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PM’s address at interaction with HCWS and beneficiaries of Covid vaccination programme in Goa

PM’s address at interaction with HCWS and beneficiaries of Covid vaccination programme in Goa

The energetic and popular Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Pramod Sawant ji, my colleague in the Union Cabinet and the son of Goa, Shripad Nayak ji, my colleague in the Council of Ministers in the Central Government, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar ji, all Goa ministers, MPs and MLAs, other public representatives, all Corona warriors, brothers and sisters!

Wishing you all a very Happy Shri Ganesh festival! Tomorrow, on the auspicious occasion of Anant Chaturdashi, we will bid farewell to Bappa and will also tie sacred thread Anant Sutra in our hands. Anant Sutra means happiness, prosperity in life and blessings of long life.

I am happy that the people of Goa have vaccinated themselves ahead of this holy day. Every eligible person in Goa has received one dose of the vaccine. This is a big deal in the fight against Corona. Many congratulations to all the people of Goa for this.

Friends,

Goa is also a state where the strength of India’s diversity is visible. The culture, standard of life and food habits of the East and West are seen here. Ganeshotsav is also celebrated here, Deepawali is also celebrated with pomp and Goa glitters during Christmas. In doing so, Goa also follows its tradition. Every achievement of Goa which continuously strengthens the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ gives happiness and pride to the entire nation and not just me.

Brothers and sisters,

On this momentous occasion, the memory of my friend, true Karmayogi, late Manohar Parrikar ji is very natural. The way Goa has fought the biggest crisis in 100 years, Parrikar ji would have been very proud of your achievement if he was among us today.

Goa has been instrumental in the success of the world’s largest and fastest vaccination campaign – Free Vaccine for All. In the last few months, Goa has faced natural calamities like heavy rains, cyclones, floods boldly under the leadership of Pramod Sawant ji. Many congratulations to all the corona warriors, health workers, Team Goa, everyone for maintaining the pace of corona vaccination amidst these natural challenges.

The experiences shared with us by many colleagues here show how difficult this campaign was. It takes a sense of duty, devotion to the society and courage to reach far and wide with safe vaccines by crossing the raging rivers. All of you are serving humanity tirelessly without stopping. Your service will always be remembered.

Friends,

The Government, citizens, Corona warriors and the front line workers of Goa have demonstrated that what a wonderful result Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas can ensue. The kind of coordination in dealing with social and geographical challenges is really commendable. Many congratulations to Pramod ji and your team. The faster vaccination in the farthest parts of the state, in all the sub-divisions, is a great proof.

I am glad that Goa has not allowed its pace to slacken. Even at this time when we are talking, ‘Tika’ festival is going on in the state for the second dose. It is with such sincere efforts that Goa is poised to become the leading state in the country in terms of complete immunization. Importantly, Goa is vaccinating not only its population but also the tourists and workers who are coming from outside.

Friends,

On this occasion, I would also like to appreciate all the doctors, medical staff and people associated with the administration of the country. Due to the efforts of all of you, yesterday India made a record of vaccinating more than 2.5 crore people in a single day. Even the countries considered to be rich and powerful have not been able to do this. Yesterday we saw how the country was glued to the CoWIN dashboard, brimming with excitement at the increasing numbers.

Yesterday every hour clocked more than 15 lakh vaccinations, more than 26,000 vaccinations every minute, and every second more than 425 people got the vaccines. This vaccine has been administered to people at more than one lakh vaccination centers spread in every part of the country. India’s own vaccines, such a huge network for vaccination and skilled manpower exhibit the capability of India.

Friends,

Yesterday’s achievement is not just the statistics, but the world is going to recognize the capabilities that India has. And, therefore, its glorification is the duty of every Indian.

Friends,

Today I want to speak my mind also. Many birthdays have come and gone, but I have always stayed away from celebrations. But at this age, yesterday was very emotional for me. There are many ways to celebrate a birthday. People also celebrate in different ways. And I am not among those who find fault with celebrations. But yesterday has become a very special day for me because of your efforts.

The record vaccination yesterday by those in the medical field, who have been working day and night for the last one-and-a-half and two years, regardless of their lives, and helping the countrymen in fighting against Corona, is a big deal. Everyone has contributed a lot to this. People associated it with service. It is their compassion and duty that 2.5 crore vaccine doses could be administered.

I believe that every single dose of the vaccine helps save a life. It gives a lot of satisfaction to provide a security cover to more than 2.5 crore people in such a short span of time. Birthdays will come and go, but yesterday has touched my heart, it has become unforgettable. No amount of thanks is sufficient. I salute every countryman from my heart and express my gratitude to all.

