Shri Narendra Modi at International Sindhi Mahasammelan

Published By : Admin | December 16, 2011 | 15:29 IST


16th December, 2011

I feel honored to have your presence. Friends, I respect you people from my heart, I admire you all and I have a revered feeling for you all in my mind and heart. And it is not just because as a Chief Minister, I have to say so, it’s not like that. There is a logic and fact behind it. When we look towards the cultural journey of entire human race and go to its roots, we stop after reaching at a particular spot, from where the development journey of human culture began. That is the place from where your ancestors made great deeds. You are the part of that great legacy. Your ancestors have made those great deeds and therefore I have a revered feeling towards that heritage and you being its representative, naturally it is expressed towards you.

The welfare of the entire humankind was always thought on the banks of Sindhu (the Indus) and Saraswati. When I went to Dholavira during my student life, Harappan culture, Mohenjo-Daro… and people over there explained me about the nicety, I used to feel so proud for the far sighted thinking of our ancestors. Each and every brick, every stone depicts the story of great sons for their great deeds for the heritage of the Indus Culture. Today the world discusses about the Olympic Games and big play grounds and stadiums. There might be many people among you who might not been fortunate enough to look towards the great deeds made by your own ancestors. If you visit Dholavira, you will find that 5000 years ago there was such a big stadium and big sports events were held, all the signs are still available there. It means what great attitude they had for it… At present, there is a concept of signage in the whole world, Friends. If a lane goes on this side then its name is written with an arrow, there are signages. And who needs signages? If you go to a small village, you will not find any such signages indicating that here is a way to Patel Street, the Baniya Lane… nothing of such sort is written over there. Because villages are small and everyone knows what is where, so there is no need to put on any board. 5000 years back, Dholavira was the first town of the world to have signages, they still exist today. What must be the reason? There might be two reasons. One, it must be a very big town and secondly, many foreigners might be visiting there and therefore only such signages might be required. Friends, Can you imagine such a legacy, 5000 years back. Do you feel anytime? And I wish that when we are conducting such programme and we are gathered here, singing glory of this great tradition, there should be some plan of action for introducing the history and culture to the new generation.

Friends, I have a mood to talk to you as a Friend rather than as a Chief Minister. Many times I feel that… Since here in Ahmedabad, I must have taken meals in more than half of Sindhi family’s house. As for 35 years, I lead a life like that only, I used to visit many families and eat at their houses, this was my routine… And therefore I have observed all this things very closely. But now if I visit any Sindhi family, the children are seen around Pasta and Pizza, so I feel that who will now serve me Mitha Lolla, Tikha Lolla, Pakwan? You just think, all this is going away now. All this things are now vanishing from my Sindhi Families. Isn’t this our responsibility to save our culture? Many times I tell my friends to arrange Sindhi Food Festival in Ahmedabad at least sometimes. This Narendra serves the whole world but is never able to serve any Sindhi Dish. I have told you that I am talking with you not as a Chief Minister but as a close pal. Because I have grown and bought up among you and so I know. You may go and ask young generation, what was the traditional Sindhi attire? What we used to wear? The world has changed, a lot of westernization is imbibed within you, excuse me for that. The Families speaking Sindhi language are getting reduced. Even Mother and the son have also started speaking in English. Friends, one who is able to sustain his mother tongue, lifestyle, traditional costumes in the world, has the power to put a life in it once again. And as a community, if you have lost the path, then I have a request that once take a resolution to speak in Sindhi at home. Whether we are in America, staying in Hong Kong, if we have been to China, anywhere we might go… why should not we speak Sindhi? And Sindhi language, a language itself has her own strength. Once Advaniji was narrating me, Benazir Bhutto had come here and they had a formal meeting, all the protocols were there, but the moment she saw Advaniji, Benazir started speaking in Sindhi and there was so much warmth between them in whole atmosphere, they were talking so freely… Now see, a language has so much of power and if we lose it… If a profession needs English then use it definitely, learn ten more languages, who is taking objection? On the contrary, it should be learnt. If you sit with our Sureshji, when he speaks Gujarati, no one is able to recognize that he knows Sindhi language also, he speaks Gujarati so fluently. He speaks Gujarati so well that not a single word is misspoken. I am really happy with this. But I feel that… Just see, here is a Sindhi Gathering, no one has worn Sindhi dress. Don’t take it as a criticism, Friends. This is your legacy, your strength, why are you losing it? It hurts me. And that’s why I am telling that sometimes at least you all may wear Sindhi costumes. See, our people went to Mauritius 150-200 years ago. They went there as labourers, rather as slaves. They were hand cuffed and taken in the ships. But they took with them Ramayana, ‘Tulsikrit Ramayana’, as they did not have anything else to carry. They went to Mauritius, and to many other such countries, but they had only this support. Today even after 200 years, many things are changed, but since they had Ramayana with them, they have been able to maintain the same relation with this soil. They have not changed their names, they have continued singing hymns of Ramayana and because of that their relationship… Otherwise how many generations are changed in 200 years. Those people are present here who have seen the Sindhi Culture and also gone through those dreadful days and later tried their luck in India, the entire generation is present. But who will be there after 50 years? Who will tell about the great deeds of your ancestors, who will narrate? And therefore Ladies & Gentlemen, according to me, the society, the community, the country which forgets its history, can never make a history. Only those can form a history, who knows to live it. Those who bury the history, can do nothing in their life but to drape over a sheet. And so, being descendants of such a great legacy, you should preserve it, love it. And if we don’t love our heritage, how can we expect our neighbours to adore it? And this passion is not against anybody. To be proud of our virtues doesn’t mean to hurt or abuse anybody. We should be proud to have a glorious history..!

