New Delhi, Jan 17, 2021: The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi praised the selfless strong spirit of the country which has been on full display during the fight against Corona. Speaking after launching the pan-India rollout of COVID-19 vaccination drive via video conferencing today, Shri Modi said, in the year gone by, Indians learnt and endured a great deal as individuals, family and as a nation. Quoting the great Telugu poet, Gurajada Venkata Apparao, Shri Modi said we should always work selflessly for others. A nation is not just soil, water and stones, but a nation stands for ‘We the People.’ Corona has been fought with this spirit in India, said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister recalled with sensitivity and empathy the initial feeling of helpless confusion among the people of the country when people could not attend to their near ones when they got infected. This disease rendered the infected isolated and alone, when sick children were separated from their mothers  and old parents were forced to battle the disease all alone in the hospitals. Even the departed relatives who lost the fight, could not be given proper send off.  Such a memory saddens us even today, said a visibly emotional Prime Minister.

Even in those dark days, some people were bringing hope and succour, recalled the Prime Minister. He dwelled at length on the contribution of doctors, nurses, para medical staff, ambulance drivers, ASHA workers, sanitation workers, police and other frontline workers who endangered their lives to save other. They gave precedence to their duty for humanity over their personal interest. Some of them didn’t even return to their homes as they lost their lives in the fight against the virus, noted a solemn Prime Minister. The frontline warriors  brought hope in an environment of despondency and fear, today, by vaccinating them first, country is acknowledging their contribution with gratitude, Shri Modi said.