Today, on the pious festival of the Amrit Mahotsav of freedom, the country is bowing to all its freedom fighters and brave heroes who continue to sacrifice themselves day and night in the defense of the nation. The country is remembering every personality, including the revered Bapu, who made freedom a mass movement, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, who sacrificed everything for the freedom, or great revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad, Bismil and Ashfaqulla Khan; Rani of Jhansi Lakshmibai, Queen Chennamma of Kittur or Rani Gaidinliu or the valour of MatanginiHazra; the country’s first Prime Minister Pandit Nehru ji, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who integrated the country into a united nation, and Baba Saheb Ambedkar, who determined and paved the way for the future direction of India. The country is indebted to all these great personalities.
While we celebrate our freedom today, we cannot forget the pain of partition that still pierces through the heart of all Indians. This has been one of the biggest tragedies of the last century. After attaining freedom, these people were forgotten too soon. Just yesterday India has taken an emotional decision, we will henceforth commemorate August 14 as “Partition Horrors Remembrance Day” in the memory of the victims of partition. Those who were subjected to inhuman circumstances, suffered torturous treatment, they could not even receive a dignified cremation. They must all remain alive and never get erased from our memories. The decision of celebrating “Partition Horrors Remembrance Day” on the 75th Independence Day is a befitting tribute from every Indian to them.
Along with modern infrastructure, there is a great need for adopting a holistic and integrated approach in infrastructure construction. In the near future, we are going to launch the National Master Plan of Prime Minister ‘Gati Shakti’ which will be a huge scheme and fulfil the dreams of crores of countrymen. This scheme of more than 100 lakh crores rupees will result in new employment opportunities for lakhs of youth.
It is a moment of pride for us that because of our scientists, we were able to develop two Make in India COVID Vaccines and carry out the world’s Largest Vaccine Drive.
It was extremely difficult to get vaccines during such a major crisis, with pandemic plaguing the entire world. India might or might not have received it and even if it had received the vaccine there was no certainty of getting that in time. But today we can proudly say that the world’s largest vaccination programme is being run in our country. More than 54 crore people have received the vaccine dose. Online systems like Cowin and digital certificates are attracting the world today.
Our doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, sanitation staff, scientists engaged in developing vaccines, millions of countrymen engaged with the spirit of service during this Corona global pandemic also deserve praise from all of us.
India’s young generation has made our country proud at the Tokyo Olympics. All such athletes are amongst us today. They have not only won our hearts but also inspired our young generation.
The way India has kept the stoves burning for the poor’s house by providing free food grains to 80 crore countrymen continuously for months during the pandemic is not only astonishing to the world but also a matter of discussion.
It is true that fewer people have been infected in India as compared to other countries; it is also true that in comparison to the population of other countries of the world, we managed to save more citizens in India but it is not something to be proud of! We cannot rest on these laurels. To say that there was no challenge, will become a restrictive thought in the path of our own development.
Our goal is to develop a nation where we not only have world-class infrastructure but also move ahead with the mantra of ‘Minimum government, maximum governance’.
We should not limit the occasion of 75 years of Indian independence to just one ceremony. We must lay the groundwork for new resolutions and move forward with new resolutions. Starting from here, the entire journey of the next 25 years, when we celebrate the centenary of Indian independence, marks the Amrit period of creation of a new India. The fulfilment of our resolutions in this Amrit period will take us to the hundredth anniversary of Indian independence with pride.
The goal of ‘Amrit Kaal’ is to ascend to new heights of prosperity for India and the citizens of India. The goal of ‘Amrit Kaal’ is to create an India where the level of facilities is not dividing the village and the city. The goal of ‘Amrit Kaal’ is to build an India where the government does not interfere unnecessarily in the lives of citizens. The goal of ‘Amrit Kaal’ is to build an India where there is world’s every modern infrastructure.
Amrit Kaal is of 25 years. But we don’t have to wait for long to achieve our goals. We have to start now. We don’t have a moment to lose. This is the right time. Our country also has to change and we as citizens have to change ourselves too. We also have to adapt ourselves to the changing era. We have started with the spirit of ‘SabkaSaath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’. Today I am requesting from the ramparts of the Red Fort that ‘SabkaSaath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ and now SakkaPrayas are very important for the achievement of our goals.
In this Bharat ki Vikas Yatra, we have to ensure that we meet our goal of building an AatmaNirbhar Bharat when we celebrate 100 years of India’s Independence.
