Giving a thrust to his welfare model, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that his government does not look at the religion or caste of beneficiaries while reaching out to them with various schemes and welfare programmes and there is no greater social justice than working for the happiness and convenience of the masses.
He was in his home state Gujarat on Friday, for a day, to inaugurate and lay foundation stones for projects worth around ₹4,400 crore.
He also allotted houses to the poor under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), which he said has become a tool for women’s empowerment as 70% of the 4 crore houses built for the poor under this scheme have been given to women.
“We are trying for 100% saturation of welfare schemes. That is, the government itself is going to the beneficiaries of the schemes. This approach of the government has ended corruption on a large scale,” he said, adding that the proactive approach of the government has ensured last mile delivery of benefits.
“The government does not look at religion or caste while delivering benefits — housing or any other scheme and that is real secularism,” he said after inaugurating, laying the foundation stones and participating in ‘grih pravesh’ (house inauguration) of 42,441 dwelling units constructed in Gujarat under PMAY.
He added that true secularism was the absence of discrimination.
“I understand that true secularism is where there is no discrimination of caste, creed or religion. For those who talk about social justice, I think there is no social justice greater than working for the happiness and convenience of all, for 100% of their rights. Yes, this is the path on which we are walking,” he said.
He spoke about various schemes run by the centre and how these had benefitted poor people across the country, who had remained deprived of welfare programmes.
“After 2014, we made the home a solid foundation for the fight against poverty, a medium of empowerment for the poor and to uphold their dignity,” he added.
During his visit, the PM launched new projects and attended a review meeting of the ambitious GIFT city project in Gandhinagar.