New Delhi, Feb 11: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday stressed on the need to change India's image on the international stage by converting it as 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' in a post-Covid world order, asserting that the government is working in this direction.
Expressing his views while delivering a speech in the Lok Sabha on the Motion of Thanks on the President's address, the Prime Minister said India is on the verge of completing 75 years of independence, and that it is the right time to prepare the country keeping in mind the next 25 years.
The Prime Minister said that the coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic is an event which has given an opportunity to India to realise its strength and make it 'Atmanirbhar'.
He requested all the parliamentarians in the house to work in this direction and shape up plans to help the country achieving its next 25 years 'Aatmanibhar Bharat' goal when we will be celebrating India's 100th independence anniversary.
The Prime Minister also said that President's address to the joint sitting of both houses in the beginning of the Budget Session was an "introduction of India's commitment for the welfare of people during Covid-19 pandemic".
Praising women parliamentarians who took part in the 15-hour long debate on the Motion of Thanks, the Prime Minister continued his speech, saying "India, in its 75 years' of journey, has gained a good image in the world of being a nation that can provide a helping hand to others".
During Covid-19, the Prime Minister said India not only managed to help itself but also provided a helping hand to other countries.
Referring to World War II, the Prime Minister said every country began speaking about peace and then focused on increasing the strength of its army.
After Covid, the Prime Minister said, India will emerge as a power in a new world order.
"India will have to be 'Aatmanirbhar' to get place in post-Corona world order. So, it is necessary for us to emphasise on the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' aim. This is not a vision of any institution or a person. Local for vocal mantra is everywhere in India."
Mentioning about India's fight against the Covid-19, the Prime Minister said the "credit goes to country's 130 crore citizens".
On Congress leader Manish Tewari's comment that "India got saved because of God", the Prime Minister said, "Yes, it was the miracle of God who saved lives of Indians in the form of health and frontline workers. It was God's different face who saved us."
Noting that the Covid-19 crisis was a time of "test", Modi said when several developed countries failed to reach out to most of its citizens during the crisis, India managed to continue the process of reform.
"We provided free ration to over 75 crore Indian's during this Covid crisis. We took several reform steps, and the result is that GST collection is ever highest," the Prime Minister said.
He further said that the world has estimated about India's "two-digit growth" despite the Covid-19 and "India will succeed in it"."
The Prime Minister's address comes at a time when the overall tally of Covid-19 cases has mounted to 1,08,58,371 while the toll has reached 1,55,252 across the country so far, and the two 'Made in India' vaccines are being inoculated to countrymen.