My dear countrymen, Namaskar! Last week we achieved a feat that filled all of us with pride. You must have heard that last week, India has achieved the export target of $ 400 billion, i.e. 30 lakh crore rupees. At first instance, it might come across as a matter related to the economy; but more than the economy, it is related to the capability of India, the potential of India. At one time, the figure of exports from India used to be 100 billion, at times 150 billion, sometimes 200 billion…today, India has reached 400 billion dollars. In a way, this means that the demand for items made in India is increasing all over the world; the other meaning is that the supply chain of India is getting stronger by the day… and it also has a very big message. The nation takes great strides when resolves are bigger than dreams. When there is a sincere effort day and night for the resolves, those resolutions also attain fruition… and you see, the same happens in a person’s life as well. When one’s resolve, one’s efforts, become bigger than one’s dreams, success comes to the person on its own.
Friends, new, ever new products from all corners of the country are reaching foreign shores. Leather products from Hailakandi in Assam or handloom products from Osmanabad, fruits and vegetables from Bijapur or black rice from Chandauli, the exports of all of these are increasing. Now, you will also find the world famous apricot of Ladakh in Dubai too and in Saudi Arabia, you will find bananas shipped from Tamil Nadu. Most importantly, an array of new products are being sent to ever newer countries. For example, the first consignment of millets grown in Himachal and Uttarakhand was exported to Denmark. Bainganapalli and Subarnarekha mangoes from Krishna and Chittoor districts of Andhra Pradesh were exported to South Korea. Fresh jackfruits from Tripura were exported to London by air and for the first time King Chilli from Nagaland was dispatched to London. Similarly, the first consignment of Bhalia wheat was exported from Gujarat to Kenya and Sri Lanka. This means, now if you go to other countries, Made in India products will be more visible than ever before.
Friends, this list is very long and the power of Make In India is equivalent in might to the extent of the list. Equally great is the potential of India… and the basis of its strength are our farmers, artisans, our weavers, engineers, our small entrepreneurs, the MSME sector; people from many different professions, all of them are its true strength. It is only due to their hard work, that the goal of exporting to the tune of $ 400 billion has been achieved and I am happy that this power of the people of India is now reaching new markets in every nook and corner of the world. When each and every Indian is vocal for local, it does not take long for the local to become global. Let’s make the local ‘global’ and augment the prestige of our products further.
Friends, the listeners of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ will love to know that the success of our small entrepreneurs at the domestic level also makes us proud. Today our small entrepreneurs are playing a major partnership role in government procurement through Government e-Market place i.e. GeM. A much transparent system has been developed through technology. During the last one year through the GeM portal, the government has purchased items worth more than one lakh crore rupees. Close to 1.25 lakh small entrepreneurs, small shopkeepers from every corner of the country have sold their goods directly to the government. There was a time when only big companies could sell goods to the government. However, the country is changing now; the old systems are also changing. Now even the smallest of shopkeepers can sell one’s goods to the government on the GeM Portal – this is the New India. She not only dreams big, but also shows the courage to reach that goal, where no one has reached before. On the basis of this very courage, all of us Indians together will definitely fulfill the dream of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, a self-reliant India.
My dear countrymen, you must have observed Baba Sivanand ji in the recently held Padma Awards ceremony. Seeing the agility of the 126-year-old, everyone must have been surprised just like I was…and I saw, before one could bat an eyelid, he started bowing in the Nandi Mudra. I bowed a number of times and offered Pranaam to Baba Sivanand ji. Both, the age of 126 years and the fitness of Baba Sivanand are the subject of discussion in the country today. I read many people’s comments on social media, that Baba Sivanand is fitter than those one-fourth his age. Indeed, the life of Baba Sivananda is an inspiration for all of us. I wish him a long life. He has a passion for yoga and leads a very healthy lifestyle.
जीवेम शरदः शतम् |
In our culture, everyone is wished a hundred years of healthy life. We will celebrate ‘World Health Day’ on the 7th of April. Today, the collective Indian thought on health, whether it is Yoga or Ayurveda, is increasingly trending all over the world. Just last week you must have noticed a Yoga program being organized in Qatar. In this, citizens of 114 countries participated and made a new world record. Similarly, the market of the Ayush Industry is also increasing continuously. 6 years ago, the market for medicines related to Ayurveda was around 22 thousand crores. Today, the Ayush Manufacturing Industry is reaching around one lakh forty thousand crore rupees, that is, the possibilities are increasing continuously in this sector. In the start-up world too, AYUSH is becoming a subject of attraction.
