Over the last few days, I have got the opportunity to interact with various beneficiaries of the different government schemes and to hear them out. This has been a wonderful experience for me. I believe that there is a life beyond files. My soul was satisfied immensely after I heard the changes and the experiences that swept the lives of the beneficiaries of these schemes. You have instilled in me a new energy to carry on my work. Today I have got the opportunity to interact with some of the beneficiaries of Digital India.
I have been told that I will be able to interact with about 3 lakh poor people of our country through the Common Service Centres in today's programme. The VLEs operating these CSCs or Common Service Centres and the citizens who are enjoying their services are all present here. Besides, the beneficiaries of Digital India via NIC have also gathered there. More than 1600 Institutions and their students, researchers, scientists and professors who are associated with NKN i.e. National Knowledge Network are also present. The BPO employees from the BPOs across the country that have been set up by government schemes are also with us. Moreover, workers of mobile manufacturing units will also interact with us and show their units.
Lakhs of MyGov volunteers across the country have also joined us. I believe it will be a unique conversation where more than 50 lakh people will be talking on a single topic. This will be a single wonderful occasion to hear out the people's experiences and interact with them.
The only aim while launching the Digital India was to empower and connect the country's common man, poor, farmers, youth and the villages with the digital world. In the last four years, we have focused upon this single objective and have worked on every aspect of Digital empowerment ranging from connecting villages with Optical Fibre network, making crores of people digitally literate, taking government services to the doorstep of the people through mobile phones, developing electronic manufacturing in the country, encouraging start-up or innovation to campaigning for opening BPOs in remote areas. There are several initiatives like these. Today, the senior citizens do not have to travel long distances to show their life certificates for obtaining pension. They can easily go to these Common Service Centres of their villages and get their work done. The farmers can not only obtain the required information regarding weather conditions, crops, soil etc. but also sell their produce across the country with the help of a digital market i.e. eNAM with the help of their mobile phones or Common Service Centres (CSCs).
Today, the students in the villages are not confined to the books available in their schools or colleges. They now have access to lakhs of online books through digital library. They are no longer dependent on school's planning systems for their scholarships. Scholarships are directly deposited in their bank accounts. Everything was made possible only due to technology and Communication Revolution. Till a few years ago, it was impossible for the people residing in small towns and villages to imagine that railway tickets could be booked without queuing up in the stations for hours or LPG could be obtained without wasting hours in sinuous queues or the electricity bills, water bills and taxes could be paid without being physically present in the government offices. However, today all these things are possible and are just a click away. It's available to everyone and not just to a section of people. The Common Service Centres (CSCs) across the country are being strengthened to ensure that every citizen can avail maximum services close to their houses.
Till date about 3 lakh Common Service Centres have been opened across the country. This huge network of Digital Service Delivery Centres is spread across 1 lakh 83 thousand Gram Panchayats. Today lakhs of youngsters are working as Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) and it is heartening to note that out of them 52 thousand entrepreneurs are women.
These centres have provided jobs to more than 10 lakh people. As a whole, the centre is not only a source of empowerment but has also encouraged education, entrepreneurship and employment.
Today about 60 lakh volunteers are connected to the MyGov platform. In a way, it has become a citizen-centric government. Apart from providing suggestions and ideas, the youth is participating in volunteering activities at a large scale.
MyGov has emerged as a powerful platform to deliver the different suggestions of the citizens to the various Ministries, working on their possible implementation and connecting with the youth. I would definitely like to put before you the examples of various voluntary contributions made by the people. In every year's budget, the central government compiles the suggestions obtained by the volunteers. The logos and taglines of different schemes like Swachh Bharat Mission, Jan Dhan Yojana and Digital India were chosen from the suggestions given by the citizens through MyGov. The government didn't have to devote time for this. The government has formed this platform of public participation by moving a step ahead from crowd sourcing.
People from every corner of the country also send me their suggestions and inspiring stories every month for the programme 'Mann ki Baat' through this platform of MyGov. Today, the Digital India is changing the lives of crores of people. Digital India is fulfilling the 4Es - Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship and Empowerment. I hope that Digital India will improve the life of the common man. With this expectation I would like to thank you all. However, I have one request to you all. I have high expectations from the staff of Common Service Centres. They are listening to me. I can see them on the screen. Would the employees of Common Service Centres raise their hands? Will you do me a favour? Kindly raise your hands and tell me will you do me a favour? It doesn't mean that I am not asking the BPO employees to do the same.
Let me tell you. I want you all to note the date 20th June and at the same time i.e. 9.30 am, l will be interacting with the farmers. I will be conversing with my farmer brothers and sisters. Can you help me out? Just like 10-20 people are present in the Common Service Centres, can you bring 50-100 farmers to your Common Service Centres on the 20th? I would like to talk to them. Kindly raise your hands whoever is ready to do this task. We will talk to the farmers and the discussion will be related to their topics.
This will make your CSC very strong. The country's Prime Minister will be able to directly share his thoughts with the village through these 3 lakh CSCs. For example, I can say I want to talk to the people before immunization. This is will highly boost the immunization campaign. This method is several times stronger than informing the people through televisions. I would like you all to get 50-100 farmer brothers and sisters to your CSCs on the 20th at 9.30 am. I will talk to them regarding the transformation in the agricultural sector and how even a villager can avail the benefits of those schemes. I would also like to hear their experiences.
It was a pleasant experience for me. The transformation that is sweeping the country is because of you and your finger tips.
The government is committed to the development and progress through Reform, Perform and Transform. Once again my best wishes to you all and thank you very much. Namaste!