Text of PM’s Address to the Sri Lankan Parliament

Published By : Admin | March 13, 2015 | 16:04 IST
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Honourable Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Chamal Rajapaksa ji,

Honourable Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Shrimaan Ranil Wickremesinghe ji,

Honourable Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Nimal Siripala De Silva,

Honourable Members of Parliament,

Distinguished Guests,

30 PM Modi to Address Sri Lankan Parliament (4)

I am truly delighted to visit Sri Lanka - a land of beauty, culture and friendship.

I am deeply honoured to be in this Parliament. I am conscious of its rich history.

This Parliament represents one of Asia`s oldest democracies; and, one of its most vibrant.

Long before many others in the world, Sri Lanka gave every individual a vote and voice.

To the people of Sri Lanka, ayubuvan, Vanakkam.

I bring the greetings of 1.25 billion friends; and millions of fans of Sri Lankan cricket.

I bring the blessings from the land of Bodh Gaya to the land of Anuradhapura.

I stand here in respect for our shared heritage; and, in commitment to our shared future.

Last May, when I took the oath of office, I was honoured by the presence of South Asian leaders at the ceremony.

Their presence was a celebration of democracy`s march in our region. It was also recognition of our common destiny.

I am convinced that the future of any country is influenced by the state of its neighbourhood.

The future that I dream for India is also the future that I wish for our neighbours.

We in this region are on the same journey: to transform the lives of our people.

30 PM Modi to Address Sri Lankan Parliament (3)

Our path will be easier, the journey quicker and destination nearer when we walk step in step.

As I stand here in Colombo and look north towards the Himalaya, I marvel at our region`s uniqueness – of our rich diversity and our common civilisational links.

We have been formed from the same elements; and, from our interconnected histories.

Today, we stand together as proud independent nations – sovereign and equal.

India and Sri Lanka do not have a land boundary, but we are the closest neighbours in every sense.

No matter where you look in India or Sri Lanka, the many strands of our links - religion, language, culture, food, customs, traditions and epics - come together into a deep and strong bond of familiarity and friendship.

Ours is a relationship that is beautifully defined by the journey of Mahindra and Sanghamitra. They carried the message of peace, tolerance and friendship more than two millenniums ago.

It is evoked by Kannagi, the central character of the great Tamil epic Silapathikaram, who is worshipped as goddess the Pattini in Sri Lanka.

It lives in the Ramayan trail in Sri Lanka.

It expresses itself in devotion at the dargah of the Nagore Andavar and the Christian shrine of Velankanni.

It is reflected in the friendship of Swami Vivekananda and Anagarika Dharmapala, the founder of the Maha Bodhi Society in Sri Lanka and India.

It lives in the work of Mahatma Gandhi`s followers in India and Sri Lanka.

Above all, our relationship thrives through the inter-woven lives of ordinary Indians and Sri Lankans.

Our independent life began at about the same time.

Sri Lanka has made remarkable progress since then.

The nation is an inspiration for our region in human development. Sri Lanka is home to enterprise and skill; and extraordinary intellectual heritage.

There are businesses of global class here.

Sri Lanka is a leader in advancing cooperation in South Asia.

And, it is important for the future of the Indian Ocean Region.

Sri Lanka`s progress and prosperity is also a source of strength for India.

So, Sri Lanka`s success is of great significance to India.

And, as a friend, our good wishes, and our support and solidarity have always been with Sri Lanka.

And, it will always be there for you.

For all of us in our region, our success depends on how we define ourselves as a nation.

All of us in this region, indeed every nation of diversity, have dealt with the issues of identities and inclusion, of rights and claims, of dignity and opportunity for different sections of our societies.

We have all seen its diverse expressions. We have faced tragic violence. We have encountered brutal terrorism. We have also seen successful examples of peaceful settlements.

Each of us has sought to address these complex issues in our own ways.

However we choose to reconcile them, to me something is obvious:

Diversity can be a source of strength for nations.

When we accommodate the aspirations of all sections of our society, the nation gets the strength of every individual.

And, when we empower states, districts and villages, we make our country stronger and stronger.

You can call this my bias. I have been a Chief Minister for 13 years; a Prime Minister for less than a year!

