Mann Ki Baat: PM Modi remembers legendary Milkha Singh
India’s vaccination programme can be a case study for the world: PM Modi during Mann Ki Baat
India made a record of vaccinating 86 lakh people on 21st June: PM Modi
Collection of rainwater improves groundwater table; hence, water conservation is a form of service to the nation: PM Modi
We are all grateful for the contribution of doctors during the Corona period. Hence, this time Doctors' Day becomes even more special: PM
Chartered Accountants have a huge role in bringing transparency in the economy: PM Modi
Our mantra should be – India First: PM Modi

My dear countrymen, Namaskar.

Often in Mann Ki Baat there is a volley of your questions. This time I thought of doing something different, asking you questions, so listen carefully to my questions.

Who was the first Indian to win an Individual Gold at the Olympics?
In which game has India won the maximum number of medals at the Olympics?
Which player has won the maximum number of medals at the Olympics?

Friends, you may or may not send answers to me, but by answering the Olympics quiz that is on MyGov you will win several prizes. Many questions like these are in the Road To Tokyo Quiz on MyGov. Participate in the Road to Tokyo Quiz, know how India has performed earlier, how is our preparation now for Tokyo Olympics, know all this for yourself and tell others too. I want to urge you all to definitely participate in this quiz competition.

Friends, when we are talking of Tokyo Olympics, how can one forget the legendry athlete Milkha Singh. Some days ago, Corona snatched him away from us. When he was in hospital, I got an opportunity to talk to him. While talking to him I had urged him. I had said that you have represented India in 1964 Tokyo Olympics, so this time when our players are going to Olympics in Tokyo, you have to boost the morale of our athletes, have to motivate them with your message. He was so committed and emotional for sports that he immediately gave his consent even during his illness. But unfortunately, providence had other plans. I still remember he had come to Surat in 2014. We had inaugurated a Night Marathon. The interaction that I had with him then, the chat about sports that happened, that inspired me a lot too. We all know that the entire family of Milkha Singh has been dedicated to sports…. has been adding to the glory of India.

Friends, when Talent, Dedication, Determination and Sportsman Spirit come together only then a champion is made. In our country most of the sportspersons hail from the smaller towns and villages. Our team that is going to Tokyo too has many such players whose life inspires a lot. When you hear about our Praveen Jadhav ji , then you too will feel… how many difficulties Praveen has gone through to reach here. Praveen hails from a village in Satara district of Maharashtra. He is very good at Archery. His parents run the family by working as labourers and now their son is going to participate in his first Olympics at Tokyo. This is a matter of great pride not only for his parents but for all of us. Similarly, there is one more player, our Neha Goyal ji. Neha is a member of the women’s hockey team going to Tokyo. Her mother and sisters manage the family expenses by working in a cycle factory. Like Neha, Deepika Kumari ji’s life too has been full of ups and downs. Deepika’s father drives an auto rickshaw and her mother is a nurse, and now see, Deepika is at present the only female archer from India in the Tokyo Olympics. Our best wishes are with Deepika, once ranked world's number one archer.

Friends, wherever we reach in life, whatever height we attain this connection with the ground, always, keeps us bound to our roots. The joy of success experienced after a period of struggle is something else! Our players going to Tokyo faced scarcity of means and resources in their childhood, but they persevered, and endured with fortitude. The life of Priyanka Goswami ji of Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh also teaches a lot. Priyanka's father is a bus conductor. As a child, Priyanka adored the bag that the medal winners were presented with. It was this fascination that made her participate in the Race-Walking competition for the first time. Now, she is a big champion of that.

Shivpal Singh ji, who participates in Javelin Throw, hails from Banaras. Shivpalji's entire family is associated with this sport. His father, uncle and brother are all experts at javelin throw. This family tradition is going to be useful for him in the Tokyo Olympics. The example of Chirag Shetty and his partner Satwik Sairaj going for the Tokyo Olympics is also inspiring. Recently, Chirag's maternal grandfather died of corona. Satwik himself also became corona positive last year. But, despite these hurdles, both of them are preparing to give their best in the Men's Double Shuttle Competition.

I would like to introduce you to another player, Manish Kaushik ji of Bhiwani, Haryana. Manish ji comes from an agricultural family. While working in the fields in his childhood, Manish became fond of boxing. Today this hobby of his is taking him to Tokyo. There is another player, C.A. Bhavani Devi Her name is Bhavani and she is adroit at fencing. Bhavani, who hails from Chennai, is the first Indian fencer to qualify in the Olympics. I was reading somewhere that in order for Bhavani ji's training to continue, her mother had even mortgaged her jewellery.

Friends, there are numerous such names, but in Mann Ki Baat, today I have been able to mention only a few. Every player going to Tokyo has had one’s own share of struggle, and years of toil. They are going not only for themselves but for the country. These players also have to enhance the glory of India and win the hearts of the people and that is why my countrymen I want to advise you too, that we should not pressurize these players knowingly or unknowingly, but support them with an open mind and bolster the enthusiasm of every player.

You can send your wishes to these players with #Cheer4India on social media. If you want to do something more innovative, then definitely do that too. If you come across any idea that the country should do collectively for our players, then you must send it to me. Together we will support our players going to Tokyo - Cheer4India!!! Cheer4India!!! Cheer4India!!

