Dear brothers and sisters present here in large numbers,
I’m fortunate that today I also got the opportunity to have an audience with all of you along with the opportunity to pay obeisance at the feet of lord Manjunath. Last week I was at Kedarnath Ji. What kind of great work was done by Adi Shankaracharya Ji thousands of years ago at that place! Today, I once again got the opportunity to come at the feet of lord Manjunatheshwar in the south.
I don’t know whether it is appropriate or not for anybody with Narendra Modi name to honor Dr. Virendra Hegde Ji? His sacrifices, his hard work, his life; he dedicated his life to the motto of One Life One Mission at the tender age of 20. And today I heard it for quite some time that it’s natural, is it so? Such a comprehensive life, I think that as an individual I’m a very small person to honor him. However, I consider myself extremely fortunate while doing this honoring him due to the dignity of the office of representative of 1.25 billion people where I was installed by you people.
In public life, that too at a spiritual place by having the God as a witness while having a common theme in both ideas and deeds, with the same kind of sacredness in mind, both in speech and in deeds, and in order to obtain the same objective as was decided earlier; and not for the self but for everyone; not for himself but for us; not for me but for others; leading this kind of life; one has to pass through a test every single moment. Every single word spoken by the person, every single thing done by that person is being tested on every parameter, on every scale. And that is why this hard work of fifty years, this in itself is a cause for inspiration for millions and millions of people like me and that is why I bow down to you respectfully.
And when I got the opportunity to honor him so easily and I have seen this thing and whenever I have met Hegade Ji the smile on his face never disappears. The burden of that onerous task is not visible on his face. Easy going and simple and as it has been said in the Gita the embodiment of fulfillment of one’s duties with complete detachment. And when I was honoring him then he naturally told me that Modi Ji this is not the honor for completing fifty years; you have been asking me a guarantee for doing the same work for the next fifty years. This kind of respect and honor is being given, the blessings of God are with him; the legacy of 800 year old hard work has been with him and despite all these things leading the life on the path of one’s duty, I think we can learn this thing only from Hegde Ji. Be it the issue of Yoga or be it of education or health or be it the issue of rural development or the welfare of poor people or be it the issue of schemes for the welfare of future generations, Dr. Virendra Hegde Ji have taken forward all these things through his ideas, through his skills by adapting all these things as per the time, place and circumstances. And I have no hesitation in saying this thing that whatever programs for skill development are being launched in the several states and also in the country, their methods, the way of working and how they should be implemented and a big part of their model has been obtained by the experiments conducted here by Dr. Virendra Ji Hegde.
Today, in the 21st century, even the most prosperous nations talk about the skill development. Skill development is being considered as a prime sector. A country like India which has 800 million people, 65% of the population, below the age of 35 years and where we take pride on the demographic dividend; in such a country skill development is not only is a mean for livelihood. But it is also for promoting the development of skills in order to realize the glorious dreams of our country, for developing the strength in your arms that is required to meet the demands for the skilled manpower all over the world in the coming days. Developing that kind of strength and skills into your hands, Dr. Virendra Hegde Ji had anticipated this thing several years ago and he worked in that direction.
And, I, what kind of pilgrim centers should be in our country in order to speed up this important work? And what should be the objective of communities, faith and traditions? Unfortunately the kind of studies that should have been done in our country has not been done. Today, it is being discussed all over the world about what kind of top business schools are there and they have also been ranked. Top magazines of the country do their ranking. However, today when I have come here at such a holy place like Dharmasthala, when I’ve come here at the feet of Shri Virendra Hegde Ji then I invite the top universities of the world, I invite the top universities of the world and also of India that the way we conduct the surveys on hospitals, we study their way of working, we conduct survey on engineering colleges; and these rankings are being discussed as well, however, time demands that our universities should also conduct studies on how our sage tradition has created institutions, how it has taken them forward and how those values have been transmitted from generation to generation? It should be studied that what is their process for making decisions, what kind of financial management they have and how they have adopted transparency and integration and how they have brought changes as per the time? And how they have kept alive the inspirations of these institutions as per the requirement of time and period? And I believe that there are not just one or two but thousands of institutions, thousands of movement, thousands of organizations that have been providing inspirations to millions and millions of people, that inspire them to come out of self and lead the life for the mankind. And among those, this Dharmasthala, this legacy of 800 years, this is an example in itself. It would be better if the world universities study this kind of movement in India. They should see this.
