The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the youth to abandon the path of militancy and work for the development of the country. He was addressing a massive rally on Peace, Unity and Development at Loring-Thepi village around 75 kilometres from Diphu, the headquarter town of Karbi-Anglong Autonomous district in Assam on Thursday.
Mr. Modi said that the Peace Accord which was signed with the six militant groups of this district in September last year, solved the decades-old militancy problems of this area. He said that under the historic Peace Accord over 1,000 militants abjured violence and joined the mainstream of society and government is rehabilitating all the surrendered militants.
Earlier, the Prime Minister laid the foundation for a veterinary college, agricultural college and two model degree colleges for the district. Mr. Modi said that these educational institutions will provide better education for the local youth apart from more job opportunities.
Mr Modi informed that under the Special Development Package, as part of the Peace Accord 1,000 crore rupees will be provided by the Union Government and Assam Government for this district. The Prime Minister said that Union Government is working for the welfare of the tribal people of the district and other areas of the state and Karbi Anglong district will be a developed district in a very short time.
The Prime Minister said that peace and normalcy is returning to Assam and as a result the Union Government has removed the Armed Forces Special Power Act from 23 districts of the state and hoped that very soon the whole of North Eastern states will be free from militancy.
Mr. Modi informed that the decades-old border issue of Assam with the neighbouring states will resolve soon with the initiatives of the Union Government and the State Governments. The Prime Minister today launched the ‘Amrit Sarovar Scheme’ for Assam at Karbi-Anglong District. Under this scheme a total of 2,985 community ponds will be constructed all over the state. These community ponds will provide water and income generation for the rural population.
Assam Chief Minister while addressing the rally said that this is a historic moment for the Karbi-Anglong district as the Prime Minister visited this area after a long time. He also informed that a University and an airport will also come up in this district as part of the Peace Accord.
Later, the Prime Minister reached Assam Medical College in Dibrugarh and dedicated the Dibrugarh Cancer Hospital and six other Cancer Care Hospitals to the nation. These included Cancer Hospitals at Barpeta, Tezpur, Jorhat, Darrang, Kokrajhar and Lakhimpur from Khanikar Field, Dibrugarh. He also laid the foundation stones for another seven Cancer Care Hospitals across the state virtually from Dibrugarh.
They included the new ones coming up at Goalpara, Dhubri, Nagaon, Golaghat, Sibsagar, Tinsukia and Nalbari. Assam Cancer Care Foundation, a joint venture of Government of Assam and Tata Trusts, is executing a project to build South Asia’s largest affordable cancer care network with 17 Cancer care hospitals spread across the state at a cost of 4,000 crore rupees. Under the Phase-I of the project, out of 10 hospitals, the construction of seven hospitals have been completed while three hospitals are at various level of construction. Phase-II of the project will witness construction of seven new cancer hospitals. Presently, the construction of Cancer Care hospitals at Guwahati, Silchar and Diphu is going on.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that Cancer hospitals in Assam that were dedicated to nation today and the ones for which foundation stone was laid today, will augment health care capacities in Northeast as well as South Asia. Acknowledging that cancer has been a big problem not only in Assam, but also in the North East, he said, the poorest and middle class families are the most affected by this. Mr Modi complimented the Assam Chief Minister and Union Minister Mr Sonowal and Tata Trust for taking many steps to address this long-pending problem in Assam. He said that this year’s Budget’s has envisaged a 1,500 crore rupees scheme Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North-East (PM-DeVINE). Under the scheme too, cancer treatment is a focus area and a facility is proposed for Guwahati also.
Elaborating on the government’s vision for the health care sector, the Prime Minister talked about ‘Swasthya Ke Saptrishis’. The effort of the government is that disease itself does not arise. The yoga, fitness-related programmes are going on for this reason, he said. Second, if the disease occurs, it should be known in the early stages. For this, lakhs of new testing centres are being built across the country. The third focus is that people should have better first aid facilities near their homes. For this, Primary Health Centres are being improved. The fourth effort is that the poor should get free treatment in the best hospital. For this, under schemes like Ayushman Bharat, free treatment up to five lakh rupees is being given by the Government of India. The fifth focus is to minimize the dependence on big cities for good treatment. For this, the government is making unprecedented investments on health infrastructure. On the sixth point of the vision, the Prime Minister said, the government is addressing the shortfall in the number of doctors. In the last seven years, more than 70 thousand new seats have been added for MBBS and PG. The government is also treating more than five lakh Ayush doctors at par with allopathic doctors.
The seventh focus of the government is digitization of health services. The effort of the government is to get rid of long lines for treatment, to get rid of the problems in the name of treatment. For this, many schemes have been implemented, he added. Mr Modi emphasized that the effort is that the citizens of the whole country can get the benefits of the schemes of the Central Government, anywhere in the country, there should be no restriction for that. This is the spirit of ‘One Nation, One Health’. He mentioned, this spirit gave strength to the country even in the biggest epidemic of 100 years, gave strength to deal with the challenge.
The Prime Minister said that exorbitant cost of cancer treatment was a big barrier in the mind of people. Women particularly, avoided treatment as it had the potential of pushing family into debt and penury. Government is making cancer drugs affordable by reducing the cost of many medicines to almost half, saving at least 1,000 crore rupees of the patients. More than 900 medicines are now available at affordable rates in Jan Aushadhi Kendras. Under Ayushman Bharat Schemes many beneficiaries are cancer patients.
The Prime Minister said, Ayushman Bharat and Wellness Centres are ensuring early detection of cancer cases. More than 15 crore people have undergone cancer screening in Wellness Centres in Assam and other parts of the country. The Prime Minister appreciated the Assam Government for improving medical infrastructure in the state. He reiterated Central Government’s commitment to ensure all facilities from oxygen to ventilators in Assam.
The Central and Assam Government are working sincerely to give a better life to lakhs of families working in tea gardens. From free ration to the facilities available under the ‘Har Ghar Jal Yojana’, the Assam Government is reaching the families in tea gardens rapidly, he said.
Governor Jagdish Mukhi, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma and Health Minister Keshav Mahanta, Patron of the Tata Group Ratan Tata, Union Ministers Sarbananda Sonowal and Rameswar Teli along with former Chief Justice of India and Rajya Sabha Member Ranjan Gogoi were present on this occasion.