SWAGAT stands by the idea of Ease of Living and Reach of Governance: PM Modi

Published By : Admin | April 27, 2023 | 16:32 IST
“The SWAGAT initiative in Gujarat demonstrates how technology can be efficiently used to resolve people's grievances”
“I was clear that I would not become a slave of the restrictions of the chair. I will remain among people and will be there for them”
“SWAGAT stands by the idea of Ease of Living and Reach of Governance”
“For me, the biggest reward is that we could serve the people of Gujarat through SWAGAT”
“We proved that governance is not limited to old rules and laws but governance takes place due to innovations and new ideas”
“SWAGAT became the inspiration for many solutions to governance. Many states are working on this type of system”
“PRAGATI has played a big role in the rapid development of the country in the last 9 years. This concept is also based on the idea of SWAGAT”

You will communicate directly with me. It is a privilege for me that I am able to meet old time friends. Let's see who gets the opportunity to talk first.

Prime Minister: What is your name?

Beneficiary: Solanki Bharatbhai Bachuji

Prime Minister: Were you the first one to come when we started 'SWAGAT'?

Beneficiary Bharatbhai: Yes Sir, I was among the first to come.

Prime Minister: So how did you become so aware and how did you come to know that if you have to say something to the government officials, you have to go to 'SWAGAT'?

Beneficiary Bharatbhai: Yes Sir, it is like that I had received the work order of the Government Housing Scheme on 20-11-2000 for a week from Dahegam Tehsil. But I did the construction work of the house till the plinth and after that I had no experience whether to build a wall of 9 inches or 14 inches. During that time, an earthquake struck. So I was a bit apprehensive whether the house that I was building would survive with a wall of 9 inches or not. Then I myself made a wall of 14 inches instead of 9 inches with hard work. But when I asked for my labour charges for the second week, the block development officer told me that I would not be paid for the second week as I had made a wall of 14 inches instead of 9 inches. He also told me to deposit Rs. 8,253 which I got for the first week along with interest to the block office. I went to the district and block offices several times with my complaint, but I did not get any hearing. When I went to Gandhinagar district, one of the officials there asked me why I was making rounds of the office every day. I told him about my problem. I made a wall of 14 inches instead of 9 inches and I was not being paid for my work for a week. I also told him that I did not own any house and was living with my family. I informed him that I was making rounds of offices because I was up against several problems. So that official told me ‘Kaka, you do one thing. You go to the secretariat of Hon’ble Shri Narendrabhai Modi where SWAGAT is held every month on Thursday’. So, Sir, I reached the secretariat and I made my complaint directly to you. You listened to me very patiently and replied calmly. I started getting my dues for building the wall of 14 inches instead of 9 inches after you ordered the concerned official. Today I live happily in my own house with my family of six children. So, thank you very much, Sir.

Prime Minister: Bharatbhai, I am reminded of the old days after listening to your first experience. Today I got a chance to meet you after 20 years. Do all the children in the family study or what do they do?

Bharatbhai: Sir, my four daughters are married and the remaining two daughters are yet to be married. They are not even 18 years old.

Prime Minister: But your house is still intact or it has become very old in 20 years?

Bharatbhai: Sir, earlier rain water used to drip from the roof. There was also the problem of water. The roof has become weak since it is not a cemented one.

Prime Minister: Are your sons-in-law good?

Bharatbhai: Sir, all of them are very good.

Prime Minister: Okay, be happy. But did you tell others about the SWAGAT program or send other people there or not?

Bharatbhai: Sir, I used to send others also to this program. I would often tell them that Chief Minister Narendrabhai Modi gave me a satisfactory answer and listened to me patiently and did my work to my satisfaction. So, if you have any problem, you can go to the SWAGAT program. And if you have any problem, I will accompany you and show you the office.

Prime Minister: Okay, Bharatbhai. I am happy.

Prime Minister: Who is the next gentleman?

Vinay Kumar: Namaskar, Sir, I am Chaudhary Vinay Kumar Balubhai and I am from Waghmera village of Tapi district.

Prime Minister: Vinaybhai, Namaskar.

Vinaybhai: Namaskar, Sir.

Prime Minister: How are you?

Vinaybhai: Sir, I am fine with your blessings.

Prime Minister: Do you know that now we call people like you ‘Divyang’? People must also be using the same word for you with respect in your village.

Vinaybhai: Yes Sir.

Prime Minister: I vividly remember that you fought so hard for your rights at that time. Tell everyone what your fight was at that time and that you went even to the Chief Minister and earned your rights. Explain that to everyone.

