[India], Feb 11 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the central government is committed to ensuring quality food to children while highlighting that well-nourished children are a key asset for a country's strength.
Speaking at the 'Akshaya Patra' mid-day meal programme, where Prime Minister Modi served the third billionth meal to the children, he said that the Centre stressed on the health of the mother and child in the last five years, adding that vaccination has been a priority for his government for eradicating diseases.
"I am fortunate that I am serving the 300th crore thali. We are committed to ensuring quality food to our children. The first thali was served during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's regime. For a strong nation, we need well-nourished children," the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Modi underlined that the Centre is committed to ensuring a healthy childhood, adding that quality food, vaccination and cleanliness are the aspects for a child to be well-nourished.
Noting that the Centre's flagship initiative -- Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was receiving global attention, the Prime Minister informed that under the programme, the lives of about three lakh people could be saved according to an international report.
Talking about the ongoing Kumbh Mela, Prime Minister Modi underlined that for the first time, the New York Times newspaper had made a report on the mela's cleanliness and lauded the administration for the same.
"This time, the Kumbh Mela has succeeded in giving the message of cleanliness to the country. Normally, this mela is about sadhus. But for the first time, the New York Times made a report on cleanliness in Kumbh," he added.
Heaping praises on 'Mission Indradhanush', a programme aimed at immunising children under two years and pregnant women, Prime Minister Modi said that 3.40 lakh children and 90 lakh pregnant women have received vaccination till date.
"The way that the workers are racing against time to ensure immunisation to all women and children, the day is not far when we achieve total immunisation in our country," he added.
Acknowledging that the immunisation programme is receiving worldwide attention, Prime Minister Modi said that the same has been listed under the list of '12 best practices' according to a renowned medical journal.
Stressing that banks are now accessible for all cattle owners, the Prime Minister further said, "Now, banks are offering loans up to Rs 3 lakhs. This move is going to benefit all our livestock farmers." (ANI)