If you get an opportunity to visit Kutch, do go. You must have heard the story, 400 years back there was a man named Mekan Dada in Kutch. People used to go to worship Hinglaj Mata but due to the scarcity of water in the desert, sometimes they died in the desert itself. The devotees used to suffer a lot to cross the desert and go towards Sindh to have an auspicious presence of Hinglaj Mata. Mekan Dada used to keep a donkey and a dog with him which were trained to keep a watch if anybody in the desert is in trouble. The donkey and the dog used to deliver water in the desert and if required also carry the needy. And he was fortunate to have a well there on the outskirts of the desert which contained pure sweet water, it is available today also, if you ever visit. That place was destroyed during earthquake, but we have restored it, re-established it. 400 years back what Mekan Dada wrote, is still exists today. He wrote one thing that a day would come… A person who wrote this 400 years ago, was a watchman on the borders of Gujarat and Sindh, that Mekan Dada wrote that a day would come when Sindhu, Saraswati and Narmada all the three would confluence. Who had thought at that time that Sardar Sarovar Dam will be built on the river Narmada and from Sardar Sarovar, the water of Narmada will reach on the banks of Sindh, who would have thought? And you may be aware, now whenever there is flood in the river Sindhu, then on that side of Pakistan, a dam is built before the sea, so when the Sindhu river gets overflowed, the maximum water is flowed in our desert, in India towards Gujarat. And if you see this spot, it is miles broad bed where the water flows, but unfortunately it becomes salty, bitter just like sea water and it becomes of no use. But I went to see that spot in the desert where that water comes and then I wrote a letter to the Indian Government that can’t we have a talk with Pakistan? that this flood water which flows down in the sea, if we divert it towards this side through canal, then the Mekan Dada’s dream of combining Sindhu, Saraswati and Narmada can be fulfilled by us. Friends, this is the legacy we should be proud of and ought to be associated with.

Ladies & Gentlemen, I respect this community for one more reason also. You can imagine how could be those days of 1947, when the country was divided, everything was ruined, everything was destroyed and you came here with faith in God. Why did you come here, Friends? To get something, to achieve something? What was not with you? You came here because of your love for this soil, for this great heritage. You were not ready to give up this culture of your ancestors, therefore you have faced troubles. Is this spirit percolating in your children? If not, then it is not the dearth of our ancestors, it is the fault of our present generation and so it is necessary to think of it seriously. Friends, I used to observe a Sindhi gentleman in my village during my childhood. That time I was smaller in age then him, he was of somewhat 60-65 years old. His financial condition was very bad… I could still remember his whole face. A very weak-thin body, with worn-torn clothes and he was always seen on the bus stop selling Papad or chocolates and biscuits to the passengers in a tray. As long as I stayed in my village he was alive and I always saw him doing the same work. That one scene still touches my heart. How poor he was, leading a very miserable life, even his body was not supporting. Mine was a small village, who would consume biscuits or chocolates there? Who would spend? But even then he used to stand on the bus-stop with the professional spirit, trying to earn something by selling something but I never saw him begging. There are very few societies which have this strength. And this is in the genetic system of the Sindhi community, the strength of self-respect. They never beg..! You are the possessor of that inheritance. How to pass on this tradition on our children, how to make them ready?

Friends, Professional Skill..! Our Gopaldas Bhojwani is sitting here, when I was young, we used to go and sit on his shop sometimes. One thing came to our notice, I don’t know whether that tradition is present today or not. But from socio-economic point of view, I have kept my subject before many people, spoken at different places. Now whether that tradition still exists or not that I don’t know, but that time I saw it with my own eyes. Whenever any Sindhi youth or a person started his business then his friends, relatives, all would come on the inauguration and handed an envelope. Nothing would be written on that envelope, but it contained some money, some amount. Whoever came would give him. I asked with curiosity that what is this going on? Then I came to know that it is the tradition of their community, that whenever a person starts a new business then the community people come to meet and give him some money, which helps as a capital to carry his business. And afterwards, if there is any such opportunity, he himself also goes and gives it to somebody else. But the giver’s name is not written. Friends, the tradition that I have seen had excellent socio-economical concept to help our own relatives, the person of our own society to stabilize in business. This in itself may probably be the rarest in the world. Here, during the marriages it is given in this way to share the marriage expenditure with the family. But such a tradition in business came to my notice when I used to attend opening ceremonies of the shops of Sindhi families. And I feel that what an excellent socio-economic thinking is extended by our ancestors..! No one, just no one will be drown, everybody will give their helping hands and try to pull him up, such a great tradition.

