President Kovind praises PM Modi's schemes in maiden address

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 14 (ANI): Addressing the nation on the eve of India's 71st Independence Day, newly elected President Ram Nath Kovind praised the several schemes by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while urging the nation to become better individuals. . Spirit of empathy: Speaking about the "spirit of empathy" President Kovind said that a tradition persisted during his childhood days when during a wedding in any one family, the entire village shared the responsibility and contributed. "Regardless of the caste or community, the bride became the daughter of not just a single family but of the entire village. Everybody living in the village looked after guests, and took charge of different arrangements," President Kovind said in his speech. He added that there was a sense of caring, sharing, and of interdependence. "Today, in big cities we may not even know our neighbours. Whether in cities or villages, it is important to renew that sense of caring and sharing. This will make us a gentler and happier society and help us understand each other with greater empathy," the newly elected President said. Calling this spirit of empathy he said that this spirit of empathy, social service and volunteerism is "very much alive in India." "There are so many people and organisations that work quietly and diligently for the poor and the disadvantaged," he said. To this he added that these people could be running schools for street children, caring for stray animals and birds, and providing water to hard-to-reach tribal communities in remote areas. "They might be cleaning rivers and public places. They are nation builders in action, and we need to draw inspiration from them," President of India said. He further said that everyone should work with unity and purpose to ensure that the benefits of government policies reach all sections of society. "For this, the partnership between citizens and government remains essential," he said. · Swachchh Bharat: Talking about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's most ambitious campaign, President Kovind said, "The government has started the Swachchh Bharat campaign, but it is for each of us to ensure a Swachchh Bharat and while the government is building toilets or helping build toilets, it is for each of us to use those toilets and make India open-defecation free." · Communication and technology: One of Prime Minister Modi's emphasis has always been on the importance of technology and addressing the nation President Kovind talked about the same saying, "The government is enabling communication infrastructure and it is for each of us to use the Internet for the right purposes which is to bridge knowledge gaps, create opportunities, and enhance educational and information access." . Adapting technology: "We must use technology to empower our people and achieve the goal of poverty, elimination in a single generation. Poverty and New India are simply not compatible," President Kovind said in his speech. President Ram Nath Kovind also said that today the world is looking at India with "admiration." "Our country is seen as a responsible global citizen, a growing economy, and a solution provider to various international challenges, such as climate change, disasters, conflicts, humanitarian crises, radicalism and terrorism," President Kovind said. He also said that as citizens and children of India, whether we live at home or abroad, we must ask ourselves "how we can add to our country's pride." · Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao Addressing the nation President Kovind said, "The government is promoting the idea of Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao and it is for each of us to ensure that our daughters are not discriminated against and get the best education." He further said that the government can only frame laws and strengthen law enforcement it is for each of us to be a law-abiding citizen and to build a law-abiding society. · Goods & Services Tax (GST): Talking about the recently passed Goods and Services Tax Bill (GST) President Kovind said, "The government is implementing GST to eliminate multiple taxes and simplify transactions and it is for each of us to make this an essential part of our everyday transactions and business culture." He said that he is happy that the transition to the GST system has been smooth. "It should be a matter of pride for all of us that the taxes we pay are used for nation building and to help the poor and the marginalized, to build rural and urban infrastructure, and to strengthen our border defences," President Kovind said. · Demonetization: Talking about demonetization, President Kovind said, "Your immense patience and understanding in the days following demonetisation and your whole-hearted support in the battle against corruption and black money, reflected a responsible and enlightened society." He further said that Demonetization has boosted efforts to build an honest society. "We must sustain this spirit and this momentum," he added. · Gas cylinder subsidy: "On an appeal from the Prime Minister, more than one crore families voluntarily gave up their LPG fuel subsidy, so that a gas cylinder could reach the kitchen of a poorer family of fellow Indians," the President said, adding that family members, particularly women, were saved from the smoke of chulhas that damaged their eyes and lungs. Praising the families President of India said, "I salute those families that gave up their subsidy. No law or government order made them do what they did. Their response came from within." He further said that the whole nation should draw inspiration from these families. "Each of us must find a way to give back to society. Each of us must choose one thing we can do to help another, less-fortunate Indian," President Kovind said. · New India reform: Emphasizing about a reformed and a new India President Kovind said, "In the year 2022, our country will complete 75 years of Independence. It is our national resolve to attain certain desired milestones for a New India by then." He said that the "New India"" goes beyond the obvious parameters of a house for every family, power on demand, better roads and telecom, a modern railway network, rapid and sustained growth. "New India must include that integral humanist component that is in our DNA, and which has defined our country and our civilization. New India must be a society rushing towards the future, and also be a compassionate society at the same time," the President of India said. He further said that a compassionate society should be established where the traditionally disadvantaged, whether SCs, STs or OBCs, are part of the national developmental process. "A compassionate society should be established where the deprived child, the aged and the ailing senior citizen, and the poor and the under-privileged are always in our thought and not an afterthought. And where we take special care to ensure that our divyang brothers and sisters get equal opportunities in all walks of life," President Kovind said. The President also talked about an "equal society" and said that a compassionate and egalitarian society is to be established that does not discriminate on gender or religious background. "It is only with all this that we will build the New India we can cherish, where every Indian is equipped to fulfill his or her potential and do so in a manner that leaves each one of us content and happy. And helps each of us contribute to society and our country," President Kovind said. He further said that he is confident that a strong partnership between citizens and the government will allow the Government to meet the goals of New India. . Bravery of Defence Forces: "Our soldiers, who guard our borders, on a hot day in the desert or high up on a cold mountain, are not just doing their duty. They are displaying an extra degree of selflessness," President Ram Nath kovind said. He also said that the police and paramilitary forces that brave death to combat terrorism or crime and keep the people safe are not just doing their duty. They are displaying an extra degree of selflessness. "Our farmers, who labour under extremely tough conditions to grow food to feed fellow Indians whom they have never met, and who live in the other corner of the country, are not just doing a job. They are displaying an extra degree of selflessness." (ANI)