My dear countrymen, the battle we the countrymen are fighting against corona is continuing…but in this fight, together, we have achieved many an extraordinary milestone! Just a few days ago, our country accomplished an unprecedented feat. On the 21st of June, the next phase of the vaccination campaign commenced…and that very day, the country registered a record of administering vaccines to over 86 lakh people, free of cost…that too on a single day! Such a huge number of free vaccinations by the Government of India; that too in a day. It is but natural that it was widely discussed.
Friends, a year ago, the question that was confronting all was – When will the vaccine come! Today, in a day, we are administering the Made in India vaccine to lakhs of people, free of cost…and this indeed is the strength of New India.

Friends, we have to keep making efforts to ensure that every citizen is able to avail of safety through the vaccine. At many places, in order to end vaccine hesitancy, myriad organizations and members of civil society have come forward…and together, they are doing a wonderful job… Come…let us too visit a village and speak to people about the vaccine…let’s go to village Dulariya, district Betul, Madhya Pradesh.

PM – Hello…

Rajesh – Namaskar.

PM – Namaste ji.

Rajesh –My name is Rajesh Hiraawe, Gram Panchayat Dulariya, Bhimpur Block.

PM – Rajesh ji, I called up since I wanted to know about the Corona situation in your village, as of now.

Rajesh – Sir…the Corona situation here…well, there’s nothing of that sort here!

PM – People are not ailing now…?

Rajesh – Ji

PM – What is the population of the village? How many people are there?

Rajesh – Sir, there are 462 men and 332 women in the village.

PM – Fine Rajesh ji, have you taken the vaccine?

Rajesh – No Sir, not yet…

PM – O…why not?

Rajesh – Sir, some people here created such a delusion on WhatsApp that many were misled Sir.

PM – So…even you bear a fear in your mind!

Rajesh – Yes sir…the entire village was being misled.

PM – Oh…what have you said? See Rajesh ji…

Rajesh – Ji

PM – I would like to urge you and all my brothers and sisters in the village to dispel fear, if any…

Rajesh – Ji

PM – In our country, over 31 crore people have got themselves vaccinated.

Rajesh – Ji

PM – You know very well…I’ve myself been vaccinated with both doses.

Rajesh – Ji Sir

PM – And my mother is close to a hundred years of age…she too has taken both doses! At times, some people develop fever on account of this…but it’s very minor; just for a few hours…See, not getting vaccinated can prove dangerous.

Rajesh – Ji

PM – That way, you expose yourself to risk; not just that, you can endanger the family as well as the village!

Rajesh – Ji

PM -And Rajesh ji, that is why, as soon as possible, get yourself vaccinated…and in the village, tell everyone that the vaccine is being administered by the Government of India, free of cost…and for all persons above 18 years of age, this vaccination is free.

Rajesh – Ji Ji

PM – So, do tell this to people in the village…and this is not at all a reason for an atmosphere of fear in the village!

Rajesh – Sir, the reason is – some of them have spread such a misleading rumour…that deeply scared people. For example, developing fever after taking the vaccine…the fever leading to other ailments…rumour has been spread to the extent that it leads to a person’s death!

PM – Alas!.... These days, there is so much of radio and television; so much of news…hence it becomes easy for making people understand. And let me tell you…there are many villages in India where people have availed of the vaccine…I mean, cent percent of them. I’ll give you one such example…

Rajesh – Ji

PM - There’s district Bandipora in Kashmir…in this district, people of village Weyan together set themselves a target of 100% vaccines…and also achieved it. Today, in this village in Kashmir, all persons above the age of 18 have taken the vaccine. I came to know about three villages in Nagaland also where people have been vaccinated a 100 percent.

Rajesh – Ji Ji
PM – Rajesh ji, you too should communicate this across your village and neighbouring villages…and the way you also put it – it is a fallacy…just something misleading.

Rajesh – Ji Ji

PM – So, the only way to address this fallacy is convincing others by getting yourself vaccinated. You will do that, won’t you?

Rajesh – Ji Sir.

PM – Will you do it for sure?

Rajesh – Ji Sir, Ji Sir. Talking to you made me feel that I should get myself vaccinated and mobilise others to get the same done.

PM – Okay. Is there anyone else in the village I could talk to?

Rajesh – Yes Sir…there is.

PM – Who will speak?

Kishorilal – Hello Sir, Namaskar.

PM – Namaste ji, who is speaking?

Kishorilal – Sir, my name is Kishorilal Durve.

PM – So Kishorilal ji, we were just speaking to Rajesh ji.

Kishorilal – Ji Sir.

PM – And he was lamenting that people indulge in a lot of loose talk around the vaccine.

Kishorilal – Ji

PM – Have you too heard something like that?

Kishorilal – Yes…I have heard such things Sir.

PM – What have you heard?

Kishorilal – Since Sir, Maharashtra is close by, some relatives staying there spread rumours that people are dying because of the vaccine…some are getting sick…people are full of misconceptions, that is why they are not taking it Sir.

PM – No…what do they say? “Now Corona is over” – is that what they say?

PM – Do they say that nothing happens due to Corona?

Kishorilal – No Sir…they don’t say that corona is gone. They say Corona is there, but that people who take vaccines are getting sick…all are dying. That is the situation they describe.

PM – Okay…meaning people are dying BECAUSE of the vaccine?

Kishorilal – Ours is a tribal area Sir…as it is, people get scared quickly…which leads to spreading of mistaken notions…that’s why people are not taking the vaccine Sir.

PM – See Kishorilal ji…

Kishorilal – Yes Sir

PM – Those spreading rumours will keep on doing so.

