In his third televised address to India since declaring the nationwide lockdown since March 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 8 pm on Tuesday announced a special economic package to tackle the current Covid-19 crisis and to achieve the goal of an “Atmanirbhar Bharat”(self-reliant India).
The speech, which ran for a little over 30 minutes in total, saw the prime minister put great emphasis on self-reliance or as he called it – 'Atmanirbharta'.
“This package, taken together with earlier announcements by the government during Covid crisis and decisions taken by RBI, is to the tune of Rs 20 lakh crore, which is equivalent to almost 10 per cent of India’s GDP,” Modi said, adding that it will provide a much-needed boost towards achieving 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'.
Overall, Modi used the word 'Atmanirbhar' at least 19 times and 'Atmanirbharta' seven times, according to an official transcription of the speech.
Elaborating, the Prime Minister said - “In order to fulfill the dream of making the 21st century India’s, the way forward is through ensuring that the country becomes self-reliant."
"For instance, when the Covid crisis started, India produced almost no PPE kits and negligible N-95 masks. Production of these in India has gone up to 2 lakh each, daily.”
Production of PPE kits on May 2 touched 2.06 lakh and averaged at over 1.5 lakh per day, ANI reported last week quoting a senior health ministry official.
As far as the frequency of the words used is concerned, the PM mentioned ‘Shramik’ (labourer) just thrice and the word ‘Mazdoor’ (labourer, too) only twice in his address.
Migrant labourers have remained one of the most affected groups due to the current coronavirus lockdown.
While many have walked hundreds of km to reach home with no food or water, some have even lost their lives in the journey.
One of the recent examples was in Aurangabad, Maharashtra when 16 migrant workers who were sleeping on railway tracks were run over by a train.
Modi concluded by saying that there would be a fourth phase of the lockdown after May 17.
However, this one would be different from its three counterparts, he said.
"Its contours will be completely different from those seen yet. Based on recommendations received from states, new rules will be framed, and information about the same will be conveyed before May 18," Modi said.