Mann Ki Baat: Modi seeks ‘forgiveness’ for tough decisions taken to fight coronavirus

PM reiterates need for social distancing, urges people not to victimise those quarantined

Mann Ki Baat: Modi seeks ‘forgiveness’ for tough decisions taken to fight coronavirus

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File photo.

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, March 29

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday sought the nation's forgiveness for imposing a monumental lockdown on the country, but said "we have to win ... and we will definitely win the battle" against the unprecedented menace of coronavirus that has claimed 25 lives in India so far.

Addressing the country during his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme, Modi sought “forgiveness” from country, especially the poor.

Noting that there was no other option but to take the most difficult decision of nationwide lockdown to beat the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said inevitable social distancing does not mean that one also goes for “emotional” and “human” distancing.

Talking about reported cases of people ill-treating those, who have been found Covid-19 positive or have gone in for “self-isolation” to save others from getting infected Modi said, “I request you not do this. I have asked you not to venture out in open, but this does not mean that you can’t enter within yourself. This is time to introspect and reflect and contribute to saving humanity.”

The Prime Minister was very particular in offering an apology for the decision he took to ask people to remain within the limits of their respective homes.

“Lockdown was the only answer in the war between life and death after watching the experiences world over. We need to attack the disease in its first phase only, otherwise, we would not have any solution, as this virus has come to annihilate the whole of humanity,” the PM said.

Modi said, he wanted that those who are breaking the lockdown rules should see, how in other parts of the world, where it was not taken seriously and what happened to them. “Even in the developed countries, they are suffering, as they did not take precaution beforehand,” he said.

Noting that health is a source of all happiness, the PM also talked to two coronavirus positive individuals, who got cured after treatment during the programme and said, they are also the heroes, who showcase the resolve of overcoming the deadly virus.

He said, he talked to a number of such people, who were affected and got cured. Talking to Ramgampa Teja, an IT professional from Hyderabad, the PM asked him to share his experience and thoughts. “Initially I got scared once found positive after coming back from Dubai. But doctors and nurses made me comfortable while I was in the hospital for 14 days. After my reports became negative I was released from the hospital, but I still follow the instructions of the doctors and are living in house isolation,” Ramgampa said.

Modi also spoke to Ashok Kapoor, a shoes manufacturer from Agra, whose entire family were found coronavirus positive but got cured after being admitted to Safdarjung hospital in Delhi. The PM asked him also to share his thoughts and experience. Kapoor said, “My two sons and son-in-law had gone to Italy for business purposes. First, my son-in-law was found positive and then my two sons too. But since they were in contact with us after coming back, the four other members of the family also got tested and found to be positive. All of us were then shifted to Safdarjung Hospital, where we were treated well and now all of us are negative. We are now educating people in our locality and trying to help everyone sharing our experience.”

The Prime Minister during the programme also talked to a number of doctors from Delhi and Pune and asked them to share their pieces of advice to people. Dr Nitish Gupta talked particularly about counselling the patients, as “we are ensuring that they find the courage to fight the infection and also do not carry back home the stigma”.

Modi also talked about other frontline warriors of Covid-19 who included Safaikaramcharis, banking professionals, grocers, drivers, who are ensuring to maintain the supply chain of essential goods, e-commerce delivery boys and others. He said, “All of them are doing a great job.”

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