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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s thoughts and vision on women have always been very clear. He is convinced this matter is not about ‘Women Development’ anymore but is of ‘Women-Led Development’ within which a wide spectrum of issues from economic development to social justice are covered. The deep sense of concern and responsibility he feels towards the situation of women has directly resulted in the Indian government taking many strides to provide them an equal and equitable platform in every aspect. This is demonstrated by a host of government initiatives ranging from Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bandhan Yojana to Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, from Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign to Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.

The aim of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign is to foster gender equality and to empower the girl child through renewed stress on her education. This campaign that was started due to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sense of initiative in this matter, has already started resulting in positive outcomes. There’s a marked improvement in sex ratio not only in states like Haryana, but also at the overall national level. The Prime Minister said,

“Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao is moving forward with rapid strides. This is no longer just a government programme. It has now become a campaign of public education. It has become a people’s movement.”

The concern towards the future of our daughters led to the conception of the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana whose objective is to ensure much-needed financial security to them.

Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bandhan Yojana that was started to boost social security and life insurance has benefited women the most. The Prime Minister also made an appeal to people to consider gifting this scheme to women instead of gifting presents on festive occasions. He said,

“The progress of humanity is incomplete without the empowerment of women. The issue is no longer Women Development but it is Women-Led Development.”

The primary beneficiaries of the programmes of the government have been the poor, and even among the poor it has been the women. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was conceived for those poor households in which our helpless mothers and daughters have been forced to inhale harmful smoke in their kitchens. Under this scheme about 1.75 crore deposit-free LPG connections have already been released against the ambitious overall target of 5 crore connections.

The Union Government has decided that maternity benefits must reach every single mother. Per this scheme, every mother of a new-born will get a cash aid of Rs. 6000. This is aimed at reducing malnourishment among mothers so that health outcomes for upcoming generations can also be impacted positively. Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan also ensures free health check-ups which provide great convenience to pregnant women. The 9th of every month has been fixed for this free health check-up for pregnant women.

The government is working towards ensuring employment opportunities, creating a conducive atmosphere for them at workplaces, ensuring motherhood and career prospects do not hamper each other and enabling more valuable contributions from women to the world at large. The government is also working towards safety and security by exploring the provision of a panic button and smartphones that can come to the aid of women along with facilities like GPS.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi observed,

“It's important to understand ourselves and our strengths. When it comes to multi task activities, nobody can beat women. Such is the strength and we must be very proud of it.”

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Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle against Covid: PM
Combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needs to be harnessed in this fight: PM
PM emphasizes significance of tracking, tracing and testing; highlights importance of increasing RTPCR tests
Government is committed to ensuring adequate availability of vaccines: PM

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today interacted with Governors of States regarding the Covid-19 situation and ongoing vaccination drive in the country, through video conferencing.

Prime Minister said that in the battle against Covid, along with the vaccines, our values and sense of duty are our biggest strengths. Praising the citizens who participated in this battle last year considering it their duty, he said that the same feeling of Janbhagidari needs to be encouraged now as well. He said that the role of the Governors, through appropriate utilization of their social capacity, thus becomes all the more critical to achieving this. Governors are an important link to ensure better coordination between State Governments and society, he said, adding that the combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needs to be harnessed.

Prime Minister suggested that the Governors can actively engage to ensure that social institutions collaborate seamlessly with the State Governments towards micro containment. He said that their social network can help ensure an increase in the capacity of ambulances, ventilators and oxygen in hospitals. Along with spreading the message about vaccination and treatment, the Governors can also spread awareness about AYUSH related remedies.

Prime Minister noted that our youth, our workforce, is an important part of our economy. Hence, it is important to ensure that our youth follows all Covid related protocols and precautions. He said that the Governors’ role is also critical in ensuring the greater engagement of our students in University campuses towards this Janbhagidari. We also need to focus on better utilization of facilities at University and College campuses, he added. He said that just like last year, NCC and NSS also have a key role to play this year as well. Prime Minister said that the Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle and their coordination with State Governments and guidance to institutions of the State will further strengthen the nation’s resolve.

Discussing the rise in the number of Covid cases, the Prime Minister said that in this stage of the fight against the virus, the country stands to gain from last year’s experience and improved healthcare capacity. He discussed the increase RTPCR testing capacity and noted that the country has become Aatmanirbhar with respect to kits and other material related to testing. All this has led to a reduction in the cost of RTPCR tests also. He added that most of the products related to testing are also available on the GeM portal. Prime Minister emphasized the significance of increasing tracking, tracing and testing, and said that RTPCR testing needs to be increased from 60% to 70%. He said that it is pertinent to ensure that more and more people get tested.

Prime Minister underlined that the government is committed to ensuring adequate availability of vaccines. He highlighted that India has become the fastest nation to reach the landmark of 10 crore vaccinations. Noting the positive impact of Tika Utsav in the last four days, he said that in this period, the vaccination drive was expanded and new vaccination centres also came up.

Interaction

The Vice President of India, Union Home Minister and Union Health Minister also attended the interaction.

The Vice President appreciated the Prime Minister for leading the fight against Covid and his proactive steps to develop the infrastructure required to tackle the pandemic. He also highlighted the scientific community's contribution in giving a vaccine to India and the whole world. He also talked about the contribution of healthcare workers, sanitation workers, and other frontline workers who have played a vital role during the pandemic.

The Vice President called upon the Governors to bring up a coordinated front by leading all-party meetings in their respective states and engaging with civil society organisations to spread awareness about covid-appropriate behaviour. The Vice president said that a 'Team India spirit' cutting across policy lines should be adopted, and in this regard, Governors as the 'Guardians of the State' could guide the State Governments.

Union Home Minister stressed the importance of saving each and every life. Union Health Secretary gave a presentation on Covid cases and vaccination drive. He gave an overview of how India has followed a proactive and pre-emptive approach in this endeavour.

The Governors shared details of how their respective states are tackling the spread of the virus and coordinating activities towards ensuring a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive, while also mentioning the deficiencies of healthcare facilities in the States.

They gave suggestions for further improvement in the efforts and shared plans of how Janbhagidari can be increased through the active social engagement of various groups.