4 biggest ‘castes’ for me are poor, youth, women, farmers; their rise will make India developed: PM

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Thursday that his work in the last 10 years has led to people having immense confidence in his government as he faulted past dispensations for acting like “mai baap” of citizens, with vote bank considerations guiding their development initiatives.

In his address to beneficiaries of different schemes as part of the government’s Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra for saturation coverage of welfare schemes, he said four biggest “castes” for him are the poor, youth, women, farmers, and their rise will make India developed.

The yatra, under which government ‘raths’ (chariots) are travelling to all corners, has generated huge enthusiasm among people with some describing the vehicles as “Modi ki guarantee wali gaadi” (vehicles carrying Modi’s guarantees), the prime minister said, asserting that the masses know that he will fulfil all his promises.

For this he needs their blessings, he said, underscoring that the programme will identify everyone left out of welfare schemes aimed for them and that he will ensure their saturation coverage in the coming years.

A voice is emerging from people across the country that Modi’s guarantee begins from where people’s expectations from others end, he said.

In his remarks after interacting with the beneficiaries, Modi said Bharat is neither going to stop nor tire as the people have resolved to make the country developed.

“In various corners of the country there is such enthusiasm for the yatra and there is a reason for it, as people have seen Modi, his work, in the last 10 years and therefore, they have immense confidence in the government and its efforts.” “People have also seen that period when past governments used to consider themselves ‘mai-baap’ of the people. Therefore, even after decades of independence, a big portion of the population was deprived of basic facilities,” Modi said.

Mai-baap is a Hindi term which loosely translates here as a government having a feudal mindset.

More than half the population had lost faith in government as they had to depend on middlemen and running around offices to seek any benefit while his dispensation is reaching out to the masses to enrol them for various welfare measures, he said. Earlier governments were driven by political calculations and vote bank considerations, he said.

“Therefore, the people never used to trust the announcements of such ‘mai-baap’ governments. We have changed this and the government in place now considers people as form of God and we work with ‘seva bhav’ not ‘satta bhav’,” Modi said.

He said that in just 15 days of the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, people are walking along and joining it. Until now, the vehicle of ‘Modi ki guarantee’ has reached over 12,000 panchayats and more than 30 lakh people have benefited from it, the prime minister said.

“Mothers and sisters are reaching out to this vehicle of ‘Modi ki guarantee’. The initiative has taken the shape of a people’s movement and people are taking it forward,” he said.

Many panchayats have received saturation coverage without any discrimination, he said, asserting that the youth are taking the lead in popularising the exercise and spearheading the goal to make India developed.

Underscoring his commitment, he said he went to a remote tribal region in Khunti to launch the yatra instead of doing it at a place like Vigyan Bhawan, a venue associated with official programmes.

The Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra is being undertaken across the country with an aim to attain saturation of flagship schemes of the government by ensuring that the benefits of these schemes reach all targeted beneficiaries in a time bound manner, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

During the event, Modi also launched an initiative to increase number of Jan Aushadhi Kendras, which sell medicines at subsidised rates, from 10,000 to 25,000 after inaugurating the landmark 10,000th Kendra at AIIMS, Deoghar.  He also launched the ‘Drone Didi Yojana’.

The scheme aims to provide drones to 15,000 select women Self Help Groups during the period 2024-25 to 2025-2026 for providing rental services to farmers for agriculture purpose.

He said he wanted these women to receive ‘naman’ (respect) in their villages and that some people have suggested the name of ‘Namo Drone Didi’ for the initiative. Women trained as drone pilots will be financially empowered and receive people’s respect, he said.

“My dream is to make 2 crore women living in villages and working with self-help groups lakhpati,” he said.

The prime minister’s high standing among voters seen as the biggest strength of the ruling BJP as it gears up for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, he mentioned as to how people have been associating his name with a flagship welfare initiative like Jan Aushadhi Kenra.

Jan Aushadhi Kendras are now being called “Modi’s medicine shop”, he said, noting that nearly 2000 types of medicines are sold at an 80 to 90 percent discount at such centres.

Noting that the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojna, which provide free grains to over 80 crore people, has been extended for another five years, he asserted that “Modi’s guarantee means the guarantee of fulfilling all guarantees”.