Prime Minister's Office

English rendering of PM’s address to the Nation

Posted On: 07 JUN 2021 7:49PM by PIB Delhi

Namaskar my dear countrymen!  Our fight against the second wave of Corona is still on. Like many countries of the world, India too has gone through a lot of pain during this fight. Many of us have lost our relatives and acquaintances. My deepest condolences to all such families.


This is the biggest pandemic and tragedy in the last 100 years. The modern world had neither seen nor experienced such a pandemic. Our country has fought together on many fronts against such a massive global pandemic. From building a Covid hospital to increasing the number of ICU beds, from making ventilators in India to creating a huge network of testing labs, a new health infrastructure has been created in the country in the last one-and-a-half years. The demand for medical oxygen in India during the second wave increased unexpectedly in the months of April and May. Never in the history of India has the need for medical oxygen been felt in such quantity. Efforts were made on a war footing to meet this demand. The entire machinery of the government was engaged. Oxygen rails were deployed, Air Force planes were used and the Navy was deployed. The production of liquid medical oxygen was increased by more than 10 times in a very short time. Every effort was made to get whatever could be available from any part of the world. Similarly, the production of essential medicines was increased manifold and no stone was left unturned to bring them from wherever they were available abroad.


The most effective weapon in the fight against an invisible and mutating enemy like Corona is the Covid protocol, the use of a mask, the distance of two yards, and adherence to all other precautions. The vaccine is like a protective shield for us in this fight. Compared to the demand for vaccines all over the world today, the countries producing them and the companies making the vaccines are very few. The number can be counted. Imagine that if we had not developed vaccines in India, what would have happened in a huge country like India today? If you look at the history of the last 50-60 years, you will know that it used to take decades for India to get the vaccine from abroad. Vaccination work could not be started in our country even after the vaccine work was completed abroad. Be it polio, smallpox, or Hepatitis B vaccines, countrymen had waited for decades. When the countrymen gave us the opportunity to serve in 2014, the vaccination coverage in India then was only around 60 per cent. And in our view, this was a matter of great concern. The rate at which India's immunization program was progressing would have taken almost 40 years for the country to achieve the target of 100% vaccination coverage. We launched Mission Indradhanush to solve this problem. We decided that vaccination work will be carried out on war footing through the Mission Indradhanush and efforts will be made to vaccinate whoever needs it. We worked in mission mode and the vaccination coverage increased from 60 per cent to over 90 per cent in just 5-6 years. That is, we increased the speed as well as the ambit of the vaccination program.

We also made many new vaccines a part of India's vaccination campaign to protect children from many life-threatening diseases. We did this because we were concerned about the children, the poor and the children of the poor who never got vaccinated. We were moving towards 100% vaccination coverage when the coronavirus hit us. There were apprehensions not only in the country but also in the world about how India will be able to protect such a large population? But friends, when the intention is pure, the policy is clear and there is continuous hard work, good results are also expected. Ignoring every apprehension, India launched not one but two 'Made in India' vaccines within a year. Our country and the scientists of the country have shown that India is not behind developed countries. Today when I am speaking to you, more than 23 crore vaccine doses have been administered in the country.


There is a belief here विश्वासेन सिद्धि: i.e., we get success in our endeavors when we have faith in ourselves. We were confident that our scientists would be able to develop vaccines in a very short time. Due to this belief, when our scientists were still busy with their research work, we started logistics and other preparations. You all know very well that when there were only a few thousand cases of corona in April last year, the Vaccine Task Force was formed at the same time. The government supported the Indian companies making vaccines in every way. Vaccine makers were assisted in clinical trials, research and development were funded and the government walked shoulder to shoulder with them at every level.

Thousands of crores of rupees were also made available to them through the Mission Covid Suraksha under the AtmaNirbhar Bharat package. Due to the continuous effort and hard work that has been going for a long time in the country, the supply of vaccines is going to increase even more in the coming days. Today seven companies in the country are producing different types of vaccines. The trial of three more vaccines is also going on at an advanced stage. The process of buying vaccines from foreign companies has also been expedited to increase the availability of vaccines in the country. In recent times, some experts have also raised concerns about our children. The trial of two vaccines is going on fast in this direction too. Apart from this, research is also going on in the country on a 'Nasal' vaccine. Instead of the syringe, it will be sprayed in the nose. If the country succeeds in this vaccine in the near future, then this will further accelerate India's vaccine campaign.


Developing a vaccine in such a short time is a great achievement in itself for the entire humanity. But it also has its limits. Even after the vaccine was developed, vaccination started in very few countries of the world, and that too only in prosperous countries. WHO gave guidelines regarding vaccination. Scientists laid out the outline for the vaccination. India also decided to do the vaccination in a phased manner on the basis of the best practices of other countries and as per the standards of the World Health Organization. The Central Government took full care of the suggestions received from the various meetings held with the Chief Ministers and the suggestions received by the colleagues of various parties in the Parliament. Only after this, it was decided that priority would be given to those who are more at risk from Corona. That is why health workers, frontline workers, citizens above 60 years of age and citizens above 45 years of age suffering from diseases started getting the vaccine on priority. Can you imagine what would have happened if our frontline workers were not vaccinated before the second wave of Corona? Imagine, what would have happened if our doctors and nursing staff were not vaccinated? What would have happened if our brothers and sisters employed to clean hospitals and our ambulance drivers were not vaccinated? It is due to the vaccination of health workers that they were able to take care of others and save the lives of millions of countrymen. But in the midst of decreasing corona cases in the country, different suggestions and demands started coming before the central government. It was asked, why is the Government of India deciding everything? Why are the state governments not being given leeway? Why are the state governments not being allowed in deciding the relaxation of lockdown? Comments like One Size Does Not Fit All were also made. It was argued that since health is primarily a state subject under the Constitution, it is better that the states should carry out the necessary work.  Hence, a beginning was made in this direction. The Government of India made a comprehensive guideline and gave it to the states so that they could work according to their requirement and convenience. The government of India accepted the demands of the states regarding imposing a corona curfew at the local level, creation of micro-containment zones and arrangements for treatment.


