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New Delhi, Oct 22: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that India’s success in administering over 100 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses in nine months has given a befitting reply to those who questioned its capabilities, and asserted that this highlights a “new India” which can set difficult targets and achieve them.
In his address to the nation a day after India crossed the landmark, Modi dwelt at length about its significance and also projected a picture of optimism and hope about India’s growth after a spell of pandemic-induced setback, saying experts and world agencies are very positive about its economy.
Indian companies and start-ups are receiving record investment and generating employment, he said. Often attacked by opposition parties and critics for his government’s handling of the pandemic, Modi got back at them and asserted that the administration of 100 crore doses is a new chapter in history and reflects India’s capabilities.
Some people had asked how the ‘taali-thaali’ initiative and the lighting of ‘diyas’ at the start of the pandemic would help eradicate the virus, he noted and said that these measures were a reflection of people’s participation and unity.
India’s vaccination programme is a most robust example of “sabka saath, sabka vishwas aur sabka prayas”, he added.
It is a matter of pride for all that the country’s vaccination programme was “science-born, science-driven and science-based” in which there no place for any “VIP culture”, he said.
Modi also talked about the apprehensions and doubts raised earlier on India’s capacity to fight the pandemic. Pointing out that several questions were raised, such as will the people of India get the vaccines or not and will India be able to vaccinate enough people to stop the pandemic from spreading, he said the 100 crore vaccine dose milestone is the answer to every question.
Modi said 100 crore doses was not just about a number but a symbol of the country’s capability and a picture of “new India”. “… It is the writing of a new chapter, a country that knows how to set difficult targets and achieve them.
It is a picture of that new India that has the strength to strive for achieving its goals,” the prime minister said. One impact of this milestone would be that the world would consider India safer from coronavirus and its position as a pharma hub would grow, he said.
At the beginning of the Covid pandemic, fears were expressed that it would be very difficult to fight the disease in a democracy like India. (PTI)
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