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Last decade has been one of major changes, economic development has strengthened society: PM

New Delhi, Aug. 15 (ANI): Addressing India's citizens on the occasion of the nation's 67th Independence Day, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Thursday said the country has made substantial progress in all fields since gaining its freedom under the leadership of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi from British colonial rule.

Delivering his 10th Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the historic 17th-century built Red Fort; Dr. Singh said during his nearly 40-minute-long address that the last decade in particular, had seen monumental changes taking place in the country, and added that in terms of economic progress, the nation has more than surpassed achievements of the previous decades.

"I believe that the last decade has also been a decade of major changes in the history of our nation. In no other decade, has our economic development increased as much as in this decade. Democratic forces have been strengthened and many sections of our society have joined the mainstream of development for the first time. The common man has been given new rights which have led to his social and economic empowerment," Dr. Singh said.

Reiterating that the UPA Government has been working with sincerity and honesty to build a progressive and modern India since first coming to power in May 2004, the Prime Minister said: "We have envisioned a prosperous India. An India, which has got rid of centuries old burden of poverty, hunger and disease. Where the light of education has driven away the darkness of ignorance and superstition. Where there is social equality and all citizens enjoy equal economic opportunity. Where no section of the society faces injustice and exploitation."

"We have dreamt of an India where the youth get employment opportunities that enable them to contribute to the noble endeavour of nation building. We have strived for India's voice to be heard loud and clear at the international level. We have strived to build a nation that is looked at with respect and honour by the whole world," he added.

He, however, cautioned the citizens of the country that while many measures have been taken to realise these dreams, the journey ahead is long and added that a large distance still remains to be travelled. (ANI)

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