Nari Shakti is breaking the barriers of society: PM during Mann Ki Baat

Published By : Admin | January 28, 2018 | 11:45 IST
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My dear countrymen, Namaskar. This is the first episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ in the year 2018. Just a couple of days ago, we celebrated our Republic Day festival with gaiety & fervour. This is the very first time in history that heads of 10 Nations attended the ceremony.

My dear countrymen, Shriman Prakash Tripathi has written a rather long letter on the Narendra Modi App, urging me to touch upon the subjects he has referred to. He writes, “The 1st of February is the death anniversary of astronaut Kalpana Chawla. She left us in the Columbia space shuttle mishap, but not without becoming a source of inspiration for millions of young people the world over”. I am thankful to Bhai Prakash ji for beginning his long letter with the sad departure of Kalpana Chawla. It’s a matter of sorrow for all of us that we lost Kalpana Chawla at that early age, but her life, her work is a message to young women across the world, especially to those in India, that there are no upper limits for Nari Shakti …. the power of women.  If one possesses the will & the determination, a firm resolve to achieve something, nothing is impossible. It’s a matter of joy that women in India are taking rapid strides of advancement in all fields, bringing glory to the Nation.

In our country, respect for women, their status in society and their contribution has proved to be awe inspiring to the entire world, since ancient times. There has been a long tradition of Vidushis… women exponents or women champions. Many Vidushis of India have contributed in composing the verses of the Vedas. Lopamudra, Gargi, Maitreyee…it’s a long list of names. Today, we talk about ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, ‘save the girl child, educate her’. But centuries ago, it has been mentioned in our ancient texts, in the Skand Puran :

दशपुत्र-समाकन्या, दशपुत्रान् प्रवर्धयन्

यत फलम्  लभते मRर्य:, तत् लभ्यम् कन्यकैकया ॥

This means, a daughter is the equivalent of ten sons. The ‘Punya’ that you earn through ten sons amounts to the same earned through just one daughter. This underscores the importance that has been given to women in our society. And that is why, in our society, women have been accorded the status of ‘Shakti’. This woman power binds closely together society as a whole, the family as a whole, on the axis of unity & oneness. Be it the erudition of the Vidushis of the Vedic Period… Lopamudra, Gargi, Maitreyee; be it the learning & devotion of Akka Mahadevi or Meerabai, be it the governance of Ahilyabai Holkar or the valour of Rani Lakshmibai, woman power has always inspired us. They have always brought glory to the Nation.

        Shriman Prakash Tripathi has further cited some examples. He writes that the flight of our courageous Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman in a Sukhoi 30 fighter plane is inspirational for him. He also refers to INSV Tarini, with an all women crew on board under the command of Vartika Joshi, which is currently circumnavigating the globe. Three braveheart women Bhavna Kanth, Mohana Singh and Avani Chaturvedi have become fighter pilots and are undergoing training on the Sukhoi- 30. An Air India Boeing jet with an all woman crew led by Kshamata Vajpayee flew from Delhi to San Francisco, USA and back. These are all women achievers. You are absolutely right. Today women are not just advancing in myriad fields; they are leaders. Today there are many sectors where our woman power is playing a pioneering role, establishing milestones. A few days ago, Hon’ble President took an initiative. He met a group of extraordinary women who have achieved something significanty new in their respective fields. Women achievers of our country… the first female Merchant Navy Captain, the first female passenger train driver, the first female fire fighter, the first female Bus Driver, the first woman to set foot on Antarctica, the first woman to reach Mount Everest… ‘First Ladies’ in every field. Our woman power achieved extraordinary feats, breaking the age old shackles of social mores, creating new records. They proved that through perseverance, grit and a firm resolve, all kinds of obstacles and barriers can be broken & crossed, to chart out an all new path… a path that could act as a beacon of inspiration not just to their contemporaries, but for generations to come. It will infuse a fresh energy, newer enthusiasm into them. A book has been compiled on these women achievers, first ladies, so that, the entire country comes to know about the power of these women and derive inspiration from their life & work. This is also available as an e-book on the Narendra Modi Website.

