Indira Gandhi was a valiant crusader of people’s causes: Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) chairperson Sonia Gandhi said on Sunday that the life of former Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi will stand out for her tremendous ability to fight against odds, as she was a valiant crusader of people’s causes.
Sonia Gandhi, who is also the Chairperson of Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust, made the remarks while addressing the Indira Gandhi Award Ceremony at the Jawahar Bhawan here on the occasion of the late Prime Minister's birth anniversary.
Sonia Gandhi said that the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development 2022 was instituted in the name of one of the most remarkable leaders of the 20th century and aims to honour women, men and institutions that have done exemplary work in the service of humanity.
She said the prize endeavours to promote the causes that Indira Gandhi herself championed and worked for in her astonishing career.
"The life of Indira Gandhi will stand out for her tremendous ability to fight against odds. Be it her political career where she challenged orthodoxy to introduce equity oriented, pro-poor policies, be it her fight to defeat hunger in the international environment that disliked self-respecting sovereign states, be it her extraordinary work to quell divisive tendencies in India, be it her unparalleled role in the creation of a new nation to honour people’s aspirations.
"She was a valiant crusader of people’s causes," the Congress leader said.
She pointed out that her stewardship of India also "saw the enactment and implementation of the National Health Policy, 1983", which laid the foundation for a more comprehensive and accessible health system.
"It brought together promotive, preventive and curative health services and a vital expansion of rural health outreach," she said.
Recalling the Covid-19 pandemic, Sonia Gandhi said that it was the most devastating event witnessed in this century.
"It (Covid-19) spared no country, no community and no family. During the nightmare of Covid-19, we saw at first hand how our doctors, nurses, paramedics, karmacharis and volunteers rose to the challenge that the horrific pandemic brought upon our country and the world.
"They battled a disease of which nothing was known, a virus that respected no boundaries, that afflicted both patient and doctor, that harmed the sick and the nurse, the paramedic and even those that guarded, supplied and managed our hospitals," Sonia Gandhi said.
She also said that Indira Gandhi had said that "my grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people -- one those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group because there was much less competition”.
"Our Covid warriors belong to the first cohort," she said.
The Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development 2022 was awarded to the Indian Medical Association and the Trained Nurses Association of India jointly as representatives of the Covid warriors as symbolic of the medical fraternity in India.
"The prize honours each and every doctor, nurse, paramedic and karmachari for their selfless service, and for their unflinching dedication and perseverance in the face of adversity," Sonia Gandhi added.