Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort today, August 15, in his seventh consecutive Independence Day speech.
With COVID-19 safety protocol and heavy security arrangements in place, the Prime Minister in his one-hour-30 minute speech, focused on several themes including "Aatma Nirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)", "Vocal for local" and "Make in India to Make for World".
On the occasion of India's 74th Independence Day, he praised the relentless efforts of those involved in the fight against the novel coronavirus. During his address, he also paid tribute to those on the frontline combating the pandemic that has infected over 24 lakh people in the country.
Atmanirbhar Bharat: The Mantra
PM Modi in his address said that the call for an "Atmanirbhar Bharat" has moved beyond from being just a phrase to become a "mantra" capturing people's attention and imagination.
Stressing on the need to reduce India's burden on other countries, he said that the country cannot keep on exporting raw materials and importing finished goods for long. The mindset of free India should be 'Vocal for Local' where the citizens appreciate and consume local products which would then spur local production.
COVID-19 Vaccine+ National Digital Health Mission
On the country's fight against the coronavirus outbreak, the Prime Minister said three coronavirus vaccines are at different stages of trials and a roadmap is ready for production and access to every Indian. He also said the country must not only 'Make in India' but also 'Make for the World'.
PM Modi also announced that a National Digital Health Mission would be announced soon, in which every citizen would get a health ID.
"Today in India, not one, or two, but three vaccines are in the stage of testing. As soon as there is a green signal from scientists, the country is prepared to produce it in large numbers. How the vaccine will reach every Indian in the least amount of time - we have a roadmap ready for that," he said.
On the National Digital Health Mission, PM Modi said: "Every Indian will get a Health ID card. Every time you visit a doctor or a pharmacy, everything will be logged in this health card in your profile on a national scale. From the doctor's appointment to the medication advised, everything will be available in your health profile."
Message To The Neighbours
Giving a strong message to the neighbouring countries, without taking any names, PM Modi said, "Those who challenge India's sovereignty, be it LoC or LAC, have been given a befitting reply in their own language. What India can do, the world has seen it in Ladakh."
Talking about Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister said India is committed to holding assembly elections in the Valley once delimitation exercise is complete.
Remembering the sacrifices of the freedom fighters, he said, "This is also a day to show gratitude to Security personnel including that of Army, paramilitary and police ensuring our safety"
"In this extraordinary time of Corona, our doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, ambulance personnel, sweepers, policemen, servicemen, many people, are working round the clock, regardless of their lives, with the spirit of Seva Parmo Dharma (service is the highest duty)," he added.
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