The country’s woman power has contributed a lot in the positive transformation being witnessed in our country & society these days. Today, as we speak of women empowerment, I would like to refer to a railway station. You must be wondering what a railway station has got to do with women empowerment. Matunga station in Mumbai is the first station in India which is run by an all woman staff. All departments have women performing duties… the commercial department, Railway  Police, Ticket checking, Announcing, Point persons, it’s a staff  comprising over 40 women. This time, after watching the Republic Day Parade, many people wrote on Twitter and other social media that a major highlight of the parade was the BSF biker contingent comprising women participants. Daredevil stunts performed by them was awe inspiring for our foreign guests. Empowerment is another form of self reliance. Today our Nari Shakti is assuming leadership roles. It is becoming self reliant. By the way, this also reminds me of tribal women of Chattisgarh, who have done something extraordinary and set a remarkable example. When we refer to Adivasi women, a stereotypical image comes to our minds, comprising jungles, pathways in the woods and women carrying kindlewood on their heads.But the woman power of Chattisgarh, the tribal women there broke this stereotype & presented an all new picture of themselves. Dantewada in Chattisgarh is a Maoist infested region. Violence, torture, explosives, guns, pistols… the Maoists have created a scary reign of terror. In this dangerous atmosphere, Adivasi women are becoming self reliant by driving e-rickshaws. In a short span of time, a number of women have become part of this phenomenon. This has three benefits- on the one hand self-employment has empowered them; on the other, the Maoist infested region is witnessing a transformation. And simultaneously as a consequence, it is strengthening efforts towards protecting the environment. I laud the efforts of the District Administration which has played a significant role in the successful endeavour of these women by ensuring availability of grants & imparting training to them.

        Time and again we keep hearing people utter ‘There is something special that we as a people possess… no threat is big enough to annihilate our existence’. What is that ‘Special Something’? That ‘Something’ is flexibility, the ability of transformation. Leaving out things that are beyond the constraints of time and accepting betterment in things wherever necessary. And this is a salient feature of our society… relentless efforts towards self-improvement, self correction. We have inherited this Indian tradition as a cultural legacy. The benchmark of any living society is its self correcting mechanism. In our country, there have been unending endeavours against social ills and evil practices, both individually & collectively. Just a while ago, Bihar launched an interesting initiative. In order to uproot social ills in the state, the world’s longest human chain spanning over thirteen thousand kilometers was formed.

        This campaign made people aware of social maladies such as child-marriage and the dowry system. The entire state thus resolved to fight against these social evils. Children, the elderly, the youth full of energy and enthusiasm, women, girls turned out to participate in this battle. The human chain that commenced formation from Gandhi Maidan in Patna gained momentum, touching the state borders. In order to ensure that the fruits of progress rightly reach all sections of society, it is imperative that our society is freed of these ills. Come, let us pledge to come together to wipe out these evil customs from our social fabric… let us build an empowered, capable New India. I appreciate the people of Bihar, the Chief Minister, the administration, in fact every member of the human chain for this massive, special initiative towards social welfare.

My dear countrymen, Shriman Darshan from Mysore, Karnataka has written on My gov. He was undergoing an expenditure of six thousand rupees a month on medicines alone for the treatment of his father. Earlier, he wasn’t aware of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana. But now that he’s come to know of the Jan Aushadhi Kendra, he has begun purchasing medicines from there and his expenses have been reduced by about 75%. He has expressed his wish that I mention this in ‘Mann Ki Baat’, so that it reaches the maximum number of people and they can benefit from it. Over some time lately, many have written on this subject; many of them have been telling me about it. I too have seen videos put up on social media by beneficiaries of this scheme. It is a matter of joy learning about happenings like these. It gives you inner satisfaction. I felt good to see Shriman Darshan ji think about sharing with others what he gained from it. The motive behind this scheme is making healthcare affordable and encouraging Ease of Living. Medicines available at the Jan Aushadhi Centres are 50% to 90% cheaper than branded drugs available in the market. This is great help for the common man, especially for senior citizens who require medicines on a daily basis and results in a lot of savings. Generic medicines sold under this scheme strictly conform to prescribed standards set by the World Health Organisation. That is why good quality medicines are made available at affordable prices. Today, over three thousand Jan Aushadhi Kendras have been set up across the country. This has led to not only availability of cheaper medicines, but also new employment opportunities for individual entrepreneurs. Affordable medicines are now available at ‘Amrit Stores’ at Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadhi Centres & at hospitals. The sole aim behind this step is ensuring availability of Quality & affordable health service to the poorest of the poor, so that a healthy & prosperous India comes into being.

