Brothers and sisters,
One always experiences a different spirit and energy on coming to the pilgrimage centre, Prayagraj. I remember, in February last year, it was around this time that I had come to this sacred land during Kumbh. At that time, I had the good opportunity to take a dip in Sangam. At the same time, I got the opportunity to wash the feet of the sanitation workers, who raised the sanctity of the historic Kumbh, and whose hard work and efforts had popularized the cleanliness of this Kumbha of Prayagraj all over the world; it gave a new identity to Prayagraj in the whole world. A new tradition was seen in Kumbh. It was possible because of the sanitation workers and I got the opportunity to wash their feet and to salute them.
Today, once again, I have got the opportunity to come to this holy land of Prayagraj on the banks of the river Ganges. As your Prime Servant, I have had the opportunity to serve thousands of Divyangs and elderly, senior citizens and receive their blessings.
A short while ago, around 27 thousand companions have been given equipment. Some got tricycles; some received hearing aids while some got wheelchairs.
I have been told that many records are also being set in this social empowerment camp. These tools will help you to reduce difficulties in your life. And I believe that these tools are just a support to your high spirits. Your real power is your patience, your strength, and your psyche. You have challenged every limitation. You have overcome the difficulties. If you look closely at your lives, every moment is an inspiration for everyone. My best wishes to all the Divyangjans!
It is said that-
स्वस्ति: प्रजाभ्यः, स्वस्ति: प्रजाभ्यः परिपालयंतां न्यायेन मार्गेण महीं महीशाः!
That is, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that every person is benefited and every person should get justice. That idea is the basis for the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’. Our government is working to make the life of every person of the society easy with this idea. Be it senior citizens, divyangjans, tribal people, oppressed, exploited, or the deprived sections of the society, our topmost priority is to serve and protect the interests of 130 crore Indians. This government has understood the suffering of Divyangs and has worked with sensitivity towards them like never before. Try to recall, earlier, my Divyang brothers and sisters had to repeatedly visit the offices for weeks and only then they could get some help. The sincerity with which your problems should have been heard was not there. The earlier situation of leaving the poor Divyang brothers and sisters to fend for themselves was not acceptable to us. We have thought about each of your problems as your companions and servants, and have tried to solve them.
At the time of previous governments’ regimes, such camps used to be very less, and such mega camps were probably negligible. In the last 5 years, our government has set up around 9 thousand camps in different areas of the country.
Brothers and Sisters,
In the five years of the previous government, equipment worth less than Rs 380 crore was distributed to the Divyangs, whereas our government has distributed equipment worth more than Rs 900 crore; that is, almost two and a half times more. When there is pain and empathy for the poor and the Divyang, there is a sense of service, a momentum develops in work and the work is done very fast.
You also remember the time when you used to face difficulty while going to government buildings, bus stands, hospitals, courts, offices, etc. In some places, separate ramps were made, but in other places there were no ramps and it was very difficult. It is our government that pledged to make the large government buildings across the country accessible to the physically challenged by implementing the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan. In the last four-five years, hundreds of buildings of the country, more than 700 railway stations and airports, have been made accessible to them. The remaining ones are also being linked to the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan. Moreover, care is being taken to ensure that the new buildings being built, or the railway coaches being constructed are suitable for people with disabilities.
Brothers and Sisters,
My Divyang brothers and sisters used to face a lot of trouble while travelling from one state to the other due to different languages. Nobody thought before that there could be a common sign language for the Divyang people. Our government has started efforts in this direction. To ensure a common sign language for all the Divyangs across the country, our Government has established the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre. Right now, my speech is being translated into sign language simultaneously here for the differently-abled. The situation earlier was such that the children of a single state could understand this. Now due to this new arrangement, even a person from Tamil Nadu can understand this language. Nobody found time for making efforts in this direction even for 70 years. If there is a feeling of compassion towards Divyang, if there is a conviction to strengthen the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat, only then such work can be accomplished. And now this centre has also prepared a dictionary of about 6000 common words.
That means, in the coming time, if any of my Divyang companions from Prayagraj goes to Chennai or West Bengal, then he/she will not face language problem. Moreover, more than 400 government websites, and our currency notes and coins have also been made Divyang-friendly. A visually impaired person can easily make out if it is a one rupee note, a five rupee note, a five hundred rupee note, or a two hundred rupee note and can also make out the coins easily.