Today, my top priority is to make the states in India stronger. I am a firm believer in cooperative federalism.

So, we are devolving more power and more resources to the states. And, we are making them formal partners in national decision making processes.

Sri Lanka has lived through decades of tragic violence and conflict. You have successfully defeated terrorism and brought the conflict to an end.

You now stand at a moment of historic opportunity to win the hearts and heal the wounds across all sections of society.

Recent elections in Sri Lanka have reflected the collective voice of the nation – the hope for change, reconciliation and unity.

The steps that you have taken in recent times are bold and admirable. They represent a new beginning.

I am confident of a future of Sri Lanka, defined by unity and integrity; peace and harmony; and, opportunity and dignity for everyone.

I believe in Sri Lanka`s ability to achieve it.

It is rooted in our common civilisational heritage.

The path ahead is a choice that Sri Lanka has to make. And, it is a collective responsibility of all sections of the society; and, of all political streams in the country.

But, I can assure you of this:

For India, the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka are paramount.

It is rooted in our interest. It stems from our own fundamental beliefs in this principle.

Hon`ble Speaker and Distinguished Members,

My vision of an ideal neighbourhood is one in which trade, investments, technology, ideas and people flow easily across borders; when partnerships in the region are formed with the ease of routine.

In India, the growth momentum has been restored. India has become the fastest growing major economy in the world.

The world sees India as the new frontier of economic opportunity.

But, our neighbours should have the first claim on India. And I again repeat, the first claim on India is of our neighbours – of Sri Lanka.

I will be happy if India serves a catalyst in the progress of our neighbours.

In our region, Sri Lanka has the potential to be our strongest economic partner.

We will work with you to boost trade and make it more balanced.

India`s trade environment is becoming more open. Sri Lanka should not fall behind others in this competitive world.

That is why we should conclude an ambitious Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

30 PM Modi to Address Sri Lankan Parliament (10)

India can also be a natural source of investments – for exports to India and elsewhere; and to build your infrastructure. We have made good progress today. Let us get together to harness the vast potential of the Ocean Economy.

Our two nations must also take the lead in increasing cooperation in the South Asian Region and the linked BIMSTEC Region.

Connecting this vast region by land and sea, our two countries can become engines of regional prosperity.

I also assure you of India`s full commitment to development partnership with Sri Lanka. We see this as a responsibility of a friend and neighbour.

India has committed 1.6 billion U.S. dollars in development assistance. Today, we have committed further assistance of up to 318 million dollars to the railway sector.

We will continue our development partnership. We will be guided by your Government. And, we will do so with the same level of transparency that we expect in our own country.

Last month we signed the agreement on cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

More than anywhere else in the region, I see enormous potential to expand cooperation with Sri Lanka in areas like agriculture, education, health, science and technology, and space. Indeed, we are limited only by our imagination.

We hope that Sri Lanka will take full benefit of India`s satellite for the SAARC Region. This should be in Space by December 2016.

People are at the heart of our relationship. When we connect people, bonds between nations become stronger. That is why we have decided to extend the visa-on-arrival facility to Sri Lankan citizens.

We will also increase connectivity between our countries. We will strengthen ties of culture and religion. Last month we announced reduction in fees for Sri Lankan nationals visiting National Museum in Delhi to see the Kapilavastu Relics. We will bring our shared Buddhist heritage closer to you through an exhibition. Together, we will develop our Buddhist and Ramayana Trails. My birth place Varnagarh was an international centre of Buddhist learning in ancient times. Excavations have revealed a hostel for 2000 students and in plans to redevelop the centre.

Mr Speaker,

A future of prosperity requires a strong foundation of security for our countries and peace and stability in the region.

The security of our two countries is indivisible. Equally, our shared responsibility for our maritime neighbourhood is clear.

India and Sri Lanka are too close to look away from each other. Nor can we be insulated from one another.

Our recent histories have shown that we suffer together; and we are more effective when we work with each other.

Our cooperation helped deal with the devastation of Tsunami in 2004. As a Chief Minister, I was pleased to share our experience in reconstruction after the Bhuj earthquake in 2001.

Our cooperation is also integral to our success in combating terrorism and extremism.

