India didn’t face big vaccine hesitancy due to impact of spiritual leaders: PM Modi

Stating that health and spirituality are closely linked in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the country did not face vaccine hesitancy of the kind seen in many other countries due to the impact of spiritual leaders.

The Prime Minister, who inaugurated the 2,600-bed Amrita Hospital in Faridabad, Haryana, also said the system of discharging responsibilities related to education and medicine by religious and social institutions was in a way the traditional PPP — public-private partnership — model of India.

Emphasising the need for the private sector to take forward a “spiritual private partnership” as well, Modi said, “It is called public-private partnership but I also see it as paraspar prayas (mutual effort)…. We saw this during coronavirus (pandemic) as well. I will mention the spiritual private partnership in this context.”

He said: “Aap sabhi ko dhyan hoga jab Bharat ne apni vaccine banai thhi toh kuch logon ne kis tarah ka dushprachar karne ki koshish ki thhi. Iss dushprachar ki wajah se samaaj mein kai tarah ki afwaen phailne lagi (You must be aware of the kind of propaganda created by some people when India made its vaccine. As a result, rumours started spreading). But when religious and spiritual leaders got together and told people to not pay heed to those rumours, it had an immediate effect.”

India, Modi said, “did not have to face the kind of vaccine hesitancy seen in (many) other countries. Today, India has been able to successfully run the world’s largest vaccination programme due to the spirit of everyone’s effort.”

Recalling his address to the nation from the Red Fort, Modi said he had placed a vision of five “pran” (vows) of Amrit Kaal in front of the country and one of these is “gulami ki mansikta ka sampoorn tyaag [complete renunciation of the mentality of slavery]”. He said, “This is being discussed a lot in the country at this time. When we give up this mindset, the direction of our actions changes and the same change is visible in the country’s healthcare system today with growing faith in traditional knowledge and experience.”

Being built at an estimated cost of Rs 6,000 crore over 130 acres, and managed by Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Amrita Hospital, once fully operational, is expected to be the country’s largest super-specialty facility and will provide state-of-the-art healthcare facilities.

Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatreya, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala, Union minister Krishan Pal Gurjar and spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi were among those present on the occasion.

Calling Mata Amritanandamayi among the “carriers of India’s spiritual tradition”, Modi said, “The hospital embodies a blend of modernity and spirituality…with a spirit to serve the poor and the middle class. (It) will become a means of accessible and affordable treatment for patients in Haryana, Delhi and NCR.”

“Hum baar baar sunte aaye hai…arthath…naa humein rajya ki kaamna hai, na swarg ke sukh ki ichha hai [we have heard for long…that…we nurse neither the desire for kingdom nor the happiness of heaven],” Modi said. “We wish that we continue to have the good fortune to relieve the suffering of the poor…India is a country where treatment is service, wellness a charity (daan)…where both health and spirituality are related… . We have given the name Ayurveda to our medical science.”

The Prime Minister said Haryana is one of the leading states in the country where every house has been connected with piped water facility and congratulated the people of the state for their valuable contributions to the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign.

Chief Minister Khattar said, “It is a 2,600-bed hospital which will have 150 MBBS seats, a nursing college and a medical college. There will be more than 500 beds in ICU…. Shayad Bharat mein itna bada pehla hospital hai [it is probably the biggest hospital in India]. It will take forward the PM’s vision of a healthy India. Earlier, there were only seven medical colleges in Haryana but now there are 13. (Another) nine are in the pipeline. After that, each district will have one medical college.”

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