My dear countrymen, Namaskar. Today, ‘Chhath’, the great festival of sun worship is being celebrated in many parts of the country. Lakhs of devotees have reached their villages, their homes, their families to be a part of the ‘Chhath’ festival. I pray that Chhath Maiya bless everyone with prosperity and well being.
Friends, the tradition of worshiping the Sun is a proof of how deep our culture, our faith, is related to nature. Through this puja the importance of sunlight in our life has been illustrated. Along with this, the message has also been conveyed that ups and downs are an integral part of life. Therefore, we should maintain a uniform poise have in every situation. Various fruits and Thekua are offered in the worship of Chhath Maiya. The fasting in this is also not less than any difficult sadhna. Another special thing about Chhath Puja is that the items used for worship are prepared by myriad people of the society together. In this, a basket or supli made of bamboo is used. Earthen lamps have their own significance. Through this, the importance of farmers who grow gram and small entrepreneurs making batashas has been established in the society. Without their cooperation, the worship of Chhath, simply cannot be completed. The festival of Chhath also emphasizes on the importance of cleanliness in our lives. On the arrival of this festival, roads, rivers, ghats, various sources of water, all are cleaned at the community level. The festival of Chhath is also an example of ‘Ek Bharat- Shrestha Bharat’. Today, wherever the people of Bihar and Purvanchal are in any corner of the country, Chhath is being celebrated with great pomp. Chhath is now getting organized on a large scale in different districts of Maharashtra along with Delhi, Mumbai and many parts of Gujarat. I do remember that earlier in Gujarat, Chhath Pooja was not performed to this extent.But with the passage of time, the colors of Chhath Puja have started getting dissolved in almost the whole of Gujarat. I am also very happy to see this. Nowadays we see, how many grand pictures of Chhath Puja come from abroad too. That is, the rich heritage of India, our faith, is re-inforcing its identity in every corner of the world. My best wishes to every devotee who is participating in this great festival.
My dear countrymen, we have just talked about the holy Chhath Puja, the worship of Lord Surya. So today, along with worshiping the Sun, why not also discuss his boon! This blessing of Sun God is – ‘Solar Energy’. Solar Energy is a subject today, in which the whole world is looking at its future and for India, the Sun God has not only been worshiped for centuries, but has also been the focus of our way of life. Today, India is combining its traditional experiences with modern science, that is why, today, we have become one of the largest countries to generate electricity from solar energy. How solar energy is changing the lives of the poor and middle class of our country is also a subject of study.
In Tamil Nadu, there is a farmer in Kancheepuram, Thiru K. Ezilon. He took the benefit of ‘PM Kusum Yojana’ and got a solar pumpset of ten horsepower installed in his farm. Now they do not have to spend anything on electricity for their farm. They are not even dependent on the government’s electricity supply for irrigation in the field any more. Similarly, in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, another beneficiary farmer of ‘KusumYojana’ is – Kamalji Meena. Kamal ji installed a solar pump in the field, due to which his expenses have come down. Since the expense has come down, the income also has increased. Kamalji is also connecting many other small industries with solar electricity. There is timber work in their area, there are products made from cow dung and solar electricity is also being used in them.
They are also giving employment to 10-12 people, that is, the fragrance of Kamalji’s initiative that started with Kusum Yojana, has started reaching many people.
Friends, can you ever imagine that on using electricity for a month, instead of getting your electricity bill, you get paid for electricity ? Solar energy has also demonstrated that. A few days ago, you must have heard a lot about the country’s first Solar Village – Modhera of Gujarat! Most of the houses in Modhera Surya Gram have started generating electricity from solar power. Now in many houses there, there is no electricity bill at the end of the month; instead, a check from the electricity income is being generated. Seeing this happen, now people of many villages of the country are writing letters to me stating that their village should also be converted into Surya Gram, that is, the day is not far when the construction of Suryagrams in India will become a big mass movement and the people of Modhera village have already begun that.
Let us also introduce the listeners of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ to the people of Modhera. Shriman Vipinbhai Patel is at the moment with us on the phone line.