For both of us, local threats remain. But, we see threats arising in new forms and from new sources. We are witnessing globalisation of terrorism. The need for our cooperation has never been stronger than today.

The Indian Ocean is critical to the security and prosperity of our two countries. And, we can be more successful in achieving these goals if we work together; build a climate of trust and confidence; and we remain sensitive to each other`s interest.

We deeply value our security cooperation with Sri Lanka. We should expand the maritime security cooperation between India, Sri Lanka and Maldives to include others in the Indian Ocean area.

I often say that the course of the 21st century would be determined by the currents of the Indian Ocean. Shaping its direction is a responsibility for the countries in the region.

We are two countries at the crossroads of the Indian Ocean. Your leadership and our partnership will be vital for building a peaceful, secure, stable and prosperous maritime neighbourhood.

30 PM Modi to Address Sri Lankan Parliament (8)

In our deeply interconnected lives, it is natural to have differences. Sometimes, it touches the lives of ordinary people. We have the openness in our dialogue, the strength of our human values and, the goodwill in our relationship to resolve them.

Mr.Speaker,

Sri Lanka and India are at a moment of a great opportunity and responsibility – for realising the dreams of our people.

This is also a time for renewal in our relationship; for a new beginning and new vigour in our partnership.

We have to ensure that our proximity always translates into closeness.

We were honoured that President Sirisena chose India as his first destination last month. I am honoured to be his first guest here.

This is how it should be between neighbours.

Tomorrow I will go to Talaimannar to flag off the train to Madhu Road. This is part of the old India –Lanka rail link.

I recall the lines of a famous song ‘Sindu Nadiyin Misai’ composed by the great nationalist poet Subramanian Bharati in the early 20th century:

‘Singalatheevukkinor paalam ameippom’(we shall construct a bridge to Sri Lanka)

I have come with the hope of building this bridge – a bridge that rests on strong pillars of our shared inheritance; of shared values and vision; of mutual support and solidarity; of friendly exchanges and productive cooperation; and, above all, belief in each other and our shared destiny. Thank you once again for the honour to be with you.

Thank you very much.

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A task force has been formed, which will monitor the cheetahs and see how they are adapting to the environment: PM Modi
Deendayal ji's 'Ekatma Manavdarshan' is such an idea, which in the realm of ideology gives freedom from conflict and prejudice: PM Modi
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The world has accepted that yoga is very effective for physical and mental wellness: PM Modi
Litter on our beaches is disturbing, our responsibility to keep coastal areas clean: PM Modi
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Use locally made non-plastic bags; trend of jute, cotton, banana fibre bags is on the rise once again: PM Modi

My dear countrymen, Namaskar!

The topic that grabbed our attention in the last few days is the Cheetah. There have been a lot of messages to talk about cheetahs. Be it Arun Kumar Gupta of Uttar Pradesh or N. Ramachandran Raghuram ji of Telangana, be it Rajan ji of Gujarat or Subrata ji of Delhi, people from all corners of the country have expressed happiness over the return of cheetahs to India. 130 crore Indians are happy, full of pride; this is India's love for nature. A common question posed by people about this is “Modi ji, when will we get an opportunity to see the cheetahs?”

Friends, a task force have been formed. This task force will monitor the cheetahs and see how much they have been able to adapt to the environment here. On this basis a decision will be taken after a few months and then you will be able to see the cheetahs. But till then I am assigning some work to all of you. For this, a competition will be organized on the MyGov platform, in which I urge people to share certain things. What should be the name of the campaign that we are running on cheetahs? Can we even think of naming all these cheetahs…. by what name should each of them be called? By the way, if this naming is of traditional nature, then it will be very nice since, anything related to our society and culture, tradition and heritage, draws us easily. Not only that, you should also share how humans should behave with animals! Even in our fundamental duties, emphasis has been laid on Respect for Animals. I appeal to all of you to participate in this competition. Who knows…you may be the first to get an opportunity to see a cheetah as a reward!