From January 16 till the end of April this year, India's vaccination program ran mainly under the supervision of the central government. The country was moving in the direction of providing free vaccines to all. The citizens of the country too were maintaining discipline and getting vaccinated when it was their turn. Meanwhile, several state governments again said that the vaccine work should be de-centralized and left to the states. Several voices were raised. Like why age groups were created for vaccination? On the other hand, someone said that why should the central government decide the age limit? There were some voices also that why are the elderly being vaccinated earlier? Various pressures were also created and a section of the country's media also ran it in the form of a campaign.


After much deliberation, it was agreed that if the state governments also want to make efforts on their behalf, so why should the Indian government object? In view of this demand from the states and keeping in mind their request, a change was made in the system which was going on since January 16 as an experiment. We thought that when the states are making this demand and they have enthusiasm, so let's give 25 per cent of the work to them. As a result, 25 per cent of the work was handed over to the states from May 1 and they also made efforts in their own way to complete it.

Gradually, they also started realising the difficulties in such a momentous task. The states also realised the status of vaccination in the whole world. We noticed that on the one hand there was the second wave in May, the increasing interest of people for the vaccine on the other, and the difficulties of the state governments on the third side. By the passage of two weeks in May, some states began to openly say that the earlier system was good. Those who were advocating that the states should be entrusted with the vaccination also started changing their views. It was a good thing that the states came forward again with the demand for reconsideration in time. On this demand of the states, we also thought that the countrymen should not suffer and their vaccination should proceed with smoothly, so we decided to implement the old system which was in place before 1st May, that is, from 16th January to the end of April.


Today it has been decided that the Government of India will also bear the responsibility of 25 per cent of the work related to vaccination with the states. This arrangement will be implemented in the next two weeks. In these two weeks, the central and state governments together will make necessary preparations according to the new guidelines. Coincidentally, two weeks later, International Yoga Day falls on June 21. From June 21, the Government of India will provide free vaccines to the states for all citizens above the age of 18 years. The Government of India itself will buy 75 per cent of the total vaccine production from vaccine manufacturers and give it to the state governments free of cost. That is, no state government of the country will have to spend anything on the vaccine. Till now, crores of people of the country have got free vaccines.

Now people of 18 years of age will also become part of it. Only the Government of India will provide free vaccines to all the countrymen. Whether it is poor, lower middle class, middle class, or upper class, only the free vaccines will be administered in the Government of India campaign. Those who do not want to get the vaccine for free and want to get the vaccine in a private hospital have also been taken care of. The system of private sector hospitals procuring 25 per cent of the vaccine being made in the country will continue. Private hospitals will be able to charge a maximum service charge of Rs 150 for a single dose after the prescribed price of the vaccine. The task of monitoring it will remain with the state governments.


It has been said in our scriptures प्राप्य आपदं न व्यथते कदाचित्, उद्योगम् अनु इच्छति चा प्रमत्त i.e., conquerors do not give up when calamity strikes them, but venture out, work hard, and triumph over the situation. More than 130 crore Indians have fought against Corona together with mutual cooperation and hard work day and night. In the future, our journey will be reinforced only by our efforts and cooperation. We will also accelerate the pace of getting the vaccines and give further impetus to the vaccination campaign. We have to remember that the speed of vaccination in India is still very fast in the world, faster than in many developed countries. Our technology platform CoWIN is also being discussed all over the world. Many countries have also shown interest in using this platform of India. We are all seeing how important each dose of vaccine is as every life is attached to each dose. The central government has also made this arrangement that every state will be informed a few weeks in advance that when and how many doses it is going to get. In this sacred work of humanity, no one considers such things as arguments and political squabbles good. It is the collective responsibility of every government, public representative and administration that vaccines should be administered with full discipline so that we can reach every citizen of the country according to the availability of vaccines.

Dear countrymen,

Apart from vaccination, I want to inform you today about another major decision. Last year, when the lockdown had to be imposed due to Corona, our country had arranged for free ration to more than 80 crore countrymen for eight months under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. This year also the scheme was extended for May and June due to the second wave. Today the government has decided that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana will now be extended till Diwali. In this time of the pandemic, the government is standing by the poor as their partner for their every need. That is free food grains will be available in fixed quantity to more than 80 crore countrymen every month till November. The purpose of this effort is that none of my poor brothers and sisters, their families should go to bed hungry.


In the midst of these efforts, the confusion and rumors about the vaccine from many quarters increase the concern. I also want to express this concern to you. Ever since the work on the vaccines started in India, comments made by some people created doubts in the minds of the common people. Efforts were also made to demoralize the vaccine manufacturers of India and create many obstacles. When India's vaccine came, doubts and apprehensions were further heightened through many means. Various arguments were propagated against the use of the vaccine. The country is watching them too. Those who are creating apprehension about the vaccine and spreading rumours are playing with the lives of innocent brothers and sisters.

One needs to be careful about such rumours. I also request all of you, the enlightened people of society and the youth, to cooperate in increasing awareness about the vaccine. Right now the corona curfew is being relaxed in many places, but it does not mean that the Corona has vanished. We have to be careful and also strictly follow the rules of prevention from Corona. I have full faith that we all will win this war against Corona, India will win. With these best wishes, thank you very much to all the countrymen!

DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of PM’s speech. Original speech was delivered in Hindi.



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