I was just now asking Shrichandji if there is any Sindhi TV Channel. I know that, but why I asked him that you should know, isn’t it? I know that… No, to have small-time programmes is a different thing, that is not a full-fledged channel, short programmes go on air. No, I had asked the question at the right place. Now he is asking for some land. He is a businessman, why are you devaluating us, Hindujaji? Whole Gujarat is yours, my Brother & Sisters, the whole Gujarat is yours. Whole Gujarat is at your hands, enjoy it..! But few gentlemen from Mumbai have come forward, possibly they have come here, to build a similar Sindhi Cultural Centre near Narayan Sarovar and we have given them a big land for that purpose. The work is in progress to build a very nice cultural centre at the Narayan Sarovar, which is the last end of today’s India and lies near the border of Pakistan. That will be very beneficial and a great work is going to happen. Yes, they are sitting here… That will be a very nice job, I am sure.

You all know very well that Gujarat has made great progress and development. You all would like to have food or should I narrate the story of Gujarat..? Voice is not coming. Yes, Sindhis eat food very late, I also when used to work for the whole day and if it gets late, then eat food at your house only, I used to go at any Sindhi house and there I would get something to eat. No, at today’s date, you certainly eat. Well, by and large this has been the image of Gujarat that we were a trader’s state and what we used to do as a trader’s state? We used to buy goods from one place, sell it at other and take out the cream in between. This was it, what would the businessmen do? From that it is transformed. Today Gujarat has become an industrial state. And in the first decade of this 21st Century, the heights that are crossed by Gujarat, if anyone takes Gujarat as a sample then he may become confident that if it is possible in Gujarat then it can be made possible in the whole India and our country can become great. Because we are the same kind of people in each and every corner of India. The same are the laws and the same system. Progress and Development are possible, this is the example placed by Gujarat.

There was a time, when the coastal area of 1600 km was considered as a burden. We felt that what will happen here? This water, this salty water, lack of drinking water… People of Kutch and Saurashtra went on departing their villages. The villages were getting vacant. We had considered it as burden. Friends, today we have converted that sea into an opportunity. Once which was considered as a burden has been converted into an opportunity and we have raised a complete network of more than 40 ports on 1600 KMs of coastal area. And 85% of the total private cargo of India is handled on the coasts of Gujarat.

Kutch. There was a terrible earthquake in 2001, it was felt as if Gujarat would be ruined. And it was a shattering earthquake, more than 13,000 people were killed, lakhs of houses were collapsed, the entire infrastructure came to an end. Schools, colleges nothing, even hospitals were not left. The God was so enraged that we could not even imagine. In other words, Gujarat was sleeping under a death sheet and the whole country believed that now Gujarat would not endure any more. Friends, the World Bank record shows that even a developed country needs 7 years to come out after disaster like earthquake, minimum 7 years. Friends, Gujarat could sprint within 3 years. There was a time when the growth of Kutch was negative, even population. People were migrating, population was getting reduced. Kutch which was once covered under a sheet of death, today it is the fastest growing district of India, fastest growing. In these 10 years, the work related to the production of 8000 MW of electricity has been started within the radius of 20 KMs around Mundra in Kutch. It means that the production of electricity has been started, within the radius of 20 KMs only. There might be many states in India who may not be having electricity equal to 8000 MW in total. And here, production of 8000 MW of electricity within the radius of 20 KMs..! The production of Steel Pipes within 15 KMs of radius near Anjar is the highest in the world.

Friends, Gujarat is such a state which lacks raw-material, we do not have mines and minerals, we do not have iron ores… but we produce the highest steel. We do not have diamond mines, but 9 out of 10 diamonds in the world are prepared by us. There would not be any actress in the world with diamond on her body which is not touched by my Gujarati. God has not bestowed us, we have not got that fortune, we do not have. We do not have the coal, we do not have water, in spite of that Gujarat is the only state in India that supplies electricity for 24 hours, it supplies electricity for 24x7 house to house, 24 hours electricity is available. Here, if ever the power supply is cut just for 5 minutes then it becomes a big news that it was dark for 5 minutes today in the State of Modi..! Other states of India are such that where if power comes then it becomes a news that there was power on Tuesday..! Friends, there is such a vast difference in the scale of development.

