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Monday, January 24, 2022

Collective strength and self-discipline will defeat Coronavirus: PM Modi

The latest episode comes soon after PM Modi’s surprise address on Christmas night, where he announced booster doses of the covid vaccine for the elderly and healthcare workers as well as shots for children between the ages of 15 and 18.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: December 27, 2021 4:00:23 am
PM Narendra ModiThe sports university will have the capacity to train 1,080 sportspersons including 540 female and 540 male sportspersons. File.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday cautioned against the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 and said that the country’s collective strength lies in self-discipline and self-awareness that will eventually defeat the Coronavirus.

“It is because of everyone’s effort that India could fight the biggest pandemic in a 100 years. We stood by each other like a family in every difficult moment. To help someone in one’s locality or city… everyone tried to do more than what one could have done. If we compare the vaccination figures of the world today with those of India, it feels that the country has handled such an unprecedented task… how big a goal has been achieved,” the Prime Minister said in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’.

“We also have to keep in mind that a new variant of Coronavirus has already knocked at the door. Our experience of the past two years is that our own effort as a citizen is very important to defeat this global pandemic. Our scientists are continuously studying this new Omicron variant. They are getting new data every day , their suggestions are being worked upon. In such a situation, self-awareness, self-discipline is in itself the country’s strength in fighting against this variant of Coronavirus. It is this very collective strength of ours that will defeat Coronavirus; with this very sense of responsibility we have to enter into 2022,” he said.

The Prime Minister’s remarks come a day after he announced that Covid-19 vaccination will start January 3 onward for children in the 15-18 age group, while healthcare and frontline workers will be administered a booster — he called it “precaution dose” — from January 10.

Amid fears over the spread of the Omicron variant, the Prime Minister, while asking the public not to panic and not to give up the practice of wearing masks and washing hands, listed three priority groups for the “precautionary dose”, less than a year after the country rolled out its Covid-19 immunisation programme.

During the address, he also remembered Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife and other defence personnel, including Group Captain Varun Singh, who died in a helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu earlier this month.

He mentioned the letter Group Captain Varun Singh wrote to the principal of his school in Haryana in September to thank his “teachers, instructors and peers over the years” who helped him shape his life and give a message to the children at his alma mater.

“When Varun was in the hospital, I saw something on social media that touched my heart. He was given Shaurya Chakra in August just this year. After this honor, he had written a letter to the principal of his school. After reading this letter, the first thought that came to my mind was that even after reaching the pinnacle of success, he did not forget to nurture his roots. Second – that when he had time to celebrate, he showed concern for the generations to come. He wanted that the lives of the students of the school that he studied in should also be a celebration.”

“In his letter, Varun Singh ji did not boast of his valour; instead he referred to his failures. He talked about how he converted his shortcomings into abilities. At one place in this letter he wrote: ‘It is OK to be mediocre. Not everyone will excel at school and not everyone will be able to score in the 90s. If you do, it is an amazing achievement and must be applauded. However, if you don’t, do not think that you are meant to be mediocre. You may be mediocre in school but it is by no means a measure of things to come in life. Find your calling – it could be art, music, graphic design, literature, etc. Whatever you work towards, be dedicated, do your best. Never go to bed, thinking, I could have put in more efforts. In an era where screen time is increasing, let us also make reading books popular’,” he added.

He also stressed on the importance of reading books. “Let us make reading more popular. I urge you all to share which books you read this year. This way you will help others make their reading list for 2022,” he said.

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