Corona’s biggest lesson is to be self-reliant, says PM Modi

Ghughuti Bulletin

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister
Narendra Modi said on Friday the pandemic had sent out a strong message about the need for India to be self-reliant. “The global contagion has thrown up challenges and problems which could not have been imagined. However, it has also taught us a very important lesson; that is, we have to be self-reliant and self-sufficient. It has taught us that we should not look for solutions outside the country,” the PM said in a video interaction with lakhs of village pradhans from across the country on ‘National
Panchayat Day’.

“Without self-reliance, we cannot deal with crises of such nature. The thought that we should not depend on others for fulfilling our needs is centuries old, but the changed circumstance has validated its importance once again,” he added.

Modi’s remarks came in the backdrop of growing recognition across the world of the perils of dependence on China as a cheap source of an array of goods as well as the threat of
Beijing exploiting its position as the “factory of the world” to achieve global dominance.

The public health emergency has validated those who felt that the world’s reliance on China for critical goods — from active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to personal protection equipment (PPEs) for medical professionals — constituted a source of vulnerability for countries while equipping Beijing with huge leverage.

“Every village has to be self-sufficient enough to provide for its basic needs. Self-reliant villages will strengthen democracy by ensuring fruits of development percolate down to the grassroots. Similarly every district has to be self-sufficient at its level, every state has to be self-reliant at its level and the whole country has to be self-reliant at its level,” Modi said.

He added that his government had worked hard to provide self-sufficiency to villages and making gram panchayats stronger. “In the last five years, nearly 1.25 lakh panchayats have been connected through broadband from a mere 100 before. Similarly, the number of common service centres had crossed 3 lakh,” he said.

The interaction with panchayat heads turned into an opportunity for the PM to gather details of implementation of the lockdown and enforcement of social distancing.

Modi said the country had witnessed the resilience shown by its people while dealing with
coronavirus. “Despite odds and impediments, we have taken on the virus and shown to the world that we are fighting it with full determination to win. We have not succumbed to it,” he said.

In an important remark, the PM said those getting restless because of the lockdown and social distancing could learn from the spirit with which villages have been battling the coronavirus threat. “The collective power of the villages is helping the country move forward,” he added.

Modi stressed that amid these efforts, we have to remember that the negligence of any one person could endanger the whole village and, therefore, there was no scope for relaxation.

The PM interacted with
sarpanchs from J&K,
Karnataka, Bihar, UP, Maharashtra, Punjab and

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