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Special Content

Issue no 24, 10-16 September 2022

PM Shri Narendra Modi's Mann Ki Baat 28th August 2022


·         On the special occasion of Amrit Mahotsav and Independence Day, we have seen the collective might of the country. There has been a sense of realisation. Such a big country, so many diversities, but when it came to hoisting the tricolor, everyone seemed to act in the same spirit. People themselves came forward, becoming the vanguard of the pride of the tricolor. Our soldiers hoisted the tricolor on the peaks of high mountains, on the borders of the country, and in the middle of the sea

·         Friends, these colors of the Amrit Mahotsav were seen not only in India, but also in other countries of the world. Local singers in Botswana sang 75 patriotic songs to celebrate 75 years of India's independence. What is more special in this is that these 75 songs were sung in languages like Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bangla, Assamese, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Sanskrit. Similarly, in Namibia, a special stamp has been released on the Indo-Namibian culturaltraditional relations

·         A few days ago, I got an opportunity to attend a program of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India wherein a screening of 'Swaraj', the Doordarshan serial was organised. The serial is a great initiative to acquaint the younger generation of the country with the efforts of unsung heroes who took part in the freedom movement. It is telecast every Sunday at 9 pm on Doordarshan. And I was told that is going to continue for 75 weeks. I urge you to take time out to watch it yourself and do show it to the children of the house.

·         The Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav will continue till next year i.e. August 2023. For the country, for the freedom fighters, the writings and events that we have been organising, we have to carry them forward.

·         The Rigveda says, "Man-mapo manushi: amritkam dhaat tokay tanayaaya shyamyo: Yooyam Hisatha Bhishjo Matritama Vishwasya Sthatu: Jagato Janitri," which in English means "O water, you are the best friend of humanity. You are the giver of life, food is produced from you, and from you is the well-being of our children. You are the protector of us and keep us away from all evils. You are the best medicine, and you are the sustainer of this universe." The importance of water and water conservation has been explained in our culture thousands of years ago. You will remember, in 'Mann Ki Baat', I had talked about Amrit Sarovar four months ago. After that, the local administration got active in different districts, voluntary organizations came together and local people connected… and lo & behold! the construction of Amrit Sarovars has become a mass movement. When there is a deep feeling to do something for the country, realize one's duties, concern for the coming generations, then the capabilities also get added up, and the resolve becomes noble.

·         I have come to know of a brilliant effort from Warangal in Telangana. A new Gram Panchayat has been formed here, named 'Mangtya-Valya Thanda'. There was a place near the village where a lot of water used to accumulate during monsoon. On the initiative of the villagers, this place is now being developed under the Amrit Sarovar campaign. This time due to the rains during the monsoon, this lake has been filled to the brim with water. In Mocha Gram Panchayat in Mandla, Madhya Pradesh, an Amrit Sarovar is built near the Kanha National Park. The newly constructed Shaheed Bhagat Singh Amrit Sarovar in Lalitpur, Uttar Pradesh is also drawing a lot of people. In Karnataka's Bilkerur village of Bagalkot district, people have built a very beautiful Amrit Sarovar. In fact, in this area, people had a lot of problems because of the water flowing down from the mountain; farmers and their crops also suffered losses. To make the Amrit Sarovar, the people of the village channelized all the water and brought it aside.

·         The Amrit Sarovar Abhiyan not only solves many of our problems, it is equally necessary for our coming generations. Under this campaign, at many places, old water bodies are also being rejuvenated. Amrit Sarovars are being used for quenching the thirst of animals as well as for farming. Due to these ponds, the ground water table of the surrounding areas has risen. At the same time, greenery is also increasing around them. Not only this, people at many places are also engaged in preparations for fish farming in Amrit Sarovars. I urge all of you, especially my young friends, to actively participate in the Amrit Sarovar campaign and lend full strength to these efforts of water conservation and water storage and take them forward.

·         An interesting project is being run in Bongai village of Assam - Project Sampoorna. The purpose of this project is to fight against malnutrition and the method too is very unique. Under this, the mother of a healthy child from an Anganwadi center meets the mother of a malnourished child every week and discusses all the nutrition related information. That is, one mother becomes a friend of another mother, helps her, and teaches her. With the help of this project, in this region, in one year, malnutrition has been eradicated in more than 90 percent children.

·         We celebrate the Poshan Maah every year from the 1st to the 30th of September. Many creative and diverse efforts are being made all over the country against malnutrition. Better use of technology and also public participation has become an important part of the nutrition campaign. From providing mobile devices to millions of Anganwadi workers in the country, a Poshan Tracker has also been launched to monitor the accessibility of Anganwadi services. In all the Aspirational Districts and the states of the North East, 14 to 18 year old daughters have also been brought under the purview of the POSHAN Abhiyaan. The solution to the malady of malnutrition is not limited just to these steps - in this fight, many other initiatives also play an important role. For example, take the Jal Jeevan Mission…this mission is also going to have a huge impact in making India malnutrition free. Efforts for social awareness play an important role in tackling the challenges of malnutrition. I would urge all of you in the coming nutrition month, to take part in the efforts to eradicate malnutrition.

