Vaccination drive: PM gets emotional while remembering 'fallen corona warriors'
As he launched the world's largest vaccination drive on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi struggled to hold back his emotions remembering the corona warriors who laid their lives in the line of duty. The vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers is "our tribute to them," he added. He also mentioned the tough steps India was forced to take in the battle against the contagion.
He remembered those who didn't return from duty
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said this disease isolated patients — kids were taken away from their mothers, and frontline workers were separated from their families. "There were many who couldn't return home as they sacrificed their lives to save each and every citizen," an emotional PM said while adding that many were not even given the final farewell they deserved.
'When there was no glimmer of hope, some worked religiously'
"At the same time of crisis, in the same atmosphere of despair, someone was also transmitting hope, putting their life in crisis to save us — our doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, ambulance drivers, ASHA workers, sweepers, police, and other frontline workers," he said.
Here's a video from his speech
The pandemic brought lessons with it: PM
PM Modi also said that the last year brought plenty of lessons for the nation and countrymen. He recalled how correct decisions at the right time put the country in a favorable position. He asserted that many thought India's large population would spell trouble for it, but it didn't. "Our fight against coronavirus has been about self-confidence and self-reliance," he added.
He also said enforcing the lockdown was not easy
Speaking about the lockdown, imposed in March 2020 to curtail the spread of the disease, he said it was not an easy decision. He also mentioned the massive implications the curbs had on the poorer sections and the economy. But the country defeated all odds, he claimed, in a bid to assure that India's success story is just beginning.
India got serious about surveillance in January itself
PM Modi added that it was on January 30, 2020, that the first case of coronavirus was reported in the nation. However, more than two weeks before that a high-level committee had been formed. "On the same date last year, we had started surveillance," he said. India was also one of the few nations that started screening those coming from abroad, he added.
We didn't leave citizens in China either: PM Modi
He also said India, unlike a few other nations, didn't leave its citizens in China when the pandemic was in its initial stages. "And not only of India, but we also brought back citizens from many other countries," he disclosed. Like India helped other nations during this raging health crisis, the vaccination drive would also become an example for the world, he reiterated.