Namaskar to all my fellow citizens!
Once again I have the opportunity of connecting with you through Mann ki Baat. Today the fifth “one day” cricket match is being played between India and South Africa in Mumbai. This series has been named as the ‘Gandhi-Mandela’ series. It is at an interesting point with both teams having won 2 matches each. So the last game is significantly important. My best wishes to all the players.
Today I would like to congratulate the friends at the Kannur centre of Akashwani. I started the Mann ki Baat and people started connecting with it. One of them was Shraddha Thamban from Kerala a grade 12 student. Kannur Centre invited her for a ceremony and a lot of feedback was received. It created an environment of belonging. Kannur centre appreciated the awareness of Shraddha and she was rewarded. The development at Kannur centre inspired me. I wish all the Akashwani centers pay attention to raise the level of awareness among the members and make them active in their region so that our aim of governance with public participation gets a boost. My heartfelt greetings and congratulations to the team at Kannur station of Akashwani centre for their efforts.
I would like to talk about Kerala again. The girl students from Saint Mary Upper primary School from Chittoor in Kerala have sent me a letter. This letter is special in many ways. Firstly, these girls have created an image of Mother India by thumb prints on a huge piece of cloth. They have sent me the image of mother India. Initially I was surprised to see why they created a map of India using thumb prints. But when I read their letter, I realized how beautifully a symbolic message was given. It is not as if these girls have tried to just awaken the Prime Minister alone. They are trying to create awareness among the people in their region and their mission is organ donation. They are organizing a public awareness campaign for organ donation. They have organized plays for creating an understanding about organ donation. Organ donation should become a habit as well as an instinct. They have asked me in their letter to appeal to people about Organ Donation in Mann ki Baat. The octogenarian Vasantrao Sudke Guru ji from Maharashtra has been running a movement from a long time. He says that organ donation should be a celebrated as a festival. These days I get a lot of messages on phone calls also. Devesh from Delhi gas also sent me a similar message. ‘I am very happy with the government’s initiative on the organ donation and steps towards creating a policy on the same. The country really needs support in these things where people need to go out and help each other and the ambitious target of one per million organ donation is a very productive steps taken by the government.’
I feel that this topic is very important. The country needs more than 2.5 lakh kidneys, hearts and livers for donation per year. However in a country with 125 crore people; only 5000 transplants could take place. Each year about one lakh eyes are in need of a vision. And we are able to reach upto only 25,000 people who need it .It implies that we are able to provide eye transplant services to only one out of the four needy persons. We should also know that if someone is killed in a road accident, then also the organs can be donated. There are some legal hassles involved. And efforts have been made to guide the states in this direction.
By reducing the paper work, some of the states have made a good effort in speeding up the process involved in organ donation. Today, I can say that Tamil Nadu today ranks first in the field of organ donation. Many social organizations and NGO’s are doing commendable job in this direction. National Organ and Tissue transplant Organization (NOTO) has been established to encourage organ transplant. A 24x7 helpline facility is also available. Its number is 1800 114 770. And there is a saying ‘Tain Tyakten Bhunjhita’ ("What is given by Him, allotted to you, you enjoy that"). The joy of sacrifice is beautifully described in this mantra ‘Tain Tyakten Bhunjhita’. In the past few days we saw on television that the wife of a poor hawker in Delhi received a transplant in Delhi’s G.B. Pant Hospital. This liver was brought from Lucknow by making special arrangements. The transplant was successful. A life was saved. Organ donation is the biggest donation. Let us all realize the mantra of ‘Tain Tyakten Bhunjhita’.
