Jammu and Kashmir figured high in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann ki Baat on Sunday when he recalled the contribution of the rural leaders of Panchayats writing their own prescriptions to fight the deadly COVID-19.
One by one, Prime Minister devoted a major portion of his speech to the countrymen on Sunday to the individual heroism that benefited society at large and hailed them as a beacon of hope and promise.
He started by picking up the panchayat of Treva, whose sarpanch is Balbir Kaur. “I am told that 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 in washing hands.”
The Prime Minister did not stop there. He came out with more details about contributions of the lady sarpanch when he said: “Not just that but Balbir Kaur ji also slung a spray pump on her shoulder and embarked upon sanitisation of the entire panchayat and its neighbourhood along with volunteers.”
Then he moved on to another lady sarpanch hailing from Ganderbal district of the Valley. “Similarly, there is a Kashmiri woman sarpanch, Zaitoona Begum ji of Chauntliwaar, Gaanderbal.”
“Zaitoona Begum ji decided that her Panchayat would fight the battle against COVID-19 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 aadded.
Thereafter, he focused his speech on “another inspiring example from Kashmir”.
Mohd Iqbal is the municipal president of Anantnag. He required a sprayer for sanitisation of his area. He was informed that the machine would have to be brought from another town at the cost of Rs 6 lakh, Narendra Modi said.
“On this, Iqbal ji, through his own efforts, designed and made a sprayer machine at a cost of Rs 50,000. There are many similar examples. Such inspiring examples are emerging in the entire country, from all corners, everyday. All of these are worthy of accolades. Challenges did come but people rose up to them with singular fortitude,” the Prime Minister added.