New Delhi: His government’s decision to host G-20 events across the country is an investment in capacity-building among people, cities and institutions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, as he took a jibe at previous governments asserting they lacked confidence in people’s abilities to hold mega events outside the capital, in smaller places.
Modi said he had always had a great belief in people as he cited his organisational background to assert that he learnt a lot from many experiences during that phase of his life.
“I had the privilege of witnessing first-hand the feats common citizens were capable of when given a platform and an opportunity,” the prime minister said in an interview late last week.
Modi spent decades in organisational works first in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and then in the BJP before starting his innings in a government role as Gujarat chief minister in 2001 before assuming prime ministership in 2014.
By the time India’s G20 presidency term ends, over 220 meetings would have happened across 60 cities in all 28 states and eight union territories, he said, adding that over one lakh participants from around 125 nationalities would witness the skills of Indians.
“Over 1.5 crore people in our country have been involved in these programmes or have come in touch with some aspects of them,” he said.
Asked about his rationale behind the concept of holding G-20 meetings across India, he said it has been observed that some countries, even if small in size, took up the responsibility of organising high-profile global meets, including Olympics, and were left with a positive and transformational impact by these mega events.
They gained in growth and changed their outlook towards themselves and also the way the world started to recognise their abilities, he said, adding that this in fact became a turning point in their development journey.
India, across its various states, union territories and cities has so much potential to welcome, host and connect with the world, the prime minister said.
He said he also appealed to various states during the Chief Ministers’ meeting that they should ensure that each state continues to strengthen its relationship with the delegates who visited them during G20 and their countries. “This will also open up a lot of opportunities for the people in future.”
“So, there is a deeper plan behind the decentralisation of the activities related to G20. We are investing in capacity building in our people, our institutions and our cities,” he said.
In a swipe at earlier governments, he said, “Unfortunately, in the past, there used to be an attitude of getting things done right here in Delhi, in and around Vigyan Bhavan. Perhaps because it was an easy way out. Or perhaps because those in power lacked confidence in the people of different parts of the country to successfully execute plans of such scale.”
His government, Modi said, changed the approach.
“If you observe carefully, over the years, we trusted the people of every region. The 8th BRICS Summit happened in Goa. The 2nd FIPIC summit involving many Pacific Island nations happened in Jaipur. The Global Entrepreneurship Summit happened in Hyderabad.
“Similarly, we ensured that many foreign leaders who visited our country were hosted at various places across the country rather than just in Delhi,” he said.
The same approach is continuing in the G20 too, albeit at a larger scale, he said.
Each such global scale assignment has pushed capacity building in several domains such as management of logistics, hospitality, tourism, soft skills, and execution of projects among others, he said, describing it as a big boost to people’s self-confidence in these places.
“Now, they know they can deliver something world-class. This capacity and confidence will also get channelised into various other constructive endeavours that will push progress and prosperity,” he said.
Moreover, he added, each state is also ensuring that they leave their unique cultural stamp on the minds of G20 delegates. This is also giving the world an idea of India’s incredible diversity, Modi said. (Agencies)