Vinaybhai: Sir, the issue at that time for me was to become self-sufficient. At that time, I had applied for the loan in the Minority Finance Commission. My application was approved but I did not get the cheque on time. I was very upset. Then one of my friends told me that I would get a solution to my problems in the SWAGAT program which is held in Gandhinagar. He told me that I would have to raise my problem there. So Sir, I came to Gandhinagar in a bus from Waghmera village of Tapi district, and took advantage of your program. You heard my problem and immediately ensured a cheque of Rs. 39,245. With that money, I opened a general store in my house in 2008. I continue to run my household expenses with that store. Sir, I married within two years of the opening of my store. I have two daughters and they are studying today. The elder daughter is in 8th class and the younger one is in 6th class. And the family is self-sufficient today. And for the last two years, I have been farming along with my wife besides running the store. Today I am earning a good income.

Prime Minister: Vinaybhai, what do you sell in the store?

Vinaybhai: We sell all food grains and grocery items.

Prime Minister: When we emphasise Vocal for Local, do the people come to your store to buy Vocal for Local products?

Vijaybhai: Yes Sir, they come to purchase grains, pulses, rice, sugar etc.

Prime Minister: Now we are running the 'Shree Anna' campaign. Everybody should consume millets, jowar etc. Is Shree Anna sold in your store or not?

Vinaybhai: Yes Sir.

Prime Minister: Do you give employment to others or do you yourself work with your wife?

Vinaybhai: We employ labourers.

Prime Minister: Ok. You have to use the services of labourers. How many people have got employment because of you?

Vinaybhai: About 4-5 people have got employment to work in the fields.

Prime Minister: Now we urge everyone to make digital payments. Do you make digital payments there? Do you make digital transactions through mobile phones or asking for QR code etc.?

Vinaybhai: Yes Sir, many people come to my shop, they ask for my QR code and put money in my account.

Prime Minister: It is good. That means everything is available in your village.

Vinaybhai: Yes Sir. Every facility is there.

Prime Minister: Vinaybhai, your specialty is that you have made the 'SWAGAT' program successful and others must be asking you about the benefits you got from the 'SWAGAT' programme. You showed so much courage that you reached the Chief Minister. Did the officers harass you when they came to know that you made a complaint against them?

Vinaybhai: Yes Sir.

Prime Minister: Was everything sorted out after that?

Vinaybhai: Yes Sir.

Prime Minister: Now Vinaybhai must be boasting in the village that he has a direct connection with the Chief Minister. You don't do that. Do you?

Vinaybhai: No Sir.

Prime Minister: Ok, Vinaybhai. Many many congratulations to you. You have done a good job of educating your daughters. Give them a good education, Ok.

Prime Minister: What is your name?

Rakeshbhai Parekh: Rakeshbhai Parekh.

Prime Minister: Rakeshbhai Parekh, Have you come from Surat district?

Rakeshbhai Parekh: Yes, I have come from Surat.

Prime Minister: Do you live in Surat or somewhere around Surat?

Rakeshbhai Parekh: I live in an apartment in Surat.

Prime Minister: Yes, tell me about your experience.

Rakeshbhai Parekh: Due to a rail project in 2006, our building was demolished. It was an 8-storey building, which consisted of 32 flats and 8 shops. It had become dilapidated; because of this the building was to be demolished. We were not getting permission for it. We went to the Corporation, but it did not give us permission. We all gathered for a meeting and then we came to know that Narendra Modi Sahib was the Chief Minister at that time. I lodged the complaint. I met Mr. Gambit at that time. He told me that my complaint had been received and I would be called as soon as possible. He said that he was upset that I did not have a home. He called me the next day. I got an opportunity to meet you in the SWAGAT program. At that time, you gave me approval. I used to live in a rented house. I lived in a rented house for 10 years. We then got the approval. We got the whole building built from scratch. You cited it as a special case and gave approval immediately. We called a meeting of all the residents and built the building with the involvement of everybody. We started living in the same building again. All the 32 families and 8 shopkeepers are expressing their gratitude to you.

Prime Minister: Parekhji, you have really done well not only to yourself, but to 32 families as well. And today 32 families are living happily. How are these 32 families? Are they all happy?

Rakeshbhai Parekh: Everyone is happy, but I am in a little trouble, Sir.

Prime Minister: Everyone lives together?

Rakeshbhai Parekh: Yes, everyone lives together.

Prime Minister: And you are in trouble again?

