Absence of basic facilities has impacted women: Modi
New Delhi, August 10, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the absence of basic facilities like housing, electricity, toilets, gas, roads, hospitals and schools has impacted women in the country, poor women in particular, most severely.
Speaking after launching Ujjwala 2.0 scheme (Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana - PMUY) at Mahoba in Uttar Pradesh via video conference today, Modi outlined in detail the government's vision of women empowerment.
"Today when we are entering 75th year of Independence and we see the progress of last seven decades, the feeling is inevitable that these problems should have been addressed decades ago," he said.
The Prime Minister said that leaking roof, absence of electricity, sickness in the family, waiting for it to get dark to go to the toilet, and absence of toilet in schools affect women and girls directly.
"Our generation has grown up seeing our mothers suffering from smoke and heat," he said, striking a personal note.
He asked how the nation could move forward if the people's energy was spent on dealing with such basic needs.
"How can a family or a society dream big and achieve them if they keep struggling for basic facilities. Feeling that dreams can be fulfilled is essential for a society to achieve its dreams. How can a nation become aatmnirbhar (self-reliant) without aatmvishwas (self confidence)," he asked.
"In 2014, we asked these questions of ourselves. It was very clear that these problems needed to be addressed in a definite time frame. Our daughters will be able to come out of the house and kitchen and contribute extensively in nation building only when the problems related to house and kitchen are solved first. Therefore, in the last 6-7 years, the Government has worked to get solutions to various issues on a mission mode," he said.
He listed many such interventions like crores of toilets built across the country under Swachh Bharat Mission; more than 2 crore houses for poor families, mostly, in the names of women; rural roads; electricity connections for 3 crore families under Saubhagya Yojana; Ayushman Bharat providing 50 crore people health cover for up to Rs 5 lakh and direct money transfer for vaccination and nutrition.
He also mentioned that Rs 30,000 crore had been deposited by the government in the Jan Dhan Account for women during the COVID-19 pandemic and that people were gettinng piped water under the Jal Jeevan Mission.
He said that these schemes had brought massive transformation in the lives of women.
The Prime Minister noted that the resolve of health, convenience and empowerment of sisters has received great impetus from Ujjwala Yojana. In the first phase of the scheme, 8 crore women from poor, Dalit, deprived, backward and tribal families were given free gas connections. He said the benefit of this free gas connection was felt during the pandemic.
"Crores of poor families got free gas cylinders for months when business was at stand still and movement was restricted. Imagine, if Ujjwala was not there, what would have been the state of these poor sister,” he asked.