New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday addressed the nation through the 64th episode of his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat, remarking that India’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic was ‘people-driven.’ Also Read - Mann Ki Baat LIVE Updates: 'Do Gaj Doori Bahut Hai Zaruri', PM Modi Stresses on Social Distancing to Contain COVID-19 Spread
Notably, this was PM Modi’s second Mann Ki Baat address during and about the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, which was, on April 14, extended till May 3. His first episode after the lockdown came on March 29, four days after the lockdown came into effect after being announced the previous night. Also Read - 'Mann ki Baat': PM Modi's 2nd Radio Address Today Amid COVID-19 Lockdown
In his previous address, he had apologised for putting the nation through hardship, but stressed that lockdown was the only way to ‘keep the country safe.’ Also Read - Mann ki Baat: I Know You Would Forgive me, PM Modi Apologises For Lockdown
Speaking today, the Prime Minister said that ‘every Indian citizen is a soldier in this war,’ adding that in years to come, the world will talk about how India’s fight against coronavirus was ‘people-driven.’
Praising every section of the society for contributing in this fight in their own way, he said, “The farmers are ensuring that no one sleeps hungry in our country. Each person is fighting this war as per their capacity. Some are waiving off house rent, also some labourers, who are in quarantine, at a school are whitewashing its walls etc.”
The Prime Minister also spoke about the digital platform www.covidwarriors.gov.in, which, he said, is a platform to connect volunteers of social organisations, civil society and local administration. He added that 1.25 crore people had joined the platform and invited everyone to join it and become a ‘COVID-19 warrior.’
He also praised the state governments for their handling of the crisis and talked about the recent ordinance, which was brought by his government for protection of doctors and healthcare professionals from incidents of violence against them during the pandemic.
On the role of the police, PM Modi said that people’s ‘negative perception’ of the police has changed during the crisis.
Talking about anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, he said, “Everyone would have understood if India didn’t provide HCQ to various countries, but we did, and now when world leaders thank India, it is a proud moment for the whole country.”
PM Modi also talked about positive changes in one’s life during the lockdown, saying, “Due to COVID-19, masks are becoming a part of our lives. It doesn’t mean that all those wearing are sick. Masks will become a symbol of a civilised society. If you want to protect yourselves and others from the disease, the use of a mask is important.”
He also talked about how people have understood about harmful effects of spitting in public, adding that this habit should be given up now.
The Prime Minister concluded his address by lauding communities for celebrating festivals falling during the lockdown inside their homes, urging them to continue practicing social distancing and hoping that the next time he addresses Mann Ki Baat, he can speak on things about ending the lockdown, as well as the end of COVID-19.