COVID-19 hit poor, labourers the hardest: PM Modi

Pain of the poor and labourers hit hard by coronavirus crisis cannot be explained in words: PM Modi

PM Narendra Modi. (PTI Photo)

Reaching to migrant population from Eastern India including Poorvanchal, which faced massive problems in movement to their home states during the lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said no words can express their pain and agony and dropped indications of plans for bringing eastern India on the map of economic development.

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“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,” Modi said in his monthly radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat”.

The remarks came in the wake of the massive migrant crisis during Covid-19 laying bare open the wounds of joblessness and poverty in states falling in the region—three of which Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh goe to polls in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Modi appreciated states making commendable efforts in helping those, who are most vulnerable and took note of skill mapping being done of migrants and setting up of migrant commission.

While Nitish Kumar ruled Bihar, where polls are due in October this year, have gone for massive skill mapping of migrants who came home and promised them the state will arrange work for them in the state, Yogi Adityanath led Uttar Pradesh not only set a migrant commission for their welfare but also raised an emotive pitch saying other states employing workers from UP will now have to take the state’s permission,

Modi noted had our villages, districts, states been self-dependent, many problems would not have been present before use in the shape and size that they are today and dubbed the current scenario an eye opener.

Noting that the nation’s balanced economic development is possible only through the development of Eastern India, Modi said ever since the country offered him the opportunity to serve, “we have accorded priority to the development of eastern India.. And now, considering the migrant labourers, the need of the hour is devising a new solution - paradigm….we are ceaselessly taking steps in that direction..”

“In the pain of our labour, we can see the pain of Eastern India, which has the potential to become the growth engine of the country, whose labour power has the capacity to take the nation to new heights. The development of that eastern region is very important. Today, the distress our workforce is undergoing is representative of that of the country’s eastern region. The very region which possesses the capacity to be the country’s growth engine, whose workforce possesses the capability and the might to take the country to greater heights…the eastern region needs development. It is only the development of the eastern region that can lead to a balanced economic development of the country,” the Prime Minister said.

Linking the development in the region to his recent ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ pitch, Modi also referred to communications from one person each from Bihar and Assam regarding self reliance in small scale businesses and said his campaign will take the country to greater heights in this decade.

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