Kashi packed with hope, enthusiasm amid COVID-19 crisis: PM

New Delhi: Lauding the people of Varanasi for their display of hope and enthusiasm during the COVID-19 crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said he is inspired by the resolute fight by the people of the city against the Coronavirus menace.
Interacting with various representatives of Varanasi-based Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), who are providing relief during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, through video conferencing, the PM said, ‘Even in this crisis of Corona, our Kashi is full of hope, full of enthusiasm. It is true that people are not able to go to Baba Vishwanath Dham these days. I can understand your pain. It is also true that everything has been postponed be it a visit to Manas temple, Durga Kund or Sawan fair.
‘At the same time, in the time of this unprecedented crisis, our Kashi, has firmly fought against it . No matter how big a disaster there is, no one can match the liveliness of the people of Kashi. Coronavirus us nothing in front of Kashi, this city gives pace to the world.’
The PM said that the display of enthusiasm and hope by its people is inspiring.
“I am taking inspiration from all of you to work more. I seek your blessings,” PM Modi said while interacting with the representatives of the NGOS, which provided ration kits and food packets to people amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The Prime Minister said he was continuously getting information on how people are continuously aiding and supporting the needy with a sense of servitude and courage. He said he was receiving information on various steps being taken to prevent infection, the condition of various hospitals, the quarantine arrangements and the welfare of the migrant workers.
He said that there is an old belief that nobody in Kashi would sleep with hunger as the City is blessed by Maa Annapurna and Baba VIswanath.
The PM said that it is a great privilege for all that this time God has made us the medium of service to the poor.
Despite a halt on various religious activities in the holy city, he said the people of Varanasi have proved that they are second to none in their fight against Corona and supporting the poor and needy with continuous food and medical supply.
Mr Modi praised the efforts of the NGOs for working in tandem with various Government and Local Administration Bodies.
He said that creating an extensive network of food helplines and community kitchens in a short span of time, developing helplines, taking the help of data science, making full use of the control and command center of Varanasi Smart City, everyone has full potential to help the poor at every level.
He elaborated how the Postal department came forward to help the district administration when they ran short of carts for distribution of food.
Quoting Saint Kabirdas, Modi said that the one who does service does not ask for the fruits of the service, does selfless service day and night!
The Prime Minister said several experts questioned India’s capabilities to fight the pandemic, owing to its high population and many other challenges. He said the fear that Uttar Pradesh with a population of 23-24 crores could not mitigate the infection has been allayed due to the cooperation and the hard work of the people of the state.
He expressed satisfaction that the pace of infection in Uttar Pradesh now has not only been controlled but those who have corona are also recovering fast.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Central government is providing various facilities to the needy and around 80 crore people are going to benefit from the schemes which are not just providing free ration but also free cylinders.
He said that India, with twice the population of America, is serving them without taking a penny from them. And now this plan has been extended till the end of November, ie Deepawali and Chhath Puja.
The PM said efforts are being made to alleviate various hardships being faced by various craftsmen, especially weavers, along with traders and businessmen of Varanasi. Prime Minister said various infrastructure and other projects worth Rs 8000 crore are being implemented at a fast pace.