The world will be surprised that what kind of institutions we had? How the system functioned? How the tradition of spiritual consciousness was fulfilled in the society? There is a big opportunity before us to take pride on whatever good is being present inside us through the centuries and become even better by adapting it as per the time. And I believe that instead of being just confined to the faith there is a need to attract the young generation of the country towards the scientific method of these traditions.
Now today I got the opportunity to hand over Rupay Debit cards to women self help groups. If you have heard the speeches of the members of parliament during the last November, December, January and February and in case you did not hear them then it’s on record and you can read it. Our top people, those consider them big shots, those who consider them on top of the world in terms of intelligence, these people used to say this kind of thing in the parliament that ‘there is poverty, illiteracy in the country, how digital transactions will take place? How people will become cash less? It’s impossible. People don’t have mobile phones.’ They said all sort of bad things, they didn’t mince their words. However, today Dr. Virendra Hegde Ji has replied to all those voices that were raised in the parliament.
Whether my rural mothers and sisters are literate or not, whether they are educated or not? And today they have made a pledge, and 12 lakh people, not less than that; 12 lakh people have taken a pledge that they will carry out the entire business of their self help groups in cash less mode, they will not use cash, they will carry out digital transactions, they will do it through Rupay cards, they will do it through BHIM App. If intentions are noble then sometimes hurdles provides the opportunity to gain speed and Dr. Virendra Hegde Ji has demonstrated that thing today.
I convey my sincere congratulations to you as you have made a good attempt to sow the seeds for the India of future, for taking the country towards Digital India, towards less cash society and have touched the people in these sectors; no one knows how many decades the government and banking system would have taken to touch the same people.
But you people have started the system from with bottom up approach and you have demonstrated this thing. I also congratulate those sisters of self help group and also to Dr. Virendra Hegde Ji that today they have started a massive campaign which is very useful for the country. Now the time has changed, and this currency which is basically cash, it has kept changing in every era. At one point of time the coins made of stones were used, at other times coins made of leather, made of gold and silver were in use, sometimes gems and diamonds were used, sometimes currency made of paper, currency made of plastic was used. It kept changing and it used to change with the changing time. And now the era of digital currency has started and India should not delay this thing.
And I have seen that presence of too much cash results in social evils. And if there is a growing son or daughter in a family, and if the parents are well to do, wealthy people even then they give them money within a certain limit. It’s not because that they hesitate in spending money but they think if there is lot of money in their children’s pocket then they might pick bad habits. And they give them money in small installments and they continue to check with them about what their kids did with that money, whether they spent it properly or not? In those families where parents are concerned about their kids they know it very well that if their kids have enough money in pocket then might tread on the wrong path. And that is why the society does this very important work of self accountability; and this self accountability within a society, it’s a very big thing. The self accountability is a very big thing.
And today the direction in which Dr. Hegde Ji is taking us, I think he is opening a big avenue for future. Today one more thing has been done. This logo has been dedicated to public and it inspires us to fulfill our obligations towards the earth, towards the mother earth. We take it for granted that it’s the responsibility of the trees to keep giving us oxygen and it’s not our duty to protect them; we have come here with this right that the trees will continue to be there and keep giving us the oxygen. As if as we have born with this right that this is the duty of mother earth to keep feeding us. It’s not like that. If it’s the responsibility of the mother earth then we too have some duties as her children. If we feel that it’s the responsibility of trees to give us oxygen then it is our duty as well to protect, to nurture them. And when this agreement, when these responsibilities create imbalances that the one who gives should keep giving but the taker, the consumer should not do anything except taking advantage of something then a kind of imbalance is created in the society, in the system and also in the nature and it leads to problems like global warming.
