Progress of women gives strength to empowerment of the nation: PM Modi

Published By : Admin | March 8, 2022 | 18:03 IST
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“Women are the reflection of ethics, loyalty, decisiveness and leadership”
“Our Vedas and tradition have given a call that women should be able and capable to give direction to the nation”
“Progress of women always gives strength to the empowerment of the nation”
“Today the priority of the country lies in the full participation of women in India's development journey”
“More than 80 percent of the loans under 'Standup India' are in the name of women. About 70 percent loans have been given to our sisters and daughters under Mudra Yojana”

Namaskar!

I wish all of you and all the women of the country a very happy International Women's Day. On this occasion, this innovative program has been organized by women saints and ‘Sadhvis’ (virtuous women) of the country. I congratulate all of you.

Mothers and sisters,

The land of Kutch where you have arrived has been a symbol of women’s power and potential for centuries. Here, Maa Ashapura herself resides in the form of Matrushakti. The women here have taught the whole society how to live in the midst of harsh natural challenges, adverse circumstances, and have taught to fight and win. International organizations have also acknowledged the role played by the women of Kutch regarding water conservation by setting up ‘Pani Samiti’ (water committee). The women of Kutch have also kept alive the civilization and culture of Kutch with their tireless hard work. The colors of Kutch, especially the handicraft, are a great example of this. These arts and skills are now creating a different identity in the whole world. You are currently in the last village on the western border of India. This is the last village of Gujarat on the border of India. There is no life after that. The border of another country begins after that. The people in the border villages have special responsibilities for the country. The brave women of Kutch have always discharged this responsibility very well. Now that you have been there since yesterday, you must have heard from someone or the other regarding an incident during the 1971 war. The enemy attacked the Bhuj airport in the 1971 war, bombed the airstrip and destroyed it completely. In such circumstances, another airstrip was needed in time. All of you will be proud that the women of Kutch, without caring about their lives, worked overnight to build an airstrip for the Indian forces. It is a very important event in history. If you try to find out about them then many of those mothers and sisters have grown old and are still amongst us. I have got an opportunity to talk to them many times. Now, our women’s power is starting a service for society from this land of such extraordinary courage and strength of women.

Mothers and sisters,

Our Vedas have invoked women with mantras like 'Purandhi: Yosha'. That is, women should be able to handle the responsibility of their cities and society and should lead the country. Women are a reflection of ethics, loyalty, decisiveness and leadership and represent that. That is why our Vedas and tradition have given a call that women should be able and capable to give direction to the nation. We often say this नारी तू नारायणी (the woman is a manifestation of the divine). It is also said in our country नर करणी करे तो नारायण हो जाये i.e., the man will have to do something to become a supreme god. See the difference between the two. If we deliberate a little more, we will realize why our ancestors have said this for males that नर करणी करे तो नारायण हो जाये, but for mothers and sisters नारी तू नारायणी!

Mothers and sisters,

India is the bearer of such an intellectual tradition of the world, whose existence has been centered on its philosophy. And the basis of this philosophy has been its spiritual consciousness. And this spiritual consciousness has been centered on the ‘Nari Shakti’ (women’s power). We have happily established the divine power in the form of a woman. If we see the divine beings in both male and female forms, we give the first priority to the female entity. Be it Sita-Ram, Radha-Krishna, Gauri-Ganesh, or Lakshmi-Narayan! Who would be better acquainted with this tradition of ours than you? There have been many female philosophers like Ghosha, Godha, Apala and Lopamudra in our Vedas. Scholars like Gargi and Maitreyi gave direction to the research of Vedanta. From Mirabai in the North to Sant Akka Mahadevi in ​​the South, the divine women of India have given voice to reform and change in society from the Bhakti movement to Gyan Darshan. Even on this land of Kutch and Gujarat, you will come across many divine women like Sati Toral, Ganga Sati, Sati Loyan, Rambai and Lirbai. Similarly, you will hardly find any region or a village where there is no village deity or ‘Kuldevi’, the center of faith. These deities are the symbols of the ‘Nari’ (woman) consciousness of this country which has created our society since time immemorial. This women consciousness kept the flame of freedom ignited in the country even in the freedom movement. When we are celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, we must remember the freedom struggle of 1857. The Bhakti Movement had an important role in laying the foundation of India’s freedom movement. There were sages, saints and scholars in every part of the country who did a phenomenal job of igniting the consciousness of India. And the country succeeded in the freedom movement in the light of the same consciousness. Today we are at such a stage when 75 years of independence have been completed but our spiritual journey will continue. But social consciousness, social competence, social development and change in society have become associated with the responsibility of every citizen. And when all the mothers and sisters of the saint tradition are sitting in such a large number, I think that I should also talk to you about something. Today I am fortunate that I am talking to such an awakened group of conscious women.

