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PM claims corruption came down after his govt’s arrival

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Varanasi: PM Narendra Modi said that corruption has decreased ever since May 2015 after his government came to power.

Speaking at an event after distributing special aid equipment to 9,296 differently abled people at DLW grounds in his parliamentary constituency, Modi claimed this has been achieved largely by “tightening the nuts and bolts”.

By filling up the lacunae and ensuring that the role of middlemen was completely erased in government dealings, the Prime Minister said welfare schemes are being implemented faster and other projects are being fast-tracked.

The Prime Minister added that his government is committed to assimilating all sections, especially poor, weaker and marginalized sections of the society into the mainstream.

Modi said that attempts like the one in Varanasi distribution of aid equipment in large programs have ensured that the role of middlemen is completely done away with.

In the same breath, he mused how these middlemen were overworked now as they had the task of attacking him every now and then.

“But let me assure all of you that I am not deterred by such criticism as this would distract me and I will not be able to work on my mission for the people of India,” he said while assuring that he would, in times to come, “continue to trouble such people”.

He said that the mindset towards the differently abled people must change and the word ‘viklang’ (disabled) should be replaced with ‘divyang’ (endowed with special faculties).

“What I want to do is change the mindset about differently abled people. When I say let’s use the word ‘divyang’, it is about that change,” he said.

In his December 27 ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address, Modi based his concept of ‘Divyang’ on the premise that the people with physical disabilities tend to develop special faculties that even the fully ‘able’ lack.

“We see a person’s disability with our eyes. But our interaction tells us the person has an extra power. Then I thought, in our country, instead of using the word ‘viklang,’ we should use the term ‘divyang’,” Modi said in his radio address of last month.

The Prime Minister said his government has been working for the betterment of the poor ever since it was formed.

“We are constantly thinking about how development will reach the poor and how the lives of the poor will be transformed,” he said.

On day one of his government he had announced that “it will always be there for the poor and for those who have faced struggles in life”, Modi said.

Upon learning that some people who were invited for the event have suffered a road accident, the PM said: “Some ‘divyang’ sisters and brothers were to join us but the bus had an accident. The Government will make arrangements for their treatment.”

Modi set a record of sorts by distributing 15,746 special aid equipment to 9,296 differently abled people here.

Union Social Welfare Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said this was the biggest camp to be held for such a purpose anywhere in the world.

He added that so far his department in the last 18 months has distributed more than 3.5 lakh such aid/equipment through 1,836 camps.

The equipment that has been distributed cost Rs.218 crore, including those distributed earlier in Nasik and Nagpur.

On Friday, equipment worth Rs.7.07 crore was distributed.

This included 3,458 tri-cycles, 1,800 crutches, 686 wheelchairs, 1,400 digital hearing kits, 446 kits for low IQ children, 589 artificial limbs and 300 walkers, said Avnish Awasthi, joint secretary in the union ministry of social justice and empowerment, department of disability affairs.

Prior to the meeting, the PM also flagged off Mahamana Superfast Express train which will run from here to New Delhi thrice a week.(IANS)

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Oli Assures Modi, Nepal’s Territory Won’t Be Used Against India’s Interests

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

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Gokhale said that Modi's two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations
KP Sharma Oli, PM of Nepal, wikimedia commons

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal’s territory will not be used against New Delhi’s interests, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.

“Oli reiterated that they will be sensitive to our concerns and their territory will not be allowed to be used by anybody against India. Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiments,” Gokhale told the media.

Gokhale called Oli’s view “very significant”.

There was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint as Prime Minister between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning towards China than India.

Gokhale said that Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations “whether it be cross-border electricity or cross-border connectivity”.

“We are looking into cross-border electricity and cross-border connectivity not only with Nepal but other neighbouring countries as well,” he said.

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

Stating that India welcomed the restoration of democracy in Nepal, Gokhale said that both the government and the opposition in the Himalayan nation were parties to it.

He said both sides agreed to be committed towards the stated projects. “We will address this within a set timeline.”

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Modi is on Nepal visit for two days, wikimedia commons

According to Gokhale, Oli confirmed to Modi that Nepal will host the the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) summit this year.

Bimstec comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Gokhale also said that Modi’s visits to cultural sites in Nepal “suggested that there should be strong people-to-people ties”.

Apart from offering prayers at temples in Nepal, the Indian leader inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, a 900 MW hydropower project and announced Rs 100-crore aid to develop Janakpur city.

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He also held extensive discussions with Oli, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and other government officials to better bilateral ties after which he said: “All misunderstandings with Nepal are over.”

Modi also met leaders of opposition parties, starting with former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other members of the Nepali Congress.

He exchanged views on strengthening bilateral ties with former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. (IANS)