Mangesh Raimal is a mechanical engineering graduate who lives in a modest home in Vidarbha in Maharashtra. His life has changed, and the reason behind it has been our Prime Minister himself.

His mother, who used to cook in a smoke-filled environment, got her first cooking gas cylinder under Prime Minister Modi’s Ujjwala Yojana. She can now cook without her health being adversely affected. But this was only one of the reasons why Mangesh is happy; in response to his mother receiving the cylinder, he wrote to a letter to Prime Minister Modi expressing his gratitude, to which he even received a response!

Mangesh had seen his mother coughing from the smoke while she cooked, and he realized what a massive change the Ujjwala Yojana had brought to the lives of many such mothers. He wrote to the Prime Minister to which he got an extremely quick reply. In his reply, Prime Minister Modi wrote about how he shared the feelings of mothers who had been saved the trouble of cooking on earthen chulhas.

The Prime Minister wrote: “The earthen chulhas, lit in crores of households in the country, cause great harm to the health of women. The rich can afford to have the better facilities. But it remains a distant dream for the women living below the poverty line. Efforts are being made through the Ujjwala scheme to realise this dream.”

Mangesh’s father, Santosh, expressed his helplessness in changing the dire situation of his wife due to the smoke generated from burning firewood. She began to develop signs of acute asthma. Santosh says: “Mangesh’s mother used to cough a lot due to the smoke. There were also symptoms of asthma. I could not end her suffering but my son did.”

The interesting aspect is that this isn’t the first time Prime Minister Modi has responded to a letter of Mangesh. He’d earlier written about the difficulties people faced during demonetisation, and how post offices should be linked with banks. Prime Minister Modi replied to his letter mentioning that this proposal would be implemented soon. “It’s quite gratifying to know that the Prime Minister takes note of a common man’s letter,” he says.

People wonder if Prime Minister Modi will win the 2019 polls; in my opinion he definitely will because of schemes such as Ujjwala, Mudra, Jan Dhan, etc. It is too early to say but people still ignore the fact that the votes of the poor can drive the Prime Minister to a resounding victory because they can’t see the difference being brought about in the rural areas.


Vinayak Jain