People have also seen that period when earlier governments used to consider themselves 'mai-baap' of the people
New Delhi: Asserting that the four biggest "castes" for him are the poor, youth, women and farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the upliftment of these sections will make India a developed nation. At a virtual interaction with the beneficiaries of various Central schemes as part of the government's Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, Mr Modi faulted the past dispensations for acting like "mai-baap" of citizens and allowing their development initiatives to be guided by their vote bank considerations.
In his address, the Prime Minister said his work in the last 10 years has led to people having immense confidence in his government.
During the event, the Prime Minister also launched an initiative to increase the number of Jan Aushadhi Kendras, which sell medicines at subsidised rates, from 10,000 to 25,000 after inaugurating the landmark 10,000th outlet at AIIMS, Deoghar.
Mr Modi also launched the Drone Didi Yojana, which aims to provide drones to 15,000 select women self-help groups between 2024–25 and 2025–2026 for providing rental services to farmers for agriculture purposes.
During his interaction with the beneficiaries, Mr Modi said the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra for saturation coverage of various Central government welfare schemes has generated huge enthusiasm among people. He said some are describing the government “raths” (chariots), which are travelling to all corners of the country, as "Modi ki guarantee wali gaadi" (vehicles carrying Modi's guarantees), while asserting that the masses know that he will fulfil all his promises.
For this, he needs their blessings, Mr Modi said, underscoring that the programme will identify everyone left out of welfare schemes aimed for them and that he will ensure their saturation coverage in the coming years.
“A voice is emerging from people across the country that Modi's guarantee begins from where people's expectations from others end,” he said.
In his remarks after interacting with the beneficiaries, Mr Modi said Bharat is neither going to stop, nor tire as the people have resolved to make the country a developed nation.
"In various corners of the country, there is such enthusiasm for the yatra and there is a reason for it... People have seen Modi and his work in the last 10 years and therefore, they have immense confidence in the government and its efforts… People have also seen that period when past governments used to consider themselves mai-baap of the people. Therefore, even after decades of Independence, a large section of the population was deprived of basic facilities," Mr Modi said.
Claiming that more than half the population had lost faith in earlier governments as people had to depend on middlemen and had to run around offices to seek any benefit, Mr Modi said that contrary to that, his government is reaching out to the masses to enrol them for various welfare measures.
He said that the earlier governments were driven by political calculations and votebank considerations.
"Therefore, the people never used to trust the announcements of such mai-baap governments. We have changed this. The government in place now considers people as gods and we work with 'seva bhav' not 'satta bhav'," Mr Modi said.
Elaborating about the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, Mr Modi said that in just 15 days of the yatra, people are walking along and joining it. Until now, the vehicle of 'Modi ki guarantee' has reached over 12,000 panchayats and more than 30-lakh people have benefited from it, the Prime Minister said, adding, "Mothers and sisters are reaching out to this vehicle. The initiative has taken the shape of a people's movement and people are taking it forward."
Many panchayats have received saturation coverage without any discrimination, Mr Modi said, asserting that the youth are taking the lead in popularising the exercise and spearheading the goal of making India developed.
Underscoring his commitment, he said he went to a remote tribal region in Khunti to launch the yatra instead of doing it at a place like Vigyan Bhawan, a venue associated with the government's official programmes.
While launching the Drone Didi Yojana, Mr Modi said he wanted these women to receive respect in their villages and that some people have suggested the name of "Namo Drone Didi" for the initiative. Women trained as drone pilots will be financially empowered and receive people's respect.
"My dream is to make 2-crore women living in villages and working with self-help groups lakhpati," he said.
Talking about Jan Aushadhi Kenras, Mr Modi mentioned that people have been associating his name with the flagship welfare initiative.
"Jan Aushadhi Kendras are now being called "Modi's medicine shop," he said, noting that nearly 2,000 types of medicines are sold at an 80 to 90 per cent discount at such centres.
Noting that the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojna, which provides free grains to over 80 crore people, has been extended for another five years, he asserted that "Modi's guarantee means the guarantee of fulfilling all guarantees."