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Covid compelled people to accept importance of migrant labour: PM Modi

“Without them how difficult it is to run industries. People folded their hands and said, ‘Come Back Come Back’. What Corona did was that for those who did not accept the importance of our migrant labourers, it compelled them to do so,” the Prime Minister said.

Written by Dipankar Ghose | New Delhi | Updated: January 2, 2021 7:59:00 am
Narendra Modi, PM on migrant labour, Coronavirus crisis, Light House Projects, Importance of migrant workers, India news, Indian express newsPrime Minister Narendra Modi. (File)

In his first speech in the new year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the Covid-19 crisis had compelled those who did not understand the importance of migrant labourers to do so.

He was speaking at the inauguration of six Light House Projects under the Global Housing Technology Challenge with Chief Ministers of UP, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh present.

Speaking about the Affordable Rental Housing Complexes scheme, he said, “The goal of this programme are those migrant colleagues who come from one state to another, or come from villages to cities. Before Corona we had seen that in some places, some inappropriate things were said to people coming from other states. They were insulted. But during Corona, labourers went back to their own homes, then the rest found out that without them living is very difficult,” he said.

“Without them how difficult it is to run industries. People folded their hands and said, ‘Come Back Come Back’. What Corona did was that for those who did not accept the importance of our migrant labourers, it compelled them to do so,” the Prime Minister said.

“We have seen that our migrant friends cannot find homes at appropriate rent in our cities. In small rooms, many of Many labourers stay. In these places, there are problems with water supply, electricity, toilets, lack of hygiene,” he said.

It is the responsibility of all countrymen to ensure that those who labour in the country’s service live with respect, Modi said.

“With this thought, together with industry and investors, the government is concentrating on giving homes at affordable rates. There is also an effort to ensure the homes are located where they work,” he added.

The Light House Projects, the Prime Minister said, would act as an “innovation and incubation centre” for technologies of building homes from all over the world.

“It is necessary for the ministries of government that they do not act like large stagnant structures, but like start-ups, they are both enthusiastic and robust. For this, we organised the Global Housing Technology Challenge and invited the best companies in the world. I am happy that 50 and more innovative technology companies from across the world participated in this programme. From this Global Challenge, we have got the scope to innovate and incubate new technologies. In the next stage of this process, from today, in different sites, 6 Light House projects are starting. These Light House Projects will be made from modern technology and innovative processes. In this, the time needed for construction will be reduced, and the poor will get more resilient, affordable and comfortable homes,” he said.

Calling the participation of multiple states an example of cooperative federalism, Modi said he wanted planners, architecture professors and students to study these new models.

Prime Minister Modi said the faith of people that they would get their own homes had been dwindling, but Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana changed that.

“In the last six years, the steps taken in the country have for a common man, especially for the hard-working middle class, returned the faith that their own home is possible,” he said.

The Prime Minister awarded Uttar Pradesh for best implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) for 2019. .

Prime Minister Modi also conferred on Gujarat three awards—PMAY-Urban policy initiative for adopting an affordable housing policy in the state, affordable housing projects on private land and in-situ redevelopment of slums.

With inputs from ENS Lucknow and Rajkot

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