        My dear countrymen, Shri Mangesh from Maharashtra has shared a photo on the Narendra Modi Mobile App. It was such a striking photo that my attention was magnetically drawn towards it. The photo showed that a grandson was participating in the 'Clean Morna River' along with his grandfather. I came to know that the citizens of Akola had organized a cleanliness campaign to clean the Morna river under the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'. The Morna river was a perennial river flowing throughout the twelve months of the year but now it has become seasonal. The second painful fact was that the river was completely filled with wild grass and hyacinth. A lot of garbage was being dumped into the river and along its banks. An action plan was chalked out and on January 13th a day before Makar-Sankranti, in the first phase of 'Mission Clean Morna' sanitation of the two sides of the bank of the Morna river at fourteen places spread over an area of ​​four kilometers, was carried out.

This noble and grand task named 'Mission Clean Morna', involved more than six thousand denizens of Akola, more than 100 NGOs, Colleges, Students, children, the elderly, mothers, sisters, almost everybody participated in this task. On January 20th, 2018, this Sanitation Campaign continued in the same vein and I’ve been told that this campaign will continue every Saturday morning till the Morna river is completely cleaned. 'Mission Clean Morna' shows that if a person is determined to do something, then nothing is impossible. Huge social reforms can be brought about through mass movements. I congratulate the people of Akola, the district and the municipal corporation’s administration, all the citizens who were associated with this mass movement, I laud your efforts which are not only very much appreciated but this will inspire the other citizens of the country.

        My dear countrymen, these days you must be hearing a lot about the Padma Awards. These awards also attract attention in newspapers and television also. But if you scrutinize, then you will be proud of the fact that there many loftier personalities amidst us and you will naturally be proud of the very fact that today the common man is being cited for Padma awards without any recommendations. There was a certain methodology of awarding Padma Awards every year, but this entire process has been changed for the past three years. Now any citizen can nominate any person in our country. Transparency has been brought about in the entire process by making it operable online. In a way, the selection of these awards has been transformed completely. You may have noticed that many ordinary people not visible in big cities, in newspapers or on TV are being awarded with Padma citations. Now the identity of the awardee is not the deciding factor of the award, rather the importance of his work is increasing. You must have heard the name of Arvind Gupta ji. It will gladden your heart to know, that Arvind ji, a student of IIT Kanpur, spent all his life creating toys for children. He has been making toys from garbage for over four decades so that children can increase their curiosity towards science.

He has been trying to get children inspired to conduct scientific experiments using waste; towards this end he has been encouraging children by showing them films made in 18 languages in three thousand schools across the country. What a wonderful life, what a dedicated mission! A similar story is that of Sitavaa Jodatti from Karnataka. She has not been hailed as 'Goddess of women empowerment' just for nothing! For the past three decades, in Belagavi, she has made a great contribution towards changing the lives of countless women. At the age of seven she had dedicated herself as a Devadasi but in a turnaround, for the welfare of the Devdasis, she has spent her entire life. Not only this, she has done unprecedented work for the welfare of Dalit women too. You must have heard the name of Bhajju Shyam of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Bhajju Shyam was born in a very poor tribal family. He was employed in a small job for eking out his living, but he was also fond of painting in the traditional tribal art form. Today, due to this hobby, he garnered respect not only in India but the entire world. He has exhibited his paintings in many countries like Netherlands, Germany, England and Italy. The talent of Bhajju Shyam ji, who made India proud in many nations abroad, was also recognized and he was awarded the Padma Shri.

You will be pleasantly surprised listening to the story of Kerala's tribal lady Lakshmikutti. Laxmikutty is a teacher in Kallar and still resides in a hut made of palm leaves in a tribal tract amidst dense forests. She has created five hundred herbal medicines relying solely on her memory. She has mastery in synthesizing medicines used for treatment of snake bites. Lakshmi Ji is continuously serving society with her knowledge of herbal medicines. Identifying her anonymous persona, she has been honoured with the Padma Shri for her contribution to society. I would like to mention another name today, that of 75 year old Subhasini Mistri, hailing from West Bengal, who was selected for the award. Subhasini Mistri is a woman who, in order to construct a hospital, cleaned utensils in the homes of others and also sold vegetables. At the age of 23 she lost her husband due to lack of proper treatment, and this incident inspired her to build a hospital for the poor. Today, thousands of poor people are treated free of cost in this hospital that has come up through hard-work. I am convinced that there are many men and women in our land filled with gems, Bahuratna-Vasundhara, many gifted women and men who remain faceless or unknown. The failure to identify such people is also a loss to the society, the Padma awards are only a medium of acknowledgement, but I would also like to tell the countrymen that people serving the society around us, people giving up all that they have got for the sake of society, millions of people who have worked for a life time for us bestowed with one or the other useful attribute should be acknowledged in our midst. They do not labour for any honor, but their work inspires us. These people should be invited to schools and colleges to share their experiences. Beyond awards, there should be some more efforts from our society in acknowledging their contribution.