In the world of pharmaceuticals about 45% of medicines are produced in Gujarat. We export it in every country of the world. We were in the world of chemicals, if you get an opportunity to visit Dahej, the only liquid chemical port of India and where our new S.I.R. has been set up, in Dahej. It is equivalent to Shanghai, it is compared, we have chemical port like that of Sanghai in Dahej and now S.I.R is being set up there. So, Gujarat was mainly identified in the world of chemical production, now from there we have entered in the field of engineering. When ‘Nano’ arrived here, Gujarat came in the limelight on the map of the world for the first time, else nobody knew its existence. Friends, ‘Nano’ has just arrived and it would not be out of place to say the least that now all the well known car companies are coming to Gujarat. In the coming days, we will be manufacturing about 5 million cars in Gujarat, five million cars. You can imagine how the economy will be working here, with what pace we will be growing..! We have entered yet another sector in the industrial development.

The whole world is discussing about ‘Global Warming’ & ‘Climate Change’. There are only four Governments in the world that are having their own Climate Change Department and the Government is working accordingly. Only four in the world, and one of these four is the Government of Gujarat. We have a separate Climate Change Department and we emphasize more on Eco-friendly development, because we know the way Gujarat is developing, the human life should also be taken care of as well and there should be a proper balance between them. And in that, we have taken an initiative of Solar Energy. Friends, I can say with pride that Gujarat has become the ‘Solar Capital’ of the world, we are the World Capital of Solar Energy. In the coming days, in the field of Solar Energy, in the field of Solar Energy Equipments Manufacturing, we are going to dominate and in the future we are going to take it further. We are bringing a policy for Roof-top Solar Energy System targeting to have Solar System on the roof of every house that will be constructed. The Government will decide to purchase the power from them, as the way the prices of petroleum and coal are sky rocketing, a very big crisis of electricity may arise. And Friends, I can say with confidence, no matter how big the crisis may come, Gujarat will tide from that. And the development will come to a grinding halt without energy. Wherever will be this crisis, the development will be stopped. But we have very thoughtfully worked on it. These days we are working a lot on Bio-fuel. And Friends, the day will come when instead of depending on fossil fuel, we will make do with Bio-fuel. The Bio-fuel will be generated in the fields. We are largely working in that direction and committed with an ideology to use ‘Jhadi’ (Shrub) Oil, instead of ‘Khadi’ (Gulf) Oil. A situation will come for a major change due to this ideology.

Friends, there was a time when about 4000 villages were supplied water with tankers for almost 6 months after February. Till the time these tankers did not reach such villages, there was no potable water available. This was the situation of Gujarat till 2001-02. We planned to provide Narmada water through pipeline in villages and laid about 1400 km of pipeline within 700 days, 1400 KMs of pipeline in stupendous 700 days. It is a common practice in our country that it takes 2 years to lay 2 inch pipeline and the potholes remain as it is. Why? The reply is that water pipeline is being laid. We laid down 1400 KMs of pipeline in just 700 days and the size is such that you can easily go through in your Maruti car with your family, that big is the size. 1400 KMs of pipeline in just 700 days. Gujarat is the only state in the country having gas grid of 2200 KMs. Here most households are getting gas supply just by tapping from the pipeline, there is no need of cylinders. It has taken place in many cities and will move forward in many more towns. It means we have taken up a new form of infrastructure. In the past, the infrastructure was in form of construction of new roads, bus stop, gradually came the construction of railway station, then air port… Our thinking of infrastructure is keeping the needs of 21st century in mind, gas grid, water grid… It is in that direction. The other thing that we have taken up is the work of Optical Fiber Network. We are at No.1 position in the world, with regard to the length of Optical Fiber Network. And Friends, there has been a great change in the journey of development of human culture. There was a time, wherever there was river, there was habitation human civilization. Then there came a change, the human civilization developed near the highways. Now people build even temples near highways, so that ‘clients’ would not suffer. But Friends, the time is changing. Now the human civilization is going to be developed at the place near the passage of Optical Fiber. And Gujarat is the State having longest lengthwise Optical Fiber Network in the world. In the last Budget of 2011-2012, the Government of India had declared to initiate a pilot project of broadband connectivity in 3000 villages. It was Delhi’s Indian Government, please excuse me if there is anyone over here connected to any party, I am not criticizing any party. But the Indian Government had declared at the time of Budget to make pilot project of broadband connectivity in 3000 villages. Ladies & Gentlemen, you will be pleased to know that 18,000 villages in Gujarat already have broadband connectivity for last three years and because of that, today I can have video conference from Gandhinagar to any village, we are able to have long distance education in the remote schools and impart teaching, a qualified teacher is now able to teach children of the villages situated at a distance of 500 km from Gandhinagar itself, this is the network in Gujarat..!