Just as we have made electricity accessible to 100% households, and have made authentic efforts to construct toilets in 100% households, similarly, we now have to move ahead with the goal of achieving saturation of schemes, and, for this, we do not have to keep a distant deadline. We have to make our resolutions come true within a few years.
Now, we have to move even further. 100% villages should have roads, 100% households should have a bank account, 100% beneficiaries should have Ayushman Bharat card, 100% eligible persons should have gas connection under Ujjwala scheme and 100% beneficiaries should have Aawas.
We have to move ahead with a mindset of cent percent achievement. Till now, no thought was given for our street vendors, who sell their goods on tracks, footpaths and carts. All these colleagues are now being linked to the banking system through the SVANidhi scheme.
We have to move forward with the goal of ensuring that every citizen is connected with government’s transformative schemes.In the last few years, our government has provided roads and electricity to the villages. Now these villages have been strengthened with optical fibre network data and the Internet.
I am happy that just within 2 years of Jal Jeevan Mission, over 4.5 Crore families have started receiving Nal Se Jal; this is our main achievement when the benefit reaches the last mile citizen.
Poshanis one of the key focus of our government. The government has also been working on preventive healthcare, and building health and wellness infrastructure.
We need to provide hand holding to the backward categories and sectors. With the concern of fulfilling the basic needs, reservation is being ensured for the Dalits, Backward classes, Adivasis and the poor people from general category. More recently, in the field of medical education, reservation has also been ensured for the OBC category in the All India Quota. By formulating a law in Parliament, the right to make their own list of OBC has been given to the states.
Be it rice available at ration shop, rice available in mid-day meal, rice available through every scheme will be fortified by the year 2024.
The delimitation commission has been constituted in Jammu and Kashmir itself and preparations are also going on for the assembly elections.
Ladakh is witnessing a new transformative phase where the government is focusing on building world-class infrastructure.On one hand, Ladakh is witnessing the creation of modern infrastructure, while on the other, ‘Sindhu Central University’ is going to make Ladakh a centre of higher education.
There is a huge potential in the fields of tourism, adventure sports, organic farming, herbal medicine, and oil pump in the North East. We have to fully harness this potential and make it a part of the development journey of the country. And we have to complete this work within a few decades of the ‘Amrit Kaal’. Giving a fair opportunity to the capabilities of all is the true spirit of democracy. Be it Jammu or Kashmir, the balance of development is now visible on the ground.
Whether East, North East, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, the entire Himalayan region, our coastal belt or tribal region, these will become a big base for India’s development in the future.
Today a new history of connectivity is being written in the North-East. This is a connectivity of both the hearts and the infrastructure. Very soon the work of connecting all the state capitals of the North-East with rail service is going to be completed.
Under the Act-East Policy, today North-East, Bangladesh, Myanmar and South-East Asia are also being connected. Due to the efforts made in the past years, now the enthusiasm for the creation of Shreshtha Bharat and long-lasting peace in the North-East has increased manifold.
We are witnessing a new phase in the developmental journey of our villages. It not only has electricity and water but also nurturing Digital Entrepreneurs.Priority is being given to schemes related to education, health, nutrition, roads, employment, in over 110 aspirational districts of the country. Many of these districts are in tribal areas.
We have to focus on helping our small farmers. We have to give maximum benefits of the government’s schemes to them; be it through DBT or Krishi Rail.
Kisan Rail can help small farmers with this modern facility to reach far flung areas on a low cost of produce and transportation. Several products like Kamalam, Shahi litchi, BhutJolokiachillis, black rice or turmeric are being exported to different countries of the world.
The government is now focusing on welfare of small farmers. 10 Crore farmer families have directly received over ₹1.5 lakh crore in their bank accounts.
SVAMITVA Yojna is transforming the lives in rural India. Drone is helping our rural citizens to map their land and apply for various schemes/loans online.
Co-operatives are not just a system with a network of laws and rules, but co-operative is a spirit, culture, and a mindset of collective growth. We have taken steps to empower them by forming a separate ministry. We have taken this step to empower the cooperative sector in the states.
In the coming years, we will have to increase the collective power of the small farmers of the country. They have to be given new facilities. We are trying to empower these farmers through SVAMITVA Yojana.
We have decided to celebrate this Amrit Mahotsav of independence for 75 weeks. It started from 12th March and will continue till 15th August, 2023. We have to move forward with new enthusiasm and, therefore, the country has made a very important decision.