- Some feel the country has gone back to the 16th century, said PM Modi
- Their hair stands on end on hearing the word 'cow', he said
- "Can one talk about rural economy without animals," he added
"Some people" get a shock at hearing words like "cow" and "Om" and it is unfortunate, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Wednesday as he launched a disease prevention programme for livestock at Mathura in Uttar Pradesh.
"Some people, if they hear words like 'gaay' (cow) and Om, their hair stands on end. They feel that the country has gone back to the 16th century. Can one talk about rural economy without animals," PM Modi said as he launched the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) along with other schemes for farmers.
"The environment and fauna have always been significant to India's economic concerns. We can move towards a new, empowered India only by maintaining a balance between nature and economic progress," said the Prime Minister.
Also on stage during the Prime Minister's speech was UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who maintains a large contingent of cattle at his Gorakhpur home.
The new scheme, with 100 per cent funding from the Centre (Rs 12,652 crore) for a period of five years till 2024, aims at vaccinating over 500 million animals including cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and pigs against foot and mouth disease.
The programme also aims at vaccinating cows against Brucellosis disease.
During the event, PM Modi personally interacted with farmers, veterinary doctors and plastic waste segregators. He sat down with women who seggregate plastic from garbage and explained to them the importance of separating plastic so it didn't end up in the stomachs of cows.