Dear countrymen, we recently celebrated the festival of Navratri and Vijayadashmi. And after some days we will celebrate Diwali too. We celebrated Eid and Ganesh Chaturthi too. But amongst all these another big festival is being organized which all our countrymen should be proud of. In the National Capital of Delhi an ‘India Africa Foreign Summit’ is being organized from 26th to 29th October. For the first time a program of this scale is being organized on the Indian soil. Leaders of 54 African countries and unions have been invited. This is the biggest conference of African countries outside Africa. India-Africa ties are deep. The African nations have a population equal to that of India. If both are combined together they make for a third of the world population. And it is said that lakhs of years ago it was all one landmass. Later from the Indian Ocean two parts got separated. There are a lot of similarities amongst us. The bio diversity of both the nations is similar. Our natural resources are similar. And almost 27 lakh Indians have settled in these nations from a long time. India shares a lot of economic, cultural and political ties with the African Nations. But India plays the largest role in training the youth of the African countries. More than 25,000 African youths have studied human resource development and capacity building in India. And many leaders from Africa have studied in India. So you can understand the depth of our relationship. And from that perspective this summit is very important. Generally when there is a summit, leaders of various countries meet. Similarly, in this summit the leaders will be meeting. We are making efforts that the people should also meet.
And this time, the Government of India, especially the HRD ministry has done something really commendable. An essay competition was organized among all the CBSE affiliated schools. A poetry competition was organized to increase their participation. Almost 1600 schools participated in the event. It included schools within and outside India. And thousands of children wrote on topics about strengthening the Indo Africa ties. On the other hand, a mobile exhibition called “Memories of Mahatma” starting from his birth place Porbandar and travelling through North is about to reach Delhi on 29th October. Lakhs of school children enjoyed this exhibition. The villagers also had a glimpse. People realized the importance of the role of Mahatma Gandhi in developing the ties of both India and Africa and also the effect of his personality on these nations. Some excellent creations were received in this competition. One of the creations drew my attention and I want to share it with you. It reflects the talent, the broad vision and the depth of thoughts of students from small cities. Garima Gupta from Muzzafarnagar, UP writes beautifully and says-
The river in Africa is Nile and the name of the sea is Red,
The Continent is Huge and the Indian Diaspora Happy
Like the Indus Valley is recognition of India civilization
River Nile and Carthage are synonymous with African civilization
Gandhi ji started his revolution in Africa
He wove a spell and won everybody’s heart
Be it Johannesburg or Kingston, Zimbabwe or Chad
In each African nation, we can find our Aloo chat
To write, a thousand lines can be written
But I want to mention that I love African jungles
The poem is very long, but I have read a few lines to you. Though it is an Indo – Africa summit but how this too can become an opportunity to connect people is clearly evident here. I heartily congratulate Garima, the students and more than 1600 schools who participated and HRD Ministry for this initiative.
Last time on 15th August I had proposed the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana. Since then, many parliamentarian friends have adopted it. They were deeply involved. Last month a workshop was organized in Bhopal. All the pradhans, collectors, parliamentarians of villages adopted under Adarsh Gram, the representatives of Indian government and state government, all had an in-depth discussion on this program. Many new and encouraging things came to our attention. I would like to bring to your attention a few things. Jharkhand, a huge state is primarily tribal. Unfortunately whenever one talks of Jharkhand what comes to mind is Maoism, violence, guns and blood soaked land. Many regions in the state have been ruined by these communist terrorists. But the MP from that place, a senior member who has also been our Deputy Speaker, Shri Karia Munda has dedicated his life for the tribals. He chose Parsi Gram Panchayat from Khunti district to be adopted for Adarsh Gram. It is difficult for government officials to go to places ruled by the Maoists. Even the doctors cannot visit those places. He himself started travelling to this village, to instill faith and give a new lease of life to governmental organizations. He encouraged the officials to visit. He tried to change the mood of despondency and create a mood to achieve something. A successful effort has been made in Parsi village to create awareness along with infrastructure and organizational development. I would like to congratulate our Honourable parliamentarian Sri Karia Munda ji for the same.
