Today's ‘Utkarsh Samaroh’ is really praiseworthy and it is a testimony that when the government reaches the beneficiary with a resolution and sincerity then it leads to productive outcomes. I congratulate Bharuch district administration and the Gujarat government for 100 percent saturation coverage of four social security schemes. You all deserve many congratulations. When I was interacting with the beneficiaries of these schemes, I could sense satisfaction and confidence in them. If somebody gets even a small help from the government while coping with challenges, he becomes emboldened and problems become constrained. I could sense this today while talking to you. The families, who have benefited from these four schemes, are the brothers and sisters of my tribal society, Dalit-backward class and minority communities. Often we see that many people are deprived of the benefits of the schemes in the absence of information. Sometimes, schemes remain on paper. Sometimes, some unscrupulous people take advantage of schemes. But when there is an intention to do something good, which I always try to do with the spirit of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, it yields results. Access of any scheme to 100 percent beneficiaries is a huge task. It is tough but it is the right way. I have to congratulate all the beneficiaries and the administration for this achievement.
It would be eight years since you sent me from Gujarat to Delhi to serve the country. These eight years have been dedicated to service, good governance and welfare of the poor. Whatever I am able to do today is due to what I learned from you. Living in the midst of you, I have experienced very closely what is development, pains, poverty and problems. And it is this experience with which I am working as a family member for the crores of citizens of the country. It has been the constant effort of the government that no beneficiary should be left out of the schemes meant for the welfare of the poor. Everyone who is entitled should get the full benefit. And my dear brothers and sisters, when we achieve a 100 percent target in any scheme, then it is not just a figure or to be advertised in newspapers. It means governance and administration is sensitive and companion of your happiness and sorrows. This is its biggest proof. Now that our government is on the verge of completing eight years, we are preparing to move forward with a new resolve and new energy. Once, a senior leader, who has been continuously opposing us politically, met me. But I respect him too. He was agitated over some issues and came to see me. He said what more you have to do now that the country has made you Prime Minister twice. He thought a lot has happened now that I have become Prime Minister twice. But he did not know that Modi is from a different soil. This land of Gujarat has prepared him. I can’t rest. My dream is saturation, to move forward towards the 100% target. Let the government machinery get used to discipline and we should also instill confidence in the citizens. You will remember that when you gave us the opportunity to serve in 2014, almost half of the country's population was deprived of toilet facilities, vaccinations, electricity connections, bank accounts, etc. Over the years, we have been able to bring many schemes closer to 100% saturation with everyone’s efforts. Now, on this important milestone of eight years, we have to move forward with everyone's efforts once again and work hard to ensure that every needy, every entitled person, gets his due. I said earlier such tasks are difficult and politicians are also afraid to take up such tasks. But I have not come to do politics, but to serve the countrymen only. The country has taken a pledge to reach 100% beneficiaries for schemes. The psychological change that comes with cent percent access is very important. Firstly, the citizen of the country gets out of the state of hardship and the feeling that he is standing in a queue to ask for something goes away. A belief is created in him that this is my country, this is my government, this is my right on money and this is the right of the citizens of my country. When this feeling is born within him it also sows the seeds of duty in him.
When there is saturation, then the scope of discrimination ends. No recommendation is needed. Everyone believes that the other person might have gotten it earlier, but he will also get it, maybe after two or six months. The one who gives it also can’t claim any credit and can’t discriminate. Today, the country has resolved to reach 100% beneficiaries, and when it happens, the politics of appeasement ends. There is no room for it. To reach 100% beneficiaries means to reach the last person in society. There is a government for those who have no support. The government has resolutions and it walks with him as his partner. I have to instill this belief among the tribal community living in the far flung forests, the poor mothers and sisters living in slums and anybody who lives alone in old age that we have tried to provide their rightful dues at their doorsteps.
The 100% coverage of beneficiaries means nobody from any faith, sect and class should be left behind in every scheme for the welfare of the poor. This is a huge resolution. The Rakhi that the widowed mothers have presented me today is very big. This is not only a thread, but you have given me the strength to realize the dreams with which we have moved forward. I consider this Rakhi to be a priceless gift. It will give me inspiration, courage and support in aiming for the service of the poor and 100 percent saturation (of schemes). This is what ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Vishwas’ all about. Today this Rakhi has been made due to the efforts of the widowed mothers. When I was in Gujarat (as Chief Minister), there used to be occasional reports regarding my security. Once there was news regarding my illness. I often used to say that as long as I have the protective shield from my crores of mothers and sisters, nobody can cause any harm to me. I can see today the blessings of my mothers and sisters remain with me at every step, at every moment. No matter what I do, I can’t repay the debt of these mothers and sisters. It is because of this upbringing that I dared to speak once from the Red Fort. I am reiterating that it is a difficult task to motivate and take all the states along, to put all the government employees for it. But this is the ‘Amrit Kaal’ of Independence, the 75 years of independence. I had spoken about the saturation of schemes for basic amenities in this ‘Amrit Kaal’ from the Red Fort. Our campaign of cent percent service is a great medium for social justice. I am happy that the government of Gujarat under the leadership of the soft-spoken Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel is working with full dedication to fulfill this resolve.
