Manila, November 13 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said it is the duty of Indians to work to make the 21st century India’s century.
“If the 21st century is considered to be Asia’s century, then it becomes our duty to make it India’s century and I say it is possible,” Modi said at an Indian community reception organised by Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Jaideep Mazumdar.
“Our efforts are aimed at transforming India and ensuring everything in out nation matches global standards,” he said.
The Prime Minister said India had always contributed to world peace.
“Our contingent in the UN Peacekeeping Forces is among the biggest,” he said. “India is the land of Mahatma Gandhi, peace is integral to our culture.”
Stating that he had come to a country and a region that was very important to India, he said that his government had stressed on the Act East Policy from the very beginning.
Modi arrived here on Sunday on a three-day visit to the Philippines during the course of which he will attend the 15th India-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit and the 12th East Asia Summit on Tuesday.
Talking about some major initiatives of his government, he said he started the Pradhan Manatri Jan Dhan Yojana which allowed poor people who did not have bank accounts to open zero balance accounts.
“Today, the poor have learnt how to save and Rs 67,000 crore have been deposited in these accounts.”
Referring to the cleanliness campaign launched in India, he said: “Which citizen does not want cleanliness? We have started from where Mahatma Gandhi left and till now more than two lakh villages in India have become open defecation-free.”
He said that after his government promised free gas connections to five crore needy families, three crore families had benefitted.
“This has become possible because 1.25 crore families gave up gas cylinder subsidy that they have been availing,” Modi said.
The Indian community in the Philippines is around 120,000-strong.