I got similar information from Andhra too. The MP from Andhra Sri Ashok Gajapati Raju became involved in this plan and chose Dwarapudi Gram Panchayat from Vijaynagram district for the same. Other arrangements are in progress, but he did something really innovative. He gave a task to the students in the village school. The new generation in the village is fortunate to be educated but the older generation is not literate. So he asked the students of a higher age group to educate the parents. So in the morning they are students and by evening they become educators. And so, nearly 550 adults were taught by these children and made literate. Just see, no budget, no circular, no special arrangements but just will power brought about such a big change. This is amply demonstrated by the Dwarapudi Gram Panchayat.
Similarly, another respectable parliamentarian Sri C. L Ruwala ji, he is an MP from Mizoram, our North East. He chose Khwalahilung village for Adarsh Gram and ran a special initiative. This village is famous for sugarcane production and a Kurtayi jaggery. Sri Ruwala ji started a Sugarcane Festival on 11th March. All the people from the region came together for it. Senior members from social public life, retired government officials from the region also participated. They put up an exhibition on increasing sugarcane production. They discussed how the village could be made the centre of economic activities and how it could market for its produce. I congratulate Ruwala ji for his efforts to make this village not only an Adarsh gram but self dependent village too.
My dear brothers and sisters, it is not possible that there be an episode of Mann ki Baat and we do not discuss cleanliness. Savita Rai from Mumbai has sent me a telephonic message - “each year on Diwali we clean our houses. This Diwali let us clean our environment along with our homes and maintain that cleanliness even after Diwali”. She has drawn attention to this issue. I want to remind you my dear countrymen that last year in our country, the media ran a special campaign and showed all the places where crackers were lying and told that it was not the right thing. This was an awareness campaign launched by the media. As a result of it, soon after Diwali a cleanliness drive got initiated all by itself. So what you are saying is true that our concern before and after the festival should be the same. And we should express this concern on every public platform. And today, I especially congratulate all the members of the Indian media fraternity.
This 2nd October, on Gandhi ji’s anniversary and also on the completion of one year of ‘Clean India Campaign’, I had the fortune of participating in the ‘Safaigiri Campaign’ of the India today group. They gave away the Clean India Awards and I could see several initiatives being carried out. Different people were working as ‘One Like, One Mission’. There are so many places in our country that have been kept so clean. All these things were brought to light and I offered my heartfelt appreciation to India Today group for their commendable efforts. Since the inception of the cleanliness drive I have seen that from Andhra and Telangana, ETV, Eanadu have participated whole heartedly and specially Sri Ramoji Rao who is very aged but beats any youth in his enthusiasm. He has made cleanliness his personal program, his mission. He has been promoting the cleanliness program through ETV for the past one year. The newspapers carry news about them and he has emphasized on positive news about cleanliness. He has been successful in bringing together around 51 lakh children from 55-56 thousand schools of Andhra and Telangana to this mission. Be it public places, stations, religious places, hospitals, parks or other places, he ran a cleanliness drive. All these news exhibit the power to realize the dream of a Clean India.
ABP news has started a program called ‘Ye Bharat Desh Hai Mera’. In this program they have shown how people have become aware towards cleanliness and through this they are trying to train people about keeping their surroundings clean. NDTV has started a campaign called ‘Banega Swachh India’. Dainik Jagaran has also encouraged this campaign, so has Zee TV and India TV also started ‘Mission Clean India’. Thousands of channels and newspapers in our country, I am unable to name them all due to time constraints, but they all have helped run this campaign. This is why, Savita Rai ji, the suggestion that you have given us; the whole nation has taken it upon them to do this work and taking it forward. The Governor of Meghalaya, Mr. Shanmuganthan, wrote me a letter and talked about a village in Meghalaya called Mavalyannong. He has written that from last many years, this village has set out on a mission for cleanliness and more or less every generation is completely dedicated towards this cause. He has also mentioned that a few years ago they also got the award for the ‘cleanest village’ of Asia. The idea of a far-flung village situated in the north-eastern region in Meghalaya, which has been particular about cleanliness since years, makes me extremely happy. This has become the habit and the culture of the village. This is what reinforces our belief that our nation will be clean one day, for sure. This will be possible because of the efforts of the people, and by the time we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the 125 crore people of the country should be able to proudly proclaim that we have made India clean.