Friends, I have often referred to earlier on other start-ups of the health sector, but this time I will talk to you especially on Ayush Start-Ups. There is a start-up Kapiva! Its meaning is hidden in its name. Here, Ka means – Kapha, Pi means – Pitta and Va means – Vaata. This Start-Up is based on healthy eating habits in accordance with our traditions. Nirog-Street too is another start-up which is a unique concept in the Ayurveda Healthcare Ecosystem. Its technology-driven platform connects Ayurveda Doctors from across the world directly to the people. More than 50 thousand practitioners are associated with it. Similarly, Atreya Innovations, a healthcare technology start-up, is working in the field of Holistic Wellness. Ixoreal has not only spread awareness about the use of Ashwagandha, but has also invested a huge amount on top-quality production process. Cureveda has created dietary supplements for Holistic Life through the confluence of modern herbal research and traditional knowledge.
Friends, I have listed only a few names so far; this list is very long. It is a symbol of the young entrepreneurs of India and the new possibilities being created in India. I also have a request for the Start-Ups of the Health Sector and especially the Ayush Start-Ups. Whatever portal you design online; whatever content you create, try to make it in all the languages recognized by the United Nations. There are many such countries in the world where English is neither spoken nor understood much. Promote your information keeping such countries in mind as well. I am sure that soon, Ayush Start-Ups from India with better quality products will reign all over the world.
Friends, health is also directly related to cleanliness. In ‘Mann Ki Baat’, we always mention the efforts of the proponents of cleanliness. One such Swachhagrahi is Chandrakishore Patil ji. He lives in Nashik, Maharashtra. Chandrakishore ji’s resolve regarding cleanliness is very heartfelt. He stands by the Godavari river, and constantly encourages people not to throw garbage in the river. If he sees someone doing this, he immediately stops them. Chandrakishore ji invests a lot of his time in this endeavour. By evening, he has a pile of such things, which people have brought to throw into the river. This effort of Chandrakishore ji also raises awareness and is also inspiring. Similarly, there is another Swachhagrahi – Rahul Maharana of Puri in Orissa. Rahul goes to the pilgrimage sites in Puri early in the morning every Sunday, and clears the plastic garbage there. He has cleaned hundreds of kilos of plastic garbage and dirt so far. Be it Rahul of Puri or Chandrakishore of Nashik, they teach us a lot. As citizens, we must carry out our duties, whether it is cleanliness, nutrition or vaccination… all these efforts also help us in staying healthy.
My dear countrymen, let’s talk about Mupattam Sri Narayanan ji of Kerala. He has started a project named – ‘Pots for water of life’. When you come to know about this project, you will marvel at the wonderful work done.
Friends, Mupattam Sri Narayanan ji is running a campaign to distribute earthen pots so that animals and birds do not face water problems during summer. In summer, he used to get upset seeing the plight of animals and birds. Then he thought… why not start distributing earthen pots himself so that others were left with only the task of filling water in those pots. You will be surprised that the number of utensils distributed by Narayanan ji is going to cross one lakh. In his campaign, he will donate the hundred thousandth pot to the Sabarmati Ashram established by Gandhi ji. Today, when the summer season has knocked at our doors, this work of Narayanan will definitely inspire all of us and we will also make arrangements for water for our animal and bird friends this summer.
Friends, I would also request the listeners of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ to reiterate our resolves. Whatever we can do to save every drop of water, we must do that. Apart from this, we have to keep giving equal emphasis on recycling of water. The water used at home can be used in pots, can be used in gardening, it must be reused. With a little effort, you can make such arrangements in your home. Centuries ago, Rahimdas ji had purposefull said ‘Rahiman paani raakhiye, bin paani sab soon‘. And in this task of saving water, I have high hopes from children. Just as our children made cleanliness a movement, they can help save water by becoming a ‘Water Warriors’.
Friends, for centuries, water conservation in our country; protection of water sources has been part of the nature of society. I am happy that many people in the country have made water conservation a life mission. Like Arun Krishnamurthy is a friend from Chennai! Arun ji is running a campaign to clean the ponds and lakes in his area. He took up the responsibility of cleaning more than 150 ponds and lakes and successfully completed it. Similarly, there is a friend from Maharashtra, Rohan Kale. Rohan is an HR Professional. He is running a campaign to preserve hundreds of step wells in Maharashtra. Many of these wells are centuries old and are part of our heritage. Bansilal-Pet Kuan in Secunderabad is one such step well. Due to years of neglect, this step well got filled with mud and garbage. But now the campaign to revive this step well has started with public participation.
Friends, I hail from a state where there has always been a shortage of water. These step wells are called Vav in Gujarat. Vav has played a big role in a state like Gujarat. The ‘Jal Mandir Scheme’ played a significant role in the protection of these wells or step wells. Several step wells were revived all over Gujarat. This also helped a lot in raising the water level in these areas. You can also run similar campaigns at the local level. Be it the construction of Check dams or Rain Water Harvesting, individual efforts are also important in this and collective efforts are necessary too. For instance, at least 75 Amrit Sarovars can be made in every district of our country in the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. Some old lakes can be rejuvenated; some new ones can be dug. I am sure you will definitely make some effort in this direction.
