Mann Ki Baat: PM Modi lauds J&K women sarpanches for endeavours during COVID-19 crisis

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday lauded of local residents of villages and Gram Panchayats, especially two women sarpanches from Jammu and Kashmir, for their effective endeavours in the times of coronavirus.

Speaking at the 67th edition of his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, the Prime Minister said that India’s rural regions came up as a beacon of guidance for the entire country in the times of coronavirus. “Many examples of effective endeavours on part of local residents of villages and Gram Panchayats are coming to the fore,” he said.

He lauded Balbir Kaur, a sarpanch from Treva gram panchayat in Jammu, and said she got 30-bed quarantine centre constructed there.

“Balbir Kaur ji got a 30-bed quarantine centre constructed in her panchayat. She also made arrangements for availability of water on roads leading to the Panchayat. She ensured that people did not have to face any problem with washing hands. Not just that Balbir Kaur ji, with a spray pump, slung on her shoulder embarks upon sanitisation of the entire panchayat and its neighbourhood, along with volunteers,” the Prime Minister said.

Giving another example, the Prime Minister recognised work of Zaitoona Begum, who is sarpanch of Chauntliwaar, Gaanderbal.

“There is a Kashmiri woman sarpanch- Zaitoona Begum ji of Chauntliwaar, Gaanderbal. Zaitoona Begum ji decided that her panchayat would fight the battle against corona and along with that, create income opportunities too. She distributed free masks and free ration in the vicinity; at the same time, she distributed crop seeds and apple saplings so that people were not subjected to inconvenience in farming and horticulture,” the Prime Minister said.

He shared another inspiring example from Kashmir.

He said Mohammad Iqbal, who is the Municipal President of Anantnag made a sprayer machine worth Rs 50,000 for his area.

“Iqbal required a sprayer for sanitisation of his area. He was informed that the machine would have to be brought from another town, that too at a cost of Rs 6 lakhs. On this, Iqbal ji, through his own efforts, designed and made a sprayer machine, and that too at a cost of Rs 50,000,” he said.

“There are many similar examples. Such inspiring examples are emerging in the entire country, from all corners, every day. All of these are worthy of accolades.

Challenges did come, but people rose up to them with singular fortitude,” he said.