Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the achievements of his government in 2018 will fill everyone with glory, and hoped the journey on the path of development will continue in 2019 as well.
Asserting that the country has taken strides in the area of poverty alleviation at a record pace, the Prime Minister said it has also seen unprecedented improvement in the “ease of doing business” rankings and noted that world institutions have acknowledged India’s growth.
Delivering his last “Mann Ki Baat” address of 2018, which was the 51st edition of the monthly radio programme, the Prime Minister summed up the year’s achievements in the field of economy, social sector, solar energy, climate change, sports and others, saying it could happen because of the collective efforts of the people.
“Whether it is one’s own life or the life of the nation, we are advised to look back, and look ahead too… so that we can learn lessons from our mistakes and get the confidence to move ahead. You all must be thinking how do we remember 2018? The year 2018 would fill everyone with glory,” Modi said.
Listing the achievements of the government in 2018, he said: the Year 2018 saw launching of world’s biggest health insurance scheme ‘Ayushman Bharat’; in honor of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India witnessed the unveiling of the tallest statue in the world, ‘Statue of Unity’; electricity reached each and every village of the country; the ease of doing business in India improved notably; on the 75th anniversary of Azad hind government, a tricolor was unfurled at Delhi’s Red Fort for the first time, and the highest United Nations Environment Award ‘Champions of the Earth’ was conferred upon India.
Modi said the country’s self-defense mechanism got further reinforced and it was during this very year that India has successfully accomplished the Nuclear Triad, which means India is now armed with nuclear capabilities – in water, on land, and in the sky as well.
He said that Swachcha Bharat Scheme and sanitation coverage has been rapidly advancing towards crossing the 95 percent mark and dedicated the success to the people.
He also listed opening of India’s first multi-modal terminal on the Ganga river in Varanasi and Sikkim’s first airport as major achievements.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that India clinched a large number of medals in Asian Games and performed very well in Para Asian Games and cricket too.
“Sports has its own significance in every society. If one’s resolve is strong and enthusiasm is without bounds, all the hurdles halt in their tracks and hardships can never turn into obstacles,” he said giving examples of 12-year-old Hanaya of Anantnag, who won a gold medal in a Karate Championship in Korea, Rajani of Haryana, who won gold medal in the junior women’s boxing championship and of Vedangi Kulkarni of Pune who became the fastest Asian to traverse the globe riding a bicycle.
“I hope this trail of success will continue in 2019 also,” he said.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the tradition of Kumbh Mela and celebration of Republic Day on January 26.
“The world-famous Kumbh Mela is also a huge medium of self-discovery, where every visitor experiences a unique feeling and learns to look at the worldly things from a spiritual perspective. This is expected to have footfalls from more than 150 countries, the divinity emanating from Kumbh will spread the colors of India’s splendour throughout the world,” he said.
He said, this year the country will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.
“South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is going to grace the Republic Day celebrations as chief guest. Mahatma Gandhi and and South Africa shared an unbreakable bond,” he said remembering former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.
Talking about Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) he said, many programmes are being organised across the country in celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi but it is commendable that FSAAI has been working beyond by educating people on food habbits.
“A clean and healthy India will spell a prosperous India also and nutritious food is most essential for good health,” he said stressing that the education regarding importance of food is essential right from childhood.
Modi remembered Dr. Jayachandran of Chennai who was known for his efforts of making the most economical treatment possible available to the poor and Sulagitti Narsamma, a midwife, aiding pregnant women during childbirth.
He also mentioned the social endeavour of doctors of Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh who set up camps offering free treatment for the underprivileged and hundreds of poor patients are benefiting from it.
Conveying his greetings for Lohri, Pongal, Makar Sankranti, Uttarayan, Magh Bihu, Maaghi Purnima, he said, all the festivals may carry different names but the underlying or inherent feeling of celebrating them is singular.
Paying his obeisance to Guru Gobind Singh, the Prime Minister said he was a divine figure full of heroism, valour, courage, sacrifice and devotion.