If India is today the largest producer of vaccines, it is largely due to Rajiv Gandhi, says Sam Pitroda in an interview with Tasleem Khan. The former Prime Minister had unhesitatingly allotted Rs 300 Crore for building capacity to make vaccines. It was because of those initiatives that India managed to eradicate Polio 20 years later, says the technocrat.
In the video interview the technocrat, who is based in Chicago, on the death anniversary of the former Prime Minister, said he had first met Rajiv Gandhi when he had called on Indira Gandhi. We just clicked and he gave meaning to my life, allowed domain experts the freedom to experiment and innovate. “ I remember him every day,” says Pitroda, who had set up C-Dot and Telecom Commission.
He had the political will and provided facilities to 400 and odd IIT educated engineers and domain experts to experiment. Had he not been there, we wouldn’t have succeeded, says the former chairman of C-Dot and Technology missions.
He lamented the ignorance of people who claim nothing was achieved in the country during 70 years of Independence. “ They simply do not know what they are saying,” he said.