Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the various welfare schemes initiated by his government gave “the world a new hope” for a better tomorrow as he exuded confidence that the experience from these projects could be beneficial to those nations, who like India, are striving for development.
Addressing the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly here, Modi said, “When a developing country is able to successfully implement the world’s biggest sanitation campaign within the ‘Clean India Mission’, building over 110 million toilets in just five years for its countrymen, all its achievements and outcomes are an inspirational message for the entire world.”
The Clean India campaign was launched by the Modi government on Gandhi’s birth anniversary on October 2, 2014. The components of the government’s flagship scheme include the construction of household toilets, community and public toilets and solid waste management.
On Tuesday, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation honoured the prime minister with the ‘Global Goalkeeper Award’ for his contributions to the cleanliness drive and efforts to “improve access to sanitation in India through ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan'”.
Highlighting the ‘Ayushman Bharat’ scheme, Modi in his speech said, “When a developing country, successfully runs the world’s biggest health insurance scheme, giving 500 million people the facility of an annual health cover of Rs 500,000 for free treatment, the achievements and responsive systems that result from this scheme show the world a new path.”
Launched in September last year, Ayushman Bharat aimed at providing medicare to over 10 crore vulnerable families or an estimated 50 crore people. Under the scheme, a health cover of Rs five lakh is given to each beneficiary family per year.
Modi delivered his second address to the General Debate at the UN, five years after his maiden speech as Indian Prime Minister in 2014.
Referring to the Aadhaar initiative, Modi said, “When a developing country, launches for its citizens, the world’s biggest digital identification program, giving them a biometric identity, thereby ensuring they can avail of their rights and saves more than 20 billion dollars by checking corruption, the modern systems that result from it, give the world a new hope.”
Under the Aadhaar scheme, a unique 12-digit number is allotted to each and every registered Indian citizen. This 12-digit number houses biometric details, address, date of birth and all major details of an individual.
Reflecting on the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), Modi said, “When a developing country, successfully runs the world’s biggest financial inclusion scheme, opening over 370 million bank accounts for the poor in just five years, the systems that result, build confidence in the poor across the entire world.”
Launched in August 2014 by the prime minister, the PMJDY aims at providing affordable access to financial services such as bank accounts, remittances, credit, insurance and pensions to all citizens of the country.
The prime minister said India could able to achieve such rapid changes through public participation, which is the country’s thousands of years old culture and vibrant traditions.
Modi underlined that the public welfare projects initiated by his government is not is “not confined within the borders of India”, but for the entire world.
“And that is the reason we draw inspiration from our motto: collective efforts, for growth of all, with everyone’s trust. Our endeavours are neither an expression of pity nor a pretence. They are inspired by a sense of duty, and duty alone.”