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New Delhi, April 26, 2020
Describing India’s fight against COVID-19 as "people-driven", Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the government has set up covidwarriors.gov.in, a digital platform that links volunteers of social organizations, representatives of civil society and local administration to jointly fight the pandemic.
Delivering his monthly “Mann ki Baat” address to the people over All India Radio (AIR), Modi said, “India’s fight against COVID-19 is people-driven, in the truest sense of the term. In India, it is the people who are fighting the pandemic. It is you who are putting up a fight …..along with the people, the government and the administration are fighting as well.
“A vast country such as India, with its proactive endeavour on the path of development is fighting a decisive battle against poverty. This is the only medium it possesses to fight the coronavirus and triumph over it. We are fortunate that today the whole country; each and every citizen of the country, every person is a soldier in this battle, nay, leading the battle.
“Today at each and every place, in neighbourhood lanes, people have come forward to help each other. From food for the underprivileged, arranging rations, ensuring lockdown, arrangements in hospitals to manufacturing medical equipment indigenously…the entire country is marching ahead together in the same direction, towards a single common objective.
"Collective applause, Thaalis, lamps, candles are reflective of a rising sentiment that has inspired countrymen to be altruistic, motivating each and everyone on the way. From metropolises to villages, it comes across as a ’Mahayagya’ being performed in the realm of our national ethos where every individual is eager to contribute,” he said.
“A case to the point is our farmer brothers and sisters – on the one hand, they are toiling day and night amidst the scourge of the pandemic, on the other displaying due concern to ensure that none in the country goes to bed hungry. Everyone is putting up a fight, as per one’s capacity and ability.
“There are some who are waiving off rent. There are others depositing entire amounts received through prizes and pension in PM CARES. Some are donating vegetables grown on farms, others are feeding a multitude of the underprivileged. Some are making masks; at places, our construction workers are whitewashing and painting schools meant for their quarantine stay,” he added.
The Prime Minister said it was this feeling that emanates from the core of the heart when you help others that form the inner strength in India’s fight against COVID-19, making it people-driven in every sense of the term.
About the covidwarriors web portal, he said it did not take long for 1.25 crore people to be part of this portal. They comprise doctors, nurses, ASHA-ANM workers, NCC and NSS members, professionals from myriad fields.
These people are of immense help at the local level in preparing Crisis Management Plans and implementing them. Modi also invited everyone to join covidwarriors.gov.in to be a COVID warrior and serve the country.
He said a transformation was taking place in the country amid the pandemic situation. “Our businesses, offices, educational institutions, our medical sector are rapidly advancing towards new operational changes. On the technology front, it actually seems every innovator in the country is coming up anew with something or the other amid emerging situations.
"Friends we are experiencing the results of the entire country in unison as a team. Today, the Central Government, State Governments; each and every department and institution are working hand in hand for relief at full speed. People working in the aviation sector, Railway employees are working day and night to alleviate hurdles confronting our countrymen.
“Many of you might be aware of a special campaign called ‘Lifeline Udan’ undertaken for ensuring the supply of medicines to every corner of the country. Within a short span of time, our colleagues clocked a flight distance of three lakh kilometres, delivering over 500 tonnes of medical supplies to you in the farthest corners of the country.
“Similarly, our colleagues in the Railways are working relentlessly during the lockdown, so that the common man throughout the country does not have to face the shortage of essential commodities. For this, Indian Railways is running more than 100 parcel trains on close to 60 routes. Similarly, our postal department personnel are playing a critical role in ensuring medical supplies. All these colleagues of ours are Corona Warriors in the truest sense,” he added.
Money was being directly transferred into the accounts of the poor, as part of the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Package. The old-age pension has been started. The poor are being provided facilities like free of cost gas cylinders and rations for three months. In all these activities, different government departments and banking sector personnel are working together round the clock as a team, he said.
The Prime Minister also commended the state governments for playing a very pro-active role in dealing with this pandemic. The responsibilities being borne by local administrations and state governments were critical in the fight against the coronavirus.
Referring to the recent ordinance that provides for stringent punishment for those harassing or injuring or indulging in violence against doctors and medical workers, he said it was to ensure the safety of all such personnel who are working round the clock to ensure a Corona-free India.
He also expressed happiness that the work of sanitation workers, doctors and even the police was being discussed and appreciated in various social media platforms. “Today our police personnel are ensuring that food and medicines reach the poor and the needy. This is a time when common folk are connecting with the police at an emotional level. Our police personnel are treating this as an opportunity for serving the public. And I am fully confident that such incidents can, in the times to come, bring about a very positive change, and we must never tar this positivity with hues of negativity,” he added.