Excerpts from the book ‘Work Ethics’ by PM Narendra Modiji.

(At the Dedication Ceremony of the Social Security Aid and State Government Ashram and Handicapped Awards, Town Hall, Gandhinagar. June 20, 2006)

You must have noticed that it is impossible to accomplish any work without the help of the lowliest classes of the society.  In India, we believe in worshiping hard work.  Therefore, the lowliest of the lowly is eventually at the foundation of the society.  The life stories of all the great people make one thing clear that they all had been accompanied, helped and supported by the lower classes.

We are awed by the success story of Lord Rama.  We worship Him, but we have never given a single thought to how He succeeded.  Yes, we all know that He accomplished His task with the help of monkeys.  If it wasn’t for the monkeys, it would have been very difficult for Him to get Sitaji back.  The monkeys played important role in making the bridge to Lanka.

Despite being incarnation of God Himself, Lord Rama could not find a way out without the help of the lowly monkeys.  He held Shabari in the highest regard, so much that His respect for her was perhaps even more than that for Kaushalya.  He was as pleased to eat Shabari’s tasted fruits as He was to eat Kaushalya’s food.

This was because His approach towards the lowly was way different than other common people.  These incidents are a source of inspiration for all of us.  He could have done without visiting Shabari, but He did it to teach us, to inspire us.  Our history tells us the same saga.

The Dalits, the Harijans and the tribals were always at the center of any movement that Mahatma Gandhi started.  No society, no management or no power can do without the lowest sections of the society.  I believe that those who genuinely belong to this country are convinced that cannot forward without following the same ideology.  I respect all those who work hard.

They represent the “Yog” (meditation) and therefore the State Government has started the mission of recognizing and appreciating labourers with the title of ‘Shramyogi’.  There is a plan called ‘Shramyogi’ in Gujarat.  Every village has at least five families who could be called, “Daridra Narayan ‘.  We intend to support them and enable them to rise above the poverty line.

We cannot help them by just throwing food at them, but we can certainly give them opportunities to earn their own living.  Our attempt is to make them self-dependent so that they can live their lives with self- respect.  We should develop more such plans in our society.  We helped these five families by providing them with some vegetable and fruit plants and asked them to grow these plants, sell the vegetables / fruits.  We urged them to educate their children with the money that they earned so.

We also explained to them the importance of family planning.  We managed to make them active in the Gram Sabha.  Now they have faith in life, in society.  They are not marginalized untouchables.  Gradually, they will gain confidence in themselves and in the society as they start mixing with other people.  It is an attempt to connect the lowly, the marginalized with the mainstream society.