Usually, States keep asking for some or the other things from the Centre. It is always appeared in the newspaper that there is demand for construction of roads, this and that is demanded, demanded money for a hospital, more wheat is demanded, somewhere it is appeared that give us salt, such thing also comes… so this is what in our country. But what does Gujarat ask for? Gujarat has a different approach to ask. I had written a letter to the Prime Minister before one year. I told him that Sir, we are having so many satellites, give me some right to make a use of these satellites, this is the letter I had written. Because so much of technology is being used here and for that I need this network. And Friends, I am glad as three days back the Indian Government has authorized us to utilize one transponder, i.e. 36 MHz from the satellite. At present, I am able to run one channel for long distance, but now will be able to run 14 channels, fourteen. You can imagine at what heights and level I am taking the development to..! We are working on such a large canvas. I have given a small glimpse of few things.

Friends, we do such works that you will be astonished by listening it. In these 10 years, the growth rate of milk production is 60% in Gujarat, can you imagine? There is 60% growth. And it is the result of hard work made for that. We organize ‘Cattle Health Fairs’ here. And a cattle is not supposed to be taken for more than 3 KMs, because to take a sick cattle more than that it is a crime and a sin. We conduct about 3000-3500 Cattle Camps for their health check-ups. And we have been conducting this consecutively from last seven years. The vaccinations, medicines, their proper care… it resulted in for example as if it’s very cold, we catch cold, if it rains heavily we catch cold, in the same way it happens with cattle also. Few diseases are such that if there is a slight change in weather, it immediately affects cattle. But because of the regular care, 112 diseases were such which are totally eradicated from my state, they are wiped out and it has made a great effect on the cattle’s health. Not only this, how do we take care of the cattle..? We have cataract surgery and in some poor areas people conduct ‘Netra Yagna’ (eye camps) in the name of charity and implant free lens to the poor people. We all have heard about the cataract operation, intraocular lens… This is the first time that I am telling you that Gujarat is the only State in the whole world where the cataract operations for the cattle are conducted. Operations of the lens for the cattle are carried out in my State, Dental treatment of animals are carried in my State, because of such exquisite care, today we have reached here in milk production. And Friends, those who have come here from Singapore, I can tell with confidence that if they are drinking Indian style tea in Singapore, then write it down, the milk will be of my Gujarat. Friends, the work that we have done in agricultural sector… Today in any country of the world, if Lady’s Finger is cooked, you make write it down, it would be from my Bardoli. Friends, there was a time when ‘Kesar’ of Gir was famous. Today ‘Kesar’ of Kutch, which was once a desert… Mangoes are produced in Kutch and today ‘Kesar’ of my Kutch is exported in the entire world.

Friends, I have shown you just a small trailer of what can be done within 10 years, if you wish to see the whole movie, it may take a month. There has been development in all the sectors, and development is the only Mantra. Ladies & Gentlemen, development is the only solution to all the troubles, all the problems, with that only ideology we are moving ahead.

I am thankful for giving me an opportunity to meet you all. What I told you in the beginning that was because of the feeling of affection towards you, the feeling of respect that I have in my mind towards you, on that basis I again request you all, not to ruin this great heritage, do not let this culture be shattered. If you make some arrangement to imbibe this language, this culture, this cuisines within your children then I believe it would be a great service to the nation.


Thank you very much..!

Share beneficiary interaction videos of India's evolving story..
Explore More
Do things that you enjoy and that is when you will get the maximum outcome: PM Modi at Pariksha Pe Charcha

பிரபலமான பேச்சுகள்

Do things that you enjoy and that is when you will get the maximum outcome: PM Modi at Pariksha Pe Charcha
India's cumulative Covid-19 vaccination coverage exceeds 1.96 bn mark

Media Coverage

India's cumulative Covid-19 vaccination coverage exceeds 1.96 bn mark

Nm on the go

Always be the first to hear from the PM. Get the App Now!
In 1975, Emergency was imposed, Right to Life and Personal Liberty was taken away: PM Modi
Despite the atrocities, people’s faith in democracy could not be shaken at all: PM Modi
In the last few years, many reforms have taken place in the space sector: PM Modi
IN-SPACe promotes new opportunities for private sector in the space sector: PM Modi
PM applauds efforts to save river in Northeast, praises ‘Recycling for life’ mission in Puducherry
With advancing monsoon, we must make efforts to conserve water: PM Modi
PM Modi praises efforts to revive Sultan Ki Bawari in Udaipur

