2 J&K women Sarpanches, MC chief win Modi’s praises for Covid efforts

Wajahat Shabir. Updated: 7/27/2020 10:46:27 AM Front Page

In Mann Ki Baat, PM cautions against corona threat

JAMMU: India's COVID-19 recovery rate is better compared to other countries and its case fatality rate is much less as well, but the threat of the deadly virus is far from over, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday as he showered praises on two women Sarpanchs of J&K and a MC President for their earnestness and dedication towards Corona control measures in their respective areas.

The elected representatives who found mention in Modi’s monthly 'Mann ki Baat' radio address are Balbir Kour, Sarpanch of Trewa Gram Panchayat in Jammu, Zatoona Begum, Sarpanch of Chontliwar Panchyat in Ganderbal, and Mohammad Iqbal, Municipal Committee president of Anantnag.

In his address, the PM said that the rural masses have shown the way to entire nation in the prevailing corona crisis.

He said instances of villagers’ making continuous efforts in the fight against Corona Virus are pouring in from all over the Country.

Recounting the achievements of the elected representatives of Jammu and Kashmir, the PM said that it has been learnt that the Sarpanch of Trewa Gram Panchayat, in Jammu, Balbir Kour has established a 30 bed quarantine centre in the Panchayat Ghar with the facility of adequate water supply inside and on the way leading to the centre.

He said that the Sarpanch is making painstaking efforts to ensure sanitization of the centre and adjoining areas by personally carrying out spraying along with other volunteers with a big Tank mounted on her back.

The PM also mentioned about the Woman Sarpanch Zatoona Begum Ji of Panchyat Chontliwar, Ganderbal, who along with other PRIs, decided to join the fight against CoronaVirus and at the same time created earning opportunities for the locals hit by the pandemic.

“Zaitoon Begum resolved that her Panchayat will fight against Corona and will create an opportunity for employment. She distributed free mask and free ration in the area. Begum also distributed crop seeds and apple sapling so that people were not subjected to inconvenience in farming and horticulture,” Modi said.

Sharing another inspiration story from Kashmir, Modi appreciated the role of Mohammad Iqbal, the Municipal Corporation Chairman Dooru in Anantnag.

PM said, “Mohammed Iqbal needed a sprayer for sanitization in his village. After inquiring, he found that the machine has to be brought from town, which would cost around 6 Lakh rupees. So with his own efforts, Mohammad Iqbal made the sprayer and that too in just 50,000 rupees. While, such inspiring examples emerge from different parts of the country, every day.”

Later in the video message, Zaitoon Begum said: “I am feeling honoured to feature in Prime Minister’s Mann Ki Baat. Also, with more focus being done on Panchayat works by the central government, we are now able to develop our area. Also, I and my team are doing our best in this pandemic. I will continue to do our part in bringing changes in society and will contribute my bit in the war against Corona.”

Iqbal also expressed his gratitude.

“I don’t have words to express my feelings. I am thankful that our team’s effort is being appreciated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he told this scribe.

He added, “Our Municipal Corporation developed its own Boom Spray machine of 2500 litres at a cost of Rs 50,000. The same machine would have cost us more than 6 Lakh rupees. So our team worked tirelessly and with PM Modi appreciating our efforts, it can’t get better than this. We will continue to do our work.”

Earlier in his address, Modi said that at many places, the virus is spreading fast and people need to be extra vigilant.

"The threat of the coronavirus is far from being over. At many places, it is spreading fast. We need to be extra vigilant. We have to bear in mind that the coronavirus is as fatal today as it was in the beginning. That is why we have to be fully cautious," Modi said.

He said amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, India's rural regions came up as beacons of guidance for the entire country.

Many examples of effective endeavours on part of local residents of villages and gram panchayats are coming to the fore, Modi said, giving the example of people who came forward to help others amid the health crisis.

"Over the last few months, the way the country fought against the coronavirus unitedly has proved many apprehensions wrong. Today, the recovery rate in our country is better compared to other countries. The mortality rate in the context of COVID-19 in our country is much less as well, compared to most countries," the prime minister said.

"Of course, the loss of even one life is saddening, but India has also succeeded in saving the lives of lakhs of people," Modi said.

Wearing a face mask, using a 'gamchcha' or a cloth to cover the face, two yards of distancing, frequently washing hands, avoiding spitting in public places and taking full care of hygiene and sanitation are our weapons to protect ourselves from the virus, he noted.

There are times, Modi said, when masks cause inconvenience and one feels like removing it, especially during a conversation.

"When a mask is required the most, we tend to remove it. At such times, I urge you that whenever you feel your mask is bothersome and you want to remove it, spare a thought for those doctors, nurses. You will find them wearing masks for hours together, diligently working to save our lives ... sometimes wearing masks for a span of eight to 10 hours. Doesn't that discomfort them? Just think about them," he said.

Once people think of 'Corona Warriors', they too will feel that as citizens, neither they should be negligent nor let others be so, the prime minister said.

"On the one hand, we have to fight the battle against the coronavirus with full awareness and on the other, whatever our responsibilities, through sheer perseverance business, jobs or studies we have to lend pace to it, taking it to greater heights," Modi said.
The prime minister observed that a correct and a positive approach always goes a long way in transforming distressing times into opportunities, and adversities into triggers of development and progress.

He said amid the COVID-19 pandemic, youth and women came up with new experiments on the basis of their talent and skills.

Modi gave the example of Bihar and Jharkhand, and the northeast where people used local resources and their skills to make products that created employment opportunities.

In Bihar, many women self help groups have begun making masks with 'Madhubani' motifs and they have turned out to be very popular, he said.

"These 'Madhubani' masks, in a way, propagate a regional tradition; besides protecting health, they also create opportunities for livelihood," the prime minister said.


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