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"‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme launched by Prime Minister at Panipat, Haryana"
"We do not have the right to kill the girl child: PM Narendra Modi "
"Our Mantra Should be- ‘Beta Beti, Ek Samaan’: Shri Narendra Modi "
"The birth of the girl child must be celebrated: Union Minister Maneka Gandhi "
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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today made an emotional appeal to the people of India, saying he "comes as a bhikshuk to beg for the lives of daughters" as he   addressed a large gathering consisting predominantly of women at Panipat in Haryana, on the occasion of the launch of the National Programme "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao." Stating that we have no right to call ourselves 21st century citizens as long as we have an 18th century mindset, the Prime Minister called for an end to the discrimination between sons and daughters, saying this was the key to ending female foeticide.

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The Prime Minister said each one of us has a collective responsibility towards this end, otherwise we would not only be harming the current generation, but also inviting a "terrible crisis" for the future generations.

In a hard-hitting message to doctors who contributed to female foeticide, the Prime Minister reminded them that their medical education had been for the purpose of saving lives, and not killing daughters.

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He said though this programme has been organized in Panipat in Haryana, the message is relevant across the country. If daughters are not born, how will you get daughters-in-law, the Prime Minister asked? He said there were people who wanted educated daughters-in-law, but were reluctant to educate their own daughters, and called for an end to this hypocrisy.

The Prime Minister quoted the eminent Urdu scholar from Panipat, Altaf Hussain Haali "O Sisters, mothers, daughters - you are the ornaments of the world, you are the life of nations, the dignity of civilizations." He also quoted from other ancient scriptures to highlight the importance given to the girl child.

The Prime Minister recalled the astronaut Kalpana Chawla, who was originally from Haryana, as an example of how girls could excel and make a name for themselves.  He said girls were today doing well in sports, in education and health sectors, and had a very significant contribution, even in agriculture.

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The Prime Minister thanked noted actress Madhuri Dixit, who participated in this programme, despite her mother being seriously unwell. He said this demonstrated her commitment to the cause, and similar commitment would be required to the gender imbalance created in our society.

The Prime Minister recalled the example of Jayapur village in Varanasi. On his advice, this village now holds an Anandotsav (celebration) on the birth of each girl child, and five trees are planted on each such occasion. He said people across the country could follow this example.

The Prime Minister launched the "Sukanya Samriddhi Account" for the benefit of the girl child. He  released a stamp on the theme "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao," and administered the "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" pledge.

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The Governor of Haryana Prof. Kaptan Singh Solanki, the Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Manohar Lal, Union Ministers Smt Maneka Gandhi, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smt Smriti Irani, were present on the occasion.

Click here to read full text speech

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India has a vibrant cultural history: PM Modi
Gurudev Tagore popularised traditional folk art and dance forms as the country's culture: PM
Gurudev Tagore considered entire world as his family. Wherever he went, he was welcomed affectionately: PM

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presented the Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 to Shri Rajkumar Singhajit Singh, Chhayanaut (a cultural organisation of Bangladesh) and Shri Ram Vanji Sutar respectively, at a function held here today. The awardees were selected by a jury headed by the Prime Minister and includes Chief Justice of India Justice Ranjan Gogoi, former Chief Election Commissioner Shri N Gopalaswami and the President of Indian Council for Cultural Relations Shri Vinay Sahasrabuddhe.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said that culture is the lifeblood of any nation as it gives identity to it. He said, “India's rich cultural heritage was preserved in the face of colonisation and foreign invasion.” This was possible due to the contribution of people like Gurudev Tagore and Swami Vivekananda, he added. 

PM said that India's multi-dimensional heritage was well reflected in the works of Gurudev. Rabindra Sangeet has all the colours of our country and it is not bound by a language. He called Tagore's teachings timeless and said that the world stands to learn a great deal from his works. “He recognised the folk arts and traditional dances as indicative of Indian culture," PM said.

Exponent of Manipuri dance  Shri Rajkumar Singhajit Singh was given the award for the year 2014.  Chhayanaut, a cultural organization of Bangladesh was given the award for 2015 for its role in the promotion of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s works and Bangla arts. Renowned sculptor and scholar Shri Ram Vanji Sutar was given the award for 2016.

Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony was instituted by the Government from 2012 during the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore. It is awarded annually and carries an amount of One Crore rupees, a citation in a Scroll, a Plaque as well as an exquisite traditional handicraft or handloom item.  

 

 

Click here to read PM's speech