Kishorilal ji – Ji

PM – We have to save lives…we have to save our village…and our countrymen. If someone says Corona is gone, do not be under this mistaken notion.
Kishorilal – Ji

PM – This ailment is like a master of disguise.

Kishorilal – Ji sir

PM – It keeps changing its looks…surfaces in myriad new forms and colours.

Kishorilal – Ji

PM – And to protect ourselves from it, we have two ways. One is adhering to the protocol for Corona – wearing a mask, frequently washing hands with soap, maintaining distancing…and the other way is …along with all this, getting vaccinated…that too is a good safety shield…think about that.

Kishorilal – Ji.

Prime Minister- Ok Kishorilal ji tell us one thing

Kishorilal -Ji sir.

Prime Minister- When people talk to you, how do you communicate it to them? You try to convince people or do you get carried away by rumours?

Kishorilal- What to convince.., when there are people in large numbers, we too are overtaken by fear sir.

Prime Minister- Look Kishorilal ji, I have spoken to you, today you are my friend.

Kishorilal – Ji Sir.

Prime Minister-You don’t have to be afraid and have to remove fear from people too. Will you?

Kishorilal- Ji Sir. Will dispel that Sir, will remove fear from people too sir. I myself will get it done.

Prime Minister- Look, don’t at all pay attention to rumours.

Kishorilal- Ji.

Prime Minister- You know, how much hard work our scientists have put in to make this vaccine.

Kishorilal ji- Ji sir.

Prime Minister- Through the year many senior scientists have worked and that is why we have to believe in science, believe in scientists. And should explain to these propagators of falsehood that look brothers it is not so, so many people have taken vaccine, nothing untoward happens.

Kishorilal- Ji

Prime Minister- And we should keep ourselves very safe from rumours, save villages too.

Kishorilal- Ji

Prime Minister- And Rajesh ji, Kishorilal ji, to friends like you I would urge that work to stop these rumours not only in your village but in other villages too. And tell people that you interacted with me.

Kishorilal- Ji Sir.

Prime Minister- Tell them…tell them my name.

Kishorilal- Will tell sir and will explain to people and will have it ourselves too.

Prime Minister- See, convey my best wishes to your entire village.

Kishorilal- Ji Sir.

Prime Minister- And tell everyone that whenever their turn comes…

Kishorilal – Ji…

Prime Minister- Definitely get vaccinated.

Kishorilal- Definitely Sir.

Prime Minister- I would like that to the women of village, to our mothers and sisters…

Kishorilal- Ji sir

Prime Minister- Involve them more and more in this work and keep them actively associated with yourself.

Kishorilal- Ji.

Prime Minister- At times when mothers- sisters tell a thing people agree readily.

Kishorilal- Ji

Prime Minister- Will you update me when vaccination gets completed in your village?

Kishorilal- Yes, will tell sir.

Prime Minister- Sure, will you tell me?

Kishorilal- Ji

Prime Minister- Look, I will wait for your letter.

Kishorilal- Ji Sir.

Prime Minister- Ok, Rajesh ji, Kishore ji many many thanks. Got an opportunity to talk to you.

Kishorilal- Thanks Sir, you spoke to us. Many many thanks to you too.

Friends, someday this will be a subject of case study for the world that how during this Corona period people of villages of India, our forest dwellers-tribal brothers-sisters, displayed their capabilities and understanding. People of villages set up quarantine centres, made Covid protocol as per local requirements. People of villages did not let anybody sleep hungry, did not let work in fields stop either. The villages also ensured daily supply of milk and vegetables to nearby cities that is, they took care of themselves and of others too. We have to keep doing the same way in the vaccination campaign too. We have to be aware and make others aware too. Every person in the village gets vaccinated - this should be the goal for all villages. Remember, and I specially want to tell you... Ask a question to yourself- everyone wants to be successful but what is the deciding mantra for success? The decisive mantra for success is continuity, so we don’t have to get lax, don’t have to get in delusion. We have to keep making efforts continuously… register victory over Corona.

My dear countrymen, now the monsoon season has also arrived in our country. When the clouds rain, they rain not only for us, but also for the generations to come! Rain water also collects in the ground, it also replenishes the water level of the ground. And that's why I consider water conservation as a form of service to the country. You too must have seen, many of us are taking this pious work as their responsibility. One such person is Satchidanand Bharti ji of Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand. Bharti ji is a teacher and he has imparted very good education to the people through his deeds. Today, due to his hard work, the huge water crisis in the Ufrainkhal area of ​​Pauri Garhwal has come to an end. Where people used to pine for water, today there is continuous supply of water throughout the year.
Friends, in the hills there exists a traditional method of water conservation, which is called Chalkhal. That is, it involves digging a big pit to collect water. Bharti ji also added some new methods to this tradition. He regularly got small and big ponds dug. Due to this, not only the hills of Ufrainkhal turned green, but the problem of drinking water of the people was also solved. You will be surprised to know that Bharti ji has got more than 30 thousand such water tanks constructed. 30 thousand! This monumental work of his continues even today and is inspiring many people

