I had a discussion with the beneficiaries, who have got their pucca houses today, got the home of their dreams, and the belief for their children's future. I also congratulate and extend my wishes to 1.75 lakh families of Madhya Pradesh who are formally entering their own homes today. All these friends from all over Madhya Pradesh have joined this programme through some means of technology. Today, you have joined the ranks of the 2.25 crore families who have got their own house in the last six years and who are now living in their own house rather than living in a rented house or a slum or a kutcha house.
Friends, the celebrations will be at another level this Diwali and for other festivals for all of you this time. Had it not been for Corona, this member of your family, your pradhan sevak, would certainly have been amidst you to participate in your life’s biggest happiness. I would have been a partner in this happiness, but because of the situation due to the Corona, I am meeting all of you from afar today. But, let it be for this time.
The Governor of Madhya Pradesh Shrimati Anandiben Patelji, the state’s popular Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhanji, my colleague in the Union Council of Ministers Narendra Singh Tomarji, my colleague Jyotiradityaji, ministers in Madhya Pradesh, MPs and MLAs, representatives of gram panchayats and my dear friends and sisters from villages across Madhya Pradesh who are taking part in this function.
Today, this mass programme of ‘Grih Pravesh’ in Madhya Pradesh is a memorable moment in the lives of 1.75 lakh poor families, but it is also a major step to give pucca houses to every homeless person in the country. This programme is also a moment which reinforces the hopes of the homeless in the country. Those who don’t have their own house, one day they will also have their own house, their dreams will also be realized.
Friends, this day also reinforces the trust of crores of countrymen that the government schemes formulated with the right intent are not only implemented but reach their beneficiaries as well. I can sense the satisfaction and self-confidence among the friends who have got their houses, with whom I have interacted and who I can see on screen. I would like to tell all the friends that this house is the foundation for your better future. You make a fresh start in your life from here. Take your children and families to new heights. If you move ahead, the country will also march ahead
Friends, 18 lakh houses have been built throughout the country under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, notwithstanding the challenges during the Corona period. Out of them, 1.75 lakh houses have been built in Madhya Pradesh only. The speed at which the work has been done is also a record in itself. On an average, it takes 125 days to build a house under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. But what I am going to tell is very positive news for the country and our media friends. During this period of Corona, the houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana have been built in 45-60 days as against 125 days. This is a great example of turning adversity into opportunity. You will think, how was this made possible? How could it be done in 40-60 days as against 125 days?
Friends, this was made possible by our migrant friends who returned from cities. They had skills, will-power and they joined in it and this outcome is the result of that. Our these friends took care of their families by taking full advantage of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan and at the same time worked to build homes for their poor brothers and sisters. I am satisfied that projects worth almost 23,000 crore rupees under the PM Garib Kalyan Abhiyan have been completed in several states in the country, including Madhya Pradesh. Under this scheme, homes are being built for the poor in villages, works related to water supply to every house, buildings for anganwadis and panchayats, cow sheds, ponds, wells, rural roads and many other development projects in villages have been completed expeditiously. There have been two benefits. One, the lakhs of migrant friends who returned to villages from cities got employment and secondly, those who trade in brick, cement, sand and other construction goods also reported sales. In a way, the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan emerged as a very big support for the rural economy during this difficult period. It has greatly benefited several projects being undertaken under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
Friends, many a time people ask me that houses used to be constructed earlier also under government schemes, but what different did you do? This is true that various schemes have been underway in the country for decades to build homes for the poor. Rather, this work had begun under the community development programme in the very first decade after independence. Then several changes were made in these kinds of projects every 10-15 years, their names changed. But the goal of giving a dignified life, giving home to the crores of poor, could never be achieved. It was due to too much interference of the government in these schemes. Any decision related to the housing projects used to be decided by the government; and that too from Delhi. The person who had to live in that house had no say. There was an attempt to impose a colony system in tribal areas on the lines of the cities and build houses like cities, whereas the lifestyle of our tribal brothers and sisters is quite different from the cities. Their needs are different. So, they did not feel the warmth in the houses built by the government. Moreover, there used to be severe lack of transparency in those projects, there used to be so many anomalies. I don’t want to go into detail. Therefore, the quality of those houses used to be poor. And above this, the beneficiaries used to make rounds of government offices for the basic needs of electricity and water. The result was that the people would not readily shift in the houses built under those projects.