And now you must have seen that some private TV channels are also showing special news and programmes for the Divyang. I congratulate all the channels, who have started these programmes for Divyangs. The people of Doordarshan have done a commendable job as they have been doing this work for years and they have cared for the differently-abled. But now many TV channels of the country have taken important steps for the differently-abled as well in showing news through this type of sign language. My best wishes to all those TV channels for carrying out this work of human compassion.
Brothers & Sisters,
The service done and decisions taken by our government for the disabled people has not been discussed as much as it should have been. Prayagraj has also been a city of justice, and thousands of people work here day and night to protect the rights of common man.
It was our government that had implemented a law clarifying the rights of Divyangs for the first time. One of the major benefits of this law is that the previously 7 different categories of Divyangjans are now increased to 21. That is, we have expanded its scope. Apart from this, if someone tortures the Divyangjans,if someone makes fun of them and harasses them, we have strengthened the laws related to these aspects too.
Our government has not only launched special campaigns for the appointment of the disabled, but has also increased their reservation in government jobs to 4 per cent from 3 per cent now. Moreover, their reservation for admission into higher educational institutions has also been increased from 3 per cent to 5 per cent.
Skill development of our differently-abled friends has also been our priority. The government has provided skill training to 2 lakh friends and now the target is to provide skill training to 5 lakh Divyang persons.
Brothers & Sisters,
Proper participation of every differently-abled youngster and child is very important in the creation of a New India. Be it industry, service sector or sports field, the skills of the differently-abled are constantly being encouraged. Recently, in all the sports events related to the Divyangs at the international level, India has performed well and our Divyang friends’ performance has been excellent. You can imagine it takes a strong resolve and will-power for the Divyangjans of my country to come to the world arena and unfurl the tricolour. To further enhance this skill of the differently-abled, steps are being taken to build a sports centre in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.
In this centre, training, selection, education, research, medical facilities, i.e. preparations needed for national and international matches, will be provided to our differently-abled people.
In our country there are more than 2.5 crore Divyangs and more than 10 crore senior citizens. After a certain age, our senior citizens require several equipment and aid. Some have difficulty in walking; some people have difficulty in hearing. We are constantly working to mitigate this problem from the lives of senior citizens.
Our government had started the ‘Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana’ three years ago, to provide the necessary equipment to the poor senior citizens.
Under this scheme, about 1.25 lakh senior citizens have been provided with the necessary equipment. Today, under the Vayoshree scheme, I have got the privilege of giving equipment to the senior citizens, elderly persons here and receiving their blessings in this holy city.
Brothers and Sisters,
Our government has also launched Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana for the elderly so that they get a fixed interest on a certain amount, and secure their investment after the age of 60. The aim was to ensure that there was minimum impact of reduced interest rates in the market on the senior citizens.
Many of you know that senior citizens get a guaranteed pension at a fixed rate for 10 years in this scheme after opting for monthly pension option. I would like to tell you one more thing here today. Generally, our senior citizens or those who receive pension, after salary class retirement, deposit their money in the bank and earn interest on the deposit. But sometimes there is a crisis in banks. The banks sink or some businessmen cheat. And sometimes our senior citizens’ hard earned money is lost.
In the Parliament, this time we have taken a big step for the brothers and sisters of my country who are poor, elderly, and for those who have a limited income. It is unfortunate that a lot of people do not like discussing such things in this country. We took such a major decision, which was being demanded for several years. Previously, if you had deposited Rs. 10 lakh, 2 lakh, or 5 lakh in the bank, and if the bank had failed, you would not have received anything more than Rs. 1 lakh. We changed the rule and now the people will get Rs 5 lakh instead of Rs.1 lakh. This means that nearly 99 per cent of those who have their money in banks have their money safe. Now there will be no crisis for them. We have made these changes in this budget. As a result, the confidence in banks will also increase, due to which the common man will come forward to keep his money in the bank instead of keeping it with the moneylender.