Hello my dear countrymen Namaskar! I have received many letters from all of you for 'Mann Ki Baat'; I have also received many messages on social media and NaMoApp. I am very thankful to you for that. In this program, it is our endeavour to discuss each other's inspiring efforts; to tell the story of change through mass movement to the entire country. In this episode, I want to discuss with you today one such mass movement of the country, that holds great importance in the life of every citizen of the country. But, before that I want to ask a question to the youth of today's generation, to the youth in the age group of 24-25 years, and the question is very serious… do ponder my question over. Did you know that when your parents were your age, once even their right to life was snatched away from them? You must be thinking how could have this happened? This is just impossible! But my young friends, this had happened once in our country. This took place years ago in 1975. It was the month of June when emergency was imposed. In that, all the rights were taken away from the citizens of the country. One amongst those rights was the 'Right to Life and Personal Liberty' provided to all Indians under Article 21 of the Constitution. At that time an attempt was made to crush the democracy of India. The country's courts, every constitutional institution, the press, were put under control. The condition of censorship was such that nothing could be printed without approval. I remember when famous singer Kishore Kumar refused to applaud the government, he was banned. His entry on the radio was done away with. But even after many attempts, thousands of arrests, and atrocities on lakhs of people, the faith of the people of India in democracy did not shake… not at all! For us, the people of India, the sanskars of democracy which we have been carrying on for centuries; the democratic spirit which is in our veins, finally won. The people of India got rid of the emergency and re-established democracy in a democratic way. It is difficult to find such an example of defeating a dictatorial mindset, a dictatorial tendency in a democratic way, in the whole world. During the Emergency, I had the good fortune to have been a witness; to be a partner in the struggle of the countrymen - as a soldier of democracy. Today, when the country is celebrating 75 years of its independence, celebrating Amrit Mahotsav, we should never forget that dreadful period of emergency. The generations to come should also not forget. The Amrit Mahotsav not only encompasses the victory saga of freedom from hundreds of years of slavery, but also the journey of 75 years after independence. We move forward, learning from every important stage of history.

My dear countrymen, there is hardly any of us who, in one’s life, has not had fantasies pertaining to the sky. During one’s childhood, stories of the moon and stars in the sky attract everyone. For the youth, touching the sky is synonymous with making dreams come true. Today, when our India is touching the sky of success in so many fields, how can the skies, or space, remain untouched by it! In the past few years, many big feats related to the space sector have been accomplished in our country. One of these achievements of the country has been the creation of an agency named In-Space… an agency that is promoting new opportunities in the space sector for the private sector of India. This beginning has especially attracted the youth of our country. I have received messages related to this from many young people.

A few days ago when I had gone to dedicate to the people the headquarters of In-Space, I saw the ideas and enthusiasm of many young start-ups. I also talked to them for a long time. You too will not be able to help being surprised when you learn about them. For example, take just the number and speed of space start-ups. Till a few years ago, in our country, in the space sector, no one even thought about start-ups. Today their number is more than a hundred. All these start-ups are working on ideas, which were either not thought about earlier, or were considered impossible for the private sector. For example, Chennai and Hyderabad have two start-ups – Agnikul and Skyroot! These start-ups are developing launch vehicles that will take small payloads into space. Through this, the cost of Space Launching is estimated to come down significantly. Similarly, Dhruva Space, another Start-Up of Hyderabad, is working on High Technology Solar Panels for Satellite Deployer and Satellites. I also met Tanveer Ahmed of Digantara, another space start-up who is trying to map waste in space. I have also given him a challenge that they should evolve work technology, which can solve the problem of waste in space. Both Digantara and Dhruva Space are going to make their first launch from ISRO's launch vehicle on the 30th of June. Similarly, Neha, the founder of Astrome, a space start-up based in Bangalore, is also working on an amazing idea. This start-up is making such flat antennas which will not only be small, but their cost will also be very low. Demand for this technology can be all over the world.

Friends, in the program of In-Space, I also met beti Tanvi Patel, a school student of Mehsana. She is working on a very small satellite, which is going to be launched in space in the next few months. Tanvi told me about her work very simply in Gujarati. Like Tanvi, about seven hundred and fifty school students in the country are working on 75 such satellites in the Amrit Mahotsav, and it is also a matter of joy that, most of these students are from small towns of the country.

Friends, these are the same youth, in whose mind the image of the space sector was like a secret mission a few years ago, but, the country undertook space reforms, and the same youth are now launching their own satellites. When the youth of the country is ready to touch the sky, how can our country be left behind?

My dear countrymen, in 'Mann Ki Baat', let's now talk about a topic that will delight your mind and inspire you as well. Recently, our Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra was again in the headlines. Even after the Olympics, he is setting new records of success, one after the other. Neeraj won the silver at Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland. Not only that, He also broke the record of his own Javelin Throw. Neeraj once again made the country proud by winning the gold in Kuortane Games. He won this gold in conditions when the weather there was also inclement. This zest is the hallmark of today's youth. From Start-Ups to the Sports World, the youth of India are making new records. In the recently held Khelo India Youth Games too, our players set many records. You would love to know that a total of 12 records have been broken in these games - not only that, 11 records have been registered in the names of female players. M. Martina Devi of Manipur has made eight records in weightlifting.

Similarly, Sanjana, Sonakshi and Bhavna have also made different records. With their hard work, these players have proven how much India's prestige is going to rise in international sports arena in the coming times. I also congratulate all these players and wish them all the best for the future.

Friends, there has been another special feature of Khelo India Youth Games. This time too many such talents have emerged, who are from very ordinary families. These players have struggled a lot in their lives to reach this stage of success. In their success, their family, and parents too, have had a big role to play.

