Citizens’ Role in New India by Mrs.Meenakshi Lekhi, MP-Lok Sabha, National Spokesperson- BJP

Mrs.MeenakshiLekhi, an Indian Member of Parliament and National Spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party spoke about “Citizens’ Role in New India”.

Mrs.Lekhisuccinctly placed the role of citizens in New India by invoking theconstitution of India i.e. of the people,for the people and by the people. In a nutshell, citizens comprise the essence of New India.

Mrs. Lekhi then portrayed specific instances where citizens may step forward to advance the collective narrative. She put forth a unique perspective. She opined that the media and the journalists’profession isto entertainthe viewersand sensational framing of issues is the order of the day. More so, if the government is in question. The role ofcitizens, in such context,becomes very important. Social media being at the finger-tips of the common people, it is their duty to bring to the fore the better and deeper aspects of the society which are completely trampled on by the mainstream media.

Citizens of New India do not wait for the government to develop the lot of the underprivileged. Mrs. Lekhi offers a sustainable model where the citizens are not only the beneficiaries of the hard work of previous generations, they work for the future generations of New India. In other words, it will also be the responsibility of the present generation to try to develop those people who are less endowed.

As we are aware of the various policies and the working of the government since past four years,we have seen the changes that our Prime Minister Modi ji has implemented.

Mrs. Lekhi opined that the Jan-Dhan Yojana,which introduced banking facilities includingzero-balance bank accounts to the underprivileged, was a precursor to ushering in New India. As bank accounts promised alternative and structured saving paradigm, sundry savings made by the housewives, informal workers and other marginalized demographics have shifted to the newly-created Jan-Dhan accounts making all of it a part of the formal economy thereby leading to the streamlining of the economy, one of the foremost requirements for New India.

Mainstreaming the disadvantaged sections also is an essential feature of New India. Gender mainstreaming is the case in point. A successful policy of the current dispensation is theUjjwalaYojna. The aim of Ujjwala Yojana was to replace unclean cooking fuels mostly used inrural areas with the clean and more efficient LPG.Mrs. Meenakshi observes that in the last four years alone,10 crore LPG cylinders distributed to the needy whileearlier, those women received little concern about their cooking fuels, nor about their health despitesuffering from cancers.

In the same vein, Mrs. Meenakshialso raised the issue of sanitary pads for the women. Especially, she praised the government’s efforts to bolster their availability to larger sections of our population. She lamented that this issue, despite used by almost 50% of the Indian population, never attracted the attention of the administration. New India is already set in motion by the initiatives taken by the current government, it needs to be strengthened and realized within the Prime Minister’s target of the year 2022.

 - Reflections on Meenakshi Lekhi’s thoughts by Rutwik Jagannathan


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