Friends, similarly the people of Andhav village in Banda district of UP have also made an innovative effort and have given a very interesting name to their campaign – 'Khet ka pani khet mein, gaon ka panigaonmein'. Under this campaign, high bunds have been raised in several hundred bighas of fields of the village. As a result rain water started collecting in the field, and started percolating into the ground. Now, these people are also planning to plant trees on the bunds of the fields. That is, now farmers will get all three - water, trees and money! As it is the village is getting recognized far and wide due to its good work.
Friends, taking inspiration from all of these efforts, we can also conserve water around us, in whatever way possible… we should save it. We must not to miss this crucial period of the monsoon season.
My dear countrymen, it is said in our scriptures –
"“नास्ति मूलम् अनौषधम्” " "Nasti Moolam Anoushadham"

That is, there is no such plant on earth which does not have any medicinal properties! There are many such trees and plants around us, which have amazing properties, but many times we do not even know about them! Bhai Paritosh, a friend from Nainital has also sent me a letter on the same subject. He has written that he came to know about miraculous medicinal properties of Giloy and many other plants only after the outbreak of Corona! Paritosh has also urged me to tell all the listeners of Mann Ki Baat that we should know about the flora around us, and also convey to others. In fact, this is our centuries old heritage, which we have to preserve. In this direction, Mr. Ramlotan Kushwaha ji, a friend from Satna of Madhya Pradesh, has done a very commendable job. Ramlotan ji has built a museum of indigenous plants on his farm. In this museum, he has collected hundreds of medicinal plants and seeds. And he has brought them here from far flung regions. Apart from this, he also grows many types of Indian vegetables every year. People visit this garden, this museum of Ramlotan ji, and learn a lot from it. Indeed, this is a very good experiment which can be replicated in different regions of the country. I would like that those of you who can make such an effort, should attempt it. This can also open up new sources of income for you. Another benefit will be that the identity of your area will gain wide prominence through the local medicinal plants.

My dear countrymen, a few days from now we will celebrate National Doctors Day on the 1st of July. This day is dedicated to the birth anniversary of the great doctor and statesman of the country, Dr B.C. Roy. We are all grateful for the contribution of doctors in the Corona period. Our doctors have served us without caring about their lives. Therefore, this time around National Doctors Day becomes all the more special.
Friends, Hippocrates, one of the most respected persons in the world of medicine, had said:
“Wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity.”

Doctors are able to serve us with the power of this very love. Therefore, it is our duty to thank them with an equal measure of affection and encourage them! By the way, there are many people in our country who have come forward and worked to help the doctors. I came to know about one such attempt from Srinagar. Here a Boat Ambulance Service was started at Dal Lake. This service was started by Tariq Ahmad Patloo ji of Srinagar, who is a Houseboat Owner. He himself has also fought the battle with COVID-19 and this inspired him to start the Ambulance Service. A campaign is also underway to make people aware of this ambulance, and continuous announcements from the ambulance are being made by him. The effort is that people should wear a mask and undertake other necessary precautions too.

Friends, along with Doctors Day, Chartered Accountants Day is also celebrated on the 1st of July. A few years ago, I had asked for global level Indian audit firms as a gift from Chartered Accountants of the country. Today I want to remind them of that. Chartered Accountants can play a very worthy and positive role in bringing transparency to the economy. I extend my best wishes to all Chartered Accountants and their family members

My dear countrymen, there is one great feature of India's fight against Corona. Each and every person of the country has played their part in this fight. I have often spoken about this in ‘Mann Ki Baat’. But some people also complain that not a lot is discussed about them. Many people, whether they are bank staff, teachers, small traders or shopkeepers, people working in shops, street vendors, security watchmen, postmen and post office employees… Actually, this list is very long and everyone has played his or her part. Innumerable people have been involved with government and administration at different levels.

Friends, you have probably heard the name of Guru Prasad Mohapatra ji, who was the Secretary to the Government of India. Today in "Mann Ki Baat", I want to speak about him too. Guruprasad ji was diagnosed with Corona, he was admitted in the hospital and yet at the same time was performing his official duties too. He toiled day and night to increase the Oxygen producing capacities of the country and to ensure that Oxygen reached far flung areas. On the one hand, the affairs of the court, the pressure of the media, he kept fighting on many fronts simultaneously and did not stop working during his illness. Even after being told not to, he used to insist on joining the video conferences on oxygen. Such was his concern for his countrymen. He kept on making arrangements to deliver oxygen to the people of the country, regardless of himself being on the hospital bed. It is sad for all of us that the country has also lost this KarmaYogi ; Corona has snatched him away from us. There are countless people who have never been discussed. Our tribute to every such person would be that we follow the covid protocol fully, get our vaccinations done.

My dear countrymen, the best thing about 'Mann Ki Baat' is that you all contribute to it more than me. I saw a post on MyGov by Thiru R.Guruprasad ji from Chennai. You too will be pleased to know what he has written. He has written that he is a regular listener of the program "Mann Ki Baat". I am quoting a few lines from Guruprasad ji's post. He has written -

“Whenever you talk about Tamil Nadu, my interest increases even more.
You have discussed the greatness of Tamil language and Tamil culture, Tamil festivals and major places in Tamil Nadu.”

Guru Prasad ji further writes – “In ‘Mann Ki Baat’, you have also spoken many times about the achievements of the people of Tamil Nadu. What to say about your love for Thirukkural and your respect for Thiruvalluvar ji! That's why I have prepared an E-Book by compiling all that you have spoken about Tamil Nadu in 'Mann Ki Baat'. Will you say something about this e-book and also release it on the Namo App? Thanks!”

‘I was reading the letter of Guruprasad ji for you.’

