Elaborating on the challenges faced by the country during COVID-19, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that India entered the pandemic as a country of “worry” and ended it as a country of “contribution” by providing vaccines to hundreds of countries.
The External Affairs Minister was interacting with the Indian Expatriates in Perth on Saturday.
Taking to social media platform X, he said, “Addressed the Indian community in Perth today. Grateful for their contribution in strengthening the India-Australia Dosti.”
Addressing the event, S Jaishankar said, “During the G20 virtual meet, the biggest worry was how will India cope with Covid. The feeling was India didn’t have the health facilities, the production, masks, ventilators. We started Covid as a country of worry; we ended Covid as a country of contribution.”
“The same India not just looked after all its people but also got each 1.4 billion people vaccinated. Hundreds of countries got vaccines, and many got vaccines only because of us,” he added.
He said that during the Covid pandemic, India was able to bring 7 million of its people from various countries back to the country.
The External Affairs Minister further said that government officials worked three shifts a day for the Indian community abroad, even during the pandemic.
“What happens when you get a leader with a vision? I can tell you as a person who has worked his entire life in the government. During Covid, people worked from home. But we worked three shifts a day from the office, every day. We could do this because we were motivated. There was a drive, a sense that we had to find a way in the leadership of this Prime Minister and that we cannot let down our people. The sense that we have a community abroad, there are 3.5 crore people,” S Jaishnkar said.
He added, “So that sense of responsibility, care and empathy has been another hallmark. In many countries you can have grand visions and big statements, one very important difference in India is that the biggest vision has become the smallest detail. How do you actually do things on the ground.”
Speaking on the abrogation of Article 370, S Jaishankar said that the whole country knew that was the “right thing to do” but it needed a leader with ‘courage and clarity’ to do it.
“…We have gone through a very difficult situation with China. While Covid was going on, the Indian military was deployed in very difficult terrain in large numbers to deal with the challenge. One very critical decision, that needed to be taken, and everyone knew was the right step, was the abrogation of Article 370, we had the clarity, the courage. Everybody knew that was the right thing to do, but we needed a leader who said, ‘Yes I can do it’,” he said.