Rarely a statesman is born, who leads his country and society out of a grave crisis, and by enunciating new ideals, establishes the nation as a global leader. Such a person can be none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Today if India is able to show the world how to successfully steer course during the Covid-19 pandemic, credit goes to the capable leadership of the PM, who imposed a timely nationwide lockdown and further ensured that ‘social distancing’ and ‘corona warriors’ become a mantra for everyone.
The swift decisions taken by Modi confirm that India’s approach is no longer one of postponement or delay, but rather of taking challenges head on. In early April, India was dependent on import of PPE kits and N-95 masks from other countries. Today, just a few weeks hence, we are producing more than 2.5 lakh PPE kits and more than 2 lakh N-95 masks every day; we are no longer short of ventilators; over 4 lakh isolation beds and adequate ICU beds are in place to cope with any exigency. The Indian Railways has kept 5,231 coaches ready to be used as Covid care centres across the country.
The result of this proactive approach is that while in end-March there were concerns about inadequate testing, in the past couple of days 1.60 lakh+ tests have been conducted, taking the total to over 15 lakh tests. Simultaneously, India has been able to effectively control the death rate from corona. In this regard, India has been more successful than South Korea, China, Russia and the US, among other countries, a fact confirmed by the data released by Johns Hopkins University.
Six out of the eight states in Northeast India are free of the virus. Several states have zero positive cases. Goa is also Covid-free. Only 130 districts of the country are corona afflicted. The recovery rate is continuously showing improvement. Currently it crossed 31% which confirms we are moving in the right direction. Several studies have shown that had the PM not imposed an immediate lockdown, the numbers for corona would have soared to frightening proportions.
The Indian public has responded wholeheartedly to his call for the lockdown. Google’s data analysis testifies that majority of Indians have followed the restrictions of the lockdown, more than the populace of other countries have done. The situation in India is far better than in the US, Spain or Italy. According to experts, the strict adherence to the lockdown has resulted in controlling the numbers. In a large country of such diversity of opinion and community, this has been possible only because citizens trust Modi and his leadership.
The government has announced Rs 1.70 lakh crore relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana for the poor to help them fight the battle against coronavirus. Till now, the government has provided Rs 34,800 crore financial assistance using digital payment infrastructure to about 39 crore beneficiaries. The government has directly transferred money to the accounts of farmers and women beneficiaries, provided free ration and cooking gas to the poor, and made urgent arrangements to enable migrant labour as well as Indians stranded abroad to return to their homes. These actions validate that Modi is sensitive to the needs and welfare of the poor, farmers, labourers and villages.
BJP has in a mission mode embarked on a campaign of serving the people. It launched #FeedTheNeedy to ensure food and ration reaches every needy person in the country. Till date, party karyakartas have delivered food and ration to 80 million people in need and also distributed several million masks as part of the #WearFaceCoverStaySafeCampaign. In addition to this, the party has undertaken awareness programmes in jhuggis.
Even in this hour of crisis, it is unprecedented how India has offered medicines to various countries or despatched doctors and health workers to friendly nations. India has emerged as a leader in the global fight against corona. The man who has shown how through dedication, selfless service, sacrifice and effort a spirited fight can be launched to save humanity and is acknowledged as a beacon of hope by the global community, such a man is not just the prime minister of our country, but is unquestionably a statesman.