Guruprasad ji, I am very happy to read this post of yours. Now, add another page to your E-Book -

नान तमिलकला चाराक्तिन पेरिये अभिमानी |
नान उलगतलये पलमायां तमिल मोलियन पेरिये अभिमानी |

There could definitely be fault in pronunciation but my efforts and my love will never diminish. I want to tell those who are not Tamil speaking, what I have told Guruprasad ji -

‘I am a big admirer of Tamil culture.
I am a big admirer of Tamil, the oldest language in the world.’

Friends, every Indian should cherish and feel proud that the most ancient language of the world belongs to our country. I take a lot of pride in Tamil. Guru Prasad ji, this effort of yours is going to give a new vision to me. When I do 'Mann Ki Baat', I put forth my point in a simple manner. I didn't know that this was even a part, an element of it. When you collected all our old conversations, I read it not once but twice. Guruprasad ji, I will definitely get this book of yours uploaded on the Namo App. Best wishes to you for future endeavours.

My dear countrymen, today we talked about the difficulties and precautions pertaining to Corona and also discussed many achievements of the country and countrymen. Now another big opportunity is in front of us too. 15th August is also approaching. Amrit Mahotsav of 75 years of Independence is a big inspiration for us. Let us learn to live for the country. The Struggle for Independence is the story of those who died for the country, we have to make this post-Independence time the story of those who live for the country. Our mantra should be – India First. Every decision of ours, every decision should have the basis - India First!

Friends, the country has also set many collective goals in the Amrit Mahotsav. Like, we have to revive the history related to our freedom fighters by remembering them. You will remember that in 'Mann Ki Baat', I appealed to the youth to research and write history of the freedom struggle. The motive was that young talents should come forward, young thinking, young thoughts should gain prominence, the young pen should write with new energy. I feel very happy to see that in a very short time more than two and a half thousand youth have come forward to do this work. Friends, the interesting thing is that the Struggle of the 19th - 20th century is usually talked about, but it is a matter of joy that the youth who have been born and brought up in the 21st century have taken up cudgels to bring to the forefront the history of the Freedom Struggle of 19th and 20th century. All these people have sent the full details on MyGov. These people will be writing on the freedom struggle in different languages of the country, such as Hindi – English, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi – Malayalam, Gujarati. Some are associated with the freedom struggle, gathering information about the places around them, while someone else is writing a book on tribal freedom fighters.This is a good start. I request all of you to join the Amrit Mahotsav, in whichever way you can. It is our good fortune that we are witness to the festival of 75 years of our Independence. Hence the next time we meet in 'Mann Ki Baat', we will talk more about preparations for the Amrit Mahotsav. May all of you stay healthy, move forward following the rules related to Corona and keep giving momentum to the country with your new efforts. With best wishes, thank you very much!

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My dear countrymen, Namaskar. A few amazing pictures taken a couple of days ago, some memorable moments are still there in front of my eyes. Let us hence commence Mann Ki Baat this time, with those very moments. At the Tokyo Olympics, watching Indian sportspersons march carrying the Tricolour exhilarated not just me but the entire country…as if the whole country unitedly exhorted her warriors saying, “Vijayi Bhava – emerge victorious!” When these sportspersons had departed from India, I had the opportunity of chatting with them, knowing about them and conveying it to the country. These sportspersons have reached where they are after overcoming numerous hurdles in life. Today, they possess the strength of your love and support – that’s why, come…let us together extend our good wishes to all of them; encourage them. On social media, our Victory Punch Campaign for the support of Olympics sportspersons has begun. Do share your Victory Punch with your team…Cheer for India.

Friends, it is but natural to get emotional in honour of the one who bears the Tricolour in honour of the country. This feeling of patriotism unites all of us. Tomorrow, that is the 26th of July is Kargil Vijay Diwas as well. The Kargil war is one symbol of the bravery and patience on part of India’s Armed Forces which the whole world has watched. This time this pride filled day will be celebrated amid Amrit Mahotsav. That is why this day becomes all the more special. I wish you read the enthralling saga of Kargil…let us all bow to the bravehearts of Kargil.

Friends, this time on the 15th of August, the country is entering her 75th year of Independence. We are indeed very fortunate that we are witnessing 75 years of Freedom; a freedom that the country waited for, for centuries. You may remember, to commemorate 75 years of Freedom, Amrit Mahotsav had commenced on the 12th of March from Bapu’s Sabarmati Ashram. On this very day, Bapu’s Dandi Yatra too was revived…since then, from Jammu-Kashmir to Puduchery; from Gujarat to the Northeast, programmes in connection with Amrit Mahotsav are being held across the country. There are many such incidents, such freedom fighters whose contribution have been huge, but had not been adequately discussed…today, people are able to know about them. Now, take Moirang Day, for instance…the tiny town of Moirang in Manipur was once a major base of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army, INA. Here, even before Independence, Col Shaukat Malik ji of INA had unfurled the Flag.