Rakeshbhai Parekh: Yes Sir, you said at that time that I could stay in your bungalow if I had any problem. You said that I could stay in your bungalow till the building was made. But I stayed in a rented out till the building was finally built. Now I live peacefully in the house with my family. I have two sons. I live peacefully with my wife and sons.

Prime Minister: What are your sons doing?

Rakeshbhai Parekh: One son is doing a job and the other one is into cooking. It is called hotel management. He is basically running the house. I am in pain due to a pinched nerve and I can’t move. I have been suffering for the last one and a half years.

Prime Minister: But do you do yoga etc. or not?

Rakeshbhai Parekh: Yes Sir, exercise etc. is going on.

Prime Minister: You should take the advice of the doctor before hurrying for the operation. Now there is an Ayushman card also. Have you made the Ayushman card? It can take care of the expenditure of up to five lakh rupees. And the Gujarat government also has several schemes like the MAA Card scheme. Take advantage of them and get rid of the problem once and for all.

Rakeshbhai Parekh: Yes, Sir.

Prime Minister: You are not old enough to get tired like this.

Prime Minister: Well Rakeshbhai, you have helped many people through SWAGAT. You are an example of how a conscious citizen can help others. I am also happy that the government took you and your words seriously. The issue which was resolved years ago, now your children are also getting settled. Convey my best wishes to everyone.


After this exchange, I am satisfied that the purpose with which we started the SWAGAT program is largely successful. People are not only getting a solution to their problems through this program, but people like Rakesh ji are raising the issue of hundreds of families along with themselves. I believe that the behaviour of the government should be such that the common man can share his views with it, consider it a friend and move ahead. I am happy that Bhupendrabhai is also with us today. I can also see that there are some ministers and officers in the districts. Now there are many new faces. I know very few people.

'SWAGAT', dedicated to the service of crores of citizens of Gujarat, is completing 20 years. And I just got a chance to listen to old experiences from some beneficiaries and refresh old memories. The relentless efforts and loyalty of many people are behind the success of SWAGAT. On this occasion, I thank all those people and congratulate them.


When any system is born or it is prepared, there is a vision and intention behind it. How far that system will reach in the future, its destiny, the end result, is decided by that intention. When I launched 'SWAGAT' in 2003, it had not been long since I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Prior to that, my life was spent as a worker, living among ordinary human beings. After becoming the Chief Minister, people usually say that once you get the Chair, then everything changes, people also change. I used to hear this. But I had made up my mind that I would continue to be the same as people made me. What I have learned from them, the experiences that I have gained from them, I will not be a slave to the compulsions of the Chair under any circumstances. I will live among the people and work for the people. With this determination, StateWide Attention on Grievances by Application of Technology, i.e. 'SWAGAT' was born. The spirit behind SWAGAT was – Welcome common man in democratic institutions! The spirit behind SWAGAT was – welcome the legislation, welcome the solution! And, today even after 20 years, the meaning of SWAGAT is- Ease of living, reach of governance! As a result of sincere efforts, this Gujarat model of governance has become an identity of its own in the whole world. Firstly, the International Telecom Organization called it an excellent example of e-transparency and e-accountability. Then the United Nations also praised the SWAGAT. It also received the prestigious Public Service Award of the UN. In 2011, when the Congress government was in power at the Centre, Gujarat also won the Government of India's Gold Award in e-governance thanks to SWAGAT. And this process is going on continuously.

Brothers and sisters,

For me, the biggest award for the success of SWAGAT is that through this we were able to serve the people of Gujarat. We prepared a practical system through SWAGAT. Arrangements were made for public hearing at block and tehsil levels. After that the responsibility was given to the District Magistrate at the district level. And, at the state level, I myself took this responsibility. And I also benefited a lot from this. When I used to hold direct public hearings, I started getting feedback very easily whether people at the lowest strata were benefiting from the government or not, whether the benefits were reaching them or not, whether they were not facing any problem due to the policies of the government, whether they are not upset because of the intention of some local government official, whether somebody is not snatching what he is entitled to etc. And the power and reputation of SWAGAT increased so much that even an ordinary citizen of Gujarat could go to the senior officer. And if he was not heard or his work was not done, he would say: ‘If you don’t hear me, I will go to SWAGAT’. As soon as he would say that he would go to SWAGAT, the officers would stand up immediately and hear his complaint.