My dear countrymen, today the 25th of September is celebrated as the birthday of Deendayal Upadhyay ji, the brilliant humanist, thinker and great son of the country. The more the youth of any country take pride in their identity and honour, the more their original ideas and philosophies attract them. The biggest feature of Deendayal ji's thoughts is that in his lifetime, he had seen the great upheavals of the world. He had become a witness to the struggles of ideologies. That is why, he put forward an idea of 'Ekatma Manavdarshan' and 'Antyodaya' before the country which was completely Indian. Deendayal ji's 'Ekatma Manavdarshan' is such an idea, which in the realm of ideology gives freedom from conflict and prejudice. He again put forth to the world, the Indian philosophy which considers human beings equal. It has been said in our scriptures – 'Atmavat Sarvabhuteshu', that is, we should treat living beings akin to us and similarly treat them such. Deendayal ji taught us how Indian philosophy can guide the world even in the modern, social and political perspective. In a way, he awakened our intellectual consciousness by freeing us from the inferiority complex that prevailed in the country after independence. He also used to say - 'Our freedom can be meaningful only when it expresses our culture and identity'. On the basis of this idea, he had created a vision for the development of the country. Deendayal Upadhyay ji used to say that the measure of the progress of the country is the person at the lowest step. In the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the more we know Deendayal ji, the more we learn from him, the more we will get inspiration to take the country forward.

My dear countrymen, three days later, that is, on the 28th of September, is a special day of Amrit Mahotsav. On this day we will celebrate the birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh ji, the brave son of Mother India. Just before the birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh, an important decision has been taken as a tribute to him. It has been decided that the Chandigarh airport will now be named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh. It had been in the waiting for a long time. I congratulate the people of Chandigarh, Punjab, and Haryana and of the entire country for this decision.
Friends, let us take inspiration from our freedom fighters, following their ideals and build the India of their dreams… this is our tribute to them. The memorials of martyrs, the names of places and institutions named after them inspire us with a sense of duty. Just a few days ago, the country has made a similar effort by setting up the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on Kartavya Path and now the name of Chandigarh Airport after Shaheed Bhagat Singh is another step in that direction. I wish, the way in which we are celebrating special occasions related to freedom fighters during the Amrit Mahotsav, in the same way every youth must try something new on the 28th of September.

By the way, my dear countrymen, all of you have another reason to celebrate the 28th of September. Do you know what it is? I will say only two words and I know your enthusiasm will increase fourfold.
These two words are - Surgical Strike!
Hasn’t the Josh risen!! Let us celebrate the campaign of the ongoing Amrit Mahotsav in our country with full enthusiasm, sharing our happiness with everyone.

My dear countrymen, it is said - no obstacle can stand in the way of a person who has been forged by the struggles of life. In our everyday life, we also see some friends who are coping with some physical challenge or the other. There are many people who are either unable to hear, or are unable to express themselves through speech. The biggest support for such friends is Sign Language. But a big problem in India for years was that there were no clear gestures, no standards for Sign Language. To overcome these difficulties, the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Center was established in the year 2015. I am happy that this institution has thus far prepared a dictionary comprising ten thousand words and expressions. Two days ago i.e. on the 23rd of September, on the Sign Language Day, many school courses have also been launched in Sign Language. A lot of emphasis has also been given in the National Education Policy to maintain a fixed standard for Sign Language. It is being further disseminated, even by making videos of the dictionary of Sign Language. On YouTube, many people, many institutions, have started their channels in Indian Sign Language, that is, the campaign that started in the country about Sign Language 7-8 years ago, is benefitting millions of my specially-abled brothers and sisters now. Pooja ji, who hails from Haryana, is very happy with the Indian Sign Language. Earlier she was not able to communicate with her son, but after going through Sign Language training in 2018, the lives of both mother and son have become easier. Pooja ji's son also learned Sign Language and in his school he won a prize in storytelling as well. Similarly, Tinkaji has a six-year-old daughter who cannot hear. Tinkaji had made her daughter undergo a Sign Language course but she herself did not know Sign Language, and hence she could not communicate with her daughter. Now Tinkaji has also undergone sign language training and thus both mother and daughter now converse a lot among themselves. Manju ji of Kerala has also benefited a lot from these efforts. Manju ji is not able to hear since birth. Not only that, this has been the situation in the lives of her parents as well. In such a situation, sign language has become a means of communication for the whole family. Now Manju ji herself has decided to become a Sign Language teacher.

