Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya: Modi’s ‘Knight in Shining Armour’

His super success in Generic Medicine Program made him TopBrand in PM’s eyes


New Delhi: He dealt in generic but emerged a top brand. Hard work and commitment to cause is the language that he is well versed in. The beauty of this language emanates from his accomplishments and transcends grammar of the mundane social media language.  Meet New Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Knight in Shining Armour’. His super success in flagship Pradhan Mantri BharatiyaJanaushadhiPariyojana (PMBJP) made him leading brand in NaMo’s eyes. Filling up shoes of ‘oft repeated’ pulse polio fame Dr Harshvardhan is not a mean achievement.

Mr Mandavyas, with a regular guy look, is a man of few words and lets only his works to do most of the talking. He is far from trappings and does not throw his weight around but a no-nonsense Union Ministerwho is a stickler for his duties and sets his eyes on the goals he is assigned for. If you are working with him, you cannot call in sick. He would not take no for an answer. You have to deliver spot on.He is a thorough man of actions which is amply exemplified by hissterling performance in generic medicine program of the government. Mr Mandaviya is a man of enormous grit and much of the patients’ world is celebrating his new assignment.

It was Mandaviya’s untiring efforts that made crores of patients of India enamoured of PM Modi government. PM Modi, whose eyes are always scouting for ones who show ability to deliver on promises made to people, chose him for the most difficult task in the intimidating time of COVID pandemic not for nothing. His being made Union Health Minister along with minister of Chemical and Fertilizer speaks a volume about PM Modi’s belief in his ability to deliver.  PM Modi has reposed unprecedented faith in him as handling health portfolio in this gruelling hour of pandemic is going to be most demanding and exacting.

Mr Mandaviya has picked up the ball where his predecessor Dr Harshvardhan dropped it. And he cannot afford to drop the ball. Mr Mansukh has hit the ground running and been pushed to the deep end. Goals are cut out for him, first to avert the third wave of COVID and in case it arrives to handle it most efficiently and wipe out the slur of coming a cropper. He is also expected to firm up twin central government programs Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY, also called Ayushman Bharat) and Pradhan Mantri BharatiyaJanaushadhiPariyojana (PMBJP) as the most solid fulcrum of accomplishments worth going to town about in the general elections of 2024. It is not an exaggeration that cheap generic medicines contributed to 2019 stupendous victory at the hustings. Mandaviya’s immediate task ahead is boosting national COVID vaccination programme.

In healthy ministry, he is pitted against gigantic expectations from him. He faces exceedingly difficult challenges. He will need to harness every molecule of his tenacity to measure up to stupendous faith reposed in him by PM Modi. It is an intimidating faith that he is confronted with. His plate is full and failing is not an option for him. Now he will have to be twice his self because he is at the helm of both Union Health and Family welfare Ministry and Chemical & Fertilizer Ministry.

As is his wont, Mr Mansukh is already in over drive and is busy day in and day out to be in utmost preparedness to grapple with the crisis that might be on way of coming. He is expected to again pull a rabbit out of his hat and right the floundering ship of healthcare in India in the face of pandemic.His research team in Health Ministry in Nirman Bhavan is burning midnight oil to put in place the preparedness to maintain necessary supply in case 3rd wave arrives. Under Mandaviya, this team is most focussed and the aim is, if need be, man, machine and medicine will not be scarce.

The secret of his success partly lies in his creation of a dedicated team of officers around him. His officers would work their ass off to achieve targets assigned to them. He has won his clusters of officers not by bossing over, being domineering but by his suave and genial behaviour. There is no Sunday off for his officers and he keeps them on toes, yet they do not complain, such is the passion he injects in them. Mr Mansukh instils ‘take one for the team’ passion in them.

One of his officers, who is considered Mr Mandaviya’s Man Friday and has been his passionate fellow traveller in making PMBJP a super success, thinksthe world about him and never tires of talking about untiring Mansukh Mandaviya like he called the meeting of his officers while counting of 2019 general elections was on. This officer is a permanent fixture with Mr Mandaviya. On strict condition of not being named in the quote he paints a ‘Mansukh Hai to Mumkinhai’( मनसुखहैंतोमुमकिनहै )picture of the minister. He says, ‘He is a workhorse. The upstanding minister is for ever up and doing. Mr Mandaviya has already aced the test and he will certainly replicate PMBJP in Health Ministry as well. Come hell or high water, he has not known to fail. He is no windbag but only believes in actions. He is never inclined to be in spotlight. He is a silent crusader. He is a cut above the rest. Fail is not a word in his actions and he is a man of sterling actions. He has a lot of laurels but he does not rest on them.’

Talking to Medicare News, Sachin Singh the erstwhile CEO of PMBJP, ‘The generic medicine success story is so obvious that it does not need to much be stressed. The generic medicine stores have been ramped up to 8000 in numbers. And the goal is to take this number to 10, 500 till 2024 so that each block is covered. In Covid times, these stores proved manna from heaven for people. Multi Vitamins sale spiked and grossed 30 crores. Four-fold orders for COVID related medicines were placed and all got sold.’

Needless to sayPMBJP are music to the ears of poor patients and people of India, thanks to Mr Mandaviya. And spell bound by this, they came in droves to fill the coffer of a fakir with votes in 2019 elections. But for this program of Modi, they would not have even imagined the free treatment and ultra-cheap medicines they are getting. Also, they are fully assured that they are in the safe hands of PM Modi and would not be left to die for want of money if and when they fall ill.Sick persons who could not get treatment for many years because being hard up of money are getting free treatment.’

Twin huge healthcare programs Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya JanaushadhiPariyojana (PMBJP also known generic medicines program) & Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY, also called Ayushman Bharat or Modicare) endeared vast swathe of poor and middle class population to PM Modi. No wonder, NaMo assumed the nickname of Modicine.

Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizersin his earlier stint, PMBJP became a household name in the country.Providing quality medicines at such cheap price in a country like India is really a miracle. Even poor people who hardly make a living for two meals a day are getting ultra-cheap quality medicines. Most of the credit goes to Mansukh Mandaviya. It is entirely his credit that dog-cheap quality generics stores are about to reach every block of India and generics have become the staple for patients all & sundry. These generics certainly has brought Achhe Din for patients in the country.


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