Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that corruption has considerably come down ever since his government came to power in May 2014 as “nuts and bolts” have been tightened.
Speaking at an event after distributing special aid equipment to 9,296 differently abled people at DLW grounds in his parliamentary constituency, Modi claimed this has been achieved largely by “tightening the nuts and bolts”.
By filling up the lacunae and ensuring that the role of middlemen was completely erased in government dealings, the prime minister said welfare schemes are being implemented faster and other projects are being fast-tracked.
The prime minister added that his government is committed to assimilating all sections, specially poor, weaker and marginalized sections of the society into the mainstream.
Modi said that attempts like the one in Varanasi – distribution of aid equipment in large programmes – have ensured that the role of middlemen is completely done away with.
In the same breath, he mused how these middlemen were overworked now as they had the task of attacking him every now and then.
“But let me assure all of you that I am not deterred by such criticism as this would distract me and I will not be able to work on my mission for the people of India,” he said while assuring that he would, in times to come, “continue to trouble such people”.
He said that the mindset towards the differently-abled people must change and the word ‘viklang’ (disabled) should be replaced with ‘divyang’ (endowed with special faculties).
“What I want to do is change the mindset about differently-abled people. When I say let’s use the word ‘divyang’, it is about that change,” he said.
In his December 27 ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address, Modi based his concept of ‘Divyang’ on the premise that the people with physical diabilities tend to develop special faculties that even the fully ‘able’ lack.
“We see a person’s disability with our eyes. But our interaction tells us the person has an extra power. Then I thought, in our country, instead of using the word ‘viklang,’ we should use the term ‘divyang’,” Modi said in his radio address of last month.
The prime minister said his government has been working for the betterment of the poor ever since it was formed.
“We are constantly thinking about how development will reach the poor and how the lives of the poor will be transformed,” he said.
On day one of his government he had announced that “it will always be there for the poor and for those who have faced struggles in life”, Modi said.
Upon learning that some people who were invited for the event have suffered a road accident, the prime minister said: “Some ‘divyang’ sisters and brothers were to join us but the bus had an accident. Government will make arrangements for their treatment.”
Modi set a record of sorts by distributing 15,746 special aid equipment to 9,296 differently abled people here.
Union Social Welfare Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said this was the biggest camp to be held for such a purpose anywhere in the world.
He added that so far his department in the last 18 months has distributed more than 3.5 lakh such aid/equipment through 1,836 camps.
Equipment that have been distributed cost Rs.218 crore, including those distributed earlier in Nasik and Nagpur.
On Friday, equipment worth Rs.7.07 crore was distributed.
This included 3,458 tri-cycles, 1,800 crutches, 686 wheelchairs, 1,400 digital hearing kits, 446 kits for low IQ children, 589 artificial limbs and 300 walkers, Avnish Awasthi, joint secretary in the union ministry of social justice and empowerment, department of disability affairs, told IANS.
Prior to the meeting, the prime minister also flagged off Mahamana Superfast Express train which will run from here to New Delhi thrice a week.