Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacting with the winners of the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (PMRBP), through video conferencing, in New Delhi on January 24, 2022.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacting with the winners of the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (PMRBP), through video conferencing, in New Delhi on January 24, 2022.

More than 40 million children took the COVID vaccine since January 3, says Modi

New Delhi, January 24, 2022

More than 40 million children have taken the COVID vaccine since January 3 in India, displaying a modern and scientific temperament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today.

This was achieved in just 20 days, the Prime Minister said at an interaction with Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (PMRBP) award winners via video conference.

For the first time, digital certificates were conferred on the awardees for the years 2022 and 2021 using blockchain technology. Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani and Minister of State Munjpara Mahendrabhai were among those present on the occasion.

Interacting with Avi Sharma of Indore, Madhya Pradesh, Modi asked about the secret of his prolific output on various aspects of the Ramayana. Sharma said he was inspired to take it up after watching the serial Ramayana telecast during the lockdown. Avi also recited some couplets from his creations.

Interacting with Remona Evette Pereira from Karnataka, he discussed her passion for Indian dance. He inquired about the difficulties she faced in pursuing her passion. He complimented her mother for the struggle to overcome adversities to realise her daughter’s dreams.

Interacting with Puhabi Chakraborti of Tripura, he asked about her COVID-related innovation. She said she had developed a fitness app for sportspersons. Modi also asked about the support she receives from the school, friends and parents in her endeavour.

With Dhiraj Kumar from West Champaran, Bihar, the Prime Minister asked about the incident where he saved his younger brother from a crocodile attack. He praised his courage and presence of mind.

Interacting with Meedhansh Kumar Gupta from Punjab, he asked about his achievement of creating an app for COVID issues. The Prime Minister said that in children like Meedhansh he feels that the government efforts to promote entrepreneurship are bearing fruit and a tendency to become job providers instead of being job seekers is becoming more pronounced.

Interacting with Kumari Tarushi Gaur from Chandigarh, the Prime Minister inquired about her opinion on the balance between sports and studies. The Prime Minister asked why Tarushi idolises boxer Mary Kom. She replied that she likes her because of her commitment to excellence and balance that she strikes as a sportsperson and as a mother. The Prime Minister said that the government is committed to providing all the facilities to the sportspersons and creating a mindset of winning at every level.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister noted that these awards become all the more significant in the light of the fact that they have been conferred during the important period when the country is celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (75 years of independence). "This is the time to draw energy from the past and dedicate oneself to achieving great results in the coming 25 years of the Amrit Kaal," he said.

He also greeted the daughters of the country on National Girl Child Day. The Prime Minister remembered the glorious history of the freedom struggle and the contribution of Birbala Kanaklata Barua, Khudiram Bose and Rani Gaidinilu. “These fighters had made the country's freedom the mission of their lives at a very young age and had dedicated themselves to it.”

He referred to his visit to the Nowshera sector of Jammu and Kashmir on Diwali last year where he met Baldev Singh and Basant Singh who had played the role of child soldiers in the post-independence war. They had helped the army at such a young age without caring about their lives.

He cited examples of the bravery and sacrifice of the sons of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. He pointed out that when the Sahibzadas had sacrificed with immense valour, they were very young. Their sacrifice for India's civilization, culture, faith and religion is incomparable. He asked the youngsters to learn more about the Sahibzadas and their sacrifice.

Referring to the digital statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose installed near India Gate in New Delhi, he said, “We get the biggest inspiration from Netaji - duty to the nation first. Taking inspiration from Netaji, you have to proceed on the path of duty for the country.”

Modi said that, in every sector, policies and initiatives were keeping youth at the centre. He cited initiatives like Start-Up India, Stand Up India, Digital India, Make in India along with Jan Andolan of Aatmnirbhar India and the creation of modern infrastructure. This is in sync with the speed of the youth of India who are leading this new epoch both in India and outside.

The Prime Minister underlined the growing prowess of India in the innovation and start-up sphere. He conveyed the nation's pride in the face of major global companies being led by young Indian CEOs.

“Today we feel proud when we see the youth of India excelling in the world of startups. Today we feel proud when we see that the youth of India is innovating, taking the country forward.”

The Prime Minister said in areas where daughters were not even allowed earlier, they are doing wonders. "This is the new India, which does not hold back from innovating. Courage and determination are the hallmarks of India today," he said.

He also lauded the children for their leadership in the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan. The Prime Minister appealed to them to be an ambassador for Vocal for Local and lead the campaign of Aatmnirbhar Bharat.


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