English rendering of PM's address at the launch of Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan
Today, I feel relieved and satisfied after talking to all of you. When the crisis of Corona pandemic started growing, both the Central Government and the State Governments were concerned about you all. During that time, help was being sent to the locations where people were in. We also started the Shramik Special trains for our migrant brothers and sisters!
Really, after talking to you today I could feel the freshness in your energy, and a sense of respect and confidence. Such a serious crisis like Coronavirus pandemic has shaken the world but you stood firm. The way Corona has been fought in the villages of India has also taught an important lesson to the cities.
Just imagine! Our country has more than 6 lakh villages, in which more than two-thirds of India's population i.e. about 80-85 crore people live in the villages. You have effectively prevented Coronavirus from spreading in rural India. And the population of our villages is far greater than the total population of all the countries of Europe. This population is also greater than the population of the whole of America, Russia and Australia put together. It is a great achievement for such a large population to successfully fight against the Coronavirus pandemic with such courage. Every Indian feels proud of it. The awareness of our rural India is behind this success. Also, our democratic systems up to the Panchayat level, our health facilities, our medical centres, wellness centres and our cleanliness campaign have played an important role.
Moreover, our friends working at ground level i.e. the village heads, Anganwadi workers, the ASHA workers, Jeevika Didi; all of them have done a commendable job! And many congratulations to all of them!
If such a thing had happened in some western country, there would have been a lot of appreciation and discussion about its success at the international level. But we know that some people are hesitant to tell these things. Some people feel that if the rural life of India is appreciated, then what answer they would give to the world. You deserve all the praise for this valour, as you have put your lives at stake for saving the lives of the villagers from this virus. Well, there are some people in our country who will not pat your back.
Well, whether someone pats your back or not, I will keep on cheering you. I will keep talking about your great power to the world. You have done the virtuous task of saving thousands and lakhs of people from Corona.
Today, before launching this programme, I salute all the villages and the villagers in India for their work!
Salute to the power of the country's poor, laborers and workers! Salute to the villages of my country. By the way, I have been told that a large modern testing machine for detecting Coronavirus in Patna is also going to be operationalized from day after tomorrow. With this machine, it will be possible to conduct around 1500 tests in a single day. Congratulations to the people of Bihar for this testing machine too!
Joining this programme, my cabinet colleagues; Hon'ble Chief Ministers of different states - Respected Nitish Babu, Ashok Gehlot Ji, Shivraj ji, Yogi Adityanath ji; MPs and MLAs; all the officials; representatives of Panchayats and my hardworking friends from hundreds of villages in the country who have joined us today via technology; my greetings to all of you once again !!
Today is a historic day. Today a huge campaign has started for the welfare of the poor and for their employment. This campaign is dedicated to our labourer brothers and sisters, the youth and our daughters living in our villages. Most of them are the migrant labour who have returned to their homes during lockdown. They want to do something for the development of their village with their hard work and skills! They want to help their villages to progress as long as they are in their villages.
My friends, the country understands your feelings as well as your needs.
Today, the 'Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana' being launched from Khagaria is a great tool to fulfil this requirement.
This campaign will be carried out vigorously in 116 districts of 6 states - Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. We are trying to ensure that through this campaign the workers and the labourers are given work near their homes. So far, you had been helping the cities to progress with your skills and hard work, but now you would take your villages forward. And friends, you will be surprised to know that I was motivated to launch this programme by some workers.
I once noticed one news item in the media. This news was from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. A government school was turned into a quarantine centre there. The workers who had come back from the cities were kept there. Many workers from Hyderabad were housed in that centre.
These workers were experts in painting and PoP work. They wanted to do something for their village. They thought that they were just wasting time. Instead, they could put their skills to some use. And see, while staying in that government school, these workers, with their skills, revived the look of the school itself.
When I came to know about this work of my migrant brothers and sisters, their patriotism and their skills, I was inspired! I realized that these people are capable of doing something, and out of that idea this scheme was born.
Just imagine! How much talent has returned to the villages! When the labour and skills that had helped to speed up development and progress in every city of the country will be used in the rural areas like Khagaria, then what level of development will Bihar achieve!
Under the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan, 50 thousand crore rupees will be used for the development of your villages and to give you employment! With this amount, about 25 works have been identified for employment in villages for development works. These 25 works or projects are related to the basic amenities of the villages, which are meant to improve the lives of the people in the village. You will get an opportunity to do this work while living in your own village with your families.
Like, the work for constructing Anganwadi buildings, community toilets, rural mandis and wells is being started in Telihar village of Khagaria from today itself. Similarly, every village has its own needs. These needs will now be met through the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan. Under this, pucca houses will also be built for the poor in different villages, or tree plantation will be done, or sheds will also be built for the animals. For drinking water, Jal-Jeevan Mission will also be taken forward in collaboration with Gram Sabhas.