Brothers and sisters,

India’s vaccination campaign is not only a protective shield for health, but is also the shield for livelihood. Himachal has completed 100 percent vaccination in the case of first dose, so are Goa, Chandigarh and Lakshadweep where all eligible persons have got the first dose. Sikkim is also going to be 100% very soon as far as the first dose is concerned. Andaman and Nicobar, Kerala, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Dadra and Nagar Haveli are also not far away (from this achievement).

Friends,

Though it was not highlighted, India has given a lot of priority to the states associated with the tourism sector in its vaccination campaign. We did not say this in the beginning as it results in politicking. But it was very important that our tourism destinations open at the earliest. Now Char-Dham Yatra will be possible in Uttarakhand too. In the midst of all these efforts, 100% vaccination in Goa becomes very special.

Goa has an important role in reviving the tourism sector. If the people of the hotel industry, taxi drivers, hawkers, shopkeepers and everyone are vaccinated, the tourists will also come here with a sense of security. Now Goa has joined the very few international tourist destinations in the world where people have got the protective shield of the vaccine.

Friends,

We wish that there are tourist activities as before and tourists from all over the country and the world come and enjoy here in the next tourism season. This is possible only when we pay as much attention to the precautions related to corona as we are giving on vaccination. The infection has subsided but still we do not have to take this virus lightly. The more the focus is on safety and hygiene the more tourists will come here.

Friends,

Recently, the Central Government has also taken several steps to encourage foreign tourists. It has been decided to give free visas to 5 lakh tourists visiting India. Loan up to Rs 10 lakh is being given to the stakeholders related to travel and tourism with 100% government guarantee. Loans up to Rs 1 lakh have also been provided to registered tourist guides. The Central Government is also committed to take every step forward which will help in the rapid progress of the tourism sector of the country.

Friends,

In order to make Goa’s tourism sector attractive, the infrastructure is getting the double power of a double engine government for the benefit of the farmers, fishermen and others. Unprecedented work is being done in Goa, especially on infrastructure related to connectivity. The greenfield airport being built in Mopa is going to be ready in the next few months. A six-lane modern highway is being built at a cost of about 12,000 crore rupees to connect this airport with the national highway. Thousands of crores of rupees have been invested in Goa in the last few years only in the construction of national highways.

It is also a matter of great pleasure that the ‘Zuari Bridge’, which will connect North Goa with South Goa, is also going to be inaugurated in the next few months. As you also know, this bridge connects Panaji with Margao. I am told that the Aguada Fort, a witness to the unique saga of the Goa Liberation War, will also be reopened to the public soon.

Brothers and sisters,

The legacy of Goa’s development left by Manohar Parrikar ji is being carried forward by my friend Dr. Pramod ji and his team with full dedication. When the country is moving forward with a new resolve of self-reliance during the epoch of independence, Goa has also taken the pledge of Swayampurna Goa. I have been told that construction of more than 50 components in Goa has started under this resolution of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Swayampurna Goa. This shows the seriousness of Goa in creating new employment opportunities for the youth and to achieve the national goals.

Friends,

Today Goa is not only a leader in Covid vaccination, but also among the leading states of the country in many parameters of development. The rural and urban areas of Goa are becoming completely open defecation free. Satisfactory work is also being done in Goa regarding basic amenities like electricity and water. Goa is the only state in the country where 100% electrification has been done. Goa has done wonders as far as tap water to every household is concerned. The effort of providing tap water to every household in rural Goa is commendable. Under the Jal Jeevan Mission, the country has so far connected about 5 crore families with piped water facilities in the last two years. The way Goa has taken this campaign forward also makes explicit the priority of the Government of Goa towards ‘Good Governance’ and ‘Ease of Living’.

Brothers and sisters,

The Goa government has demonstrated this commitment towards good governance even during the Corona period. Despite facing a myriad of challenges, the Goa team has extended all the assistance sent by the central government to every beneficiary without any discrimination. No stone was left unturned in helping every poor, farmer and fisherman. Free ration is being delivered to the poor families of Goa with utmost sincerity for months together. Many sisters of Goa have found succor in difficult times by getting free gas cylinders.

The farmers of Goa have received crores of rupees directly in their bank accounts from PM Kisan Samman Nidhi. Even during the Corona period, small farmers here have got Kisan Credit Cards on mission mode. Moreover, a large number of farmers and fishermen of Goa have got the facility of Kisan Credit Card for the first time. Under the PM Svanidhi Yojana, street vendors are being given loans in Goa. All these efforts have helped the people of Goa a lot even during the floods.

Brothers and sisters,

Goa is a land of limitless possibilities. Goa is not just a state, but also a strong identity of Brand India. It is the responsibility of all of us to expand this role of Goa. Continuity is very necessary in the good work that is being done in Goa today. Goa is getting the benefits of political stability and good governance after a long time.

With the wish that the people in Goa will continue with the same vein, many congratulations to all of you again! Congratulations to Pramod ji and his entire team.

Thanks!