Father of Adil Altaf from Srinagar, who won the gold in 70 km cycling, does tailoring work, but, has left no stone unturned to fulfill his son's dreams. Today Adil has brought pride to his father and the entire Jammu-Kashmir. Gold winner L. Dhanush’s father is a carpenter in Chennai. Sangli's daughter Kajol Sargar’s father works as a tea vendor. Kajol would help her father and practice weight lifting as well. This hard work of hers and her family paid off and Kajol has won a lot of accolades in weight lifting. Tanu of Rohtak has performed a similar kind of miracle. Tanu's father Rajbir Singh is a school bus driver in Rohtak. By winning the gold medal in wrestling, Tanu has realized her own, her family’s and her father’s dream.

Friends, in the sports world, now, the dominance of Indian players is increasing; at the same time, a new image of Indian sports is also emerging. For example, in Khelo India Youth Games, besides disciplines that are in Olympics, five indigenous sports, were also included this time. These five sports are – Gatka, Thang Ta, Yogasan, Kalaripayattu and Mallakhamb.

Friends, there is going to be an international tournament of a game which was born centuries ago in our own country…in India. This is the event of Chess Olympiad beginning from the 28th July. This time, more than 180 countries are participating in the Chess Olympiad. Today's discussion of sports and fitness cannot be complete without another name - this is the name of Telangana's mountaineer Poorna Malavath. By completeing the 7 summit challenge Poorna has added another feather in her cap of success. The seven summit challenge…that is the challenge of surmounting seven most difficult and highest mountain peaks. With her indomitable spirit, Purva ascended the highest peak of North America Mount Denali and brought honour to the counry. Poorna is the same daughter of India who had accomplished the amazing feat of done a conquering Mount Everest at the age of just 13.

Friends, when it comes to sports, today I would also like to discuss Mithali Raj, one of the most talented cricketers in India. Just this month, she has announced her retirement from cricket which has emotionally moved many sports lovers. Mithali has not only been an extraordinary player, but has also been an inspiration to many players. I wish Mithali all the very best for her future.

My dear countrymen, in 'Mann Ki Baat' we have been discussing the successful efforts related to ‘waste to wealth’. One such example is that of Aizwal, the capital of Mizoram. There is a beautiful river 'Chitte Lui' in Aizwal, which due to neglect for years, had turned into a heap of dirt and garbage. Efforts have started in the last few years to save this river. For this, local agencies, voluntary organizations and local people, together, are also running the Save Chitte Lui action plan. This campaign of cleaning the river has also made an opportunity for wealth creation from waste. Actually, this river and its banks were full of plastic and polythene waste. The organization working to save the river, decided to build a road using this polythene, that is, the waste that came out of the river. From that, in a village in Mizoram, the state's first plastic road was built… that is cleanliness and development as well.

Friends, one such effort has also been undertaken by the youth of Puducherry through their voluntary organizations. Puducherry is situated along the sea coast. A large number of people come to see the beaches and marine beauty there. But, the pollution caused by plastic was also increasing on the sea coast of Puducherry, therefore, to save its sea, beaches and ecology, people here have started the 'Recycling for Life' campaign. Today, thousands of kilograms of garbage is collected and segregated every day in Karaikal, Puducherry. The organic waste from that is made into compost; the rest of the matter is separated and recycled. Such efforts are not only inspiring, but also lend momentum to India's campaign against single use plastic.

Friends, at this time when I am talking to you, a unique cycling rally is also going on in Himachal Pradesh. I want to tell you about this too. A group of cyclists have started from Shimla to Mandi carrying the message of cleanliness. These people will complete this distance of about one hundred and seventy five kilometers on mountain roads, only by cycling. There are children as well as the elderly in this group. If our environment is clean, our mountains and rivers, our seas remain clean; our health also gets better. You must keep writing me about such efforts.

My dear countrymen, monsoon is continuously progressing in our country. Rain is increasing in many states. This is also the time to make special efforts in the direction of 'water' and 'water conservation'. In our country, for centuries, this responsibility has been taken by the society together. You will remember, in 'Mann Ki Baat' we once discussed the legacy of step wells. The Baolis are those big wells which are reached by descending stairs. In Udaipur, Rajasthan, there is one such stepwell which is hundreds of years old - 'Sultan Ki Baoli'. It was built by Rao Sultan Singh, but due to neglect, gradually this place has become deserted and has turned into a pile of garbage. One day some youths roaming around reached this stepwell and were very sad to see its condition. At that very moment these youths resolved to change the picture and destiny of Sultan Ki Baoli. They named this mission of their - 'Sultan se Sur-Tan'. You must be wondering, what is this ‘Sur Tan! In fact, with their efforts, these youths have not only rejuvenated the step well, but have also linked it to the notes and melody of the music. After cleaning the Sultan's stepwell, after decorating it, takes place a program of harmony and music. There is so much talk of this change, that many people from abroad have started coming to see it. The most important thing about this successful effort is that the youth who started the campaign are chartered accountants. Coincidentally, a few days from now, July 1 is observed as chartered accountants day. I congratulate all the CAs of the country in advance. We can create a similar sense of awareness about our water bodies by connecting them with music and other social programs. Water conservation is actually life conservation. You must have seen, nowadays, how many 'river festivals' are being held! Whichever water sources are there in your cities, you must organize one event or the other.

