In these eight years, the delivery system improved so that everyone could receive the benefits of Government schemes
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi completed eight years in office, India came out of the cusp of indecisiveness and apathy to a New India testified by the spirit of change. The change, which is witnessed in all spheres of society, speaks volumes about Atmanirbhar Bharat.
This is New India, built with the promise of ‘Sabka saath, sabka vikas aur sabka vishwas,’ and whose foundation was laid by Modi. In these eight years the delivery system improved so that everyone could get the benefit of government schemes without any bias.
The eight years also witnessed one of the darkest chapters of humanity, when the world was hit by the corona pandemic, which led to death, destruction, and disruption of economic activities. India was lucky to have a leader like Modi at the helm of affairs; because of his timely interventions through effective policies and programmes, India was able to safeguard the country’s economy to a large extent. When even developed nations felt helpless, the PM came up with policies to bring 135 crore Indians out of gloom and distress. Free ration, free vaccination, and free treatment of corona-affected people provided much-needed relief to the people across the country.
This was the reason why world leaders praised Modi for his visionary leadership during the pandemic that created a Rs suraksha chakra’ across Indians and this helped India to fight pandemics better. The suraksha chakra not only helped India protect its citizens from the deadly coronavirus but also revived the economy through a booster dose of Rs 20 lakh crore. It ensured that India remained the top-performing economy despite facing the pandemic. One year later, we can proudly say that India is on its path to becoming an economic superpower.
Recently, US President Joe Biden praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for handling the Covid pandemic “successfully” and contrasted India’s success with China’s “failure” in dealing with coronavirus. This praise came during a closed session of the Quad Summit when Biden said Modi’s success has shown the world that democracies can deliver. The PM, by using to his advantage various global forums, has also shown the world the richness and diversity of our great culture. Global recognition of yoga and Ayurveda is the outcome of these efforts.
PM Modi has changed the political culture and ushered in a responsive; pro-active Government as “seva, sushasan and garib kalyan” (service, good governance, and welfare of the poor) are the soul of the Modi Government. From the very beginning, the PM’s focus has been on inclusive development, in which the needs and aspirations of all sections of society are taken care of. But it is the welfare of the poorest of the poor that underlines all his policies and programmes.
The Central Government’s schemes like Atmanibhar Bharat, Make in India, Digital India, Start-up India, Stand up India and Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao are milestones in making India self-reliant, while Gem portal, Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhar, and digital transactions through smartphones have brought about transparency in financial dealings.
One of the most celebrated aspects of the Modi regime would be the digitization of the economy. It began with Aadhar. This was followed by the Jan Dhan Accounts, and finally cheap internet connections for hundreds of millions of Indians. Prime Minister Modi recently told an Indian diaspora in Japan that India’s share in the global digital transactions is 40 per cent—the highest in the world. There is no surprise that QR codes are available even with gol-gappa vendors or vegetable vendors. This was unimaginable a few years back.
The scale and effective implementation of these schemes have been the hallmark of the Modi government. It is the first time since Independence that the poor and those belonging to weaker sections have become true stakeholders in the Government.
The benefits of Government schemes have reached all the states without any discrimination. Take the case of Uttar Pradesh which has implemented the Central government policies in letter and in spirit. Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, houses were allocated to 1.22 crore families in urban areas and 2.55 crore families in rural areas across India of which 17.54 lakh and 26.16 lakh houses will be built in urban and rural areas, respectively, in UP. The high point is that many deprived communities like Mushar, Bantangia, Tharu, and Sehariya also got houses.
Uttar Pradesh has also been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Swachh Bharat Mission, as 2.61 crore families out of over 11 crore got toilets across the country under the scheme belong to Uttar Pradesh. As many as 57,500 community toilets have also been built in UP, providing employment to thousands of women who receive an allowance of Rs 9,000 for the maintenance of these community toilets. Another scheme in which UP is far ahead of other states is Amrit Yojana under the Jal Jeevan Mission, which seeks to provide clean drinking water through taps to every household by the year 2024. A total of 12.70 crore drinking water connections and 91 lakh sewerage connections have been provided under the scheme all over the country, of which Uttar Pradesh has completed 121 drinking water and 59 sewer projects and would be providing tap water to seven districts of Bundelkhand as well as Mirzapur and Sonbhadra. Besides, 66 districts consisting of 33,000 panchayats will get these connections by 2024.
PM Modi always talks about Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas—the ideology which defines the principles of the government, and its goal is to ensure that the benefits of government policies and programmes reach the citizens who are at the bottom of the development pyramid.
The Saubhagya Yojana brought light into the lives of people who earlier remained engulfed in darkness. It is a well-known fact that over 3 crore people had no electricity connection because the previous Governments never gave a thought about it. But in the last eight years, 1.41 crore people got free eletricity connection in UP alone. One of the big achievements of the Modi Government has been the special focus on the development of the farm sector. Uttar Pradesh is an agrarian state and the PM’s initiatives to uplift farmers have already started paying dividends. As many as 2.55 crore farmers have recently received the 11th installment worth around Rs 47,397.48 crore under PM Samman Nidhi.
Besides, out of 23 crore soil health cards issued across the country, 3.76 crore have been issued to farmers of Uttar Pradesh. At least 1.91 crore farmers have got Kisan Credit cards while Crop Insurance Scheme has benefited 2.46 crore farmers.
The health sector also flourished under the visionary leadership of Modi. Before 2014, UP’s health infrastructure was very poor. Today, the state has 209 RTPCR labs and the state is capable of conducting 3 lakh tests daily for Covid in UP. About 8.43 lakh people have benefitted from the Ayushman Bharat and Jan Aarogya Yojana. Two AIIMS institutes are already operational in UP while 33 medical colleges are being built. The PM is known for his big and bold decisions, and he derives his strength from the trust and blessings of 135 crore Indians. The past eight years have given India a strong foundation on which our nation’s future is being built. This will make India even stronger and more self-reliant.
(The author is MLC and BJP’s UP unit vice-president. The views expressed are personal.)