Modi@8: How Narendra Modi has been the go-to person during a crisis

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a ‘tough man’ persona and that has been evident in his national security decisions. However, in these eight years since he’s come to power, Narendra Modi has proved to be helpful to millions of people — in both, a personal and official capacity. He has stood by people in their hour of grief and extended foreign aid and assistance to crisis-hit countries such as Ukraine and Sri Lanka. His government has always believed in lending a helping hand. Here’s a look at how Narendra Modi and his government haven’t shied away from being of assistance in times of crises. Assistance to quake-hit Nepal In 2015, the neighbouring Himalayan kingdom was struck by the region’s most powerful earthquake in 80 years, killing more than 8,000 people and injuring thousands and thousands of others. The 7.8-magnitude quake had flattened more than 600,000 structures in Kathmandu and other nearby towns were either damaged or destroyed. Even before the full extent of the damage could unfold in Nepal, India galvanised all its resources to help the Himalayan state cope with the tragedy. At the time, Narendra Modi had said, “Nepal's pain is our pain. Today's earthquake has made us all very sad. Reports are still coming on the extent of the damage.” He personally was involved in the framing of the rescue plan and later also donated a month’s salary towards Nepal’s relief efforts. He dispatched relief and rescue teams, including medical teams, to Nepal. In addition to this, personnel from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Air Force planes were deployed to help in the efforts. In the immediate aftermath, India also sent 43 tonnes of relief material, including tents and food. The Narendra Modi-led government also provided 1.54 billion Nepalese Rupees (nearly Rs 96 crore) to Nepal as part of its commitment towards assistance and rehabilitation after the 2015 earthquake. Modi’s aid during COVID-19 In response to the COVID-19 crisis, India had imposed one of the longest and strictest lockdowns anywhere in the world. While the lockdown may have been effective in managing the spread of coronavirus, it also severely affected the poor and migrants. In light of the situation, Narendra Modi government had announced the creation of an assistance and emergency relief fund where people could contribute and help in the government’s fight against coronavirus. Moreover, the government took several other steps to reduce the hardships faced by the economically vulnerable section. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore relief package under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to address the welfare concerns of migrant workers, urban and rural poor, women, divyang, and all other disadvantaged sections of society. The package comprised of cash through Direct Benefit Transfer and enhanced allocation of food grains under public distribution scheme, thereby helping the poor fight against COVID-19 while ensuring food security. World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Ghebreyesus had praised the Modi government for the scheme. My appreciation to Prime Minister @narendramodi for announcing a $24 billion package to support

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