Bijapur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that B R Ambedkar had made provisions in the Constitution for the protection of the rights of backward classes as he appealed to the people not to join the Naxals for securing their rights.
He asked the parents of those who had joined Naxalism to not hand over their children’s lives to the leaders who were keeping themselves safe while letting the locals die.
Modi asserted that awakening among poor and backward sections about their rights and aspirations was due to Ambedkar and also attributed his own success to the Dalit icon and framer of the Constitution.
“Son of a poor mother like me hails from a very backward section of the society and could become prime minister due to Babasaheb Ambedkar,” he said.
After launching of the first phase of Ayushman Bharat scheme, the prime minister said his government was focusing on a new approach for the development of the poor.
“Baba Sahab has given us the Constitution. He ensured protection of your rights…It is the duty of the government to take care of your rights. You need not pick up weapons…ruin your lives,” he told a gathering.
“I want to tell parents that their sons and daughters have chosen a path…But at least think about those who are leading them. None of them is local and they are not from among you. They have come from outside.
“They keep themselves safe in jungles and keep your kids in the front and leave them to die. Why are you giving your children in their hands,” the prime minister said.
He said the government was committed to protecting their rights. It was committed to working on the path of development and asked them to educate their children.
The Ayushman Bharat scheme aims to work on the development and upgradation of sub-centres and primary health centres in 1.5 lakh villages.
He said these primary healthcare centres will be developed as health and wellness centres by 2022.
The prime minister said his government was working with new ideas for the development of 115 backward districts of the country as he asked each district to come up with its own model of development according to their available resources.
“115 backward districts in the country will be given priority in the Ayushman Bharat scheme,” Modi said.
“We can’t reach new destinations by treading on old paths. New models of development are needed to be chalked out and the Centre has been working in these areas,” he said.
The prime minister said the Gram Swaraj Yojana which was also launched today would focus on welfare of the poor, Dalits, tribals, women and backward sections of the society.
The prime minister congratulated the Bijapur district administration, which is among the most backward 115 districts in the country, for improving its development statistics in the last three months.
“Even after 70 years of Independence, more than 100 districts have been left out of development. These districts, if encouraged, can be turned into models of development. Local administration, elected representatives and people of these districts should unitedly create their own development model,” he said.
He added the most backward districts are rich with abundant natural resources, which can further aid their development.
Paying tributes to Ambedkar on his 127th birth anniversary, Modi said the Dalit icon was highly educated and could have easily led a lavish life in any developed country.
“But he studied outside, came back to India and dedicated his life to welfare and uplift of Dalits. The aspirations and hope of people are associated with Ambedkar’s name,” he said.
“It is because of Ambedkar that today Dalits have the realisation of their rights and aspirations to live a dignified life and the government is working to fulfil their wishes and aspirations,” he added.
The prime minister, who inaugurated several development projects including a new rail line, Internet services, roads and bridges here, said the identity of Bastar, a Naxalite stronghold, was changing and in the future it would be known as an economic and transport hub.
He inaugurated the first health centre under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme here. He also launched Van Dhan scheme which was announced in the budget.
Under it, Van Vikas Kendras would be established which would ensure better marketing and value addition to minor forest produce to benefit forest dwellers.
Modi is the first prime minister to visit the tribal district of Bijapur and this was his fourth visit to Chhattisgarh, where Assembly elections are due later this year.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Health Minister J P Nadda were also present on the occasion.
Under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme, the government will open 1.5 lakh health and wellness centre by 2022, which will be equipped to treat host of diseases, including blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and old-age illness.