Mothers and sisters,

In a nation that considers this earth as a mother, the progress of women always gives strength to the empowerment of the nation. Today the priority of the country is on improving the lives of women and their full participation in the development journey of India and that is why we are putting emphasis on lessening the difficulties of our mothers and sisters. We had such a situation that crores of mothers and sisters had to go out of their houses to defecate in the open. I do not need to describe in words how much pain they had to endure due to the lack of toilets in the house. It is our government that understood this pain of women. Following the announcement from the Red Fort on 15th August, we built more than 11 crore toilets under the Swachh Bharat Mission across the country. Now many people would wonder whether this is any work. If it is not, then no one did it before. You all have seen that mothers and sisters had to cook food using wood and cow dung in the villages. The unease caused due to smoke was considered the destiny of women. To get rid of this problem, the country gave more than 9 crore Ujjwala gas connections to them and liberated them from smoke. Earlier women, especially poor women, did not even have bank accounts. As a result, they remained economically weak. Our government has linked 23 crore women with the bank through Jan Dhan accounts. Otherwise, we know how the women used to keep the money in a box of wheat or rice in the kitchen. Today we have made arrangements that our mothers and sisters should deposit money in the bank. Today, women in villages are giving impetus to the rural economy through small industries by forming self-help groups. There was never any dearth of skills in women. But now the same skill is strengthening her as well as her family. Today, the government is providing financial help to our sisters and daughters through many mediums so that they can move forward, can fulfill their dreams and can do any work according to their wishes. Today, 80 percent of the loans under 'Standup India' are in the name of our mothers and sisters. About 70 percent of the loans have been given to our sisters and daughters under the Mudra scheme. It involves thousands of crores of rupees. One more important thing has been done which I would like to mention before you. Our government has given more than two crore houses under the PM Awas Yojana, because we have a dream that every poor person in India should have a pucca house. There should be a house with a pucca roof and not just boundary walls, a house that has a toilet, water from tap, electricity connection, gas connection and all the primary facilities. Two crore houses have been built for two crore poor families since we formed the government. This figure is huge. Now, what is the value of a house? It would be 1.5 lakh, two lakh, 2.5 lakh, three lakh rupees if it is a small house. In other words, two crore women who have got houses have become ‘lakhpati’. ‘Lakhpati’ sounds massive. If there is sympathy for the poor and there is an intention to work, then it is possible. Many of the two crores of our mothers and sisters have got ownership rights. There was a time when women had neither land, nor shop or house in their name. The land or shop used to be in the name of either husband, or son, or brother. Similarly, if a car or scooter was bought, it used to be in the name of husband, son, or brother. There was no house or car in the name of a woman. For the first time, a decision was made that we will have property in the name of our mothers and sisters. When they have this power, they become empowered. Mothers and sisters become partners in making financial decisions. Their participation increases. Otherwise, what used to happen earlier? If the mother dropped in when the father and son were busy talking about some business she was asked to go to the kitchen. We have seen the condition of this society. Today, the empowered mothers and sisters are advising the male members about the pros and cons of any business. Today their participation is increasing. Mothers, sisters and daughters were also capable earlier, but the archaic thinking and disorder put paid to their dreams. Many daughters had to leave their jobs during motherhood. At that time, she needs money the most. And if she has to leave a job when she is pregnant, the child inside her womb also gets affected. So many girls had to leave their jobs for fear of crimes against women. We have taken a lot of steps to change all these situations. We have increased maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. There are 52 weeks in a year and 26 weeks are given as maternity leave. We have made strict laws for the safety of women at workplaces. Our government has done a great job by making a provision for the death penalty for heinous crimes like rape. Similarly, considering sons and daughters equal, the government is also considering raising the age of marriage of daughters to 21 years. There is a proposal before the Parliament. Today the country is promoting greater roles for daughters in the armed forces. The admission of daughters in Sainik Schools has started.