Today, the entire world is saying that the shortage of water is going to become a big challenge for the mankind. And we should not forget that if today we drink a glass of water or bathe with a bucket of water then it is not the result of our hard work and nor it is our right. Our ancestors worked judiciously and left something for us. And that’s why we got that and it is the right of our future generations. And today I’m eating away of my future generations. And it is incumbent upon me to leave them for my future generations as my ancestors have left for me, I’ll have to go by leaving something for the future generations. An attempt to revive this kind of feeling, a massive movement for the protection of environment is starting from Dharmasthala. I think it’s a work of great service to this entire universe.
How can we connect with nature? India is completing 75 years of its independence in 2022. Such a massive movement has started from Dharmasthala and when the movement has started from Dharmasthala with the blessings of Dr. Hegde Ji then I’m confident that victory is certain.
Today, the way we exploit the mother earth due to our knowledge, our power and due to our greed; and we continue to exploit her. We never bother about this mother that whether my mother has fallen sick? Earlier we used to take only one crop, then we started taking two and then three crops, started taking a variety of crops. We continue to use this or that chemical or this or that fertilizer. We continued to go on with this feeling that I will get immediate benefit no matter what happens to her. If this situation continues then I don’t know where will we stop?
Can we today make a pledge from Dharmasthala under the leadership of Dr. Hegde Ji? Can our farmers in this entire area make a pledge that when we complete 75 years of independence in 2022 by then we will reduce the use of urea by 50%? Today whatever we use, we will halve its usage by then. You see it will be such a great service to the mother earth. It will save farmer’s money, his expenses and there will be no decrease in the production. And despite that his farm, his field, the mother earth will bless us and it will become a reason for more profits.
Similarly water, we know what kind of situation is being created in Karnataka due to drought. What kind of situation is being created due to shortage of water? And I have seen, our Yeddyurappa Ji, he used to rush to me and take hold of me if the prices of Areca nut used to fall, it was even then when I was chief minister of Gujarat. He used to plead with me saying ‘Modi Ji you please purchase it, please save our Mangalore region,’ he used to rush to me.
Water! Can our farmers move towards micro irrigation, drip irrigation, per drop-more crop by 2022, can they move ahead with this pledge? Every drop of water, how can we use it as a precious gem, how can we work by considering water equally precious as a gem and if we move forward while keeping these things in mind then I’m confident that we can bring about a very big change.
When I was talking about Digital India, the government of India has recently taken a new initiative – GeM. It is such a system and I especially invite our women self help groups, whosoever produces anything and they want to sell their products then they can register online on the government of India’s portal – GeM. And whatever things are required by the government of India, by the state governments, they all go to that platform and place their requirements that ‘we need so many chairs, so many tables, so many glass or refrigerators, they place there whatever requirements they have. And those who are registered on GeM, and even village people submit their proposals that ‘see I have something to sell, I want to sell these five things’, and the entire system is very transparent.
I started it on the 9th of August last year, it was a new thing. However, very soon nearly 40,000 producers of the country joined that GeM platform. And 15 states of the country signed MoUs and the government purchases worth thousands of crores of rupees are being done through GeM. There is no tender, nothing happens behind the curtain and everything is there in the system. Such a situation is being created that the stuff which was earlier available to the government for 100 rupees, the same thing is today available for just 50 or 60 rupees.
There is more scope for selection and earlier there used to be big vendors for the government supply and today even a poor person from a village if produces something then he can supply it to the government. These Sakhis, these women self-help groups, they can sell their products on it, I invite them.
And I also call upon the government of Karnataka, there are 15 states in the country who have entered into an MoU with the Government of India’s GeM. Karnataka government should not delay it and it should come forward. Due to this thing a common man from Karnataka who produces something, he will get a very big market. Government is a big buyer and a poorest of the poor person who produces something he will get an assured market and a guaranteed amount.
I wish that the government of Karnataka will accept it and the common people of Karnataka will take advantage of those things that are beneficial for them.
You must have seen it today that we have connected Rupay card with Aadhaar, with Mobile Phone and today banking services are available on phone. In our country several schemes for the welfare of poor people are being run but no one knows whether the benefits reach to the intended beneficiary or to someone else, whether it is getting leaked somewhere in the middle or not?
