>Current situation lesson for future
> No section untouched by the pandemic
United News of India
New Delhi, May 31: Amidst unlocking the coronavirus lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday warned people to not let their guards down as the economy opens up gradually from Monday.
The government has announced a phased exit on from over two-month lockdown and termed lockdown 5.0 as ‘Unlock 1.0’.
In the 65th edition of his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, which coincides with the last date of the fourth phase of nationwide lockdown, Mr Modi said, ‘A major chunk of economy is active now. There should be no laxity in maintaining six feet distance (Do Gaj Doori), wearing masks & staying indoors as much as possible. We need to be more vigilant now. Due to everyone’s support, fight against COVID-19 is being fought strongly.’
Lauding everyone’s efforts in these trying times, the Prime Minister said, ‘Every Indian has played a part in the battle against COVID-19. India’s Seva Shakti is visible in the fight.’
‘Current situation lesson for future’
Prime Minister said that the current situation should be taken as a lesson to make provisions for the future.
He cited the situation of workers in the eastern states as a case in point and said, “The problem suffered by the poor during the crisis has been exacerbated by the lack of development in the region.”
Reiterating his message of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ or ‘Self-Reliant India’, Modi said that many problems being faced right now would not have arisen if the villages and towns were self-reliant.
“At some places work in skill mapping of the labourers is taking place, at some places start-ups are being encouraged, migration commission has been commissioned somewhere and the Centre will also help open up opportunities for employment self-employment and small scale industries in villages. These decisions are aimed at resolving the crisis and building a self-reliant India,” he said in the 65th edition of his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, which coincides with the last date of the fourth phase of nationwide lockdown.
He also requested the people to explore the benefits of yoga and said several international leaders had shown interest in knowing more about Ayurveda and yoga.
“During this corona crisis I had a chance to speak to many world leaders I want to share one secret today, they expressed great interest in Yoga and Ayurveda. Some leaders enquired how these can help in these times of Corona,” the prime minister said, adding, “We have to explore yoga for community, immunity and unity,”
Pointing out that the International Yoga Day is around the corner (June 21), he said that during the lockdown people from “Hollywood to Haridwar” are paying attention to yoga.
Speaking over the World Environment Day observed on June 5, the prime minister said it is imperative to pay attention to the biodiversity and conservation of water.
“In some parts of eastern India, we witnessed the destruction caused by cyclone… I was in Odisha and West Bengal last week to take stock of the situation. The way people of West Bengal and Odisha showed courage in dealing with the situation is commendable. In this hour of crisis the country standing by the side of people of these two states” he said.
He said that the lockdown has given an opportunity to understand the rich biodiversity around us. “Clean environment is directly linked to our life and the future of our children and therefore we have to be concerned about it individually, I request you to plant some trees on this environment day,” PM Modi added.
Expresses concern over migrants’ plight
Expressing concern over the plight of migrant workers during the coronavirus-induced lockdown, the Prime Minister said that no section in the country is untouched by the pandemic.
The PM acknowledged that migrant workers and poor are the worst hit by the outbreak as he said the government is making every effort to mitigate their problems. “There is no section in our country that has not faced difficulty and is not in trouble. And the worst-affected by this crisis are the poor and labourers. Their suffering and pain cannot be expressed in words,” he said.
“Who among us would not have felt for their suffering. All of us along with the entire country are trying to share their pain and suffering,” he added.
Millions of migrant workers were left jobless by the lockdown, which is aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus disease and have walked thousands of miles home with several dying in accidents along the way.
The Indian Railways started Shramik Special trains on May 1 to ferry the migrant workers stranded after the lockdown was announced on March 24 and extended further.
The Prime Minister said the Indian Railways is working round the clock to help the poor and migrant labourers. “So are the Centre and State governments along with other local bodies,” Mr Modi added.
The Prime Minister had announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown on March 24 as a precautionary measure to contain the SARS-COV-2, which was later extended thrice till May 31.
The Centre has now further extended the lockdown till June 30 and issued new guidelines for phased re-opening of “all activities outside containment zones for the next one month beginning June 1”.
As per Union Ministry of Health data, 8,380 fresh Covid-19 cases have been reported till Sunday morning, up from yesterday’s 7,964 with 193 fatalities in the last 24 hours.