On Sunday, PM Narendra Modi addressed the 64th edition of Mann ki Baat via a video conference.
Addressing the nation, PM Modi said, "When last time I spoke with you in Mann Ki Baat, passenger trains, buses, air services were closed but this time curbs have been lifted. Shramik Special trains, other special trains and flights have resumed with adequate precautionary measures."
PM Modi said that "During the last two Mann ki Baat programmes, we have been largely discussing the COVID-19 situation. It indicates how importance of talking about the pandemic and taking the relevant precautions." He added that it is important to be even more careful now.
As the Home Ministry announced that the lockdown has been extended only in the containment zones in the phase five of the lockdown, PM Modi said that "A major chunk of economy is active now. There should be no laxity in maintaining six feet distance (Do Gaj Doori), wearing masks & staying indoors as much as possible. We need to be more vigilant now. Due to everyone's support, fight against COVID-19 is being fought strongly."
Further, he added that the fight against COVID-19 is also being powered by the innovative spirit of our citizens. They are innovating in a wide range of sectors. "One more thing that has touched my heart is innovation at this moment of crisis. A multitude of countrymen from villages & cities, from small scale traders to startups, our labs are devising even new ways of fighting against Corona; with novel innovations," PM Modi said.
Comparing India's situation with others, PM said that "When we look at other countries, we realise how big is achievement of Indians. Our population is many times more than other countries, challenges are different still COVID-19 didn't spread so rapidly as in other countries&fatality rate is also notably lower."
While addressing the plight of the poor, PM Modi said, "There is no section in our country that is unaffected by the difficulties caused by the disease. However, the worst affected are the poor and the labourers. Their pain, their agony, and their ordeal can't be expressed in words."
Adding that few days ago, the number of Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries crossed over 1 crore, he said "If the poor had to pay for their treatments in hospital, if they weren't treated for free then they had to spend somewhat around Rs 14,000 crore. Ayushman Bharat has saved money of poor."
He also congratulated the doctors, nurses and medical staff who treated patients under this scheme.
PM Modi also requested people to participate in the unique experiment of International Video Blog competition titled 'My Life, My Yoga' by the Ministry of AYUSH.
Modi also addressed the issue of locust attack in several states. He said, "While eastern part of India is facing natural calamity caused by cyclone, many parts of the country are under locus attack. These attacks have reminded us how much damage this small insect can cause. Locust attack runs into several days, a huge area gets affected."
He said that by adopting new innovations, the country will be able to deal with the crisis in the Agriculture sector. "Be it centre, state govt, agriculture dept or local admn, everybody is using modern resources to help farmers. Adopting new innovations, I am confident we will be able to deal with this crisis in the agriculture sector," Modi said.
He further said, "In the pain of our labourers, we can witness the pain of the Eastern parts of the country. The very region which has the potential to be the country’s growth engine, whose workforce possesses the capability and might take the country to greater heights"
PM Modi added that progress of this region is very important, only by developing Eastern India, balanced economic development of the country can be possible. "Ever since the country offered me opportunity to serve, we have accorded priority to the development of the region," he said.
"I am happy that in the past years we have accomplished a lot in this direction and now seeing the migrant labourers, it has become necessary to initiate new steps and we are steadily progressing towards that direction," he added.
Speaking about Cyclone Amphan that hit West Bengal quite hard, PM Modi said India stands with Odisha and West Bengal, people of these states have shown remarkable courage.
"Last week, I went to West Bengal & Odisha to take stock of situation after super cyclone Amphan hit the states. Cyclone destroyed many houses, trees & farmers suffered huge loss. The courage & will with which these people have faced cyclone is commendable," PM Modi said.
Further, PM reminded the nation that a clean environment is directly an integral part of our lives, and of children's future too for which steps have to be taken at an individual level. He appealed to the nation to strive to save every drop of rainwater.