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We Will fulfill dream of Atmanirbhar Bharat: PM Narendra Modi

On the occasion of 74th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is confident that India will fulfill the dream of becoming 'Atmanirbhar' (self-reliant) nation.

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Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort in the capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the fight put up by Corona Warriors of the country who, he said, have been relentlessly battling the coronavirus pandemic. He praised the efforts of medical professionals, police personnel and everyone who were relentless in their service during the pandemic.

“130 crore Indian took the pledge to become Aatmanirbhar. Aatmanirbhar Bharat is a reality. It is a mantra for 130 crore Indians....India has to be self-reliant. This is essential for us and the world. If we are self-reliant, we will be able to cater to the world,” he said in the first few minutes into his speech.

Delivering his address to the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort, PM Modi also offered condolences for those who lost their loved ones in the pandemic due to the virus that has claimed over 48,000 lives in the country so far. "This is a day to remember the sacrifices of our freedom fighters. This is also a day to show gratitude to Security personnel including that of Army, paramilitary and police ensuring our safety," PM Modi said.

“We can’t even count the number of nameless faces who have worked to fight against the coronavirus pandemic in these months. To these workers and Corona Warriors, I bow my head with humility.”

“We are going through difficult times. I can't see young children in front of me today. Coronavirus has stopped everyone. In these times of a pandemic, Corona Warriors have lived the mantra of  'Seva Parmo Dharma' and served the people of India. I express my gratitude to them,” said PM Modi.

“Many have also lost their lives in this fight. I express my condolences to them and the families that have suffered tremendous losses in the pandemic,” said PM Modi. "India has always believed that the entire world is one family. “While we focus on economic growth and development, humanity must retain a central role in this process and our journey,” PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister arrived at Red Fort on Saturday after paying tribute to the father of the nation at Raj Ghat. The PM also unfurled the tricolour before he began his address to the nation. This is PM Narendra Modi's 7th consecutive Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort.

As he pitched for self-reliance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked, “For how long can be keep sending our raw materials out of our country? In agriculture, we have been able to achieve self-reliance.” Modi urged all Indians to be 'vocal for local' to achieve the goal of becoming Atmanirbhar.

Overcoming corona our goal: PM Modi

Prime Minister Modi announced Rs 1.1 lakh crore investment in national infrastructure project in his independence day speech. He said overcoming corona is our goal. PM Modi said, “National infrastructure pipeline project with the investment of 1.10 lakh crore should be given importance. Our approach will be integrated, multi-model infrastructural projects.”

Commenting on the vaccine for corona virus, the Prime Minister informed the nation about the three vaccines that are in the testing stages in India. "Today three vaccines are in testing stages in India. As soon as the scientists give a green signal, the country will begin their large scale production," PM said.

Commenting on the challenges in the way of becoming self-reliant, PM Modi said he agreed that there would be lakhs of challenges in the way. "But we have power to give crores of solutions," he said. “I agree that there are lakhs of challenges for Aatmanirbhar Bharat and they increase if there is global competitiveness. However, if there are lakhs of challenges, then the country also has the power which gives crores of solutions,” said Modi from Red Fort.

Prime Minister Modi said the mindset of free India should be 'vocal for local'. “We should appreciate our local products, if we don't do this then our products will not get the opportunity to do better and will not get encouraged.” He stressed that the campaigns for 'Vocal for Local', 'Re-Skill India' and 'Up-Skill' campaign will further boost the self-reliant economy and the standard of living of those below the poverty line. 

In his speech, PM Modi said that many big companies were turning towards India. "We have to move forward with the mantra of ‘Make for world’ along with ‘Make in India’," he said. Giving an example of the trust the world has shown in the capabilities of India, PM Modi said: "Last year, there was a record 18 per cent increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to our country. The world has shown confidence in India as we have worked on our policies, democracy and strengthening of the foundation of our economy," he said.

1 Lakh Cr Agriculture Infrastructure Fund: PM

The Prime Minister made it clear that in order to achieve the goal of becoming 'self-reliant', the agriculture sector and the farmers would be the top priority. Therefore, the PM announced the creation of Rs 1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund which will be used to modernize the infrastructure of the farmers. "An important priority of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' is Aatmanirbhar agriculture and Aatmanirbhar farmer. To provide modern infrastructure to the farmers of the country,  'Agriculture Infrastructure Fund' of Rs 1 Lakh Crores has been created," Modi said.

New Education Policy will make Indian youth a global citizen, said PM Modi in his Independence Day speech. “Education has a key role in the making of Aatmanirbhar, modern, new and prosperous India. So, we have brought the new education policy after three decades that has been welcomed throughout the country, which instils new confidence,” he said.

Stressing on the need to revise priorities, PM said that in 1000 days optical fibre network will be provided to 6 lakh villages. "Only five dozen village panchayats were connected with optical fibre before 2014. In the last 5 years, 1.5 Lakh village panchayats have been connected with optical fibre. In the coming 1000 days, every village of the nation will be connected with optical fibre," he said.

PM Modi also stressed on his government's determination to provide equal opportunities of self-employment to women. "Whenever women received opportunity, they made India proud and strengthened it. Today, nation is determined to provide equal opprtunities of self-employment to them. Today women are working in coal mines, our daughters are touching the sky while flying fighter plane," said Modi.

Reconsider Minimum Age for Marriage: PM

The Prime Minister, in his independence day speech announced that his government wants to reconsider the minimum age for marriage for girls. "We have set up committee to reconsider the minimum age for marriage of our daughters. We will take appropriate decision after the committee submits its report," he said.

On J&K & Neighbours 

This one year is a year of the new journey of development for Jammu and Kashmir, PM said. "This one year is the year of the rights received by the women and the Dalits in Jammu and Kashmir. This one year is also the year of a life of dignity for the refugees in Jammu and Kashmir," PM Modi said in his speech. Staying on with J&K, the Prime Minister said delimitation exercise was being carried out in Jammu and Kashmir and that the country is committed for completion of this work so that elections are held and people's representatives are elected there, PM Modi said.

Commenting on neighbouring countries, the PM said: "Today neighbour is not just the one with whom we share border but also those with whom our heart stays connected, where there is harmony in relations. I'm happy that in past some time India has further strengthened its relations with all countries in 'extended neighbourhood'," he said.

From LoC to LAC, whoever tried to raise their eyes towards the sovereignty of our country, our soldiers responded to it in the same manner, he added.  

Island Connectivity

PM Modi said there were more than 1300 islands in India and that new projects are underway in some of them 'keeping in mind their geographical location and their significance'. PM informed that in the next 1000 days, Lakshadweep will also be connected to submarine optical fiber cable.