Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to BJP workers in 15,000 venues across the country over preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections was on Thursday relayed live at an event organised by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to distribute Ayushman Bharat cards to beneficiaries in Vasna. This was among 451 venues in 16 Gujarat constituencies selected for the mega Bharatiya Janata Party “Mera booth sabse majboot” campaign.
Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PMJAY) health cards were distributed to 300 beneficiaries at the event, where a medical camp was also held. Ahmedabad West MP Kirit Solanki and Ellisbridge MLA Rakesh Shah were among leaders present.
Several Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries have been identified through the Central Government’s School Health Programme, which was also conducted in the Ahmedabad’s madrasas. This was in addition to listing beneficiaries on the basis of the socio-economic and caste census of 2011.
Speaking at the event, AMC medical officer Dr Bhavin Solanki said the event was an attempt to raise awareness about Ayushman Bharat health cover scheme and the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan Yojana pension scheme, as they had been announced as recently as February’s union budget. “We have conducted similar (medical and awareness) camps with our councillors but now we are trying to further increase coverage by tying up with Members of Parliament.”
MP Solanki said these camps made people aware of how Prime Minister Modi’s schemes benefited them. “In the four months since implementation of the PMJAY (also known as Ayushman Bharat), we have seen more than 12 lakh beneficiaries,” said Solanki. “In Ahmedabad, there are approximately 3.5 lakh beneficiaries and we want all of them to get their cards. We have successfully covered lakhs (of people) under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (providing LPG cylinders) and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (housing scheme). But since Ayushman Bharat is a relatively new scheme, it is necessary for us to make it accessible to all who are eligible and ensure greater coverage.”
Mayor Bijal Patel and Dr Solanki inaugurated an urban primary health centre in Paldi area of Ahmedabad on Thursday before the prime minister’s event. The UHC has been built at a cost of Rs 80 lakh under the National Urban Health Mission, a submission of the central health ministry’s National Health Mission.