today via video conferencing. During the event, the Prime Minister interacted with beneficiaries of the Ujjwala.
Addressing the event, the Prime Minister said he was delighted to address all the sisters ahead of Raksha Bandhan. He said the number of people, especially women whose lives have been illuminated by the Ujjwala Yojana is unprecedented. This scheme was launched in 2016 from Ballia in UP, from the land of Mangal Pandey, the pioneer of the freedom struggle. He said today the second edition of Ujjwala is also launched from UP’s Veerbhoomi - Mahoba. He remembered another son of the soil of Bundelkhand, Major Dhyan Chand or Dadda Dhyan Chand. He said the name of the country's highest sports award is now named as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. He said this will inspire lakhs of people who want to pursue sports.
The Prime Minister stated that the countrymen had to wait for decades for getting many basic amenities such as Housing, Electricity, Water, Toilet, Gas, Roads, Hospital and School. Many of such things could have been addressed decades ago. He said that our daughters will be able to come out of the house and kitchen and contribute extensively in nation building only when the problems related to house and kitchen are solved first. In the last 6-7 years, he said, the Government has worked to get solutions to various issues on a mission mode. He listed many such interventions like crores of toilets being built across the country under Swachh Bharat Mission; more than 2 crore houses for poor families, mostly, in the names of women; rural roads; 3 crore families got electricity connection; Ayushman Bharat is giving 50 crore people cover for upto 5 lakh rupees worth of medical treatment; direct money transfer for vaccination and nutrition during pregnancy under MatruVandana Yojana; 30 thousand crore rupees were deposited by the government in the Jan Dhan Account of women during Corona period; Our sister are getting piped water under Jal Jeevan Mission. He said that these schemes have brought massive transformation in the lives of women.
The Prime Minister noted that the resolve of health, convenience and empowerment of sisters has received great impetus from Ujjwala Yojana. In the first phase of the scheme, 8 crore poor, dalit, deprived, backward and tribal families were given free gas connections. He said the benefit of this free gas connection was felt in the era of the Corona pandemic. Ujjawala Yojana has led to manifold expansion of LPG gas infrastructure. During the last 6-7 years more than 11 thousand LPG distribution centres have been opened. In UP the number of these centres increased to 4 thousand from 2 thousand in 2014. The Prime Minister said that we are very near the cent percent gas coverage as during the last 7 years more gas connections have been given since 2014.
Many people from UP and other states including Bundelkhand, migrated from village to city or to other states for work. There they faced the problem of address proof. He said that Ujjwala 2.0 scheme will give maximum benefit to lakhs of such families. He added that now these workers from other places need not run from pillar to post for address proof. He said the government has full faith in the honesty of the migrant workers. All one has to do is give a self-declaration of the address for getting a gas connection.
Shri Modi also said that efforts are on to provide gas through pipes at a much larger scale. He said PNG is much cheaper than cylinder and work is on to provide PNG in many districts of eastern India including in UP. In the first phase, a target has been to connect 12 lakh households in more than 50 districts of UP.
Speaking about the benefits of Biofuel, the Prime Minister said Biofuel is not just a clean fuel, rather it is also a medium to accelerate the engine of self-reliance in fuel, the engine of development of the country and the engine of development of the village. He added Biofuel is such an energy that we can get from household and farm waste, from plants, from spoiled grains. He informed that we are very near to our goal of 10 per cent blending in the last 6-7 years and we are moving towards 20 per cent blending in next 4-5 years. In Uttar Pradesh, during the last year, Rs. 7 thousand crore worth of ethanol was purchased. Many ethanol and biofuel related units were established in the state. Process for establishing units for making compressed biogas from sugarcane waste, CBG plants is going on in 70 districts of the state. Plants are coming up in Budaun and Gorakhpur for making biofuel from ‘parali’.
The Prime Minister said now the country is moving towards fulfilling the dream of a better life, from the fulfilment of basic amenities. We have to increase this potential manifold in the coming 25 years. Together we have to prove this resolve of a capable India. All the Sisters are going to have a special role in this.