Prime Minister :- Look, now Modhera is being discussed as a model for the whole country. But when all your relatives and acquaintances ask you, what do you tell them, what have the benefits been?
Vipinji :- Sir, when people ask us, we say that whatever bill we used to get, that is now zero and sometimes it comes to 70 rupees, but the economic condition in our entire village is improving.
Prime Minister :- That is, in a way, the earlier concern of electricity bill is over!
Vipinji :- Yes sir, that is correct sir. Now there is no tension in the whole village. Everyone is feeling that what Sir has done, he has done very well. Everyone is happy Sir. All are delighted.
Prime Minister: – Now they themselves have become the owners of the electricity factory in their own houses. Electricity is being generated on the roof of their own houses.
Vipinji :- Yes sir, it is right sir.
Prime Minister :- So what is the effect of this change on the people of the village?
Vipinji:- Sir, the people of the whole village, they are into agriculture, so we have got rid of electricity hassles. No electricity bill is not to be paid, they have become free of worries.
Prime Minister :- Meaning, the electricity bill has also gone and the convenience has increased.
Vipinji :- The hassles are over Sir and Sir, when you had come here and that 3D show which you inaugurated here, after that the glory of Modhera village has grown manifold. And the secretary who had come sir…
Prime Minister :- Yes sir…
Vipinji :- So the village became famous sir.
Prime Minister :- Yes, it was the wish of the Secretary General of the UN himself. He urged me a lot that you have done such a great work, so I want to go there and see.
Prime Minister :- Fine, Vipin Bhai, I wish you and all the people of your village many best wishes and the world should take inspiration from you and this solar energy campaign should reach every home.
Vipinji :- Alright sir. We will tell all of them Sir, to get solar installed, even with your own money,… even then, there is a lot of benefit.
Prime Minister :- Yes, make the people understand. Wish you the very best. Thanks brother!
Vipinji :- Thank you sir, Thank you sir, my life feels blessed, talking to you.
Prime Minister :- Many thanks to Vipinbhai.
Let us now also talk to Varsha Behen in Modhera village.
Varshaben :- Hello! Namaste sir!
Prime Minister :- Namaste-Namaste Varshaben | how are you
Varshaben :- We are very good sir. How are you ?
Prime Minister :- I am very fine.
Varshaben :- We are blessed to talk to you sir.
Prime Minister :- Okay Varshaben !
Varshaben :- Yes.
Prime Minister:- You are in Modhera…, you are from a military family.
Varshaben :- I am from military family. This is an ex Army man’s wife speaking sir.
Prime Minister :- So where all did you get a chance to go in India earlier?
Varshaben :- I got a chance to stay together in Rajasthan, in Gandhi Nagar, Kachra Kanjhor in Jammu. There were a lot of facilities available there sir.
Prime Minister :- Yes. Being part of the army, you are also speaking Hindi well.
Varshaben :- Yes-yes. I have learned.
Prime Minister :- Tell me, the big transformation that came in Modhera, you got this Solar Rooftop Plant installed. What people might be saying in the beginning, then it must have come to your mind, what that meant? What are you doing ?what will happen ? How can electricity come this way? These are all things that must have come to your mind. What is your experience now? What is the benefit of this?
Varshaben:- A lot sir. One benefit after the other sir. Sir, Diwali is celebrated every day in our village because of you. We are getting electricity for 24 hours a day…, there is no bill at all! In our house we have brought all electric appliances in the house sir, we are using everything – because of you sir. Since, there is no bill, we can use everything with free mind.
Prime Minister :- This is true, you have also made up your mind to make maximum use of electricity.
Varshaben :- Indeed Sir! Right now we do not have any problem, we can run all this… washing machine, AC, everything with a free mind, sir!
Prime Minister :- And the rest of the people of the village are also happy because of this?
Varshaben :- Very very happy sir.
Prime Minister:- Well, does your husband work at the Sun Temple there? So the light show that happened there was such a big event and now guests from all over the world are coming.
VarshaBen :- Foreigners from all over the world can come but you have made our village famous in the world.
