Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasized that AatmaNirbhar Bharat is a national spirit that makes every citizen of the country take pride and not just an economic campaign. Addressing the nation today in his Mann Ki Baat programme on All India Radio, Mr Modi expressed happiness that the mantra of self-reliant India is reaching the remote villages of the country.
Answering a question raised by Ranjan from Kolkata on what it means to be self reliant, the Prime Minister said the first condition for self-reliance is to have pride in the things of one’s own country. When every countryman takes pride, AatmaNirbhar Bharat becomes a national spirit. He said people are filled with pride upon seeing fighter plane Tejas doing acrobatics in the sky, Made in India tanks and missiles, coaches in Metro trains and Made in India Covid-19 Vaccines reaching dozens of countries.
The Prime Minister said it is not just bigger things that will make India self-reliant, but also other fields like textiles, handicraft goods, electronic appliances and mobiles.
Mr Modi highlighted the example of Pramod, a resident of Bettia in Bihar. He worked as a technician in an LED bulb manufacturing factory in Delhi but had to return home due to corona. Pramod started a small unit to manufacture LED bulbs and went on to become a factory owner in a few months while providing employment to local youths.
Prime Minister cited the example of Santosh from Garhmukteshwar in Uttar Pradesh. When everything came to a halt at the time of Corona Lockdown, Santosh and his family began mat making which was passed down from their ancestors. Soon, they started getting orders for their mats not only from Uttar Pradesh, but also from other states.
Prime Minister expressed delight that people in India are taking up the challenge to be self-reliant in Chia seeds too. Harishchandra of Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh has begun farming of Chia seeds. He said cultivation of Chia seeds will also increase his income and will help in the AatmaNirbhar Bharat campaign.
Mr. Modi told that many experiments of creating wealth from agricultural waste too are being run successfully in the entire country. He highlighted that Murugesan from Madurai made a machine to make ropes from waste of banana. He further said this innovation of Murugesan will not only solve the issues of environment and filth but also pave the way for additional income for the farmers.
The Prime Minister stressed on water conservation. He urged people to start a 100 day campaign for cleaning up water sources and harvest rainwater. Mr. Modi pointed out that just as water is a collective gift of nature, there is a collective accountability too for conserving water. World Water Day is being celebrated on the 22nd of March. The Prime Minister said rainfall begins in May-June in most parts of India and Jal Shakti Abhiyan, Catch The Rain is being initiated by the Jal Shakti Ministry. He asked people to commit to the task and get existing rainwater harvesting systems repaired, clean up lakes and ponds in villages, and conserve rainwater to the maximum.
Mr Modi mentioned Sujit who wrote to him that Nature has bestowed upon a collective gift in the form of Water and the responsibility of saving it is also collective. Aaradhya from Uttar Pradesh wrote to the Prime Minister that millions of people in the world spend a major part of their lives in overcoming water shortage.
Mr Modi said there was a time when in villages, people would collectively look after wells and ponds. Now one such effort is underway at Thiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu. Here, local people have been running a campaign for the conservation of their wells. These people are rejuvenating public wells in their vicinity that had been lying unused for years.
Mr Modi also mentioned the endeavour of Babita Rajput of Agrotha village in Madhya Pradesh. There was a very large lake which had dried up close to Babita’s village. She mobilized other women of the village itself and built a canal to bring water to the lake. Through this canal, rainwater started flowing directly into the lake. Now this lake remains filled with water.
Mr Modi praised the work of Jagdish Kuniyal of Bageshwar, Uttarakhand. Jagdish’s village and the adjoining area were dependent on a natural source for their water requirements but the source dried up. Jagdish decided to solve the crisis through tree plantation.
‘National Science Day’ is being observed today. The day is dedicated to the discovery of ‘Raman Effect’ by the great scientist of India, Nobel Laureate Dr C. V. Raman. The Prime Minister urged the people and especially the youth to know, understand and read a lot about the history of science and scientists of India and imbibe the values.
Mr. Modi stated that there is a lot of contribution of the power of science in the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Campaign’. He emphasized that nation has to move science forward with the mantra of ‘Lab to Land’. He cited the example of Chintala Venkat Reddy from Hyderabad who developed breeds of wheat and rice that specially contained vitamin D. This month itself, Reddy has received patent from World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva. Venkat Reddy was also honoured with the Padmashree last year.
Mr Modi also mentioned Urugen Futsog of Ladakh who is growing about 20 crops organically there. He also lauded Kamraj Choudhary from Patan district in Gujarat who has developed good seeds of drumstick at home itself.
Mr Modi talked about a post by Mayur from Gurgaon on the NaMo App. Mayur had praised the people of Assam, and in particular, the people of Kaziranga, for the rise in the number of waterfowls. The Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve Authority has been carrying out its Annual Waterfowls Census for some time.
This Census reveals that this time the number of water birds has increased by about one hundred seventy five percent compared to last year. A total of 112 species of birds have been sighted in Kaziranga National Park during this Census. And of these, 58 species happen to be winter migrants from different parts of the world including Europe, Central Asia and East Asia.
Mr Modi also spoke about Jadav Payeng of Assam who received the Padma award for contributing in raising about 300 hectares of plantations in the Majuli Island. He has been constantly working for forest conservation and is also involved in motivating people for Plantation and conservation of biodiversity.
Mr Modi said the temples in Assam are also playing a unique role in the protection of nature. He said every temple has a pond in the vicinity. The Hayagriva Madhav Temple at Hajo, the Nagashankar Temple at Sonitpur and the Ugratara Temple at Guwahati have many such ponds nearby.
They are being used to save near extinct species of turtles. Assam is home to the highest number of species of turtles. The Prime Minister said the ponds of these temples can become excellent sites for their conservation, breeding and training about them.
Prime Minister also touched upon the subject of examinations. He said like every year, this year too there will be a ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’ in March. He requested all exam warriors, parents and teachers to share their experiences and tips on MyGov platform and Narendra Modi app.
This time, along with the youth, parents and teachers are also invited to ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’. So far, more than one lakh students, about 40 thousand parents, and about 10 thousand teachers have participated.
Mr Modi also asked people to not lower guard against Corona. He said there should not be any laxity in the rules regarding Corona.
The Prime Minister was happy to note that Silu Nayak from Arakhuda in Odisha imparts free training to the youth who want to join the army. The name of the organization of Silu Nayak is Mahaguru Battalion. The training touches upon all the aspects from physical fitness to interviews and writing to training.
On a personal note, replying to a query of Aparna Reddy from Hyderabad if there is something, Mr Modi said he feels it is a shortcoming that he could not make much effort to learn Tamil, the oldest language in the world. He shared a clip of a guide at the Statue of Unity, informing people in Sanskrit about the statue of Sardar Patel.
He also played a clip of a cricket commentary being done in Sanskrit. The Prime Minister told that it would be a good idea to have commentaries of different sports in more languages. He urged the Sports Ministry and private institutional partners to think about it.
Prime Minister also touched upon the month of Magh and its spiritual-social significance. He said Sant Ravidas ji’s birth anniversary falls on the very day of Magh Poornima. Mr Modi said Sant Ravidas always expressed himself openly on the social ills that had pervaded society. He said he experienced the spiritual loftiness of Sant Ravidas ji’s life and his energy at the pilgrimage site in Varanasi.
Mr Modi said country’s youth must learn from Sant Ravidas to not bind themselves to old methods and practices but devise their own methods and practices. He said youth are not able to do what they really want due to the pressures of traditional thinking.
He said today the youth of the country is not at all in favour of being dependent on anybody. He said he sees the innovative spirit of the youth and Sant Ravidas would have definitely felt proud of them.