    My dear countrymen, we celebrate Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on January 9th every year. It was on the 9th of January, when our revered Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa. On this day, we celebrate the unbreakable bond that exists between Indians in India and Indians living around the globe. This year we organized a program on Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, where all MPs and Mayors of Indian origin were invited. You will be pleased to know that in this programme, Malaysia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Portugal, Mauritius, Fiji, Tanzania, Kenya, Canada, Britain, Surinam, South Africa and America, and many other countries wherever our Mayors or MPs of Indian Origin exist, all of them participated. I am happy that the people of Indian origin who live in different countries continue to serve those countries and at the same time they have maintained their strong relationship with India as well

This time, the European Union, has sent me a calendar, in which they have displayed the contributions by Indians in various fields of life living in different countries of Europe; whether working in the field of cyber security, or dedicated to Ayurveda, entertaining the society through music, or through poetry; someone researching on climate change or working on ancient Indian texts, someone driving a truck for livelihood, who went on to construct a Gurudwara or has built a mosque – wherever our people are, they have in their own way embellished or adorned the land of their adoption. I would thus like to thank the European Union, for recognizing the people of Indian origin and through them in making people in India and people the world over aware of their exemplary work.

The 30th of January is the death anniversary of our revered Bapu, who showed us a new path. On that day we also observe 'martyrs day' in solemn memory of the great martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the defense of the country and pay our homage at 11 in the morning. The path of peace and non-violence, is the path of Bapu and this is applicable not only for India or the world, but also for a person or a family or a society. The ideals which Bapu practiced in his life, things that he imparted are relevant even today. They were not just mere theories. At present we witness at every step how accurate Bapu's words were. What can be a bigger tribute than taking a vow that we shall tread the path of Bapu - and walk, as far as possible?

My dear countrymen, with my best wishes to all of you for 2018, my speech draws to a close. Thank you very much. Namaskar.

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PM inaugurates and lays the foundation stone of multiple development initiatives worth over Rs. 1800 crores
July 07, 2022
“Kashi today presents a picture of development with heritage”
“My Kashi is a great example of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas aur Sabka Prayas”
“The citizens of Kashi have given a message to the entire country that short-cuts cannot benefit the country”
“ The government has always tried to solve the problems of the poor, tried to support them in their happiness and sorrow”
“For us, development isn’t just glitter. For us, development means empowerment of the poor, downtrodden, deprived, backward, tribal, mothers and sisters”

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today inaugurated and laid the foundation stones of multiple projects worth over Rs. 1800 crores at an event at Dr Sampurnanand Sports Stadium, Sigra, Varanasi. Governor of Uttar Pradesh Smt Anandiben Patel, and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath were among those present on the occasion.

At the outset, the Prime Minister thanked the people of Uttar Pradesh and Kashi for the massive support that they gave in the recent elections.

The Prime Minister said that Kashi has always been alive and in constant flux. Now Kashi has shown a picture of the whole country which has a heritage as well as development. The Prime Minister said that schemes and projects of thousands of crores rupees have been completed and many are going on. He said the soul of Kashi is internal, however, relentless improvement in the body of Kashi is going on. He remarked that the development is making Kashi more mobile, progressive and sensitive. “My Kashi is a great example of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas aur Sabka Prayas”, he said.

The Prime Minister, who is MP from Kashi, commented “I am happy to see the way the aware citizens of Kashi have done the work to give direction to the country. The citizens of Kashi have given a message to the entire country that short-cuts cannot benefit the country.” He praised the local people for preferring long-lasting solutions and projects over temporary and short-cut solutions. He said improvements in infrastructure and other spheres have brought tourism to the city and created new opportunities for business and ease of living.

Talking about the upcoming Sawan month, the Prime Minister said devotees of Baba Vishwanath from all over the country and the world are going to come to Kashi in large numbers. This, he remarked, will be the first Sawan festival after the completion of the Vishwanath Dham project. He said people have experienced in the past months how much enthusiasm there is in the whole world about Vishwanath Dham. He said the government is moving ahead with a goal to make the experience of devotees as rich and easy as possible. Various Yatras of faith are being made easy and convenient.

“For us, development doesn't just mean glitter. For us, development means empowerment of the poor, downtrodden, deprived, backward, tribal, mothers and sisters”, the Prime Minister said. He said the government is working continuously on providing pucca houses and piped water to every household.

