NEW DELHI: There are numerous factors that run through Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rising mass appeal in India and abroad. A common thread running through all of them is his personal empathy for the people in need.
PM-CARES (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund), created on March 27, 2020 following Covid-19 pandemic in the country, was started by PM Modi with a contribution of Rs 2.25 lakh from his personal earnings. It is registered as a Public Charitable Trust.
Veteran industrialist Ratan Tata, former Supreme Court judge KT Thomas and former Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha Kariya Munda are among its trustees.
The primary objective of the Fund is to deal with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected individuals.
The fund consists entirely of voluntary contributions from individuals/organisations and does not get any budgetary support.
According to the audited statement of the PM-CARES for 2021-22, over Rs 13,000 crore has been collected in two years since the inception of the fund.
Nearly, 60 per cent of this amount has been spent till March 2022 on various heads such as setting up medical oxygen generation plants, providing ventilators to Government hospitals and establishing makeshift hospitals.
Among its other activities is PM CARES for Children, a scheme to support children who lost their parents or a primary caregiver to the Covid-19 pandemic.