Prime Minister :- So your husband’s work must have increased now that so many guests are coming there to see the temple.
VarshaBen :- Oh! It doesn’t matter, no matter how much work increases sir, my husband has no problem with that…do go on developing our village.
Prime Minister :- Now we all have to do the development of the village together.
VarshaBen :- Yes, yes. Sir we are with you
Prime Minister :- And I would like to congratulate the people of Modhera because the village accepted this scheme and they were convinced that yes we can make electricity in our house.
Rain Ben -: 24 Hours Sir! We have electricity in our house and we are very happy.
Prime Minister :- Fine! I wish you the very best. The money that is saved, use it for the betterment of the children. Use that money well so that your life benefits. I wish you the very best. And my salutations to all the people of Modhera!
Friends, what Varshaben and Vipin Bhai have mentioned is an inspiration for the whole country, for villages and cities. Modhera’s experience can be replicated across the country. The power of the sun will now save money and increase income. Manzoor Ahmed Larhwal is a friend from Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. On account of winters in Kashmir, the cost of electricity is high. For this reason, Manzoorji’s electricity bill also used to be more than Rs. 4 thousand, but, since Manzoorji has got a Solar Rooftop Plant installed at his house, his expenditure has come down to less than half. Similarly, KunniDeori, a daughter from Odisha, is making solar energy a medium of employment for her as well as for other women. Kunni lives in Kardapal village of Kendujhar district of Odisha. She trains tribal women to spin silk on a solar-powered reeling machine. Due to the Solar Machine, these tribal women do not have to bear the burden of electricity bill, and they are earning income. This is the very boon of Sun God’s solar energy. The more the boon and the blessings spread, the better it is. Therefore, I urge you to join this and add others too.
My dear countrymen, just now I was talking to you about the sun. Now my attention is going towards space. That is because our country is doing wonders in the solar sector as well as the space sector. The whole world, today, is surprised to see the achievements of India. So I thought, by telling this to the listeners of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, I should make them happy too.
Friends, you must have seen a few days ago, that India has placed 36 satellites in space simultaneously. This success achieved just a day before Diwali, in a way, it is a special Diwali gift from our youth to the country. With this launching, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Kutch to Kohima, in the whole country, digital connectivity will be further strengthened. With the help of this, even the remotest areas will be more easily connected with the rest of the country. When the country is self-reliant, how, it reaches new heights of success – this is also an example of this. While talking to you, I also remember those old days, when India was denied the Cryogenic Rocket Technology. But the scientists of India not only developed indigenous technology, but today with the help of it, dozens of satellites are being sent to space simultaneously. With this launching, India has emerged as a strong player in the global commercial market…with this, new doors of oppurtunities have also opened up for India.
Friends, our country, which is moving with the resolve of a developed India, can achieve its goals only with the efforts of everyone. Earlier in India, the space sector was confined within the purview of government systems. Since, the space sector was opened for India’s youth and revolutionary changes have started coming in it. Indian industries and start-ups are engaged in bringing new innovations and new technologies in this field. In particular, the collaboration of IN-SPACe is going to make a big difference in this area.
Non-government companies are also getting the facility to launch their payloads and satellites through IN-SPACe. I would urge more and more Start-ups and Innovators to take full advantage of these huge opportunities being created in India in the space sector.
My dear countrymen, when it comes to students, youth power, leadership power, so many outdated stereotypes have become ingrained in our mind. Many times we see that when student power is referred to, its scope is limited by linking it with the student union elections. But the scope of student power is very big, very vast. Student power is the basis of making India powerful. After all, it’s the youth of today, who will take are today will take India till 2047. When India celebrates her centenary, this power of youth, their hard work, their sweat, their talent, will take India to the heights that the country is resolving today. The way our youth of today are working for the country, and have joined nation building, makes me filled with confidence. The way our youth solve problems in hackathons, stay awake all night and work for hours, is very inspiring. A hackathon held in recent years, with lakhs of youth of the country, together have solved many challenges; have given new solutions to the country.