Friends, I am also discussing about this in 'Mann Ki Baat' so that the awareness about Indian Sign Language increases. With this, we will be able to help our specially-abled friends more and more. Brothers and sisters, a few days ago, I got a copy of the Hemkosh too written in Braille. Hemkosh is one of the oldest dictionaries of Assamese language. It was prepared in the 19th century. It was edited by eminent linguist Hemchandra Barua ji. The Braille Edition of Hemkosh is around 10,000 pages long and is going to be published in more than 15 volumes. In this, more than 1 lakh words have to be translated. I greatly appreciate this sensitive effort. Every such effort goes a long way in increasing the skill and capability of our specially-abled friends. Today India is also raising the flag of success in Para Sports. We have all been witness to this in many tournaments. Today there are many people who are engaged in promoting the fitness culture among the specially-abled at the grassroots level. This imparts a lot of strength to the self-confidence of the specially-abled.

My dear countrymen, a few days ago, I just met a girl from Surat, Anvi. My meeting with Anvi and Anvi's yoga has been so memorable that I want to tell all the listeners of 'Mann Ki Baat' about it. Friends, Anvi is afflicted with Down’s Syndrome since birth and she has also been battling with serious heart disease since childhood. She also had to undergo open heart surgery when she was only three months old. Despite all these difficulties, neither Anvi, nor her parents ever gave up. Anvi's parents gathered all the information about Down’s syndrome and then decided on the way to reduce Anvi's dependence on others. They started teaching Anvi how to lift a glass of water, how to tie shoe laces, how to button clothes; small things such as those. What the appropriate place of things is, what the good habits are, they tried to teach Anvi all this with a lot of patience. The way daughter Anvi showed her will to learn, displayed her talent, her parents also got a lot of encouragement. They inspired Anvi to learn yoga. The problem was so serious, that Anvi could not even stand on her own two feet…In such a situation, her parents inspired Anvi to learn yoga. When she went to the Yoga coach for the first time, the coach too was in a dilemma whether this innocent girl would be able to do yoga! But even the coach probably had no idea of what stuff Anvi was made of. She started practicing yoga with her mother and now she has become an expert in yoga. Today Anvi participates in competitions across the country and wins medals. Yoga gave a new life to Anvi. Anvi assimilated yoga and imbibed life. Anvi's parents told me that yoga has brought amazing changes in Anvi's life… Now her self-confidence has become remarkable. Yoga has also improved Anvi's physical health and the need for medicines is also lessening. I would like that the listeners of 'Mann Ki Baat' in the country and abroad do a scientific study of the benefits of yoga to Anvi. I think Anvi is a good case study, for those who want to test the power of yoga. Such scientists should come forward with studies based on Anvi’s success and introduce the world to the power of yoga. Any such research could be of great help to children afflicted with Down’s syndrome around the world. Now, the world has accepted that yoga is very effective for physical and mental wellness. Especially in problems related to diabetes and blood pressure, yoga helps a lot. In view of such power of yoga, the United Nations had decided to celebrate the International Yoga Day on the 21st of June. Now, United Nations has recognized and honored another effort of India. This is an effort, started in the year 2017 – the “India Hypertension Control Initiative”. Under this, lakhs of people suffering from blood pressure problems are being treated in government wellness centers. The way this initiative has attracted the attention of international organizations is unprecedented. It is a matter of encouragement for all of us that out of those who have been treated, about half of them are having their blood pressure under control. I congratulate all the people working for this initiative, who made it a success with their untiring hard work.

