The Nation is celebrating 74th Independence Day today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoisted the national flag at the ramparts of the historic Red Fort in Delhi and addressed the nation this morning. Mr Modi was received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the Red Fort. The Prime Minister then inspected the Guard of Honour.
The Guard of Honour contingent for the Prime Minister consisted of one officer and 24 men each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police. This year, the Guard of Honour was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Gaurav S Yewalkar.
Before coming to Red Fort, the Prime Minister paid homage to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

Addressing the nation from the ramparts of historic Red Fort, Prime Minister Narendra Modi saluted the Corona warriors who have helped the nation fight against the pandemic. He greeted the nation on the occasion of Independence Day and said people breathe in Independent India today because of the sacrifice of thousands of heroes.

He also saluted all members of the armed forces and personnel who guard the nation's independence and keep everyone safe. He expressed confidence that the country will together fight all the challenges that it is facing including floods, landslides.

The Prime Minister said India will celebrate the 75th year of independence next year and a huge festival is in front of the people. He pointed out that there was no period of slavery in the past when there was no attempt for freedom. He said all attempts were made to root out the country's cultures and traditions in the past. He said the idea of expansionism led to the enslavement of many countries but even in the midst of fierce wars, India did not falter in its freedom struggle. He said India became a challenge to forces of expansionism with its freedom struggle.
The Prime Minister said in the midst of the Corona pandemic, 130 crore Indians have pledged to build an Atma Nirbhar Bharat. Mr Modi expressed confidence that India will realize this dream. He said he has firm belief on the abilities, confidence and potential of  Indians.

He said India has always believed that the entire world is one family. He said as the nation focuses on economic growth and development, humanity must retain a central role in this process and India's journey.

Mr Modi said there was a time when India's agricultural system was very backward and the biggest concern was how to feed the countrymen. The Prime Minister said that today, India can not only feed its people but many countries of the world. Mr Modi said India's share in the world economy should increase for which India has to be self-reliant.

He said he is confident that measures like opening up the Space sector will generate many new employment opportunities for the youth and provide further avenues to hone their skills and potential. The Prime Minister gave the call for Vocal For Local.

Mr Modi said AatmaNirbhar Bharat means not just reducing imports, but also increasing skills, creativity, and abilities. He said India has to go beyond reducing imports. He said only a few months ago, India used to import N-95 masks, PPE kits, and ventilators. The Prime Minister stated that today, India is not only fulfilling its own needs, but has also come forward to help other countries. Mr Modi said FDI inflows have risen by 18 per cent in the past year.
The Prime Minister said it was unthinkable earlier that crores of rupees would be directly transferred in the Jan Dhan accounts of the poor in the country. He said no one could imagine earlier that big changes would be brought in the Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act for the benefit of farmers.

Mr Modi said many big companies of the world are turning to India today. He said, the country must not only go ahead with the mantra of Make in India, but Make for World as well. He said there is a need to give a new direction to the overall infrastructure development of the country to move India towards modernity at a fast pace.

He said the National Infrastructure Pipeline Project will enable this and the country is moving towards spending more than Rs 100 lakh crore on this. He said about 7,000 projects of different sectors have been identified to bring a new revolution in infrastructure.

He emphasised on the need to remove silos saying that the entire country has to move towards multi-modal connectivity infrastructure. He said the Vocal for Local, Re-Skill and Up-Skill campaigns will raise the standard of living of people below the poverty line.

He said many areas of the country have lagged behind in terms of development and by choosing more than 110 such aspirational districts, special efforts are being made there so that people get better education, better health facilities, and better employment opportunities. He said 7 crore poor families were given free gas cylinders, more than 80 crore people were provided free food grains, and about Rs 90,000 crores were directly transferred to bank accounts.

The Prime Minister said self Atma Nirbhar Krishi and Atma Nirbhar Kisan are priorities of an Atma Nirbhar India. He said, the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund of Rs one lakh crore has been created recently to give modern infrastructure to the farmers of the country.

Mr Modi said the Jal Jeevan Mission was announced from the Red Fort last year and now, more than one lakh houses are getting water connection every day.
The Prime Minister said education has a great importance in building self-reliant India. Keeping this in mind, Mr Modi said, a new National Education Policy was brought.  He said Digital India too has a great role to play in making the nation self reliant.

Mr Modi said before 2014, only 5 dozen panchayats in the country were connected with optical fiber. In the last five years, 1.5 lakh gram panchayats in the country have been connected with optical fiber. The Prime Minister said in the coming 1,000 days, every village in the country will be connected with optical fiber.
Mr Modi stressed that women empowerment has a huge role to play in Atma Nirbhar bharat. He informed that of the 40 crore Jan Dhan accounts opened in the country, about 22 crore accounts belong to women. He said that in April, May and June this year, about Rs 30,000 crore have been directly transferred to the accounts of women.

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