Friends, you may remember, I had called for ‘Jai Anusandhan’ from the Red Fort. I had also talked about making this decade the Techade of India. I loved seeing this; our IIT’s students have also taken over its command. This month on 14-15 October, all 23 IITs came on one platform for the first time to showcase their innovations and research projects. In this fair, students and researchers who came from all over the country, displayed more than 75 best projects. Healthcare, Agriculture, Robotics, Semiconductors, 5G Communications, these projects were made on many such themes. Although all these projects were one better than the other, I want to draw your attention to some projects. For example, a team from IIT Bhubaneswar has developed a portable ventilator for new born babies. It runs on battery and can be used easily in remote areas. This can prove to be very helpful in saving the lives of babies who are born prematurely. Be it electric mobility, drone technology, 5G, many of our students are engaged in developing new technology related to them. Several IITs are also working together on a multilingual project that makes learning local languages easier.
This project will help the new National Education Policy a lot in achieving those goals as well. You will also be happy to know that IIT Madras and IIT Kanpur have played a leading role in preparing India’s indigenous 5G testbed. This is certainly a great start. I hope to see many more such efforts in the times to come. I also hope that taking inspiration from IITs, other institutions will also step up their R&D activities. |
My dear countrymen, sensitivity towards the environment is embedded in every particle of our society and we can feel it all around us. There is no dearth of people in the country who spend a lifetime in the protection of the environment.
We can also learn a lot from Suresh Kumar ji, who lives in Bangaluru, Karnataka, he has a great passion for protecting nature and environment. 20 years ago, he had taken the initiative to rejuvenate a forest of Sahakarnagar in the city. It was a difficult task. But these saplings that were planted 20 years ago have grown into 40 feet tall huge trees. Now their beauty captivates everyone’s mind. This also gives a feeling of great pride to the people living there. Suresh Kumar ji also does another wonderful job. He has also built a bus shelter in Sahakarnagar to promote Kannada language and culture. He has also presented brass plates written in Kannada to hundreds of people. If both Ecology and Culture grow together and flourish…, just imagine how great it would be!
Friends, today more awareness is being seen among people about Eco-friendly living and Eco-friendly products than ever before. I also got a chance to know about one such interesting endeavor from Tamil Nadu. This is a brilliant effort by a team of tribal women in Anaikatti, Coimbatore. These women crafted ten thousand Eco-friendly Terracotta Tea Cups for export. The amazing thing is that these women themselves took up the entire responsibility of making the Terracotta Tea Cups. From Clay Mixing to Final Packaging, they did all the work themselves. They had also taken training for this. Whatever praise is showered on this wonderful effort is little.
Friends, some villages of Tripura have also set very good examples. You must have heard about Bio-Village, but some villages of Tripura have ascended to the level of Bio-Village 2. Bio-Village 2 emphasizes how to minimize the damage caused by natural disasters. In this, full attention is given to improve the quality of life of the people through various measures. There is complete focus on Solar Energy, Biogas, Bee Keeping and Bio Fertilizers. Overall, Bio-Village 2 is going to lend a lot of strength to the campaign against climate change. I am very happy to see the increasing enthusiasm for environmental protection in different parts of the country. A few days ago, in India, Mission Life dedicated to protect the environment has also been launched. The simple principle of Mission Life is – Promote such a lifestyle, which does not harm the environment. I urge you to also know Mission Life and try to adopt it.
Friends, Tomorrow, the 31st of October, is National Unity Day, the auspicious occasion of the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. On this day, Run for Unity is organized in every corner of the country. This race strengthens the thread of unity in the country, inspires our youth. A few days ago, the same sentiment has been seen during our National Games as well. With the theme ‘Judega India to Jeetega India’, national game, on the one hand, have given a strong message of unity, on the other, have promoted India’s sports culture. You will be happy to know that the National Games this time was the biggest ever organized in India. 36 sports were included in this, in which, 7 new and two indigenous competitions, Yogasan and Mallakhamb were also included. The three teams that were at the fore in winning the Gold Medal are – Services team, Maharashtra and Haryana team. Six National Records and about 60 National Games Records were also made in these games. I congratulate all the players, who won medals, made new records, participated in this sports competition. I also wish these players a bright future.
