MANILA — Prime Minister Narendra Modi Nov. 13 asked Indians to work hard to ensure that the 21st century belongs to India and said his government was making every effort to transform the country and take it to new heights.
Addressing the Indian diaspora in the Philippines capital, Modi said that once India surmounts the difficulties it faces, no one can stop it from achieving new heights.
"Our efforts are aimed at transforming India and ensuring everything in our nation matches global standards," Modi said in his nearly 35-minute speech.
Noting that 21st century is described as Asia's Century, Modi told the cheering audience that it was duty of every Indian to work hard to make it a century of India.
"I say it is possible," Modi asserted. The prime minister said India has always contributed to world peace and noted that more than 1.25 lakh Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives for peace during the two world wars.
"Our contingent in the U.N. Peacekeeping Forces is among the biggest. India is the land of Mahatma Gandhi, peace is integral to our culture," he said, highlighting India's contribution to world peace.
Modi also lauded his government's initiatives such as 'Swachh Bharat,' 'Jan Dhan Yojna' and 'Ujjwala Yojana.'
"Which Indian doesn't want cleanliness? We have started from where Mahatma Gandhi left and till now over 2.25 lakh villages in India have become open defecation free," he said.
Stating that getting a LPG connection once used to be a big achievement, Modi said his government has provided free LPG connections to more than 3.5 crore families over the past three years.
He also attacked the Opposition and said that before 2014 people used to ask how much money had been wasted on scams but now they ask how much has come from successful schemes.
Modi arrived here Nov. 12 on a three-day visit to attend the ASEAN-India and the East Asia summits.