Brothers and Sisters
There are many such steps. Similarly, in the case of pension, earlier the policy on insurance was open for a very short period, but in 2018 it was extended till 31 March 2020. We have not only extended the period, but the monthly pension has also been increased to Rs.10,000 per month. I am glad that today more than 3.25 lakh senior citizens are availing the benefits of this scheme.
It is the responsibility of the society as well as the government to take care of the elderly along with their families. Realizing this sense of responsibility, our government and Yogi Ji’s government are working with full sensitivity. We are trying to ensure that those who have spent their whole life in enhancing the glory of the country do not face any kind of trouble.
They are also benefitting from the decisions that the government has taken in the recent past and the other schemes that have been launched. In the last 5 and-a-half years, the expenses of treating senior people have been brought down.
The price of all medicines in Janaushadhi centers is very low. At the same time, accessories related to knee operation and heart stents have been made cheaper by 70-80 per cent. Senior citizens are being given all possible facilities, from tax incentives to other investment benefits. Moreover, for the first time in the history of the country, a provision of pension scheme has been made for almost every poor after the age of 60. Whether there are crores of workers in the unorganized sector of the country or my farmers, farm labourers, or be it the small shopkeepers, the government has introduced different pension schemes for all. Its benefits will be available to the poor even after the age of 60 years.
The poor, Divyangs and senior citizens are also benefitting from insurance schemes and free treatment facilities up to Rs 5 lakh under Ayushman Bharat Yojana.
Two insurance schemes worth Rs 2 lakh each are being implemented for helping the poorest of the poor with insurance. Under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, insurance is being provided at a premium of less than Re 1 per month and 90 paise a day under the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana. So far, more than 24 crore friends have joined these two schemes and in difficult times, they have also claimed the amount worth more than Rs 4 thousand crores.
While talking to you, in the beginning, I had mentioned a verse which talked about the obligations of governance. The last part of that mantra is- लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनोभवंतु ॥
That is, let every section of the society, every citizen within this world be happy, let everyone be happy! With this same wish, I once again bow down to all senior citizens and salute the resolutions and will power of all Divyangjans on this great holy occasion! For me, this congregation of Divyangjans is very holy and sacred. It is filled with a feeling of service. On this occasion, I conclude my speech by remembering this Department of the Government of India as well as the efforts of the State Government in a very proud way. I bow down to all of you, and offer my best wishes!!
Thanks a lot !!! Say loudly with me – Bharat Mata ki… Jai!!
Bharat Mata ki….Jai!!
Bharat Mata ki … Jai!!
Thank you very much!
तीर्थराज, प्रयागराज में आकर हमेशा ही एक अलग पवित्रता और ऊर्जा का एहसास होता है।— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 29, 2020
मुझे याद है, पिछले साल फरवरी में, लगभग यही समय था जब मैं कुंभ के दौरान यहां आया था: PM @narendramodi
आपके प्रधान सेवक के तौर पर, मुझे हजारों दिव्यांग-जनों और बुजुर्गों, वरिष्ठ जनों की सेवा करने का अभी अवसर मिला है।— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 29, 2020
थोडी देर पहले यहां करीब 27 हज़ार साथियों को उपकरण दिए गए हैं। किसी को ट्रायसाइकिल मिली है, किसी को सुनने की मशीन मिली है, व्हीलचेयर मिली है: PM @narendramodi
