New Delhi- Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that India has become the fifth largest economy in the world and this is no ordinary achievement. “Every Indian feels proud of that,” Modi said. “We need to keep that enthusiasm.”
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He was addressing the beneficiaries of various government schemes and those in a huge medical camp organized in Ulabad district of Surat city in Gujarat, where assembly elections are scheduled for later this year. The Prime Minister interacted with some of the beneficiaries and appealed to the farmers to switch to natural farming, saying that this would lead to a better yield at the lowest cost.
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He praised the Gujarat government and referred to the BJP-led state and the Center as a “dual-engine government”. “Recently, India has become the fifth largest economy in the world. This achievement has given us the confidence to work harder and achieve greater goals in this Amrit Kal. This progress is not ordinary. Every Indian feels proud of it. We need to maintain it. Such enthusiasm,” Prime Minister said.
Referring to the center’s Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Modi said, “The government has built up to three crore houses across the country for the poor during the past eight years. Of these, nearly 10 have been built in Gujarat alone.” .
Modi praised Gujarat’s health infrastructure, saying the state has a strong network of multi-specialty hospitals. “The number of medical colleges has increased from 11 to 31 in the last two decades. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) (in Rajkot) is set to be established and several new medical colleges have been proposed for the state,” he said.
The entire event and medical camp was organized by the Minister of State for Agriculture, Energy and Petrochemicals of Gujarat, Mukesh Patel, an MLA from Olpad in Surat. On the occasion, Modi urged the doctors deployed in the medical camp to talk to patients about their lifestyle and the importance of eating nutritious food that can keep people away from many diseases.
He said nearly Rs four crore in the country, including 30 lakh in Gujarat, have already benefited from the Ayushman Bharat scheme of the centre, which provides health coverage of up to Rs 5,000 per family in a year.
Praising the Gujarat government, Modi said that 97 per cent of rural homes in the state now have access to drinking water through the ambitious Nal Si Jal scheme. “Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Saman Nidhi scheme, farmers across the country have received Rs. crore through direct transfer so far. 60 Gujarat farmers and about 1.25 thousand farmers from Surat have benefited from this scheme,” he said.
Previously, he said, farmers used to get nothing despite the long promises made by previous governments in the center. “But the interests of farmers are always a priority for our dual-motor government. That is why farmers in the country and Gujarat are giving us their blessing,” he said.
Prior to the speech, Modi actually interacted with some of the beneficiaries of the state and centrally supported schemes, such as the widow’s pension, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Saman Nidhi, Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana and Ayushman Bharat Yojana. While talking to Sukhdevsinh Rana, a farmer with different abilities, the prime minister appealed to all farmers to switch to natural farming, saying that this would provide better yield at the lowest cost.
While interacting with Kanchanaben Patel, a widow from Ulbad Taluka, Modi asked if Ulbad’s coastal villages now had access to clean drinking water. Patel told the prime minister that the government had solved the problem. Speaking to another widow Kirtippen Patel, Modi pleaded with her to spread awareness about the various government schemes in her village so that no one would be left eligible for benefits.