The Prime Minister said our government has always tried to solve the problems of the poor, tried to support them in their happiness and sorrow. From the free corona vaccine to the provision of free rations to the poor, the government has not left any opportunity to serve the people. Digital India, Ayushman Bharat, increasing medical infrastructure is creating new opportunities for the people. The Prime Minister remarked that on one hand, we are expanding the facilities for CNG-run vehicles to make the cities of the country smoke-free. On the other hand, we are also giving the option of connecting diesel and petrol-powered boats of our sailors with CNG and taking care of Ganga ji.

The Prime Minister also noted the enthusiasm of sportspersons for getting a new sports centre. The Prime Minister said that the government is working on making all facilities for Olympics sports available in Kashi. He said international facilities are being created in the redeveloped stadium at Sigra. This six decades-old stadium will be equipped with the facilities of the 21st century.

The Prime Minister asked the people of Kashi to keep Ganga and Varanasi clean and expressed the confidence that with the support of the people and blessings of Baba Vishwanath, all pledges for the city will be fulfilled.

Inauguration and foundation stone of multiple development initiatives

In the last eight years, the Prime Minister has put a lot of focus on infrastructure development in Varanasi. This has resulted in the transformation of the landscape of the city. The primary focus of this endeavour has been enhancing the ease of living for the people. Taking another step in this direction, during the programme, the Prime Minister inaugurated projects worth over Rs 590 crores. Among these are multiple initiatives under Varanasi Smart City and Urban Projects, including the re-development of Namo Ghat in Phase-I along with the construction of bathing jetty; conversion of diesel and petrol engines of 500 boats into CNG; redevelopment of Kameshwar Mahadev ward of Old Kashi and over 600 EWS flats constructed in village Harhua, Dasepur; new Vending Zone and urban place prepared under Lahartara-Chowka Ghat Flyover; tourist facility and market complex at Dashashwamedh Ghat; and 33/11 KV Substation at Nagwa under IPDS Work Phase-3.

The Prime Minister also inaugurated various road projects including the construction of Four Lane Road over Bridge (ROB) on Babatpur-Kapsethi-Bhadohi Road; Bridge on Varuna River on Central Jail road; widening of Pindra-Kathiraon Road; widening of Phoolpur-Sindhaura Link Road; strengthening and construction of 8 rural roads; construction of 7 PMGSY roads and widening of Dharsauna-Sindhaura road.

The Prime Minister also inaugurated various projects related to the improvement of sewerage and water supply in the district. These include rehabilitation of Old Trunk Sewer Line in Varanasi City through trenchless technology; laying of sewer lines; over 25000 sewer house connections in Trans Varuna area; leakage repair works in Sis Varuna area of the city; rural drinking water scheme at Taatepur village, etc. Various social and education sector-related projects to be inaugurated include ITI at Village Mahgaon, Phase-II of Vedic Vigyan Kendra in BHU, Govt. Girls Home at Ramnagar, Theme Park in Govt. Old Age Women Home at Durgakund.

The Prime Minister inaugurated a synthetic athletic track and synthetic basketball court in Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar Sports Complex, Bada Lalpur and various police and safety fire projects including non-residential Police Station building at Sindhaura, construction of hostel rooms, barracks in Mirzamurad, Cholapur, Jansa and Kapsethi police stations and building of Fire Extinguisher Centre in Pindra.

During the programme, the Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for projects worth more than Rs 1200 crores. Among these are multiple road infrastructure projects including a six-lane widening of road from Lahartara - BHU to Vijaya Cinema; four-lane widening of road from Pandeypur Flyover to Ring Road; Four lanes of road from Kuchaheri to Sandaha; widening and strengthening of Varanasi Bhadohi Rural Road; construction of five new Roads and four CC roads in Varanasi rural area; construction of ROB near Babatpur railway station on Babatpur-Chaubeypur road. These projects will significantly help in reducing the traffic load on city and rural roads.

To give a fillip to tourism in the region, Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of multiple projects including the development work of the Sarnath Buddhist Circuit under the World Bank-aided UP Pro-Poor tourism development project, construction of Paavan Path for Asht Vinakaya, Dwadash Jyotirling Yatra, Asht Bhairaw, Nav Gauri Yatra, Tourism Development work of five stoppages in Panchkosi Parikrama Yatra Marg and Tourism development various wards in Old Kashi.

The Prime Minister also laid the foundation of Phase 1 of redevelopment works of Sports Stadium at Sigra.