My dear countrymen, one of the beautiful aspects of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is that I get your messages in many languages, in many dialects. Many people also send audio message on MYGOV. India’s culture, our languages, our dialects, our way of life, our culinary range, all of this diversity is our great strength. From east to west, from north to south, this diversity binds India together, leading to Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat. Here too, both our historical sites and Pauranik literature contribute a lot. You must be wondering why I am mentioning this to you right now! The reason for this is the “Madhavpur Mela”. The listeners of Mann Ki Baat will find it very interesting to know where the Madhavpur Mela is held, why it is held, how it is related to the diversity of India.
Friends, “Madhavpur Mela” is held in the village of Madhavpur near the sea at Porbandar in Gujarat. But it also connects with the eastern end of India. You must be thinking how this is possible! The answer to this also comes from a Pauranik story. It is said that thousands of years ago Lord Krishna was married to Rukmani, a princess from the North East. This marriage took place in Madhavpur, Porbandar and as a symbol of the that marriage, even today Madhavpur fair is held there. This deep relationship between the East and West is our heritage. With the passage of time with the efforts of the people, new aspects too are now being added to the Madhavpur fair. In local parlance, the bride’s side is called Gharati and now many Gharaatis from the North East have started coming to this fair. Artists from all the states of the North East reach the Madhavpur Fair, which lasts for a week; when artisans associated with handicrafts arrive and the beauty of the fair is enhanced manifold. For a week, this amalgamation of cultures of the East and West of India, the Madhavpur fair creates a very beautiful example of Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat. I request you to read and know more about this fair as well.
My dear countrymen, the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav in the country is now becoming a new example of public participation. A few days ago, on the 23rd of March, many celebrations were held in different corners of the country on Martyrs’ Day. The country remembered te heroes and heroines of her Independence; remembered them reverently. On the same day I also got the opportunity to dedicate to the nation the Biplobi Bharat Gallery at Victoria Memorial, Kolkata. This is a very unique gallery to pay tribute to the brave revolutionaries of India. If you get n opportunity, you must certainly visit it. Friends, in the month of April we will also celebrate the birth anniversary of two great personalities. Both of them have left their deep impact on Indian society. These great personalities are – Mahatma Phule and Babasaheb Ambedkar. We will celebrate Mahatma Phule’s birth anniversary on the 11th of April and Babasaheb’s birth anniversary on the 14th of April. Both of these great men fought persistently against discrimination and inequality. Mahatma Phule opened schools for girls in that era; raised his voice against female infanticide. He also launched large campaigns to get rid of the water crisis.
Friends, the mention of Savitribai Phule ji is equally important in this reference to Mahatma Phule. Savitribai Phule played a significant role in the formation of many social institutions. As a teacher and a social reformer, she also made the society aware and encouraged it. Together they founded the Satyashodhak Samaj…they made efforts for the empowerment of the people. We can clearly see the influence of Mahatma Phule in the work of Babasaheb Ambedkar. He also used to say that the development of any society can be assessed by looking at the status of women in that society. Taking inspiration from the life of Mahatma Phule, Savitribai Phule, Babasaheb Ambedkar, I request all the parents and guardians to ensure education for their daughters. In order to increase the enrollment of daughters in schools, the Kanya Shiksha Pravesh Utsav has also been started a few days ago… the focus is on bringing back to school those girls who missed their studies for some reason.
Friends, it is a matter of good fortune for all of us that we have also got an opportunity to work for Panch Teerth associated with Babasaheb. Be it his birthplace in Mhow, Chaityabhoomi in Mumbai, his home in London, the Deeksha Bhoomi in Nagpur, or Babasaheb’s Maha-Parinirvana Sthal in Delhi, I have had the privilege of visiting all the places, all sacred sites. I would urge the listeners of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ to visit the places associated with Mahatma Phule, Savitribai Phule and Babasaheb Ambedkar. You will get to learn a lot there.
My dear countrymen, this time too in ‘Mann Ki Baat’ we talked on many topics. Many festivals are lined up next month. Navratri is only a few days away. In Navratri, we practice fasting, perform sadhana of Shakti, worship Shakti…that is, our traditions teach us celebration and restraint as well. Sanyam and Tap are also a festival for us, which is why Navratri has always been very special for all of us. There is also the festival of Gudi Padwa on the very first day of Navratri. Easter also comes in April and the holy days of Ramadan are also starting. Let us celebrate our festivals by including everyone together, strenthening India’s diversity… this is our collective desire. That’s all this time in ‘Mann Ki Baat’. I will see you again next month with new topics.
Many many thanks !