My dear countrymen, I said this from the Red Fort on the 15th of August that there are few places where corruption is deep rooted. When a poor man goes for an ordinary job, he faces so many problems to get a decent reference and has to go through a team of agents who take money from him in exchange for the position he is applying for. He loses money whether he gets the job or not. We keep hearing things like these and this is when I had an idea, why do we need to interview people for ordinary jobs. I have never heard of any psychologist in the world who can analyze a person completely in a 1-2 minute long interview. With this thought I decided to do away with the tradition of interviews for small positions.
My dear young friends, I feel very proud to tell you all that the government has completed all the formalities and now there will not be any interview for the non-gazetted posts of group ‘D’, group ‘C’, and group ‘B’ in the Central Government. This will come into effect from January 1st 2016. We will not interrupt the ongoing procedures now but from January 1st, 2016, this will come into play. So, let me congratulate all my young friends for the same.
We had, anyways, declared an important scheme in the last budget. In our country, gold has become a part of our social life. Gold is considered the medium of financial security. Gold is considered to be the solution for difficult times. This has been an age old tradition. I don’t believe that anyone can reduce this love for gold that we have developed but keeping gold as dead-money does not suit today’s generation. Gold can become our strength. It can become our financial strength. Gold can become the financial property of the nation and every Indian must contribute to this. I am happy that the promise that we made of introducing important schemes, we will do so around Diwali and Dhanteras when people buy specially buy gold. We have introduced a ‘Gold Monetization Scheme’. Under this scheme, you can deposit your gold in a bank and the bank will give you interest, same as you deposit your money and get interest from the bank.
Earlier, we used to keep our gold in the lockers and paid for the lockers ourselves. Now, when you keep your gold in the bank, the bank will give you money as interest. Now, tell me countrymen, can gold become a property or not?
Can gold be converted from dead-money to a live strength or not? This is exactly what we have to do and you must stand with me. Do not keep your gold in your homes. Avail dual benefits, its security and interest on the gold. You must avail this opportunity. Another thing is, in Sovereign Gold Bonds, you do not really get a physical gold in your hand. You get a sheet of paper and the value of that paper is equivalent to that of the amount of gold and the day you return that paper, you will get the amount that is equivalent to the value of gold on that particular day. Let us assume, you buy a gold bond worth Rs. 1000 and five years later you go to return that bond and at that time the rate of gold is Rs. 2500, you will receive an amount of Rs. 2500 in exchange of that bond. So, we are introducing this scheme now. Due to this scheme, we will not have to buy gold now. We will not have to secure our gold now. We will not have to worry about where to put the gold and no one will come to steal the papers. In the coming week, I will certainly put forward this scheme that guarantees security to the people of this country. I feel very glad to tell you that we are also introducing Gold Coin, a gold coin with Ashok Chakra. It has been around 70 years of independence but we are still using a foreign gold coin only or the Gold Bullion Bars, these are also used by the foreigners. Why should it not have the national emblem of our country? This is why we are introducing it in the market and it will be available for the citizens in the coming week, before Dhanteras - 5gm and 10gm of gold coins with Ashok Chakra are being introduced. Along with it a 20 gm Gold Gunion will also be available for the people. I have full faith that this new scheme will usher a new change in the financial development of the country and I will get your support in this.
