With an eye on the 2019 elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan will be launched on September 25.
Addressing the nation on the 72nd independence day from the ramparts of Red Fort in New Delhi, he said ” it is high time we ensure that the poor of India get access to good quality and affordable healthcare.”
” The healthcare initiative will have a positive impact on 50 crore Indians. It is essential to ensure that we free the poor of India from the clutches of poverty due to which they cannot afford healthcare,” he said.
This is Modi’s fifth and final address as PM in the current tenure.
Modi also announced that an Indian astronaut, be it a man or a woman, will go on a space odyssey by 2022 on board ‘Gaganyaan’. ” Today I want to give the country a good news; we have resolved that by 2022, before we celebrate 75 years of Independence Day, India will place an Indian son or daughter will undertake a manned space mission on board ‘Gaganyaan’ carrying the national flag,” he said.
He said that India was today hailed as a multi-trillion dollar investment destination. ” People who used to call India economy fragile and risky are today saying reform momentum is strengthening our economic fundamentals, where India was counted in Fragile Five,” he said.
Stating that the government was for ensuring justice to Muslim women, Modi said “the practice of Triple Talaq has caused great injustice among Muslim women. We are trying to end this practice but there are some people who are not wanting it to end.
Hinting at the continuing atrocities against women and children, he said that the country has to be freed from this mentality of rape. ” In Madhya Pradesh, rapists were given death penalty within 5 days. We should make people more aware,” he said.
Further he said that the government was having a dream, of doubling farmers’income by 75th year of independence. “Out of the 13 million who have taken the Mudra loan, 4 million people have taken it for the first time. This presents a new India,” he said.
“Today our full focus is to bring modernity to change in the agricultural sector. With a ‘Beej Se Bazar Tak’ approach, we are bringing remarkable changes in the agriculture sector. The aim is to double farmer incomes by 2022,” he said.
Claiming that Swachh Bharat mission was a great success, he said lakhs of children can now lead healthier lives. Even the World Health Organisation has lauded the movement, he added.
For the women in the Armed Forces, he said “I want to give a good news to my brave daughters; Women officers in armed forces would get permanent commission through a transparent selection process by Short Service Commission.”
In his speech, he also made a veiled attack on the former UPA government. Modi said that if they had continued at the same pace at which toilets were being built in 2013, the pace at which electrification was happening in 2013, then it would have taken decades to complete them.
Modi also spoke of his government’s achievements. “We are very proud of what we have achieved but at the same time, we also have to look at where we have come from. That is when we will realize the unbelievable strides the nation has taken, ” he said.
Modi made a reference to the demand for higher MSP was pending for years. “From farmers to political parties to agriculture experts, everybody was asking about it but nothing happened. With the blessings of the farmers, the decision on MSP was taken by our Government, ” he said.
He also said that it was his government that brought GST that had been delayed by previous government.
“The decision on One Rank One Pension demand was pending for decades. We had taken a decision on this,” he said. The people of India, our brave army personnel had faith in us and we were able to take a decision on OROP.