Modi announces Ayushman Bharat health insurance launch on 25 September
16 August 2018
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort in the national capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday reiterated his government's unwavering commitment to the take the nation to newer heights.
In his Independence Day speech that lasted nearly 82-minutes, the prime minister spoke on a wide range of issues and made several key announcements, including an ambitious healthcare scheme and India’s plan for a manned mission to the space in 2022.
In perhaps his last Independence Day address in the present government ahead of the Lok Sabha elections due next year, the PM spoke at length about the progress India has made under his government and asserted that the world is taking note of its rise.
Modi said India will launch its first manned space mission by 2022, which could make it the fourth nation to do so after the United States, Russia and China.
On the occasion of the 72nd Independence Day, Modi also announced an ambitious medical insurance scheme for the poor to be launched on 25 September, which would benefit about 500 million people.
“It is high time we ensure that the poor of India get access to good quality and affordable healthcare,” Modi said in his address.
He said the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan (Ayushman Bharat) will be launched on 25 September on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay. "The healthcare initiatives of the government will have a positive impact on 50 crore Indians," he said.
Asserting that technology will play a crucial role in the implementation of the programme, he said in four to six weeks, testing of these technology tools under the scheme will start. He said the Swachh Bharat Mission will enable lakhs of children in leading healthier lives.
On Jammu and Kashmir, the prime minister quoted Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s words - Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat, Jamuriyat. “I have also said the solution of every problem of Jammu and Kashmir can be done only by embracing. Our government is committed to the development of all the areas and all sections of Jammu and Kashmi,” Modi said.
He said the eastern states like Tripura, Meghalaya and many parts of Arunachal Pradesh are seeing historic peace. From 126, Left Wing Extremism is restricted to 90 districts. We are working to ensure peace across the nation, he said.
“The practice of triple talaq has caused great injustice among Muslim women. We are trying to end this practice but there are some people who are not wanting it to end. I ensure the Muslim women that I will work to ensure justice is done to them.
Modi said his government will not forgive the corrupt and those who have black money. “They have ruined the nation. Delhi's streets are free from power brokers. From the voice of power brokers, the voice of the poor is heard.
“In today's India, there is no place for nepotism. We have ensured environmental clearances are done transparently.
“The honest taxpayer of India has a major role in the progress of the nation. It is due to them that so many people are fed, the lives of the poor are transformed,” Modi said.
The prime minister also announced that women officers who joined the armed forces under short service commission are now eligible for permanent commission.
“Due to Swachh Bharat mission, lakhs of children can lead healthier lives. Even the WHO has lauded the movement. Mahatma Gandhi led the Satyagrahis to freedom. Today, the Swachhagrahis have to ensure a Swachh Bharat.”
“As important as economic growth is the dignity of the individual. Initiatives such as Ujjwala and Saubhagya Yojana are enhancing the dignity of fellow Indians,” he said.
On the agricultural front, Modi said his government will give full attention on modernisation. “With a 'Beej Se Bazar Tak' approach, we are bringing remarkable changes in the agriculture sector. The aim is to double farmer incomes by 2022”.
India, he said, is proud of its scientists, who are excelling in their research and are at the forefront of innovation. “We have decided to send an Indian to space before or by 2022 when India celebrates its 75 years of Independence,” Modi said.
From being seen as among the fragile five, India is now the land of reform, perform and transform. We are poised for record economic growth he said.