Friends, I would also like to express my heartfelt appreciation to all those people who contributed in the successful organization of the National Games held in Gujarat. You have seen that in Gujarat the National Games were held during Navratri. Before organizing these games, once it came to my mind that at this time the whole of Gujarat is involved in these festivals, so how will people be able to enjoy these games? Such elaborate arrangement and on the other hand, arrangements for Navratri Garba etc!. How will Gujarat do all this work at the same time? But the people of Gujarat made all the guests happy with their hospitality. The way art, sports and culture came together during the National Games in Ahmedabad, it filled all with joy. While the players also used to participate in the games during the day; in the evening they used to get immersed in the colors of Garba and Dandiya. They also shared a lot of pictures of Gujarati food and Navratri on social media. It was a pleasure for all of us to see. After all, through games like these, one comes to know about the diverse cultures of India. They equally strengthen the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat’.
My dear countrymen, on the 15th of November, our country will celebrate the Janjateeya Gaurav Diwas. You will remember, the country started this last year to celebrate the tribal heritage and pride on the birth anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda. Bahgwan BirsaMunda had united millions of people against the British rule in his short lifetime. He had sacrificed his life to protect India’s independence and tribal culture. There is so much that we can learn from Dharti Aba Birsa Munda. Friends, when it comes to Dharti Aba Birsa Munda, let’s look at his short life span; even today we can learn a lot from him and Dharti Aba had said- ‘This earth is ours, we are its protectors.’ There is also a sense of duty for the motherland in this sentence and there is also a feeling of our duty for the environment. He had always emphasized that we should not forget our tribal culture, we should not go far from it at all. Even today, we can learn a lot about nature and environment from the tribal societies of the country.
Friends, Last year on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda, I had the privilege of inaugurating the Bhagwan Birsa Munda Museum in Ranchi. I would like to urge the youth that whenever they get time, they must visit it. I also want to tell you that on November 1, i.e. the day after tomorrow, I shall be at will be at Mangarh, on the border of Gujarat-Rajasthan. Mangarh has had a very special place in India’s freedom struggle and our rich tribal heritage. There was a terrible massacre here in November 1913, in which the British brutally murdered the local tribals. It is said that more than a thousand tribals lost their lives in this massacre. This tribal movement was led by Govind Guru ji, whose life is an inspiration to everyone. Today I bow to all those tribal martyrs and the indomitable courage and valor of Govind Guru ji. The more faithfully we follow the ideals of Bhagwan Birsa Munda, Govind Guru and other freedom fighters during Amrit Kaal, the more our country will touch newer heights.
My dear countrymen, the 8th of November is Gurupurab. As much as the Prakash Parv of Guru Nanak ji is important for our faith, we equally get to learn from it. Throughout his life, Guru Nanak Dev Ji spread light for the sake of humanity. In the last few years, the country has made many efforts to spread the light of Gurus to the masses. We had the privilege of celebrating the 550th Prakash Parv of Guru Nanak DevJi on a large scale in the country and abroad. It is equally pleasant to see the development of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor after decades of waiting. A few days ago I also got the privilege of laying the foundation stone of the ropeway for Hemkund Sahib. We have to continuously learn from the teachings of our Gurus and remain devoted to them. This day is also Kartik Purnima. On this day, at places of piligrimages, we bathe and perform service and charity. I extend warm greetings to all of you on these festivals. In the coming days, many states will also celebrate their Statehood day. Andhra Pradesh will celebrate its foundation day; Kerala Piravi will be celebrated. Karnataka Rajyotsava will be celebrated. Similarly, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Haryana will also celebrate their Statehood day. I convey my best wishes to the people of all these states. In all our states, the stronger the spirit to learn from each other, to cooperate, and to work together, the more the country will go forward. I am sure we will move forward with the same spirit. You all take care of yourself, stay healthy. I take leave of you till the next episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Namaskar, thanks.