No sooner had the Corona virus entered India, our visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi sensed the crisis and imposed a country wide lockdown. This put a check on spread of this deadly virus and enlightened people on its hazards. It also facilitated time to put in place requisite medical facilities on time. Experts opine that any delay in this action would have infected millions of people, claiming untold number of lives. There was no option. Life is most precious.
It is a tribute to these well-planned efforts that despite being large and densely populated, India is far less the spread of Corona virus in comparison to other countries, to the astonishment of the world. The reason behind is that the Prime Minister gauged the enormity of imminent crisis before late and entire country responded to his call for caution. I would like to thank the Prime Minister for this and offer my salutations to the people of the country.
However, merely saving life is not enough. Food, clothing and housing are necessary to live, for which economic activities must resume. Therefore, the Prime Minister has given the call in the next phase that life and world both are necessary. Therefore, restrictions have been eased in the third phase in some areas to facilitate reopening of shops. However, restrictions in some areas still continue. Now further easing in restrictions in the fourth phase is under consideration.
India represents Unity in Diversity. Our Constitution guarantees movement, living and earning livelihood in any part of the country to people. The people can go anywhere to earn their livelihoods and explore opportunities for a bright future of their families. Large number of people move from other states from their home states. As a result of suspension of economic activities in the wake of Corona pandemic and the scare thereof, an atmosphere of fear has been created, forcing large numbers of workers to return to their respective homes. Following phased easing of lockdown restrictions the industries and business will restart, providing employment to the people. But it is human nature that people want to live among their near and dear ones at the time of crisis. It is a challenge for us to ensure their safe return to their respective places, ensure utilization of their skills and to provide them employment there.
Madhya Pradesh is all set for this. Works are being opened in rural areas under MNREGA. So far, employment has been provided to over 14 lakh people and the process is continuing. We are committed to providing jobs to all of those returning. Most of them may not be having money with them, but they certainly have some skill or the other. While living outside the state they have further honed their skills. It is for this reason that they are in much demand in other states. My effort is to ensure proper utilization of their skill in the state. Industries from many countries are going to be relocated due to Corona crisis and new locations are being explored for them. Madhya Pradesh has been endowed with ample water, land, forest and other natural resources coupled with trained youth power. Keeping this in view I have amended labour laws to attract maximum industries to Madhya Pradesh. This will augment job opportunities. There will be a cordial relation between industries and workers. Corona is a challenge and we must convert it to an opportunity.
Centrally located, Madhya Pradesh is the heart of the country. Workers from other states are passing through Madhya Pradesh on way to reach their home states. They are all sons and daughters of Mother India, irrespective of caste, creed, language or region. How it is possible to discriminate against them. We are welcoming them wholeheartedly. We have made all possible arrangements for these workers.
Mainly these migrant workers are entering Madhya Pradesh through Sendwa, reaching Indore, Dewas, Guna, Shivpuri and then Jhansi and from Shivpuri to Uttar Pradesh border via Gwalior-Bhind. Similarly, their movement is from Dewas to Sehore, Sagar, Chhatarpur to Mahoba. We have set up transit points on these roads with all necessary arrangements including sheds, food, tea-refreshment, drinking water, medicines etc. It is our resolve that we will not allow them to walk. Immediately after entering Madhya Pradesh they will be transported to the borders of their respective home states. The payment to these vehicles is being made by the state government. They are being welcomed at the borders of the state. They are our guests.
This too shall pass. We will convert the challenge into an opportunity. The efforts will lead to development of the state. More job opportunities will be available to the youths within the state. The people of others states will carry back sweet memories of our hospitality with them. This goodwill shall be our capital and Madhya Pradesh will carve a distinct identity in the country.