मैं मानता हूं कि ये उपकरण आपके बुलंद हौसलों के सहयोगी भर हैं।— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 29, 2020
आपकी असली शक्ति तो आपका धैर्य है, आपका सामर्थ्य है, आपका मानस है: PM @narendramodi
हमारे यहां कहा जाता है- स्वस्ति: प्रजाभ्यः परिपालयंतां. न्यायेन मार्गेण महीं महीशाः!— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 29, 2020
यानि सरकार का ये दायित्व है कि हर व्यक्ति का भला हो, हर व्यक्ति को न्याय मिले।
यही सोच तो सबका साथ, सबका विकास, सबका विश्वास के मंत्र का भी आधार है: PM @narendramodi
चाहे वो वरिष्ठ जन हों, दिव्यांगजन हों, आदिवासी हों, दलित-पीड़ित,शोषित,वंचित हों, 130 करोड़ भारतीयों के हितों की रक्षा करना, उनकी सेवा करना, हमारी सर्वोच्च प्राथमिकता है: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 29, 2020
पहले की सरकारों के समय, इस तरह के कैंप बहुत ही कम लगा करते थे। और इस तरह के मेगा कैंप तो गिनती के होते थे। बीते 5 साल में हमारी सरकार ने देश के अलग-अलग इलाकों में करीब 9 हजार कैंप लगवाए हैं: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 29, 2020
पिछली सरकार के पाँच साल में जहां दिव्यांगजनों को 380 करोड़ रुपए से भी कम के उपकरण बांटे गए, वहीं हमारी सरकार ने 900 करोड़ रुपए से ज्यादा के उपकरण बांटे हैं। यानि करीब-करीब ढाई गुना: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 29, 2020
बीते चार-पाँच वर्षों में देश की सैकड़ों इमारतें, 700 से ज्यादा रेलवे स्टेशन, एयरपोर्ट, दिव्यांगजनों के लिए सुगम्य बनाई जा चुकी हैं। जो बची हुई हैं, उन्हें भी सुगम्य भारत अभियान से जोड़ा जा रहा है: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 29, 2020
ये हमारी ही सरकार है जिसने पहली बार दिव्यांगजनों के अधिकारों को स्पष्ट करने वाला कानून लागू किया। इस कानून का एक बहुत बड़ा लाभ ये हुआ है कि पहले दिव्यांगों की जो 7 अलग-अलग तरह की कैटेगरी होती थी, उसे बढ़ाकर 21 कर दिया गया: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 29, 2020
उच्च शिक्षा संस्थानों में दाखिले के लिए भी उनका आऱक्षण 3 प्रतिशत से बढ़ाकर 5 प्रतिशत कर दिया गया है।— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 29, 2020
अपने दिव्यांग साथियों का कौशल विकास भी हमारी प्राथमिकता रही है: PM @narendramodi
नए भारत के निर्माण में हर दिव्यांग युवा, दिव्यांग बच्चे की उचित भागीदारी आवश्यक है। चाहे वो उद्योग हों, सेवा का क्षेत्र हो या फिर खेल का मैदान, दिव्यांगों के कौशल को निरंतर प्रोत्साहित किया जा रहा है: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 29, 2020
सीनियर सिटिजन्स के जीवन से इस परेशानी को कम करने के लिए हम लगातार काम कर रहे हैं।— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 29, 2020
गरीब वरिष्ठ नागरिकों को भी जरूरी उपकरण मिलें, इसके लिए हमारी सरकार ने तीन साल पहले ‘राष्ट्रीय वयोश्री योजना’ शुरू की थी: PM @narendramodi
बीते कुछ समय में सरकार ने जो फैसले लिए हैं, जो अन्य योजनाएं शुरू की हैं, उनसे भी उन्हें लाभ हो रहा है।— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 29, 2020
बीते 5 साढ़े 5 वर्षों में वरिष्ठ जनों का इलाज का खर्च पहले की अपेक्षा, बहुत कम हुआ है: PM @narendramodi
आयुष्मान भारत योजना के तहत 5 लाख रुपए तक के मुफ्त इलाज की सुविधा हो या फिर बीमा योजनाएं, उनका भी लाभ गरीबों को, दिव्यांगजनों को अलग से हो रहा है।— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 29, 2020
गरीब से गरीब देशवासी भी बीमा की सुविधा से जुड़े इसके लिए 2-2 लाख रुपए के बीमा की दो योजनाएं चल रही हैं: PM @narendramodi
आज प्रयागराज की पावन भूमि पर करीब 27 हजार दिव्यांग साथियों को उपकरण दिए गए हैं। पिछले 5 साल से हमने दिव्यांगजनों की तकलीफों को संवेदनशीलता से दूर करने का प्रयत्न किया है। pic.twitter.com/yzEhXZwviW— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 29, 2020
You’d be happy to hear about the qualitative changes that have been ushered as far as the welfare of our Divyang sisters and brothers is concerned. pic.twitter.com/6zBAf7FhZ4— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 29, 2020
One of our key priorities is the welfare of senior citizens and ensuring a good quality of life for them. pic.twitter.com/bc8htb5ehc— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 29, 2020