My dear countrymen, 31st October is the birth anniversary of the Iron-Man of India, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. “Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat.” A complete layout of India unfolds in front of us when we talk about Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. This great man has contributed a lot in building the unity of India. He has proven his capabilities as the Iron-Man of India. We will certainly pay tribute to Sardar Sahab but along with that his dream of seeing India integrated, he made it possible geographically. But this mantra of unity should be a continuously present in our thoughts in our minds, behaviour and our expressions. India is full of diversities. Many sects, communities, languages, castes, attires, and it is this diversity that adds to its charm. If it was not for this diversity, we wouldn’t have been this proud of our country. This is why diversity is the mantra of unity. Peace, social harmony, unity, these are essential elements of a society. Since last many years, ‘Run for Unity’ programs have been organized in various parts of the country on the 31st of October. ‘Ekta ki Daud’ - I also had a chance to run in one of these earlier. I have heard this year also, this race is being planned at many places. People are excited to be preparing for this race. In the true sense ‘Ekta ki Daud’ is the true race for development. In other words, the guarantee for the race of development lies in the race of unity. Come…let us pay tribute to Sardar Sahab. Let us take forward the mantra of unity.
Dear brothers and sisters, you must all be busy in the preparations for Diwali, houses must be getting cleaned. You must be shopping for new things. The festival of Diwali is celebrated in various ways all over the country. I extend my good wishes to you on this pious festival. We also get to hear of a few accidents around the time of Diwali. Fire breaks out due to firecrackers or lamps. Especially children suffer a lot because of fire crackers. I will suggest all the parents to be careful along with enjoying Diwali and see to it that the kids should not get hurt or any untoward incident should not happen and we lose our child due to accidents. I know you will be careful about this and of course about keeping the environment clean.
My dear countrymen, I have to leave for a trip to Britain on the next day of Diwali. I am very excited about my Britain trip this time. There is a reason behind my excitement. A few weeks back I went to Mumbai to inaugurate a magnificent memorial of Dr. Baba Bhimrao Ambedkar near his ‘Chaitya Bhoomi’. Now, I am going to London to formally inaugurate the house where Babasaheb used to stay, which has now become the property of India, an inspiration for 125 crore countrymen. Be it a dalit, an underprivileged, a victim, a bereaved, or any Indian who is leading a difficult life. This house inspires us to believe in the fact that if one has a strong will power, we can overcome the difficulties to tread on the path of success, one can get educated and this is the very place where Babasaheb Ambedkar used to meditate. The Indian government and the government of different Indian states give scholarships to such promising students who go abroad to study and who belong to the dalit community, the tribal community or any other under privileged community. I believe that when these kids go to Britain to study, this memorial of Babasaheb will become a pilgrimage for them, it will become a source of inspiration. Whatever you learn in life, you must use it later for the nation and live for your nation, Babasaheb gave this message and even lived it himself.
This is why I am saying that I am very excited about my Britain trip this time. This issue has been lying entangled since many years, now it has become the property of 125 crore countrymen and if the name of Babasaheb Ambedkar is attached, you can imagine how happy it makes me.
I am going to get another opportunity in London, the unveiling of the statue of Lord Vishweshwara. Many years ago, what Lord Vishweshwara had done for democracy and empowerment of women can make for a very good subject to study in the world. The unveiling of the statue of Lord Vishweshwara on the land of London is in itself a perfect example of the fact that the great men of India were very far-sighted. Now you see, when such incidents are connected, how excited we get.
My dear countrymen, you are connected with us through “Mann ki Baat.” I keep getting your suggestions through telephone and mygov.in. Your letters are also discussed on Akashvani. Government officials are called in and discussions are held. Some people write down their grievances, there are efforts to solve their problems as well. We should learn more than one language in a country like India. I am fortunate enough to have learned a few languages, but still there are so many languages that I could not learn. I am indebted to Akashvani because they broadcast this program of “Mann ki Baat” by 8 o’clock in every state in their regional languages. Even though a different voice is used but the thoughts are mine.
I will try to make it reach out to you in your language. We have formed a beautiful bond between us. Last time I had completed a year in power. This year we are entering a new year. A heartfelt congratulations to all my countrymen once again!