If I have to describe in one word the government’s campaign of saturation of social security and public welfare then it is the dignity of the poor. The government, resolutions and values for the dignity of the poor! That's what inspires us. Earlier, we often used to cite examples of other smaller countries regarding social security. The scope and impact of whatever efforts made to implement them in India have largely been very limited. But the country widened its scope and took everyone along after 2014 and the result is in front of all of us. More than 50 crore countrymen got the facility of free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh, crores of them got the facility of accident and life insurance up to Rs 4 lakh and crores of Indians got a fixed pension scheme after 60 years of age. The poor used to spend their entire life by making rounds of government offices for facilities such as a pucca house, toilet, gas connection, electricity connection, water connection, bank account, etc. They would become tired. Our government changed all this situation, improved the plans, set new goals and we are achieving them continuously.
As part of these efforts, farmers got direct help for the first time. No one ever cared for small farmers and there are 90% small farmers in our country who barely have two acres of land. We made a scheme for those small farmers. The bankers would not entertain our fishermen. We started using Kisan Credit Card for fishermen. Not only this, the street vendors have got financial help from the banks under the PM Svanidhi scheme for the first time. I would like our C.R. Patil and the workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party to expand this campaign of ensuring financial help to the street vendors under the Svanidhi scheme so their businesses should be free from the vicious circle of interest, whatever they earn should benefit their households to all the cities, be it Bharuch, Ankleshwar, or Valia. I should have met the people of Bharuch in person as I haven't come for a long time. I have a very old relationship with Bharuch. And Bharuch has been a center of trade and cultural heritage for thousands of years. There was a time when Bharuch was known for uniting the world. Bharuch-Ankleshwar, which was known for its cultural heritage, is now ruling in the field of trade and business. Bharuch-Ankleshwar has now become a twin city which no one could have imagined before. I remember everything when I lived here. Today Bharuch district is carving its name in modern development. Many development works are being carried out. It is natural that when I am amongst the people of Bharuch, then the memories of all those people come to my mind. I am in touch with many people and senior friends. Many years ago when I used to work for the (Rashtriya Swayamsevak) Sangh, I would often walk down to Muktinagar Society after getting down from bus to meet Moolchandbhai Chauhan, Bipinbhai Shah, Shankarbhai Gandhi and many other friends. When I see you I miss my brave friend Shirish Bengali very much who lived for the society. And I still remember Panchbatti Circle after coming out of Lallubhai Street. Those who are 20-25 years old would not even be aware of the condition of Panchbatti and Lallubhai Street. The road was so narrow and there were so many pitfalls that it was difficult to drive on a scooter. I remember it vividly as I used to go there. At that time, I never got an opportunity to hold a public meeting. Long ago, the people of Bharuch got hold of me in Shaktinagar Society. I was not in politics then. It must be 40 years now. A meeting was held in Shaktinagar Society. And to my surprise, there was not even a place to stand in the Society. So many people came to bless me. I was not a known figure, yet there was a huge gathering. I was nobody in politics then, I was a fresher and learning. I met so many journalist friends. I told them after my speech that you write it down that the Congress will never ever win in Bharuch. I said at that time, about 40 years ago. Everybody started laughing and made fun of me. Today, I have to say that I was proven right because of the love and blessings of the people of Bharuch. I received so much love from Bharuch and tribal families because I used to travel all the villages and got the opportunity to live among many tribal families and to be with them in their happiness and sorrows. I worked with Chandubhai Deshmukh and later our Mansukhbhai took over all the responsibilities. Having worked with so many friends and people during those days, it would really have been a pleasure to meet you in person. Even when I am so far away, all the memories are getting refreshed. I still remember that the condition of the roads used to be so poor that vegetables would often drop from the cart of the vegetable seller. Whenever I would pass by that road and see the bag of the poor turned upside down, I would collect it and hand it over to him. I worked in Bharuch in such a situation. And today all-round development is happening in Bharuch. Roads have improved and Bharuch district has progressed rapidly in improving life, educational institutions and health. There have been several tribal Chief Ministers in Gujarat from the tribal belt from Umargaon to Ambaji. But there were no science schools. I started them after becoming the Chief Minister. And if there are no science schools, then how can someone become an engineer or a doctor? Just now our Yaqubbhai was mentioning about his daughter planning to become a doctor. It became possible only after the exercise was initiated. Today the change has come. Similarly, it is with the industrial development in Bharuch. There are hardly any means of transport which are not there in Bharuch, be it the main line, freight corridor, bullet trains, or expressways. In a way, Bharuch is becoming the dream district of the youth and the city of aspirations of the youth is expanding further. Now the name of Bharuch or Rapipla is shining in India and the world after the Statue of Unity on the isle of Maa Narmada (river). If one has to go to the Statue of Unity, he has to go from either Bharuch or Rajpipla. I remember drinking water was a problem for those living on the banks of Narmada. We found its solution by creating a reservoir and restricting the salt water of the sea so that Kevadia remains replete with Narmada waters. Work is also going on so that there will be no problem with drinking water in the future. I congratulate Bhupendrabhai for taking forward the development works. You can't even imagine the gains that will entail. Friends, I am happy to meet you. It is natural to remember old friends. Bharuch district can do a lot in the direction of the blue economy. We have to move forward by taking advantage of the wealth that is inside the ocean and through our Sagarkhedu Yojana. Be it education, health, shipping, connectivity, we have to move forward rapidly in every field. I am happy that Bharuch district has taken a big initiative. Many congratulations to all of you. I wish you all the best, Jai Jai Garavi Gujarat, Vande Mataram!