PM Modi asks India to light up lamps to dispel darkness of coronavirus pandemic
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday morning addressed the nation, thanking Indians for showing “phenomenal and unprecedented discipline” during the nationwide lockdown announced to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Today is the tenth day of India’s 21-day lockdown, which followed a one-day Janata curfew on March 22.
PM Modi said: “A few of us must be thinking how can one fight alone and how many more days of this to go. Remember, we all are in our homes, and we are together in this. We need to cut through the darkness of the coronavirus pandemic and move to a brighter tomorrow. We must support the less privileged ones and help them survive.”
In a move to boost the people’s collective morale and show solidarity, PM Modi asked the people for nine minutes of your time” on Sunday, April 5. He asked residents to switch off the lights in their houses, and stand in their balconies or in front of their houses with a diya, candle, torch, or mobile flashlight at 9 pm to “mark the march from darkness to light” and help India defeat coronavirus. He asked citizens to ensure social distancing while observing the candlelight vigil.
The prime minister praised citizens for setting a “model” during janata curfew while paying gratitude to those battling coronavirus on the frontlines. “The way you paid gratitude has become a model being emulated by other countries,” he said.
More than a million cases of COVID-19 have been registered globally, according to the latest figures from Worldometers. The number of coronavirus cases in India has crossed 2,543, with 72 deaths.
Addressing the nation on March 24 evening, PM Modi had announced a complete lockdown of the nation for 21 days, urging citizens to stay at home.
On March 28, he launched a new fund to battle the coronavirus pandemic and any other disasters arising in the future. The fund, called the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund or PM CARES, will be chaired by the Prime Minister. Its members include the Defence Minister, the Home Minister, and the Finance Minister.
In a statement, the government said, “The spread of coronavirus has been alarming and is posing severe health and economic ramifications for our country. The Prime Minister's office has been receiving spontaneous and innumerable requests for making generous donations to support the government in the wake of this emergency.”
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)