During Amrit Mahotsav, on the 14th of April, the Tricolour was once again hoisted at that very Moirang. Innumerable such freedom fighters and great men are being remembered by the country during Amrit Mahotsav.Programmes in that connection are being successively organized by the government and social organisations. A similar event is about to take place on the 15th of August this time…this is an endeavour connected with the National Anthem. It’s an effort on part of the Ministry of Culture to have maximum number of Indians sing the National Anthem together. For this, a website too has been created – With the help of this website, you can render the National Anthem and record it, thereby getting connected with the campaign. I hope you connect yourselves with this novel initiative. In the days to come, you will get to see many such campaigns and efforts. Amrit Mahotsav is not a programme of any government; neither a programme of any political party…it is a programme of crores and crores of Indians…a bow to our freedom fighters by every independent and grateful Indian. And the extension of the basic sentiment behind this festival is immense…the spirit entails treading the path of our freedom fighters…building a country of their dreams. Just the way champion proponents of Freedom had joined hands for the cause, we have to come together for the development of the country. We have to live for the country, work for the country…and in that, even the smallest of efforts too produce big results. We can contribute to nation building even while performing our routine chores…such as ‘Vocal for Local’. Supporting local entrepreneurs, artists, craftsmen, weavers should come naturally to us. The National Handloom Day on the 7th of August is an occasion when we can strive to attempt that. National Handloom Day has a remarkable historic background. On this very day in 1905, the Swadeshi Andolan had begun.

Friends, in the rural and tribal regions of our country, handloom is a major source of income. This is a sector that comprises lakhs of women, weavers and craftsmen. Even small efforts on your part will give rise to a new hope in weavers. Do purchase something or the other and share your thought with others as well…now that we are celebrating 75 years of Independence, it of course becomes our responsibility. You must have noticed that year 2014 onwards, we often touch upon Khadi in Mann ki Baat. It is only on account of your efforts that today, the sale of Khadi has risen manifold. Could anyone even think that in any Khadi store, the sales figure would cross one crore rupees…But you have made that possible too. Whenever, wherever you purchase a Khadi product, it does benefit our poor weaver brothers and sisters. That is why, in a way, buying Khadi is service to people, service to the country. I urge you my dear brothers and sisters, to make it a point to definitely buy Handloom products being made in rural areas and share it on #MyHandloomMyPride.

Friends, when one refers to the freedom movement and Khadi, remembering revered Bapu is but natural. Just the way the Quit India Movement, Bharat Chhoro Andolan steered under Bapu’s leadership, every countryman today has to lead a Bharat Jodo Andolan. It is our duty to ensure that our work helps closely knit, bind our India which is filled with diversity. Come, on Amrit Mahotsav, let us make a sacred Amrit resolve that the country remains to be our highest faith; our topmost priority. We have to move forward with the mantra ‘Nation First, Always First’.

My dear countrymen, today I wish to express my special thanks to my young friends tuned in to Mann ki Baat. Just a few days ago, on part of MyGov, a study was conducted regarding the listeners of Mann ki Baat. In this study, primarily, people who send messages and suggestions were focused upon. The study revealed the fact that out of those sending messages and suggestions, close to 75% are below the age of 35…meaning thereby that the suggestions of the youth power of India are steering Mann ki Baat. I view this as a very good indicator. Mann Ki Baat is a medium which has positivity, sensitivity. In Mann Ki Baat, we talk about positive things; its character is collective.

This activism for positive thoughts and suggestions in the youth delights me. I am happy also about the opportunity that I get through ‘Mann Ki Baat’ to know of the minds of the youth.

Friends, suggestions received from you are the real strength of ‘Mann Ki Baat’. It is your suggestions, through ‘Mann Ki Baat’, that express the diversity of India, spread the fragrance of service and sacrifice of Indians in all the four directions, inspire one and all through the innovation of our toiling youth. You send ideas of various kinds in ‘Mann Ki Baat’. We are not able to discuss all of them, but I do send many of them to related departments so that further work can be done on them.

Friends, I want to tell you about the efforts of Saayee Praneeth ji. Saayee Praneeth ji is a Software Engineer, hailing from Andhra Paradesh. Last year he saw that in his area farmers had to suffer a lot due to the vagaries of weather. For years he had interest in meteorology. So, he decided to use his interest and talent for the welfare of farmers. Now he purchases weather data from different data sources, analyses them and sends necessary information through various media to farmers in local language. Besides weather updates, Praneeth ji also gives guidance to people about what they should do in different climatic conditions... Especially how to be safe from floods or how to avoid storm or lightning, he talks about this too.

Friends, on the one hand this effort of a young software engineer touches our hearts; on the other the use of technology by one of our friends will amaze us. This friend Shriman Isaak Munda ji hails from a village in Sambalpur district of Odisha. Isaak ji once used to work as a daily wager but now he has become an internet sensation. He is earning a lot through his YouTube Channel. In his videos he shows prominently the local dishes, traditional ways of cooking, his village, his lifestyle, family and food habits. His journey as a YouTuber began in March 2020 when he posted a video related to Pakhal, the famous local dish of Odisha. Since then, he has posted hundreds of videos. This effort of his is different for many reasons. Specially because through this, people living in cities get a chance to watch the lifestyle about which they don’t know much. Isaak Munda ji is celebrating by blending culture and cuisine equally and inspiring us too.

Friends, while we are discussing technology I want to discuss of an interesting subject. Recently you must have read, seen that a start-up established by an alumni of IIT Madras has made a 3D printed house. The construction of the house through 3D printing, how did this happen after all? Actually, this start-up first of all fed a 3 Dimensional design in a 3 D printer and then through a concrete of a special kind fabricated a 3 D structure layer by layer. You will be happy to know that many experiments of this kind are being done throughout the country. There was a time when it would take years to complete even a minor construction. But today due to technology the situation is changing in India. Some time ago we had launched a Global Housing Technology Challenge to invite such innovative companies from all over the world. This is a unique attempt of its kind in the country; hence we gave it the name Light House Projects. For now, work on Light House Projects is on at a fast pace at 6 different locations in the country. Modern technology and innovative methods are used in these Light House Projects. This reduces the duration of construction. Along with that, the houses that are constructed are more durable, economical and comfortable. Recently, through drones, I also reviewed these projects and saw live their work progress.

