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‘Trust science’: PM Modi urges people to shed vaccine hesitancy on Mann ki Baat

In his monthly Mann ki Baat broadcast, the PM hailed the feat of most vaccination doses administered in a single day on 21 June at the start of the new phase of inoculation for adults.

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New Delhi: Cautioning people that the threat of COVID-19 remains, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged them to shed vaccine hesitancy and get themselves inoculated soon.

In his monthly Mann ki Baat broadcast, Modi hailed the feat of most vaccination doses administered in a single day on June 21 at the start of the new phase of inoculation under which all adults are being given free jabs.

Seeking to make people shed vaccine hesitancy, Modi spoke to residents of Dulariya village in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh and counselled them to take the vaccine amidst their doubts about the exercise.

He noted that both he and his nearly 100-year-old mother have taken both doses of the vaccine, and asked people not to believe in rumours and trust science and scientists.

“The threat of COVID-19 remains and we have to focus on vaccination as well as follow COVID-19 protocols,” he said.

Modi hailed the feat of administering over 86 lakh vaccine doses in a single day on June 21 at the start of the new phase of inoculation under which all adults are being given free jabs by the Union government.

Over 31 crore people have got themselves vaccinated so far, he noted.

With the National Doctors Day falling on July 1, Modi lauded the contribution of doctors in the corona period and said the day has become all the more special this time.

He also paid tributes to Guru Prasad Mohapatra, secretary in his government who died due to Covid recently, saying that the officer worked overtime to make arrangements to ramp up oxygen production and supply during the recent wave even as he was battling the disease himself.

“Corona has snatched him away from us. There are countless people who have never been discussed. Our tribute to every such person would be that we follow the Covid protocol fully, get our vaccinations done,” Modi said.

With the Monsoon season gathering pace, the prime minister also stressed on water conservation and likened it to serving the nation.

In this context, he mentioned Satchidanand Bharti of Pauri Garhwal in Uttarakhand, a teacher whose hard work, Modi added, in conserving water has ended the water crisis in the Uttrakhand area of the district.

In his broadcast, he also applauded India’s Olympic-bound athletes, saying that they have all endured “years of toil” and the country should back them without putting them under pressure during the Tokyo Games next month.

More than 100 Indian sportspersons have qualified for the mega-event, which was postponed by a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and will be held under strict health safety protocols from July 23 to August 8 in the Japanese capital.

Also read: BCCI pledges Rs 10 crore for training, preparations of Olympic-bound athletes

“Every player going to Tokyo has had one’s own share of struggle, and years of toil. They are going not only for themselves but for the country,” Modi said in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ address to the nation.

“These players also have to enhance the glory of India and win the hearts of the people and that is why my countrymen I want to advise you too, that we should not pressurize these players knowingly or unknowingly.

“…but support them with an open mind and bolster the enthusiasm of every player,” he added.

India’s best Olympic performance came in the 2012 London edition when the country snared six medals, including two silver.

In the 2016 Games, the performance dipped considerably and India could fetch just two medals.

In his address on Sunday, the PM also recalled his last conversation with sprint legend Milkha Singh, who died earlier this month after a battle with COVID-19.

“Friends, when we are talking of Tokyo Olympics, how can one forget the legendry athlete Milkha Singh. Some days ago, Corona snatched him away from us. When he was in the hospital, I got an opportunity to talk to him,” he said.

“While talking to him I had urged him. I had said that you have represented India in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, so this time when our players are going to Olympics in Tokyo, you have to boost the morale of our athletes, have to motivate them with your message.

“He was so committed and emotional for sports that he immediately gave his consent even during his illness. But unfortunately, providence had other plans,” he added.

While talking about the athletes going for the Games this time, the PM picked life stories of archers Deepika Kumari and Pravin Jadhav, hockey player Neha Goel, boxer Manish Kaushik, race walker Priyanka Goswami, javelin thrower Shivpal Singh, badminton players Chirag Shetty and his partner SatwikSairaj Rankireddy, and fencer C A Bhavani Devi.

“In our country, most of the sportspersons hail from the smaller towns and villages. Our team that is going to Tokyo too has many such players whose life inspires a lot,” Modi said.

The PM lauded Jadhav and Goel for coming through tough circumstances to qualify for their maiden Olympic Games.

While Jadhav’s parents worked as labourers, Goel’s mother sustained her dream by working in a cycle factory.

“His (Jadhav) parents run the family by working as labourers and now their son is going to participate in his first Olympics at Tokyo. This is a matter of great pride not only for his parents but for all of us.

“Neha is a member of the women’s hockey team going to Tokyo. Her mother and sisters manage the family expenses by working in a cycle factory,” he said.

Uttar Pradesh’s Goswami, who would be competing in the 20km race walk event, also comes from a humble background. Her father works as a bus conductor.

“As a child, Priyanka adored the bag that the medal winners were presented with. It was this fascination that made her participate in the Race-Walking competition for the first time. Now, she is a big champion of that,” Modi said.

Modi also briefly touched upon the life of Bhavani, who is the first fencer from the country to qualify for the Games.

“I was reading somewhere that in order for Bhavani ji’s training to continue, her mother had even mortgaged her jewellery,” he said. –PTI

Also read: To defeat Modi, an idea, ideology or joint show of hands isn’t enough. A face is needed


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