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100 crore jabs a symbol of India’s potential, will boost economy: PM Narendra Modi

Addressing the nation Friday morning, Modi said that the 100-crore mark was “not just a number” but a symbol of the country’s potential.

Written by Harikishan Sharma , Liz Mathew | New Delhi |
Updated: October 23, 2021 12:50:20 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the milestone as a “ray of hope”, and said that the festival season and the country’s policy of self reliance would revive its economy and boost the confidence of its people.

A day after India notched up 100 crore doses in one of the world’s largest vaccination campaigns after months of despair caused by the second Covid wave, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the milestone as a “ray of hope”, and said that the festival season and the country’s policy of self reliance would revive its economy and boost the confidence of its people.

Addressing the nation Friday morning, Modi said that the 100-crore mark was “not just a number” but a symbol of the country’s potential. The “difficult but extraordinary” achievement, he said, has also silenced critics who had expressed apprehensions over India’s ability to fight the virus. The Prime Minister, however, cautioned that people should remain careful and not lower their guard, especially during the coming weeks, till the battle against the pandemic is fully won.

“You recall last Diwali, when there was a tension in everyone’s mind. But this Diwali, there is a sense of confidence due to 100 crore vaccine doses. If my country’s vaccines can give me protection, then my country’s products can make my Diwali grand. Diwali sales are different. The sales during Diwali and the festive season shoot up. This figure of 100 crore vaccine doses has come as a ray of hope for all, including our small shopkeepers, entrepreneurs and street vendors,” he said.

The key to this recovery, he suggested, was the policy of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

“There was a time when ‘Made in’ of this and that country was a craze. But today, every countryman is realising that the power of ‘Made in India’ is huge. And, therefore, I urge you again that we should insist on buying every little thing, which is Made in India, and behind its making is the sweat of an Indian. And this will be possible only with the efforts of everyone. As the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a mass movement, similarly, we will have to buy made-in-India products, and be vocal for local,” he said.

But the Prime Minister urged people to be “always careful” and continue wearing masks.

“No matter how good the cover is, no matter how modern the armour is, even if armour gives a complete guarantee of protection, weapons are not given up while the battle is on. This is my request that we have to celebrate our festivals with utmost caution. And as far as masks are concerned, now that designer masks are also there, we have to wear masks in the same way as we wear shoes when we step out. Those who have not been vaccinated should give it top priority. Those who have been vaccinated should inspire others. I am sure that if we all try together, then we will be able to defeat corona very soon,” he said.

According to Modi, the 100-crore mark has come at a time when there is “belief, enthusiasm and zeal all around”.

“Experts and many agencies at home and abroad are very positive about India’s economy. Today, not only Indian companies are attracting record investment, new employment opportunities are also being created for the youth. With record investments, start-ups are becoming unicorns. New energy is also visible in the housing sector,” he said.

The Prime Minister referred to “positive initiatives” taken by the Government during this period “whether it is economic-social activities, sports, tourism or entertainment”.

“The various reforms and initiatives undertaken in the last few months — from GatiShakti to the new drone policy — will play an important role in helping India’s economy grow faster. The agriculture sector kept our economy firmly in place during the corona period. Today, government procurement of food grains is happening at a record level and money is going directly into the bank accounts of farmers,” he said.

“The forthcoming festive season will give it more momentum and strength,” Modi said.

Speaking about the initial phase of the vaccination campaign, he said doubts were expressed about whether “India and the people of India” had the “restraint and discipline needed” for a campaign of this magnitude.

“When the biggest pandemic of 100 years came, questions started arising about India. Will India be able to fight this global pandemic? From where will India get the money to buy so many vaccines from other countries? When will India get the vaccine? Will the people of India get the vaccine or not? Will India be able to vaccinate enough people to stop the pandemic from spreading? There were various questions, but today the 100-crore vaccine doses are answering every question,” Modi said.

At the same time, he said, “VIP culture did not dominate” the drive.

“Taking everyone along, the country started the campaign of ‘Vaccine for all’, ‘Free Vaccine’. Whether poor or rich, village or city, the country had only one mantra that if the disease does not discriminate, then there cannot be any discrimination in the vaccination. Therefore, it was ensured that the VIP culture did not dominate the vaccination campaign. No matter how important a post someone holds, no matter how rich he is, he will get the vaccines just like ordinary citizens,” he said.

The Prime Minister also referred to those who questioned initiatives like the banging of plates and lighting of lamps to show solidarity with health workers. “We made public participation as our first force in the country’s fight against the pandemic, making them the first line of defence… People said how taali-thaali will help eradicate the virus. But it was a reflection of people’s participation and their capacity…This success reflects the importance of technology that even big nations have not achieved today. Our vaccine programme is a result of technology. It is science-born, science-driven and science-based. Science and a scientific approach are at the heart of it,” he said.

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