July 25, 2017

Speaking at REC 48th Annual Day, New Delhi

There’s lot more to be done and you should do it faster and time to run. अभी यह सिलसिला बाकी है, सिलसिला ख़त्म नहीं हुआ है अभी तक, तो कहीं मुहब्बत में मत पड़ जाना, ज़रा काम को मुहब्बत बना के काम को ख़त्म कर देना समय पर | But,  truly, you all have done wonderful work, the small team of 600 people. But I also know that you have a number of these young boys and girls, the GVAs (Gramin Vidyutikaran Abhiyantas) who have been doing good work, particularly, in rural areas in village electrification on the ground work.

But, together, you now have an opportunity to really leave your mark on the history of India. It’s an opportunity that your tenure, all of you who are engaged in REC today, will go down in history if you are able to complete every household in the country receiving an electric connection, more cases than not it will be through the grid, in some cases it could be through off-grid solutions. But, can we on this 48th birthday commit ourselves that in the next 18 months, as we had decided in Vadodra during the Power Ministers’ Conference, take electricity to every home in this country.

I think there can be no better pledge to take on the 48th birthday than this that in the next 18 months, so that before we get down to celebrating our 50th anniversary, we will ensure that not a single child in this country has to suffer for want of electricity, not a single school, not a single hospital, not a single home in this country goes without electricity. Can I hope to hear that this will happen in 18 months?

And truly, it’s possible. The possibilities are endless. The constraints, if any, are in our mind. And today is an auspicious day, I didn’t realize the REC foundation day falls on the same day that the country gets a new President. So, it’s also a great opportunity to give a commencement gift to the new President that we are dedicating ourselves today to ensuring that we take power to every home in this country before we celebrate our 50th anniversary. It’s nice to see that you have revamped your website also, music was wonderful. You sing very well. You gave some very good dialogues on.  and I was wondering whether अमिताभ बच्चन की आवाज़ आ रही है, और आप clone तो नहीं कर रहे हो पीछे से| And, it’s a favourite song, so it makes it all the more interesting.

But truly, very nice to see the fun and enthusiasm that we have in our team. Of course, accolades or standing ovations have to be earned, not demanded. And I think the best way, the best ovation that we can give to ourselves as a team, we need not give an ovation to a Minister, we need not even stand for that. It’s actually pretty much unnecessary. I think the best satisfaction and the best ovation we can give to all of us is that we ensure that this job, this humongous task that has been bestowed upon us is looked at as an opportunity, is looked at as a mission, is looked at as something which is not merely a job, but it’s our contribution to nation building, our contribution to making sure that India, and the new India that we are trying to create never has to starve for a basic amenity like electricity.

REC is doing wonderful work. You just gave some very nice statistics. We still have 3,500 odd villages. I believe there will be another 1000 that have been found unelectrified, so this 4,500 should be completed in the next 6 months – 5 months now, July is almost over. We really have to dedicate ourselves to that, get our GVAs to focus on that. And while we are doing it, ensure that every home gets electrified in that village or in that vicinity also. More importantly, running the sector in an organized manner, with the highest levels of integrity, and in an orderly fashion. And I have no doubt in my mind that this team sitting before me with the support of their families, their spouses, their children, and I know that this kind of a job cannot be done unless you have full family support.

Of course, if any of your spouses gets late for a meeting, please don’t blame him. You can blame it on me, more often than not, they will be doing something which I have forced them to do. But, really this is a mission that we all have and if we can fulfill that mission, the fulfillment and satisfaction that each one of you will get will be absolutely, it will make you proud of your work, it will make you proud of your family, it will make you proud of your contribution to this country.

So, I do hope we dedicate ourselves as an organization today to ensuring 24/7 electricity to every citizen of this country before our 50th anniversary celebration.

Thank you very much.

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