Besides, emphasis will also be laid on the construction of roads wherever necessary. And Panchayat buildings will also be constructed wherever required.
These are the things that must be done in the villages. But, besides this, villages will also be connected to modern facilities under this campaign. For example, it is important to have cheap and fast internet in every household in the villages just like in the cities. It is important so that our children in the villages also are educated well. This need of the village has been linked to the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan. It is for the first time in the history of the country that internet is being used in the villages much more than in cities. Works such as improving the speed of the internet in villages, extending the reach of fibre cables will also be done.
Friends, who will be doing all this work? Only the people of the village will do it! You, my worker friends will do it! Be it the labourers, mechanics, small shopkeepers selling materials, drivers, plumbers, electricians all friends will get employment. Our sisters will also be linked to the Self-Help Groups so that they can raise additional resources for their families.
Moreover, the mapping of the skills of all the workers has also been started.
That is, your skills will be identified in the village itself, so that you can get work according to your skills! The people will come to you for the work that you know.
The government is making every effort amid the Corona pandemic to ensure that you do not have to take loans from anyone while living in the villages. We understand the self respect of the poor. You stand testimony to the adage - Shramev Jayate. You want work; you want employment. Keeping this spirit as paramount, the government has formulated and implemented this scheme in such a short time.
Earlier, the government had also taken quick steps in the beginning of the lockdown to meet the immediate needs of crores of people like you and of the entire country.
The Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign had started with the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. And I remember, when initially we brought the plan for the poor, there was an outcry everywhere - what will happen to the industries? What will happen to the business? What will happen to the MSMEs? Many people criticized me. But I knew it was my priority to hold the hand of the poor amidst this crisis.
Within a few weeks, about Rs. 1.75 lakh crore were spent on this scheme.
During these three months, we have delivered ration-pulses etc.to 80 crore poor people. Besides the ration, they were also given free gas cylinders. Similarly, more than 10,000 crore rupees were directly transferred to the Jan Dhan accounts of 20 crore poor mothers and sisters. An assistance of Rs.1000 each was also sent directly to the accounts of the poor, elderly, mothers and sisters and Divyangjans.
If Jan Dhan accounts had not been created, if these accounts were not linked with Aadhaar cards and mobile numbers, then how could this have happen? You might remember the older times!
Money used to be released in your names but would never reach you!
Now all this is changing. One nation one ration card scheme has also been started to ensure that you don't face any problem while getting food-grains from the government shops. That is, now our poor brothers and sisters will be able to get ration in any state of the country and in any city with the same ration card.
Self-reliant farmers are equally essential for a self-reliant India. But for so many years, agriculture and farmers in our country were unnecessarily tied to rules and laws. All my farmer friends who are sitting in front of me must have felt this helplessness for so many years!
The farmer was not given the right to decide where he could sell his crop or whether he could store his crop or not. We have abolished such discriminatory laws two weeks ago! Now, the government or the officials will not decide where the farmers will sell the crops but the farmer himself will decide.
Now the farmer can sell his crop outside his state, and in any market! Now you can connect directly with the traders and companies who will give you good prices for your produce and sell directly to them. Earlier the law which prohibited the stocking of crops has also been changed now.
Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat package, announcement of an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore has been made so that cold storage could be constructed for the farmers to store their produce and so that the farmers are directly able to connect to the market. When the farmer is connected to the market, he would be able to sell his crops at higher prices.
You must have heard about another decision under the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’! Industrial clusters will be formed so that different products and packaging items can be made with the local produce in the small towns and cities near your villages. This is going to be of great benefit to the farmers.
Now,in Khagaria, maize is produced in plenty! If the farmer is directly connected with the companies that make maize products and if local products are made out of Khagaria maize, then it will increase the profits a lot! Similarly, Bihar has Makhana, Lychees and Bananas! There are Amlas and mangoes from UP; there are chillies from Rajasthan; pulses from Madhya Pradesh; and Odisha and Jharkhand have good forest produce.There are many such local products in every district and the plan is to set up industries associated with them nearby.
All these efforts, which have been going on continuously for the last 6 years, have the same objective - our villages and the poor should become independent and strong. None of our poor, labourers or farmers need any support! After all, we are the people who live by the honour of labour, not with any support!
This self-esteem will also be protected by the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan and your hard work will also develop your village. Today this servant of yours, and the whole country, is working with the same idea, with this resolve, for your honour and respect.
I also request you all to take necessary precautions when you leave for work. Be sure to follow the rule of wearing masks, or to cover your face with a cloth, and to maintain hygiene, and follow the rule of social distancing. If you take precautions, then your village and your home will be protected from this virus. This is very important for both our lives and livelihood.
May all of you be healthy and continue to move forward; and let the country move ahead with you! With these best wishes, thank you very much!!
I am thankful to all the Hon'ble Chief Ministers, especially to the Government of Bihar! I am extremely grateful to you all for your support in planning and advancing this crucial scheme. Thanks a lot!