LAUDING THE performance of Team India at the Tokyo Olympics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that they showcased “New India’s” “new confidence”, and such “confidence comes when systems change and become transparent”.
A PTI report said Modi will invite India’s Olympic contingent to the Red Fort as special guests on August 15. Quoting official sources, it said he will also invite them to his residence for an interaction.
Addressing an event in Dahod, via video conference, to mark Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s five years in office, Modi said: “This time, the highest number of Indian players have qualified for the Olympics. We must not forget the fact that we have achieved this while fighting the worst pandemic of the last 100 years. There are sports in which our players have qualified for the very first time.”
“Our players haven’t just qualified, they are giving tough fights to better ranked players… The zeal, passion and spirit of Indian players is at the highest level today. This confidence comes when right talent is identified and encouraged. This confidence comes when systems change and become transparent. This new confidence is becoming the hallmark of New India,” he said.
The event in Dahod, to distribute free ration to the poor, was part of the state government’s nine-day celebrations to mark Rupani’s five years in office. Modi’s address was streamed live at a number of places in the state, including his hometown of Vadnagar.
“Since Independence, almost every government talked about providing cheap food to the poor. The scope and budget of cheap ration schemes increased each year, but the effect remained limited. The country’s food stocks kept increasing, but starvation and malnutrition did not decrease in that proportion. One major reason for this was the lack of an effective delivery system… Some deficiencies entered the system… some selfish elements also sneaked in. To change this situation, work started afresh after 2014,” he said.
“Crores of fake beneficiaries were weeded out of the system and ration cards were linked to Aadhar cards… This helped in ensuring that no citizen went hungry despite the biggest calamity of the century when livelihood was threatened and business suffered due to lockdown. The world has acknowledged the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY). Free ration was made available to more than 80 crore people during the pandemic at a cost of over Rs 2 lakh crore,” Modi said.
“There was a time when development was restricted to only big cities… In the last few years, the country has changed this way of thinking,” said Modi, listing schemes like the PM Jan Dhan Yojana, Ayushman Bharat Yojana, PM Mudra Yojana, PM SVANidhi and Jal Jeevan Mission.
“There are many such works in the entire country including Gujarat, due to which the confidence of every Indian and every region is increasing today. And it is this self-confidence which is the formula to overcome every challenge, to achieve every dream,” he said. Modi asked people to show similar confidence in the fight against Covid-19, including the vaccination campaign.
The Prime Minister interacted with five beneficiaries of the PMGKAY scheme. Rupani, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and Gujarat BJP president CR Patil were among those who attended the programme.