LUCKNOW: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said the Indian Army has boosted the morale of the country and also enabled the people to hold their heads high during the border standoff with China.
He said this while addressing a gathering here during the 'bhoomipujan' and foundation stone laying ceremony of the new Command Hospital.
"The charismatic (karishmaayi) performance by the Army during the India-China standoff has boosted the morale of the country and also enabled the citizens to hold their heads high," he said, drawing a thunderous applause from the crowd.
"The entire world is facing COVID-19 pandemic No one had thought that with the onset of the pandemic, celebrating festivals such as Holi, Eid and Diwali will be without much fanfare (dhoomdhaam). No one had imagined that trains will come to a halt, and schools and markets will remain closed. However, the good thing was that under the leadership Prime Minister Narendra Modi, efforts to deal with the crisis started with courage and understanding (of the issue)," he said.
He added that the biggest challenge at the time of the pandemic was testing. "There were barely two laboratories, but today there are over 1,000 laboratories. There was a shortage of masks, ventilators and PPE kits. But the swiftness and understanding of the issue which India displayed, masks, PPE kits and ventilators are now being exported. This has been done in 4-6 months," Singh said.
Hailing the doctors and healthcare workers, he said, "Had our doctors, para-medical staff, whom we know as warriors, not take the risk, we could not had fought the challenge. It is for this reason that doctors are considered as second God on earth."
"The threat of COVID-19 was on doctors, para-medical staff, sanitation workers. They stayed away from their families, ate food outside their homes, and then left for the hospital. These warriors have rendered charismatic performance. The doctors, para-medical staff, sanitation workers have worked as frontline soldiers and I salute their commitment and dedication."
He also informed that besides the two indigenous anti-COVID vaccines used in the nationwide vaccination drive that began on Saturday, four more vaccines are coming soon.
"These vaccines will not only be administered to people in India, but will also be exported to other countries. Because, India does not think about itself alone, but is also concerned about the entire world. Seers here gave the message of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam -- the whole world is a family. Since the Vedic era, the medical treatment system here has not only thought about human beings, but also of other creatures. During the reign of Ashoka, there were provisions for treatment of cows, buffaloes, cats and bats."
Army chief General MM Naravane and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were also present at the programme.