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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today invoked the poetry of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore to state that the poor do not need support (sahaara), but strength (shakti). He was speaking at the launch of three social security schemes: Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, and Atal Pension Yojana, in Kolkata today. The schemes were launched in simultaneous functions at 115 venues across the country.



"It is not my prayer that you will save me from difficulties

Give me the strength to overcome the difficulty

Do not take away my burdens or console me

Give me the capacity to bear my burden," the Prime Minister said, quoting from Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.



The Prime Minister said Kolkata had been chosen for the launch of these schemes because, to quote Shri Gopal Krishna Gokhale, "what Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow."

The Prime Minister said that it was indeed a matter of great pain that 80 to 90 percent of the people in India do not have access to insurance and pension. He said that the fruits of development must reach the poorest of the poor, and therefore, the Union Government had launched the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana under which 15 lakh accounts had been opened. Now, he added, Jan Dhan was being taken a step forward to Jan Suraksha with the launch of these social security schemes. He said Jan Dhan Yojana helped bank the unbanked, Mudra Bank would help fund the unfunded, and these schemes would help secure the unsecured. He said the schemes had been launched on trial basis since May 1st, 2015, and 5 crore, 5 lakh people had enrolled for them so far.



The Governor of West Bengal Shri Keshrinath Tripathi, The Chief Minister of West Bengal Ms. Mamata Banerjee, and Union Ministers Shri Jayant Sinha and Shri Babul Supriyo were present on the occasion.

 

Click here to read the full text speech

 

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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.