Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the Indian community at Madison Square Garden, New York ( September 28, 2014)
It is my privilege to meet during the holy period of Navratras, Shakti Upasna and Shuddhi Karan my Indian brothers and sisters, who while living thousands of kilometres away from India, have maintained the respect of their homeland.
You have earned a lot of respect in America by virtue of your social and professional behaviour. Due to your contribution, India has an identity across the world. You all celebrated the results of the parliamentary election, for which I am thankful to you. India has given a clear majority after 30 years. All predictions of opinion makers have been proved wrong. The poor, illiterate people of Indian villages made an opinion for the opinion makers. Winning an election brings with it great responsibility.
I have taken this responsibility. I have not taken a vacation since then, even for 15 minutes. I assure you that my government will do nothing that breaks the trust that you have reposed in it. The country is looking for change, the poor want to become a part of the global success story.
I know that all of you sitting here have a lot of hopes from the new government in India. This government will do everything possible to meet those hopes and aspirations.
India today is the oldest civilisation with the youngest population in the world. This is a dynamic combination. There is no reason for disillusionment. I assure you that the nation will move forward at a very fast pace.
We have to mobilise our strengths to move forward. These strengths are 1.25 billion people who personify the voice of God, the demographic dividend due to a young population and demand. The world looks at India because it is a big bazaar.
Mahatma Gandhi converted the fight for independence into a people’s movement. Every Indian felt that he was fighting for the independence of his nation. This was the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi. Now, we have to make development a people’s movement. Everybody should be proud of his/her contribution to the country. A teacher or a house-keeper should feel that he/she is contributing more than the Prime Minister.
There is going to be a huge demand for a work force by 2020. India should be in a position to provide the work force to the world. Today, there is a global demand for nurses, teachers etc., that India can meet. India is full of talent, which needs to be exploited.
An autorickshaw takes rupees ten for one kilometre; India has sent a satellite at the cost of rupees seven to a kilometre. Look at our ingenuity and talent. Our mission to Mars has cost less than the budget of a Hollywood movie.
India will make skill development its strength. My government has created a separate ministry for skill development. We are going to invite other nations to join us in this enterprise. We wish to produce job creators and working hands.
In order to ensure that national wealth comes within the reach of all citizens, my government launched the Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana, which has received a massive response in the first few weeks itself, with deposits increasing Rs. 1500 crores. We need to motivate people to avail this facility.
I invite you to join the Make in India initiative launched by my government to avail a facility of low-cost production. All facilities will be made online and you will be able to access it on your mobile phones.
I will request all those present here to visit our website www.mygov.in and send me suggestions. This facility has been created to help to join the national effort in case you wish to do so and contribute towards nation-building.
When we look at good governance, we look at easy governance, effective governance and governance that meets the aspirations of the people.
I have started a cleanliness campaign in India which you all would have appreciated. People in India have a reverence for the holy Ganga. I have taken the mantle of getting the holy river cleaned, even though others have tried and failed after spending thousands of crores of rupees. I am not backing down from taking the challenge.
Gandhiji had two things close to his heart, independence and cleanliness. He got independence for the country. Now on his 150 birth anniversary, we will give him a clean India.
By 2022, when we celebrate 75 years of independence, it is my dream that no family in the country should be homeless. I am talking of these small things, but it is these small things that will change the nation’s destiny.
I wish to tell you that a PIO holder will get a lifetime visa. Also those who stay in India for long durations will not have to report to the police station. To remove ambiguities, the PIO and OCI schemes will be amalgamated. Long-term visas will be provided to US citizens travelling to India along with electronic travel authorisation and visa on arrival facilities.
We will all join together to serve our country and do whatever we can for our countrymen. With this thought, I thank you once again!.
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