Mothers and sisters,

It is the responsibility of all of us to take this journey of empowerment of women’s power forward at a fast pace. Since you all have had so much affection for me, blessed me so much, I grew up in your midst, I want to make a request to you. I need your help on some issues. What do you have to do? I want to tell you something. Some of our ministers or activists who have also come there may have told you. Being either a family or a hermit, does it pain us if any child of India is malnourished? Should it hurt us or not? Can we solve this issue scientifically or not? Can't we take this responsibility? Therefore, I would say that you can help a lot in the campaign against malnutrition. Similarly, you have a huge role in the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign. You should talk to your daughters continuously so that they should not only go to school in maximum numbers, but also complete their studies. You should call the girls and talk to them. You should inspire them in monasteries, temples, or anywhere. Now the government is going to start a campaign under which the enrollment of daughters in schools will be celebrated. Your active participation in this will also help a lot. Vocal for Local is one such issue. You must have heard from me many times. Mahatma Gandhi told us but we forgot. Given the condition in the world today, only that country can survive which can stand on its own feet. One who makes a living by bringing things from outside cannot do anything. Therefore, Vocal for Local has become a very important issue for our economy and it is also very closely related to women empowerment. The power of most local products is in the hands of women. Therefore, you must encourage people to use local products in your addresses and awareness campaigns.

Tell your devotees to make a list of foreign-made and Indian products that they use. Even tiny foreign-made products have invaded our homes. Even an umbrella is imported. Umbrellas are being made in our country for centuries. What is the need to import it? It might cost you two or four rupees more here, but it will give livelihood to so many people. I think we are fond of importing things. You can inspire people and direct them in purchasing products made from Indian soil, where there is the sweat of Indians. When I propagate Vocal for Local, people think I am only referring to Diwali lamps. It’s not only Diwali lamps. Just look around and see for yourself. Similarly, when you meet our weaver and artisan brothers and sisters, tell them about the GeM portal of the government. The Government of India has created such a portal, with the help of which anyone who lives anywhere in the far-flung area can sell his products to the government. This is an important endeavor. I also urge you to emphasize the duties of the citizens whenever you meet different sections of the society. You often tell them about ‘Pitra Dharma’ or ‘Matru Dharma’. A citizen’s dharma is equally important for the country. Together we have to strengthen this spirit enshrined in the Constitution. We will be able to achieve the goal of building a new India by strengthening this spirit. I am sure you will connect every person in this journey of nation- building by providing spiritual and social leadership to the country. With your blessings and guidance, we will soon be able to realize the dream of a new India. You must have enjoyed the view of the last village of India. Perhaps some of you must have gone to see the White Rann or probably are going today. It has a beauty of its own. You can also experience a spiritual feeling by sitting alone there for a few moments. You will experience a new consciousness. I enjoyed this place very much since I have been attached to this soil for a long time. Since you are there, you must visit it and feel the special experience. I wish you all the very best. Talk to some of our colleagues who are there. You also come forward for society. The ‘Sant’ tradition played an important role in the freedom movement. After 75 years of independence, the ‘Sant’ tradition should take the lead in taking forward the country and fulfill its responsibility as a social obligation. This is my expectation from you. Thank you all very much!

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PM condoles deaths in an accident in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh
September 28, 2022
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Announces ex-gratia from PMNRF

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has expressed deep grief over the deaths in an accident in Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh. He also wished speedy recovery of the those injured in the accident.

The Prime Minister has also announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakhs to the next kin of deceased and Rs. 50,000 to those injured in the accident from Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

The Prime Minister Office tweeted;

"Distressed by the accident in Lakhimpur Kheri, UP. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly. Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000: PM @narendramodi"