·         Can you imagine, whether song and music and bhajans can also be used to remove malnutrition? This experiment has been successfully done in 'Mera Bachha' campaign in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh. Under this, bhajankirtans are organized in the district, in which teachers as nutrition gurus are called. Besides this, women bring a handful of grains to the Anganwadi center and with this grain, a 'Balbhoj' is organized. As a result, besides this increase in the attendance of children in Anganwadi centers, malnutrition has also shown a dip.

·         A unique campaign is also going on in Jharkhand. A snake-ladder game has been prepared in Giridih, Jharkhand. Through play, children learn about good and bad habits.

·         The United Nations has passed a resolution declaring the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets. This proposal was moved by India and approved by more than 70 countries. Today, around the world, craze for these very coarse grain millets, is rising. When Heads of States come to India, it is my endeavor to get dishes made from the millets for them. And the experience has been that these dignitaries have very much relished them and they also try to collect a lot of information about our coarse grains, about millets. In millets too, just like our culture, a lot of diversity is found. Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, Sawan, Kangni, Cheena, Kodo, Kutki, Kuttu, all these are different varieties of millets. India is the largest producer of millets in the world; hence the responsibility of making this initiative a success also rests on the shoulders of us Indians. Together we all have to make it a mass movement, and also increase the awareness of millets among the people of the country.

·         Millets are also beneficial for the farmers and especially the small farmers. In fact, the crop gets ready in a very short time, and does not require much water either. Millet hay is also considered the best fodder.

·         Millets contain plenty of protein, fiber, and minerals. Many people even call it a Superfood. Along with reducing obesity, they also reduce the risk of diabetes, hypertension and heart related diseases, they are also helpful in preventing stomach and liver ailments. Millets are also very beneficial in fighting malnutrition, since they are packed with energy as well as protein.

·         Along with focusing on research and innovation related to millets, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) are being encouraged to increase the production of millets. It is my request to my farmer brothers and sisters to adopt millets more and more and benefit from it.

·         It feels good to see that many start-ups are emerging which are working on millets. Some of these are making millet cookies, while some are also making millet pancakes and dosa. There are some who are making millet energy bars, and millet breakfasts. I wish all the very best to all the people working in this field. In this festive season, we also use millets in most of the dishes. You must share the pictures of such delicacies made in your homes on social media, so that it helps in increasing awareness among people about millets.

·         In Jorsing village in Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, 4G internet services have started from this year's Independence Day. There has been a new sunrise in the form of 4G in the remote areas of Arunachal and North East; internet connectivity has brought a new dawn. Facilities which were once available only in big cities, have been brought to every village through Digital India. For this reason, new digital entrepreneurs are rising in the country.

·         Digital India mission has helped many people become entrepreneurs. Setha Singh Rawatji of Ajmer district of Rajasthan runs 'Darzi Online', an e-Store for tailoring services which has given employment to hundreds of women. Digital India has also turned Om Prakash Singh ji of Unnao, UP into a digital entrepreneur. He has established more than one thousand broadband connections in his village and has also built a free wifi zone around his common service centre, which is helping the needy people a lot. Like the common service center, many such success stories are being seen on the Government e-Marketplace i.e. GEM portal. The internet has also changed the way our young friends study and learn.

·         We can learn a lot from the lives of the people living in the hills. The first lesson is that if we do not come under the pressure of circumstances, we can easily overcome them, and secondly, how we can become self-sufficient with local resources. These days in Spiti region, pea plucking is going on. The women of the village gather, and together, pluck peas from each other's fields, which shows that mutual cooperation here is also a part of folk tradition. The best example of utilization of local resources is also found in Spiti.  Farmers who rear cows in Spiti, dry up the dung and fill it in sacks. When winter comes, these sacks are laid out in the sheds where the cows live. During snowfall, these sacks give protection to the cows from the cold. After winters, the same cow dung is used as manure in the fields. That is why this area, these days, is also becoming an inspiration for natural farming.

·         Many such commendable efforts are also being seen in other hilly areas. In Uttarakhand, many types of medicines and plants are found, which are very beneficial for our health. One of them is the fruit - Bedu or Himalayan Fig. In this fruit, minerals and vitamins are found in abundance. Now Bedu juice, jams, chutneys, pickles and dry fruits have been launched in the market. Due to this, farmers have not only found a new source of income, but the benefits of the medicinal properties of Bedu have started reaching far and wide.

(This is an approximate English translation of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's Mann ki Baat originally delivered in Hindi). Source: pmindia.gov.in