New Delhi: Aim to double farmers' income by 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday suggested them to promote coarse grain to add to their income as well as to provide nutritious food grain.
Prime Minister's suggestion came while thousands of farmers are on indefinite strike for over 100 days against his government seeking withdrawal of three farm laws enacted in September last year during Monsoon Session of Parliament.
Coarse grains refer to cereal grains other than wheat and rice or those used primarily for animal feed or brewing. These grains are warm-season cereals valued for their food, feed and fodder uses in various parts of the world.
The Prime Minister touched upon the UN recognition of year 2023 as International Year of Millets and stressed the need to promote coarse grain as it will not only provide nutritious food grain but will also add to the income of the farmers.
The Prime Minister was addressed the 'Janaushadhi Diwas' celebrations through video conference.
He dedicated to the nation the 7,500th Janaushadhi Kendra at North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health & Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) in Shillong during the event.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister noted that the Janaushadhi Yojana is becoming a big friend of poor and middle class families. It is becoming the medium of both service and employment.
Dedication of 7,500th centre of Janaushadhi at Shillong is an indication of spread of Janaushadhi Centres in the Northeast.
The scheme is providing affordable medicine to people in hilly areas, Northeast and tribal areas, Modi noted.
He said that dedication of 7,500th center is important as there were not even 100 centres in India six years ago.
The Prime Minister asked to achieve the target of 10,000 centres, saying "poor and middle class families are saving about Rs 3,600 crore every year on expensive medicines".
Modi said that the scheme is promoting 'Aatmanirbharta' (self-reliance) among women as more than 1,000 centres are being run by the women.
The Prime Minister remarked that in order to promote the scheme, incentive has been enhanced from 2.5 lakh to 5 lakh with additional incentive of 2 lakh for Dalit, Aadivasi women and people of the Northeast.
He cited Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, free LPG connections, Ayushman Bharat, Mission Indradhanush, Poshan Abhiyan and recognition to yoga to illustrate the holistic nature of the Government approach towards health.
Pointing out the enormous burden of medical treatment on the poor families, the Prime Minister said that in the recent years, efforts are being made to remove all types of discrimination in the treatment and medical treatment has been made accessible to every poor person of the country.
For this, Modi said, prices of essential medicines, heart stents, knee surgery related equipment have been reduced manifold.
He said Ayushman Yojana has ensured free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh, for the country's more than 50 crore poor families. So far more than 1.5 crore people have taken advantage of it and saved about Rs 30,000 crore.
The Prime Minister lauded the scientist for the Made in India Corona vaccine and said, "Today, India has vaccines not only for local use but also for helping the world.
He stressed that the government specially kept the interest of the poor and middle class in mind for vaccination. "The vaccination is free in the government hospitals and private hospitals are charging just Rs 250 which is the lowest in the world."