Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday interacted with Ujjwala Yojana beneficiaries across the country through video conferencing.

PM Modi said that the Ujjwala scheme has become a symbol of progress and is driving remarkable social transformation, which is in turn, influencing the holistic development of the country.

Approximately 4-crore women in rural areas have received LPG connections so far, through the Ujjwala Yojana. In all, nearly 10 crore new LPG connections have been issued in four years since 2014, as compared to 13 crore in the nearly six-decade period from 1955 to 2014.

In his initial remarks, the Prime Minister quoted a story written by Munshi Premchand in 1933 to highlight the importance of easing the lives of home-makers.

PM Modi said Ujjwala has brought about benefits through better health outcomes, freedom from poisonous smoke and cleaner fuel.

He said women now have a greater opportunity to earn extra income, as time spent on cooking has been reduced.

The Prime Minister emphasised that the Union government has been paying attention to ensure that there are no middlemen involved in this scheme, and the beneficiaries are chosen through a transparent process.

PM Modi said that 69 per cent villages in India now have 100 per cent LPG penetration, while 81 per cent villages have more than 75 per cent LPG penetration.

Three Ujjwala beneficiaries were present at each of over 600 centres across the length and breadth of the country for this interaction.

Interacting with the Prime Minister, beneficiaries explained how the LPG connection had reduced time spent on cooking and enhanced the quality of life for the entire family.