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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 19 June 2024

Government working to make cooperatives strong part of rural life: Prime Minister Narendra Modi

'The change in the lives of crores of beneficiaries of his govt's welfare schemes in the last 10 years has been a story of courage, satisfaction and dreams,' the PM said

PTI New Delhi Published 27.12.23, 02:16 PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the beneficiaries of the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra via video conferencing

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the beneficiaries of the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra via video conferencing PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said his government is working to make cooperatives a strong aspect of rural life, asserting that they are being scaled up in fisheries and different sectors of agriculture after making a mark in dairy and sugar industries.

In a virtual interaction with beneficiaries of the ongoing 'Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra', he batted for protecting the interests of small farmers saying they are at times forced to sell their produce at low prices due to a lack of storage facilities and his government will boost storage capacity massively across the country.

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"We have to build lakhs of such storage facilities," he said.

With the yatra seeking to cover those so far left out of his government's flagship welfare schemes, he said the change in the lives of crores of beneficiaries of these programmes in the last 10 years has been a story of courage, satisfaction and dreams.

Modi said it has been a great source of satisfaction for him to see the self-confidence of people when he interacts with them. It has been not even 50 days since the yatra began and it is a record that it has already covered 2.5 lakh villages, he said.

During the yatra, he said, one crore people have been given 'Ayushman' cards to benefit from the government-run health insurance scheme for the poor, 1.25 crore people have undergone health check-ups while more than 70 lakh were inspected for tuberculosis.

Taking a swipe at previous dispensations, he said if the situation seen during their tenure had prevailed now, then prospective beneficiaries of these schemes would have lost their hopes doing the rounds of government offices.

There is no nepotism and bribery now to get these benefits, he said, adding "Modi is like family to you. You don't need any connection." In the 10 years of his government, 10 crore women have joined self-help groups across the country and have been given Rs 7.5 lakh crore through banks, he said, adding that it is his dream to make two crore women 'lakhpati'. This is boosting rural economy, he added.

The prime minister said his government's proactive outreach to people is meant to assure them that its schemes are available to all without any favour or discrimination. "I am searching for people who have been left out," he said.

Noting that the awareness about Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) cards is so far limited, he asked people to join the scheme. A new awareness about healthcare is rising in the country, he said.

Highlighting the campaign to organise small farmers, he spoke about efforts to expand FPOs (Farmer Producer Organisations) and cooperative enterprises like PACS (Primary Agricultural Credit Societies).

"It is our endeavour that cooperatives emerge as a strong part of rural life in India," he said, citing its benefits in milk and sugarcane sectors.

"Now it is being expanded to other areas of farming and sectors like fish production also. We are moving ahead with the target of creating new PACS in two lakh villages in the coming time," Modi said.

Since the yatra's launch on November 15, it was the fourth time that Modi interacted with its beneficiaries and addressed them.

The programme is also seen as a key aspect of Modi's welfare agenda as he seeks a third straight term in office in the Lok Sabha elections, expected to be held in April-May next year.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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