SWAGAT had gained such a reputation. I used to get direct information about the complaints, problems and difficulties of the common people. And importantly, I would get a lot of satisfaction by solving their problems. And it did not stop here. The SWAGAT program used to be held once a month but the work had to be done throughout the month because hundreds of complaints used to come and I used to analyse it. Is there any department against which complaints are coming again and again, is there any officer against whom complaints are coming again and again or is there any area which is full of complaints? Is it happening because of the policies or because of the intention of a person? We used to analyse everything. If necessary, we used to change the rules and policies so that the common man did not suffer. And if there was a problem because of the person, then we would take care of that person as well. As a result, SWAGAT had created a wonderful trust among the general public. And I believe that the biggest scale to measure the success of democracy is to find out how the public grievance redress system is working. What is the system of public hearing and what is the system of remedy. This is the test of democracy. Today I feel proud and satisfied when I see this seed named SWAGAT has become such a huge banyan tree. And I am happy that my old colleague AK Sharma, who was in charge of the SWAGAT program at that time and was posted in the CM office, has written a good article on SWAGAT sharing his experiences in the Economic Times today. Nowadays, he has also joined my profession, he has entered politics and is a minister in Uttar Pradesh, but at that time he used to handle the SWAGAT program as a government officer.


For decades, there was a belief in our country that no matter which government comes to power it has to follow the status quo. Those running the government used to complete their tenure, cutting the ribbons and lighting lamps. But Gujarat has attempted to change this approach through SWAGAT. We emphasised that governance was not limited to rules, laws and status quo only. Governance happens through innovations! Governance is done through new ideas! Governance is not a lifeless system. Governance is a living system, governance is a sensitive system and governance is a progressive system related to people's lives, dreams and their resolutions.

When SWAGAT was launched in 2003, technology and e-governance were not given much priority in the governments. Files were made for every work. No one knew where the files would disappear as it would go from one place to another. Mostly, once the application was given, the rest of the life of the complainant was spent in finding that paper. People were also less familiar with systems like video conferencing. Under these circumstances, Gujarat worked on futuristic ideas. And today, a system like SWAGAT has become an inspiration for a number of governance solutions. Many states are working on this system. I remember many state delegations used to come to Gujarat, study it and implement it in their states. When you sent me to Delhi, we made a system called 'PRAGATI' at the Centre to review the working of the government. PRAGATI has played an important role behind the rapid development of the country in the last nine years. This concept is also based on the idea of SWAGAT. As Prime Minister, I have reviewed projects worth about Rs 16 lakh crore in PRAGATI meetings. It has worked to speed up hundreds of projects in the country. Now the effect of PRAGATI is such that as soon as a project is listed for review, all the states end the obstacles related to it so that when it actually comes to me for review, they can say that it has been done two days back.


As a seed gives birth to a tree, hundreds of branches come out of that tree and thousands of seeds give birth to thousands of new trees. Similarly, I am sure this idea of SWAGAT will give rise to thousands of new innovations in governance. It will continue to serve the public by becoming a model of public oriented governance. I am thankful to you that you gave me an opportunity once again to come among all of you. I am so busy with my work that I came to know through your invitation that it is completing 20 years. But I am happy that the initiative of governance is also being celebrated in such a way that it gets a new life, a new consciousness. It is my firm belief that now the SWAGAT program will progress with more enthusiasm and credibility. I convey my best wishes to all my dear brothers and sisters of Gujarat. And after a week, Gujarat will celebrate its Foundation Day on 1st May. And as it is, Gujarat turns the Foundation Day an opportunity for development and it makes a festival of development. Preparations must be going on with great fanfare. My best wishes to all of you. Congratulations.


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PM thanks all Rajya Sabha MPs who voted for the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam
September 21, 2023

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi thanked all the Rajya Sabha MPs who voted for the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam. He remarked that it is a defining moment in our nation's democratic journey and congratulated the 140 crore citizens of the country.

He underlined that is not merely a legislation but a tribute to the countless women who have made our nation, and it is a historic step in a commitment to ensuring their voices are heard even more effectively.

The Prime Minister posted on X:

“A defining moment in our nation's democratic journey! Congratulations to 140 crore Indians.

I thank all the Rajya Sabha MPs who voted for the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam. Such unanimous support is indeed gladdening.

With the passage of the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam in Parliament, we usher in an era of stronger representation and empowerment for the women of India. This is not merely a legislation; it is a tribute to the countless women who have made our nation. India has been enriched by their resilience and contributions.

As we celebrate today, we are reminded of the strength, courage, and indomitable spirit of all the women of our nation. This historic step is a commitment to ensuring their voices are heard even more effectively.”