Wrapping up the government’s performance, President Droupadi Murmu on Tuesday said today every Indian’s confidence is at its peak and the world’s outlook towards the country is also different now, which she described as the “biggest change”.

Addressing the joint session of parliament ahead of the last budget session before next year’s general polls, President Murmu’s speech spoke about welfarist measures as it listed out in detail transformational schemes introduced and it’s impact across social and economic sectors and about the government’s resolve to “remove every obstacle” faced by women.

In her opening remarks, the President also set out the goals for Bharat by 2047. She stressed that the country, besides getting rid of poverty and corruption, has to empower youth and women to drive the society, become self-reliant and evolve to have more “vivid” diversity and “unshakable” unity.

President Droupadi Murmu on women empowerment, backward classes & Agniveer
In her first address to the joint sitting of Parliament during the Budget session, President Droupadi Murmu said the government has taken ‘unprecedented’ decisions for the pride of tribal communities and ‘awakened’ their ‘aspirations’.Video Credit: Video: PTI
Women empowerment

She quoted a poem “Nari Shakti” by noted Odia poetess Utkal Bharti Kuntala Kumari Sabat to narrate that women’s empowerment was a major achievement of the government. “The women of India are neither inferior nor weak compared to anyone else. Her immortal glory will never disappear for ages and remain forever in the whole world,” the Odia poetess and freedom fighter was quoted to have written.

Because of interventions like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, the President observed that for the first time in the country, the female population now outnumbers that of males and their health has also improved. The dropout of the girls from schools have also come down and about 70 percent of the beneficiaries under the Mudra Yojana are women entrepreneurs, she said.

Her speech clearly laid out the government’s intention of what she said was to pay attention to hopes and aspirations of many classes and regions of the country. For instance, she stated that the government recognises the contribution of people doing businesses on footpaths, on carts and through street vending, besides 11 crore small farmers. So far 40 lakh small businessmen have been given collateral-free loans through the PM SVANidhi scheme after linking them and others to the formal banking channel.

The President also apprised MPs that small farmers, including three crore women, have been given financial assistance of more than ₹2.25 lakh crore under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi.

Murmu was also effusive of the “able and decisive” government” as she told parliamentarians that the regime has always kept the country’s interest paramount and shown the willpower to completely transform the policies and strategies when required. “From surgical strike to a firm crackdown on terrorism, from a befitting response to every misadventure from LoC to LAC, from abrogation of Article 370 to Triple Talaq, my government has been recognised as a decisive government,” the President said to a thumping response from MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

She also talked about the use of innovations and technology by the government to deliver last-mile benefits for the people. More than 300 schemes are directly reaching the bank accounts of beneficiaries, resulting in ₹27 lakh crore landing in the bank accounts of people. A World Bank report, the President pointed out, acknowledged that it was due to such schemes and mechanisms that India was able to prevent crores of people from falling below the poverty line during the Covid pandemic.

Similarly, the President also praised the government for turning around India’s fiscal health to make it fifth largest economy in the world, upliftment programmes for SC, STs and OBC communities, bringing atma nirbharta in defence and pursuing zero tolerance against terrorism.