In the project at Indore, Pre-Fabricated Sandwich Panel System is being used in place of Brick-and-Mortar Walls. In Rajkot, the Light House is being made with French Technology in which through a tunnel Monolithic Concrete construction technology is being used. Houses made with this technology will be lot more capable of withstanding disasters. In Chennai, the Pre-cast Concrete system technologies form America and Finland are being used. By this, houses will get built faster and the cost too will be low. In Ranchi houses will be built using the 3D Construction System of Germany. In this, every room will be constructed separately and then the entire structure will be joined together the way block toys are joined. In Agartala, using technology from New Zealand, houses that can withstand major earthquakes are being made with steel frame. Meanwhile, in Lucknow technology from Canada is being used. In this plaster and paint will not be required and walls prepared in advance will be used to build houses faster.

Friends, today an attempt is being made in the country to ensure that these projects work as Incubation centers. Through this our planners, Architects, Engineers and students will know of new technology and experiment with them too. I am sharing these things especially with our youth so that in the interest of the nation they are encouraged towards technology in newer fields.

My dear countrymen, you must have heard of an English adage- “To learn is to grow” that is to learn is to progress. When we learn something new, doors to new advances open up automatically for us. Whenever effort to do something new, different from the rut, has been made, new doors have opened for humankind, a new era has begun. And you must have seen whenever something new happens anywhere, its result surprises everyone. Now, for example, if I ask you which the states that you would connect with Apples are? Obviously in your mind first of all the name of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu-Kashmir and Uttarakhand would strike. But if I ask you to add the name of Manipur too to this list you will probably be filled with surprise. Youths filled with passion to do something new have demonstrated this feat in Manipur. Nowadays apple farming is picking up fast in the Ukhrul district of Manipur. Farmers here are growing apples in their orchards. To learn apple farming these people have taken formal training by going to Himachal. One of these is T S Ringphami Young. By profession he is an aeronautical engineer. He along with his wife Shrimati T S Angel has grown apples. Similarly, Avungshee Shimre Augasteena too has grown apples in her orchard. Avungshee had a job in Delhi. She returned to her village quitting this and started farming apple. There are many such apple growers in Manipur who have demonstrated something different and something new.

Friends, in our tribal communities, Ber fruit has always been very popular. The members of the tribal community have always been cultivating Ber. But its cultivation is increasing especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Bikramjit Chakma of 32 years of age is my young friend from Unakoti, Tripura. He has not only earned a lot of profit by starting the Ber cultivation; Now he is also motivating people to do Ber cultivation. The state government has also come forward to help such people. Many special nurseries have been started by the government for this purpose so that the demand of the people associated with the cultivation of Ber can be met. Innovation is happening in agriculture, so creativity is also being witnessed in the by-products of agriculture.

Friends, I have also come to know about an attempt made in LakhimpurKheri in Uttar Pradesh. A unique initiative has taken place in LakhimpurKheri during the period of COVID itself. Here, the work of training women to manufacture fibre from the waste banana stems was started. The way to make the best out of the waste. Banana fibre is prepared by cutting the stem of a banana with the help of a machine, the fibre is like jute or flax. Handbags, mats, rugs, many things are made from this fibre. Through this, the utilization of crop waste started, on the other hand our sisters and daughters living in the village acquired another source of income. Through this work of Banana fibre, a woman from the area earns four to six hundred rupees per day. Banana is cultivated on hundreds of acres of land in Lakhimpur Kheri. After the harvesting of banana, the farmers usually had to spend a separate sum to dispose of its stem. Now not only their money is being saved; and lending credence to the saying of ‘Getting two of something, for the price of one!’

Friends, on the one hand products are being manufactured from banana fibre; on the other, delicious dishes like dosa and gulabjamun are also being made from banana flour. Women in Uttara Kannada and Dakshina Kannada districts of Karnataka are doing this unique work. This endeavour also began in the Corona period itself. These women not only prepared things like dosa, gulabjamun from banana flour; they also shared their pictures on social media. When more people came to know about the banana flour, its demand also increased and so did the income of these women. Like Lakhimpur Kheri, here too, women are leading this innovative idea.

Friends, such examples become the inspiration to do something new in life. There must be many such people around you too. When your family is involved in close conversations, you should also make these a part of your chat. Take out some time and go to see such efforts with children and if you get the opportunity, do something like this yourself. And yes, I would like it if you share all this with me on Namo App or MyGov.

My dear countrymen, there is a verse in our Sanskrit texts -

आत्मार्थम् जीव लोके अस्मिन्, को न जीवति मानवः |

परम् परोपकारार्थम्, यो जीवति स जीवति ||

Atmantharmjeevalokeasmin, ko na jeevtimanavah.