Friends, when we assumed office in 2014; we analysed the past experiences and then modified the earlier scheme and then a new scheme was launched as the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana with a new mindset. Priority was given on transparency right from selection of the beneficiary till handing over the houses. Earlier, the poor used to run after the government, and would look around for people for recommendation. Today, the government is reaching the people under this scheme. One has to search for the needy and facilitate them. Scientific and transparent methods are being adopted from selection to construction. Moreover, priority is also given to locally available goods from materials to construction. The designs of the houses are also being prepared and approved according to the local needs and style. Now with complete transparency, the beneficiary himself builds his house by monitoring each and every stage of building a house. As the construction of the house progresses, the instalment of the house is deposited in his account. Now, if someone tries to be dishonest, there are many avenues to catch him.
Friends, one of the biggest features of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana is its sparkling nature. Just as the rainbow has different colours, the houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana also have their own colours. Now the poor is not only getting a house, but a toilet along with a house, Ujjwala gas connection, electricity connection under the Saubhagya Yojana, LED bulb, water connection, everything along with a house. That is, the beneficiary is getting benefit of several schemes on the basis of the PM Awas Yojana. I would like to congratulate the government of Shivraj ji once again for extending it and linking 27 other schemes with the PM Awas Yojana.
Friends, the poor are getting the facility whether it is the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana or the toilets under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, but these are also big means of employment and empowerment. These schemes are also playing an important role in transforming the lives of our rural sisters in particular. The houses built under the PM Awas Yojana are mostly registered in the name of the woman or registered jointly. At the same time, new work opportunities are being created for a large number of lady masons. In Madhya Pradesh alone, more than 50,000 masons have been trained, and these include 9,000 lady masons. It is also leading to an increase in the income and self-confidence of our sisters.
Friends, when the income and self-confidence of the poor grow, it also strengthens our resolve to make a self-reliant India. In order to strengthen this self-confidence, modern infrastructure is being developed in the villages. While basic facilities like toilets, gas, electricity, roads were made accessible to villages in the first five years of 2019, now the villages are being strengthened with these basic facilities as well as modern facilities. I had announced from Red Fort on August 15 this year that optical fibre cable will be laid in about six lakh villages in the next 1,000 days. Earlier, we had set a target of providing fibre cable to 2.5 lakh panchayats, now we have pledged to cover every village.
Even in this Corona period, this work has progressed rapidly under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan. In just a few weeks, more than 5,000 kilometres of optical fibre cable have been laid in 116 districts of the country. As a result, about 15,000 Wi-Fi Hotspots and about 19,000 optical fibre connections have been provided in more than 1,250 gram panchayats. Over 1,300 kilometre of optical fibre has been laid in selected districts of Madhya Pradesh. And I would like to remind you again, all this has happened in the Corona period, in the midst of this crisis. It has happened in the midst of such a big crisis. As the optical fibre will reach villages, the problem of the network will be resolved. The children and the youth of the villages will get better opportunities for education and earning respectively when better and faster internet reaches villages and there are Wi-Fi Hotspots everywhere. The villages will not only be connected with Wi-Fi Hotspot, but they will become hot spots of modern activities and business as well.
Friends, today every service and facility of the government has been made online so that the benefits are also rapid, there is no corruption, and the people of the village do not have to rush to the cities for petty work. I am confident that these services and facilities will be accelerated further after the optical fibre reaches villages. When you will live in your new house, the Digital India Abhiyan will make your life much easier. This campaign to empower the village and the poor will be accelerated further. With this belief, my best wishes to all of my friends for your own pucca houses. But remember, and I reiterate this many times, and I am sure you will remember. Not only that, you will also listen to me. As long as there is no medicine, there should be no laxity. The distance of two yards, mask is necessary, do not forget this mantra. May your health remain robust!
With this wish, many many thanks and best wishes to all of you.