Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who recently completed his fourth year in the power, on Monday interacted with the beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) through his NaMo App.
Earlier, Modi launched a survey on his app on the occasion of NDA government's fourth anniversary on Saturday. The survey was launched to count the voice of Indians, who will now rate the performance of the BJP-led dispensation at the Centre and MPs and MLAs in their constituencies.
Being touted as one of the most successful flagship schemes under the Modi government, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana has strengthened the lives of the poor, marginalised, Dalits, Tribal communities, the prime minister said during his interaction.
"This initiative is playing a central role in social empowerment," Modi was quoted.
"Till 2014, 13 crore families got LPG connection. This means, for over six decades the figure stood at 13 crore. It was mostly the rich people who got LPG connections. In the last 4 years, 10 crore new connections have been added and the poor benefited," Modi added.
Talking about one of his early life experiences PM Modi said, "When I was young and my mother would be cooking, we remember the smoke. I also remember the pains she took so that us, her little children to inhale the smoke." This is why his government has stepped up efforts to shield women and children from kitchen smoke.
The prime minister launched the PMUY on May 1, 2016, in Uttar Pradesh's Ballia, and the welfare scheme aims to safeguard the health of women and children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The government wants to reduce the use of polluting fuels such as wood and dried cow dung that, according to the World Health Organization, cause 1.3 million premature deaths in India every year.
To reduce the burden, the government also provides a subsidy of Rs 1,600 to state-owned fuel retailers for every free LPG gas connection that they install in poor rural households.
PMUY also ensured women's empowerment in rural areas and issued the LPG connections in the name of the women in the household. The NDA government has allocated an amount of Rs 8000 crore to implement the scheme.
The Narendra Modi government, which was earlier scheduled to provide five crore LPG connections across India, has provided 10 crore LPG connections including 4 crore free to poor women in last four years.