One of the prime ministers of the country had once said that one rupee that is being sent from Delhi reduces to 15 paise by the time it reaches to a village. Whose hand is this that eats away the rupee? Which is this hand that gradually reduces one rupee to 15 paisa? We decided that if one rupee is being sent from Delhi then full 100 paisa will reach to the poor person’s hand, not the 99 paisa, who has a right over them. We started the system of direct transfer of benefits and made registrations, and today I’m sitting here at this holy place, sitting next to Dr. Virendra Hegde Ji and I very well understand the sacredness, very well understand the honesty of this place and I say this thing from this holy place that due to this initiative, all the states have not joined us but some of them have taken this initiative, government of India has taken several initiatives and so far Rs. 57,000 crore, which was illegally siphoned off into wrong hands, which were stolen; now it all has been stopped and the right amount of money has been reaching to the right kind of people.
And now you tell me that those people who have been siphoning off this Rs. 50-60 thousand crore every year which has been stopped, whether they will like Modi or not? Whether they will be angry with Modi or not? Whether they will target Modi or not?
Friends, you are witness to this thing. But I say this thing from such a holy place whether I will live or not but I won’t allow the destruction of this country. We have not learnt to live for myself, from our childhood I have learnt to live for others.
And that is why brothers and sisters I’m fortunate to have an idea in my mind and I muster the courage to place it before Dr. Virendra Ji. I don’t know much about those scientific things about it, I can tell you like a layman. And I believe that you will be able to do it. Our coastal areas, there is a coastal area near Mangalore. Our fishermen brothers and sisters those who work on the sea shores, they get employment for a few months in the year and when there is rainy season then their work stops. There is one more thing that we can do in the coastal areas and that is the cultivation of sea weeds. One needs to have a wooden vessel and one just needs to put some sea weed in it and place it near the coast. It keeps floating and within 45 days the crop gets ready for harvesting. It looks very beautiful and full of water.
Today this plant is considered a very powerful thing in the pharmaceutical world. But I can give suggestion for one more thing that the cultivation of this sea weed should be started on our sea shores by these women self help groups. The crop will get mature in 45 days and it will be available throughout the year and those plants, then they can be mixed with the soil when a farmer ploughs his land. It has a lot of water and it also has plenty of nutritional value. We should experiment this thing in one or two nearby villages of this Dharmasthala and I am confident that these plants of sea weed can be very useful in improving the quality of land here and it can be grown at a very low cost. It will supplement the income of our farmer brothers and the water content in it will make the land watery, it will strengthen the land and I would like that this experiment should be conducted from this land of Dharmasthala. And if you conduct this experiment, then your scientist, your people from the education sector must send the report of their study to me. I have not asked for this thing in the government, this is the first time that I’ve said this thing here. Because I feel this is such a place where you can experiment, there are some hurdles of rules and regulation in the government. You can do it with an open mind and you will see that the land will be changed so much and production will go up so much that our farmers will not face any problem even during the droughts. So we have several projects for protection of the mother earth and we will move forward with all of them.
Once again; I came here at this place, I got the blessings of Dr. Virendra Ji, got the blessings of lord Manjunatheshwar, got a new inspiration and a new enthusiasm. If the average educated mothers and sisters of this place, if 12 lakh sisters, if they come forward for cashless then I would like to appeal to the entire district that we should not fall behind those sisters, from those Women Self Help Groups. We should also learn how to use Bhim App, should learn cashless transactions. You see a new era of honesty has been started in the country, you see the more strength we provide to honesty dishonesty will come down proportionately. There was a time when dishonesty was encouraged and today honesty is strengthened. And this is the strength. If we light a lamp then it will certainly end the darkness, similarly if we strengthen honesty then dishonesty will certainly come to an end. We should move ahead with this pledge. My congratulations to all of you, congratulations to Dr. Virendra Hegde Ji, I bow down to him and wish that he may continue to serve the country, to this region for the next fifty years, for 50 long years.
Thank you very much.