Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday slammed former United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government for not bringing in a health policy and said it was former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government, which brought a comprehensive health policy, between 1998 and 2004. “The UPA government did not attach importance to the policy, but after the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) came to power the policy was renewed,” Prime Minister Modi said, while addressing the gathering at his hometown Vadnagar.
The prime minister launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush to accelerate the progress towards the goal of full immunisation coverage. The mission will provide greater focus on urban areas and other pockets of low immunisation coverage. Speaking about the ‘Intensified Mission Indradhanush’, Prime Minister Modi added, “I request people to think Indradhanush as your own campaign. As much as you feel happy when you donate blood or do other charities, you should also help the poor children to get immunised. You will be blessed.”
He asserted that his government has helped people with heart diseases. “We brought prices of stents down. Work is constantly being done to make healthcare affordable for the poor,” Prime Minister Modi stated. In a bid to reduce infant and maternal mortality rates in Gujarat, Prime Minister Modi urged the doctors to work for free on the ninth day of every month.
He added, “The doctors on ninth of every month should work for free and help the mothers here. This will help poor mothers to not travel far off places for delivering babies.” Prime Minister Modi also said that he met the young doctors from a medical college. “Today I met youngsters from a medical college. We, as a society, require more doctors who can serve the people,” he said.
Prime Minister Modi also emphasised on cleanliness and said that doctors and good food may or may not guarantee good health, but cleanliness does. Prime Minister Modi revisited history to acclaim India-China ties and said, “When the Chinese President came to India, he was welcomed in Gujarat, he told me that you and I have an important connection.”
Prime Minister Modi added that when he went to China, President Xi Jinping took him to his own village. “He stayed with me the whole time and he told me that Chinese philosopher, Huang Xing, when visited India stayed at my village here,” he added.
On the same note, Prime Minister Modi asserted that their history goes a long way and hence, promised to make the Sharmistha Lake in Vadnagar, a tourist centre. “The Sharmistha Lake is the heart of Vadnagar. We will make it a tourist hotspot,” Prime Minister Modi said in his hometown. This is Prime Minister Modi’s maiden visit to his hometown after becoming the prime minister of India.
Speaking about the warm welcome showered by the people, Prime Minister Modi said, “When welcomed among my own people, the feeling is different and immense. Whatever I am today is due to the values I have learnt on this soil, among you all in Vadnagar. I have played here; I have grown up among you people.”
Prime Minister Modi added that he would go back with the villagers’ blessings and assured them that he would work even harder for the nation. “I will work harder for the people of Gujarat. I will work on the ideals taught by the people of Vadnagar, I promise it,” Prime Minister Modi said.
Prime Minister Modi, while speaking about the archaeology and history in his village, said that the archeological excavations from Vadnagar have become the focal point of the world community. He said that Vadnagar is now the only place in the world, which has continuously been inhabited by people. Prime Minister Modi earlier visited the Hatkeshwar Temple and offered prayers there and visited his school as well. He dedicated Vadnagar’s GMERS Medical College to the nation, in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and Union Minister J.P. Nadda.
Prime Minister Modi is also set to flag off the Antyodaya Express between Udhna (Surat, Gujarat), and Jaynagar (Bihar). He will also unveil plaques to mark the laying of foundation stone, and the inauguration of various plants of Gujarat Narmada Fertiliser Corporation. He will also address a public meeting there before returning to Delhi.