My dear countrymen, our Upanishads mention about a life mantra- ‘Charaiveti-Charaiveti-Charaiveti’- you must have heard this mantra too. It means – keep going, keep going. This mantra is so popular in our country because it is part of our nature to keep moving, to be dynamic; to keep moving. As a nation, we have come this far through a journey of development spanning thousands of years. As a society, we have always moved ahead by accepting new ideas, new changes. Our cultural mobility and travels have contributed a lot in this. That is why our sages and saints had entrusted us with spiritual responsibilities like pilgrimage. All of us go on varied pilgrimages. You must have seen that this time a large number of devotees participated in the Chardham Yatra. In our country, from time to time, different Dev-yatras also take place. Dev Yatras… that is, in which not only the devotees but also our Gods go on a journey. In just a few days from now on the 1st of July, the famous journey of Lord Jagannath is going to commence. All of us are familiar with the Puri yatra in Odisha. People make efforts to ensure that on this occasion they get the good fortune of going to Puri. In other states too, Jagannath Yatras are taken out with great gaiety and fervour. Bhagwan Jagannath Yatra begins on Dwitiya, the second day of the month of Ashadha. In our texts 'Ashadhasya Dwitiya divase... Rath Yatra', this is how the description is found in Sanskrit shlokas. In Ahmedabad, Gujrat too, every year Rath Yatra begins from Ashadh Dwitiya. I was in Gujarat, so I also used to get the privilege of serving in this Yatra every year. Ashadha Dwitiya, also known as Ashadhi Bij, marks the beginning of the new year of Kutch on this day. I also wish Happy New Year to all my Kutchi brothers and sisters. For me this day is also very special - I remember, a day before Ashadha Dwitiya, that is, on the first Tithi of Ashadha, we started a Sanskrit festival in Gujarat, which comprises songs, music and cultural programs in Sanskrit language. The name of this event is – 'Ashadhasya Pratham Diwase'. There is also a reason behind giving this special name to the festival. Actually, the great Sanskrit poet Kalidas wrote the Meghdootam on the arrival of rain from the month of Ashadh. There is a verse in Meghdootam – Ashadhasya Pratham Diwase, Megham Ashlishta Sanum, that is, mountain peaks covered with clouds on the first day of Ashadha, this verse became the basis of this event.

Friends, be it Ahmedabad or Puri, Lord Jagannath also gives us many deep human messages through this journey. Bhagwan Jagannath is the lord of the world, but the poor and downtrodden have a special participation in his journey. God also walks along with every section and person of the society. Similarly, in all the journeys that take place in our country, there is no such distinction between poor and rich, high and low. Rising above all discrimination, the journey itself is paramount. As you must have heard about the Yatra of Pandharpur in Maharashtra.... In the Pandharpur Yatra, one is neither big nor small. Everyone is a Varkari, a servant of Bhagwan Vitthal. Just 4 days later,the Amarnath Yatra is also going to start from the 30th of June. Devotees from all over the country reach Jammu Kashmir for the Amarnath Yatra. The local people of Jammu Kashmir take the responsibility of this Yatra with equal reverence, and cooperate with the pilgrims.

Friends, the Sabarimala Yatra has the same importance in the South. This pilgrimage to seek Darshan of Bhagwan Ayyappa on the hills of Sabarimala has been going on from the times when this path was completely surrounded by forests. Even today, when people go on these yatras, how many opportunities are created for the poor… from religious rituals to lodging arrangements… that is, these yatras directly give us an opportunity to serve the poor and are equally beneficial to them. That is why the country, too, is now making many efforts to increase the facilities for the devotees in their spiritual journeys. If you too go on such a journey, you will also have a glance of Ek Bharat- Shreshtha Bharat along with spirituality.

My dear countrymen, as always, this time also it was a very pleasant experience to connect with all of you through 'Mann Ki Baat'. We discussed the successes and achievements of the countrymen. In the midst of all this, we also have to take precautions against Corona. However, it is a matter of satisfaction that today the country has a comprehensive protective shield of a vaccine. We have reached close to 200 crore vaccine doses. Precaution dose is also being rapidly administered in the country. If it is time for a precaution dose after your second dose, then you must take this third dose. Make your family members, especially the elderly, take a precautionary dose. We also have to take necessary precautions like hand hygiene and masks. We also have to be alert of the diseases caused by the surrounding filth during the rainy season. All of you stay alert, stay healthy and keep moving forward with similar positive energy. We'll meet again next month, until then, many many thanks. Namaskar!