Ministers highlight schemes, Bollywood stars social themes at anniversary bash

New Delhi : Union ministers showcased their achievements and leading names from Bollywood, including Amitabh Bachchan, espoused social causes at the “Ek Nayi Subah” event at India Gate lawns here on Saturday to mark completion two years of Narendra Modi government.

A range of government initiatives including Swatchh Bharat Campaign, the Beti Badhao Beti Badhao, Pradhan Mantrai Ujjawala Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana were highlighted as well as moves to boost income of farmers and improve rail, road and air infrastructure and provide electricity to all villages.

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The event was held in a “Talkathon” format with ministers answering queries put to them. Media was not invited at the event which was screened live on various channels of Doordarshan.

Discussions were in studio format and interspersed with some light entertainment in the form of songs and dances. The “breaks” in between discussions featured consumer awareness advertisements as also the NDA government’s theme song on completing two years in office – “Mera desh badal raha hai (my country is changing)”.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Health Minister J.P. Nadda, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, Minorities Affairs Minister Najma Heptullah, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, Rural Development Minister Birender Singh, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti and Food Minister Ramvilas Paswan were among those who participated.

The ministers highlighted government initiatives and also heaped praise on leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh said that Modi has natural inclination towards science and he was motivation behind the soil health card scheme, while Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said that Modi had taken steps to promote development of the northeast.

Paswan said Modi came from a poor family and the government was oriented towards welfare of the poor.

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, who interacted from Nagpur, said that Modi had taken steps to end “policy paralysis” of the past.

Jaitley said the economy had achieved a growth rate of around 7.5 percent amid global slowdown and dwelt of the measures to bring back black money, moves towards financial inclusion through Jan Dhan Yojana and expanding micro-credit through the Mudra Yojana.

Uma Bharti suggested that government should take steps to provide sanitary napkins in women’s toilets in rural areas.

Meanwhile, Amitabh, who is also a United Nations ambassador for the girl child mission, said the girl child should be nurtured, educated and treated as equal and how ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padao’ aims at ending discrimination against them.

Sporting a saffron coloured Nehru jacket, he also interacted with girl children from various schools, and even recited lines from his father Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s famous “Madhushala”.

Actor Vidya Balan stressed the need to construct toilets in rural areas, while Raveena Tandon, participating in a panel discussion, stressed how education can lead women towards better living.

The government, which had also organised a “Talkathon” last year to mark its first anniversary, has hired event management company Geometry Global Encompass Network for this year’s programme.