PM Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched the Stand Up India initiative and said it will transform the lives of Dalits and Adivasis.
Modi said people from the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes can perform as well as others if given the opportunity, at the launch function in Noida.
"Our tribal brethren and those belonging to Scheduled Castes will perform equally well as us if they are provided with the opportunities. How long will they wait for jobs and to which extent the government can give them jobs? God has given equal power and strength to Dalits as to us," PM said.
He said the scheme will convert "job-seekers into job-creators" and will also change their lives.
"We got the opportunity but they were denied it. If we can perform on getting an opportunity, they can also perform," Modi added.
Referring to Dalits, he said "they should not depend on someone's mercy".
"Dalit youths should aspire to become entrepreneurs and businessmen. They can easily avail loans from the Mudra Bank now," Modi said.
"Our poor have rich hearts. We asked them to open bank accounts with zero balance but they said they will contribute something or the other. The poor deposited Rs.50, Rs.100 in these accounts and the government got Rs.35,000 crore through the Jan Dhan Yojana."
Advising gathering to educate their children, Modi said India's development journey will be stronger when it is scripted by the poor.
PM also handed over keys of 5,100 e-rickshaws to the beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna.