One billion vaccinations not just a figure, but a reflection of the strength of India, says Modi
New Delhi, October 22, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the one billion COVID vaccinations landmark was not just a figure, but a reflection of the strength of the country.
Addressing the nation, the Prime Minister lauded the difficult but remarkable feat of administering 100 crore vaccine doses across India. He attributed this achievement to the dedication of 130 crore countrymen.
“This success is the success of India and every countryman. The 100 crore vaccinations are not just a figure, but a reflection of the strength of the country, it is the creation of a new chapter of history. This is a picture of a new India that sets difficult goals and knows how to achieve them," he said.
He said several people were comparing India's vaccination programme with that of other countries. The speed with which India crossed the 100 crore mark, 1 billion, is also being appreciated. However, in this analysis, the point of beginning for India is often missed. Developed countries had decades of expertise in researching and developing vaccines. India mostly depended on vaccines made by these countries.
“For this reason when the biggest pandemic of the century struck, various questions were raised about India’s ability to fight the global pandemic. Questions were raised like where will we get the money to buy so many vaccines from other countries? When will India get the vaccine? Will the people get the vaccine or not? Will India be able to vaccinate enough people to stop the pandemic from spreading?
“These were answered by achieving this feat of administering 100 crore vaccinations. India has not only administered 100 crore vaccine doses to its citizens but has also done that free of cost. The acceptance that India enjoys in the world as a pharma hub will be further strengthened,” he added.
At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, people were anxious that it would be very difficult to fight this pandemic in a democracy like India. Questions were also raised whether so much restraint and so much discipline would work here. “However, for us, democracy means taking everyone along – ‘Sabka Saath’. The country started the campaign of 'Free Vaccine and Vaccine for Everyone'. Vaccinations were given to the poor, rich, rural and urban alike.
“The country has only one mantra, that, if the disease does not discriminate, then there cannot be any discrimination in the vaccination. That is why it was ensured that the VIP culture of entitlement does not dominate the vaccination campaign.
“Questions were raised that most of the people in India would not go to the vaccination centre to get vaccinated. Vaccine hesitancy remains a major challenge even today in many major developed countries of the world. But the people of India have answered it by taking 100 crore vaccine doses.”
He said the Government made public participation the first line of defence in the country's fight against the pandemic. India's entire vaccination program was born in the womb of science, has grown on scientific grounds and reached everywhere through scientific methods. The challenge was also to scale up the production, distribution to different states and timely delivery of vaccines to far-flung areas, he said.
But with scientific methods and innovations, the country has found solutions to these challenges. Resources were increased with extraordinary speed. The Made in India Cowin platform not only provided convenience to the common people but also made the work of the medical staff easier.
Referring to the economy, the Prime Minister said experts and many agencies from home and abroad were very positive about it.
“Not only are record investments coming in Indian companies but new employment opportunities are also being created for the youth. With record investment in start-ups, unicorns are being made. New energy is also visible in the housing sector,” he said.
The many reforms and initiatives taken in the last few months will play a big role in making India's economy grow faster. During the pandemic, the agriculture sector kept the economy strong. “Today, government procurement of food grains is happening at a record level. The money is going directly into the bank accounts of the farmers,” he added.
The Prime Minister exhorted the people to buy every little thing that is made in India, created with the hard work of Indians. This will be possible only with the efforts of everyone. Just like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a mass movement, in the same way, buying things made in India, buying things made by Indians, being Vocal for Local has to be put into practice, he said.
Modi said the country knew how to set big goals and achieve them. “But for this, we need to be constantly careful. No matter how good the cover is, no matter how modern the armour is, even it gives a total guarantee of protection, weapons are not given up while the battle is on. Similarly, there is no reason to get careless. People should celebrate the festivals with the utmost care,” he added in a reference to the possibility of the pandemic spreading in crowded gatherings.