Paramparopkarathram, yojeevatisajeevati ||

That is, everyone in this world lives for himself. But in actuality only the person who exists for the sake of others really lives. Talking about the philanthropic efforts of the sons and daughters of Mother India is what 'Mann Ki Baat' is all about. Today also, we’ll talk about some of these friends. One of our friends hails from Chandigarh city. I too, have lived in Chandigarh for a few years. It is a very cheerful and beautiful city. The people of Chandigarh are also large hearted and yes, if you are a foodie, you will have more fun here. In Sector 29 of Chandigarh, Sanjay Rana ji runs a food stall and sells Chole-Bhature on his cycle. One day his daughter Riddhima and niece Riya came to him with an idea. Both requested him to feed chole-bhature for free to those who had got the COVID Vaccine. He happily agreed to the suggestion and immediately started this good and noble effort. To eat Sanjay Rana ji'schole-bhature for free, you have to show that you have got the vaccine administered on the very day. As soon as you show the vaccination message he will give you delicious Chole-Bhature. It is said that for the welfare of the society, spirit of service and duty are required more than money. Our Sanjay Bhai is proving this saying to be right.

Friends, I would like to discuss another such work today. This effort is being attempted in Nilgiri of Tamil Nadu. Here Radhika Shastriji has started the AmbuRx (Amburex) Project. The purpose of this project is to provide easy transport for the treatment of patients in hilly areas. Radhika runs a cafe in Coonoor. She raised funds for AmbuRx from her cafe colleagues. Today six AmbuRx are serving in the Nilgiri hills and are coming to the aid of patients in remote parts during the time of emergency. An AmbuRx is equipped with a Stretcher, Oxygen Cylinder, First Aid Box and other things

Friends, whether it is Sanjay ji or Radhika ji, their examples demonstrate that we can render service while doing our routine work, our business or job.

Friends, a few days back a very interesting and very emotional event occurred, which imparted new strength to India-Georgia friendship. In this ceremony, India handed over the Holy Relic or icon of Saint Queen Ketevan to the Government of Georgia and the people there, for this mission our Foreign Minister himself went there. The ceremony, which took place in a very emotionally charged atmosphere, was attended by the President of Georgia, the Prime Minister, many religious leaders, and a large number of Georgians. The words that were said in praise of India in this ceremony are indeed very memorable. This single ceremony has not only strengthened the relations between the two nations but as well as between Goa and Georgia. This is because these holy relics of Saint Queen Ketevan were found in 2005 from Saint Augustine Church in Goa.

Friends, the question arising in your mind must be…what is this matter all about and when and how did this happen? Actually, this is an incident about four to five hundred years ago. Queen Ketevan was the daughter of the royal family of Georgia. In 1624 after ten years of imprisonment she was martyred. According to an ancient Portuguese document, the mortal remains of Saint Queen Ketevan were kept in the Saint Augustine Convent of Old Goa. But, for a long time it was believed that her remains buried in Goa were lost in the earthquake of 1930.

After decades of tireless efforts by the Indian government and Georgia's historians, researchers, archaeologists and the Georgian Church, the relics were successfully discovered in 2005. This is an extremely emotional topic for the people of Georgia. That is why keeping in mind their historical, religious and spiritual sentiments, the Government of India decided to gift a part of these relics to the people of Georgia. Today, I would like to thank the people of Goa for preserving this unique side of the shared history of India and Georgia. Goa has been the land of many a great spiritual heritage. Saint Augustine Church is a UNESCO's World Heritage Site – a part of the Churches and Convents of Goa.

My dear countrymen, let me now take you straight from Georgia to Singapore, where another glorious opportunity arose earlier this month. The Prime Minister of Singapore and my friend, Lee Hsien Loong inaugurated the recently renovated Silat Road Gurudwara. He also wore the traditional Sikh turban. This Gurudwara was built about a hundred years ago and there is also a memorial dedicated to Bhai Maharaj Singh. Bhai Maharaj Singh ji fought for the independence of India and this moment becomes more inspiring when we are celebrating 75 years of independence. The people to people strength between two countries gets a boost with such initiatives and efforts. These also show how important it is to live in a harmonious environment and understand each other's culture.

My dear countrymen, today in 'Mann Ki Baat' we have discussed many topics. There is another subject which is very close to my heart. It is the topic of water conservation. The place where I spent my childhood, there was always shortage of water. We used to yearn for rain and thus saving every drop of water has been a part of our traditions, our sanskar. Now this mantra of "Water conservation through public participation" has changed the picture there. Saving every drop of water, preventing any kind of wastage of water… it should become a natural part of our lifestyle. Such a tradition should be made in our families, which would make every member proud.

Friends, the protection of nature and environment is embedded in the cultural life of India, in our daily lives. At the same time, rains and the monsoon have always shaped our thoughts, our philosophy and our civilization. In ‘Ritusanhar’ and ‘Meghdoot’, the great poet Kalidas has beautifully described the rains. These poems are still very popular among literature lovers.The magnificence of rains is also beautifully described in the Parjanya Suktam of Rigveda. Similarly, the relationship between the earth, the sun and the rain has been elaborated in a poetic form in the Srimad Bhagavata.

अष्टौ मासान् निपीतं यद्, भूम्याः च, ओद-मयम् वसु |

स्वगोभिः मोक्तुम् आरेभे, पर्जन्यः काल आगते ||

That is, the Sun has exploited the earth's wealth in the form of water for eight months, now in the monsoon season, the Sun is returning this accumulated wealth to the earth. Indeed, the monsoon and rainy season is not only beautiful and pleasant, but it is also nurturing, life-giving. The rain water that we are getting is for our future generations, we should never forget that.

Today a thought came to my mind that why not end my talk with such interesting references. My very best wishes to all of you for the forthcoming festivals. At the time of festivals and celebrations, you must remember that Corona has not yet gone from amongst us. You must not forget the protocols related to Corona. May all of you be healthy and happy.

Many many thanks!