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New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 6, 2021, interacted with healthcare workers and beneficiaries of the Covid vaccination programme in Himachal Pradesh (HP) via video conference. Himachal Pradesh  Governor, Chief Minister,  Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur, BJP President J P Nadda, MPs, MLAs, Panchayat leaders, among others, were present on the occasion.

During the interaction, talking to Dr Rahul of Civil Hospital, Dodra Kwar, Shimla, the Prime Minister praised the team for minimising the vaccine wastage and discussed their experience about serving in a difficult area. Talking to vaccination beneficiary Dayal Singh of Thunag, Mandi, the Prime Minister inquired about the facilities of vaccination and how they dealt with the rumours regarding vaccination. The beneficiary thanked the Prime Minister for his leadership.

The Prime Minister praised the team efforts of the Himachal team. With ASHA worker Nirma Devi from Kullu, the Prime Minister inquired about her experience with the vaccination drive. He talked about the use of local traditions in helping the vaccination drive. He praised the model of dialogue and collaboration developed by the team. He inquired how her team travelled a long distance to administer the vaccine.

With Nirmala Devi, Hamirpur, Modi discussed the senior citizens’ experience who thanked the Prime Minister for the sufficient supply of vaccine and blessed the campaign. Karmo Devi of Una has the distinction of vaccinating 22,500 people. The Prime Minister praised her spirit as she kept on working despite a fracture in her leg. He said that the world’s biggest vaccination programme is continuing due to the efforts of people like Karmo Devi.

With Nawang Upashak, Lahaul & Spiti, the Prime Minister inquired how he used his position as a spiritual leader to convince people to take vaccine. Modi also talked about the impact of the Atal Tunnel on life in the region. Upashak informed about the shortening of the travel time and improved connectivity. The Prime Minister thanked the Buddhist leaders for helping in making Lahul Spiti the fastest adopter of the vaccination drive.

Addressing the gathering, Modi said Himachal Pradesh has emerged as a champion in the fight against the largest epidemic in 100 years. He added that Himachal has become the first state in India to have administered at least one dose of corona vaccine to its entire eligible population. This success has underlined the importance of Aatmvishwas and Aatmnirbharta, said the Prime Minister.

He said that the success of vaccination in India is the result of the spirit and hard work of its citizens. India is vaccinating at the record speed of 1.25 crore vaccines per day. This means that the number of vaccinations in India in one day is more than the population of many countries. The Prime Minister praised doctors, ASHA workers, Aanganwadi workers, medical personnel, teachers, and women for their contribution to the vaccination campaign. He also touched upon the fact of Himachal being the land of deities and praised the dialogue and collaboration model in this regard.

The Prime Minister expressed happiness that even in a remote district like Lahaul-Spiti, Himachal has been a leader in giving 100% first dose. This is the area which used to be cut off from the rest of the country for months before the Atal Tunnel was built. He praised the people of Himachal for not allowing any rumour or disinformation to hamper the vaccination efforts. He added that Himachal is proof of how the country’s rural society is empowering the world’s largest and fastest vaccination campaign.

Modi said that tourism is also getting the direct benefit of strengthened connectivity, farmers and gardeners who produce fruits and vegetables are also getting it.

Referring to recently notified Drones rules, the Prime Minister said these rules will help in the spheres of many sectors like health and agriculture. This will open doors for new possibilities, he said.  The PM said the central government is now going to create a special online platform for women self-help groups. He added that through this medium, our sisters will be able to sell their products in the country and the world. They will be able to deliver apple, orange, kinnow, mushroom, tomato, many such products to every nook and corner of the country, according to a PIB release.

On the eve of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Prime Minister urged the farmers and gardeners of Himachal to make farming in Himachal organic within the next 25 years. He said that slowly we have to free our soil from chemicals.