On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi became emotional when she watched a Muslim girl, aspiring to become a doctor, weeping on the shoulder of his father, during live video-conferencing from Bharuch, Gujarat. Tears welled up in the eyes of the Prime Minister as the girl told him that she wanted to become a doctor to help her poor father, who was visually impaired.
Modi was interacting in Gujarati with thousands of people through video-conferencing from Delhi to Bharuch, as part of ‘Utkarsh Samaroh’ marking 100 per cent saturation of key state government initiatives. A visually challenged Muslim man, Ayub Patel, was telling Modi how both his daughters have become beneficiaries of government scholarship scheme and they were studying because of scholarship money which they were getting.
Ayub told the PM how he started losing his vision due to glaucoma while working in Saudi Arabia, but he did not lose hope, and now his daughter Aalia was studying, and aspiring to become a doctor. Modi interrupted and asked whether his daughter Aalia was sitting with him. Aalia stood up, welcomed the PM but started weeping on the shoulder of his father.
Ayub Bhai told Modi that his daughter will not be able to speak as she was weeping, but her silence touched the strings of emotion in Modi’s heart. The Prime Minister became emotional. There was pin drop silence for a few minutes, as tears welled up in the eyes of Modi.
This programme was being telecast live on television. The cameras were recording the emotions of both the Prime Minister and the poor girl weeping several thousand kilometres away. Modi regained his composure and asked Ayub Bhai how he spent his Ramzan and Eid this time. After Ayub’s reply, Modi told him, “teach your daughters, fulfil their dreams. If you face any problems, tell me directly.”
For the last 20 years, Modi has been the target of those who hate him and hold him responsible for all the atrocities that minorities face. But this direct dialogue between the Prime Minister and a poor Gujarati Muslim defines our New India.
A few seconds of silence are enough to describe the truth, about Modi’s intentions and also about how he works. The two minute conversation between PM and Ayub Bhai clears up the entire picture. I would like to mention here the conversation that took place between Modi and Ayub Patel:
Ayub Patel: Since your government has come to power, we are getting scholarships.
PM: How much scholarship?
Ayub: The elder daughter gets Rs 10,000, and the younger daughter gets Rs 8,000.
PM: What have your daughters decided to do after completing education?
Ayub: The elder daughter has scored 80 per cent marks, result has just come, and she wants to become a doctor.
PM: Is she sitting with you right now?
Ayub: Yes, she is sitting with me.
PM: Beti, tell me your name.
Ayub: Sir Ji, please give her your blessings.
PM: My blessings, what’s your name Beta?
Aaalia: My name is Aalia.
PM: Beta, tell me why do you want to become a doctor?
Aalia: After seeing my father’s problem (weeps)
Ayub: She won’t be able to speak, Sir Ji. She has become emotional.
PM: Well, tell your daughter….
Aalia: I can’t speak.
PM: Beti, your emotion is your strength. (a long, pin-drop silence)
PM: How did you celebrate Eid, observed Ramzan this time?
Ayub: We celebrated together, happily.
PM: What Eid gift did you give to your daughters?
Ayub: I gave them money, bought clothes and other articles for them.
PM: Look, you must fulfil the dreams of your daughters..if you face any difficulty, do let me know.
Ayub: Theek Hai, Sir Ji.
PM: You are converting your physical pain into your strength. Your daughter got the inspiration from you to become a doctor.
Ayub: Sir, Delhi is several hundred kilometres away. Sitting there, you are thinking about us. Thank You, Sir. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the manner in which you are working day and night for the nation’s progress. By changing the word ‘vikalang’ to ‘divyang’ (physically impaired), you have given us pride. We thank you for this.
Ayub Bhai Patel is among more than 13,000 people who have benefited from government schemes. Though he lost his vision due to glaucoma, and could not see tears welling up in the eyes of the Prime Minister, yet, in his heart of hearts, he knows, it is because of Modi that his daughters are getting scholarships, he is getting pension, free ration, and free railway and government bus travel passes. Ayub knows that his family life would now have been in a dark hole, if Modi’s schemes had not been implemented.
The district collector of Bharuch said, 13,430 beneficiaries were identified by the district administration as part of Utkarsh initiative, where 100 per cent saturation coverage is given to deserving families for four key schemes: (1) Ganga Swaroopa Arthik Sahay Yojana, (2) Indira Gandhi Vrudh Sahay Yojana (3) Niradhar Vrudh Arthik Sahay Yojana and (4) Rashtriya Kutumb Sahay Yojana. The collector said, normally poor people are unaware about these four schemes, and the administration organized camps from January till March to identify these beneficiaries.
Narendra Modi felt the pain of a daughter who was dreaming to become a doctor to help his poor father, who lost his eyesight. This pain can be felt by those who have seen poverty in life. Only the son of poor parents can speak in the manner in which Modi spoke to Aalia and her father on Thursday. I pray that Aalia becomes a doctor one day, treat her father and fulfil her dreams.
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