesof apple have been procured and it has been a major facility to the farmers of Jammu-Kashmir. Our government has also approved NAFED to use the government guarantee of Rs. 2500 crores. The government has made steady progress on increasing transportation facilities to ensure modern marketing platforms for apple procurement. The farmers have also benefited immensely from the assistance that the government is providing for apple storage. The administration is making a continuous effort to create more and more new Farmer Producers'Organisations (FPOs). The new agricultural reforms have created new opportunities for the food processing industry, both in Jammu and also in the valley. It is going to provide employment and self-employment opportunities to thousands of people.

Brothers and sisters,

Today, while thousands of government jobs are being notifiedin Jammu-Kashmir on the one hand, steps are also being taken for self-employment on the other. The banks have now started providing loans to young businessmen of Jammu-Kashmir. Even our sisters, who are associated with self help groups, are coming forward in large numbers.

Friends,

Earlier, most of the schemes that were formulated in the country, the laws that were enacted, had except J and K written. Now it has become a matter of history. The path of peace and development on which Jammu and Kashmir is progressing has also opened up the way for new industries to come up in the state. Today, Jammu-Kashmir is contributing to the self-reliant India campaign. The more than 170 central laws, which were not applicable earlier, are now part of the administration. There is an opportunity for the rights of the citizens of Jammu-Kashmir.

Friends,

Following our government decisions, the general category poor of Jammu-Kashmir have got the benefit of reservation for the first time. For the first time, the hilly people have got the benefit of reservation. Our government has also given the benefit of 4 per cent reservation to those living on the international border. The implementation of the Forest Act has also given new powers to the people. This has given a legal right to the use of forest land to Gujjar Bakarwals, scheduled tribes and those who have been traditionally living around the jungles. Now, there is no scope for discrimination against anybody. Domicile Certificate is also being given to the friends who have been living for decades in Jammu- Kashmir. This is what SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas, SabkaVishwasall about.

Friends,

Cross-border shelling has always been a matter of concern. The work of constructing bunkers on the borders is being done at a fast pace to solve the problem of shelling. A large number of bunkers have not only been constructed at sensitive places like Samba, Poonch, Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri, but army and security forces have been given a free hand for the safety of civilians.

Friends,

There has been a big mistake of those who have ruled our country for decades that they have completely neglected the development of the border areas of the country. This mindset of their governments has compelled these areas to remain in backwardness, whether it is Jammu-Kashmir or North East. The basic needs of life, the needs of a dignified life and the needs of development did not reach the common man as much as it should have reached. Such a mindset can never lead to a balanced growth of the country. Such negative thinking has no place in our country. Neither near the border, nor far from the border! It is the commitment of our government that no region of the country will be deprived of development anymore. A better life for the people in such areas will also strengthen India's unity and integrity.

Friends,

We have to work continuously for the development of every region of the country, Jammu and Kashmir. Once again, I would like to congratulate ShriManoj Sinhaji and his team today.When I was listening to Manojji's speech, he spelt out the number of works that has been accomplished and that too in the midst of the people of Jammu-Kashmir. The speed at which worksare going on will create a new confidence and a new hope within the entire country, and I am confident that the work of the citizens of Jammu-Kashmir, which has been incomplete for many decades, will be completed by Manojji and his administrative team before time. I have full faith in it. Once again, I congratulate all of you for the SEHAT scheme and the Ayushman Bharat Yojana. May the grace of Mata Vaishno Devi and Baba Amarnath remain with all of us!With that expectation, thank you very much!

 

'মন কী বাত'কীদমক্তা হৌজিক অদোমগী ৱাখল্লোন অমদি তান-ৱাশিং শেয়র তৌবীয়ু!
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সোসিয়েল মিদিয়াগী মফম 21 সেপ্তেম্বর, 2021
September 21, 2021
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