India

Coronavirus lockdown: Workers hit, their penance shouldn't be in vain, says PM Modi

Coronavirus lockdown: Workers hit, their penance shouldn't be in vain, says PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation Sunday through his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday acknowledged the “difficulties” that the Covid-19 pandemic had caused, and said that the “most gravely affected by the crisis are the underprivileged labourers and workers”.

A day after the central government announced guidelines for the latest phase of the exit from the lockdown, the Prime Minister cautioned, once again, that “becoming careless or lackadaisical cannot be an option” – and that “after so many hardships, the country’s deft handling of the situation should not go in vain”.

In his third monthly address on radio, Mann ki Baat, since the lockdown began, Modi said, “There is no stratum in our country unaffected by the difficulties caused by the affliction – the most gravely affected by the crisis are the underprivileged labourers and workers.

“Their agony, their pain, their ordeal cannot be expressed in words. Who amongst us cannot understand and feel what they and their families are going through! All of us are trying to share their distress; the torment… the entire country is doing that.”

However, “all of us also have to bear in mind that after such austere penance, and after so many hardships, the country’s deft handling of the situation should not go in vain,” Modi said.

“We must not let this fight weaken. Becoming careless or lackadaisical cannot be an option. The fight against corona is still equally serious.”

“You, your family, may still face grave danger from corona,” the PM said. “We have to save the life of every human being; therefore, distancing of two yards, face masks, and washing of hands are the precautions that are to be meticulously followed in the same manner as we have been observing them so far. I am sure that you will take these precautions for yourself, your loved ones and for your country.”

With the utmost precaution, flights have resumed, industry is returning to normalcy, and a major segment of the economy is re-opening, the PM said – “In such a scenario, we need to be even more alert and careful… there should be no laxity on our part in complete adherence (to precautions).”

Modi also talked about the benefits of yoga, the significance of the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme, his idea of a self-reliant India, the locust attack, and saving the environment among other themes during his half-hour address.