Friends, the evolutionary journey of human life has been continuously connected with water - be it seas, rivers or ponds. India is also fortunate that due to the long coastline of more than seven and a half thousand kilometers (7500 km), our bond with the sea has remained unbroken. This coastal border passes through many states and islands. India's culture, full of different communities and diversity can be seen flourishing here. Not only that, the cuisine of these coastal areas attracts a lot of people. But along with these interesting things, there is also a sad side. These coastal areas of ours are facing many environmental challenges. Climate Change remains a major threat to Marine Eco-Systems. On the other hand, the litter spread on our beaches is disturbing. It becomes our responsibility to make serious and continuous efforts for these challenges. Here I would like to talk about an effort of Coastal Cleaning in the coastal areas of the country 'Swachh Sagar - Surakshit Sagar'. This campaign, which started on the 5th of July culminated on the 17thof September, the day of Vishwakarma Jayanti. This day was also Coastal Clean Up Day. This campaign which started in the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav lasted for 75 days. Public participation in this was a sight to behold. During this effort, many cleanliness related programs were seen for the entire two and a half months. A long human chain was made in Goa. During the Ganpati immersion in Kakinada, people were told about the harm caused by plastic. About 5000 young friends from the NSS collected more than 30 tonnes of plastic. Within three days in Odisha, more than 20 thousand school students took a pledge that they would inspire their family and people along with them as well, for the Swachh Sagar – Surakshit Sagar initiative. I would like to congratulate all the people who took part in this campaign.

When I interact with Elected Officials, especially the mayors of cities and sarpanches of villages, I urge them to include Local Communities and Local Organizations in efforts like cleanliness as well as adopt innovative methods.

There is a team in Bangalore - Youth for Parivartan. For the last eight years, this team has been working on cleanliness and other community activities. Their motto is very clear – 'Stop Complaining, Start Acting'. This team has so far beautified more than 370 places across the city. The campaign of Youth for Parivartan has connected 100 to 150 (150) citizens at every place. Every Sunday this program starts in the morning and continues till noon. In this task, not only is the garbage lifted, the work of painting the walls and making artistic sketches is also done. At many places, you can also see sketches of famous people and inspirational quotes by them. Following upon the efforts of Youth For Parivartan of Bangalore, I would also like to tell you about the 'Kabaad se Jugaad' campaign of Meerut. This campaign is related to the protection of the environment as well as the beautification of the city. The special thing about this campaign is that, in this, waste such as iron scrap, plastic waste, old tires and drums are used. This campaign is also an example of how to beautify public places at a low cost. I appreciate all the people involved in this campaign from the core of my heart.

My dear countrymen, at this time there is a festive spirit all around the country. Tomorrow is the first day of Navaratri. In this, we will worship the first avatar of Goddess 'Maa Shailputri'. From here, there will be nine days of self discipline, restraint and fasting, then there will also be the festival of Vijayadashami. That is, if we look at it in a way, we will find that along with faith and spirituality, how a profound message is hidden in our festivals. The attainment of ‘Siddhi’ through discipline and restraint, and then the festival of victory, that’s the way to achieve any goal in life. After Dussehra, the festival of Dhanteras and Diwali will follow.

Friends, during the past years, a new resolution of the country has also been associated with our festivals. You all know, this is the resolution of 'Vocal for Local'. We now include our local artisans, craftsmen and traders in the joy of festivals. On the occasion of Bapu's birth anniversary on the 2nd of October, we have to take a pledge to intensify this campaign. Khadi, handloom, handicrafts…along with all these products, you must buy local goods. After all, the true joy of this festival is also when everyone becomes a part of it. Therefore, people associated with the work of local products also have to be supported by us. A good way is to include these type of products in whatever gifts we give during the festival.

At this time, this campaign is also special because during the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, we are also onwards with the goal of a self-reliant India. Which, in the real sense, will be a true tribute to the freedom fighters. That's why I request you to break all the records this time to buy these products of Khadi, handloom or handicrafts. We have seen that polythene bags are also being used a lot for packing and packaging during festivals. The harmful litter of polythene on the festivals observing cleanliness is also against the spirit of our festivals. Therefore, we should use only locally made non-plastic bags. The trend of jute, cotton, banana fibre, many such traditional bags is on the rise once again. It is our duty to promote them on the occasion of festivals, and take care of our health and environment along with cleanliness.

My dear countrymen, it is said in our scriptures –
'Parhit Saris Dharam Nahi Bhai'
That is, there is no other Dharma like doing good to others, serving others, doing charity. Recently, in the country, another glimpse of this spirit of social service was seen. You must have also seen that people are coming forward and are adopting one TB patient or the other, taking the lead in ensuring a nutritious diet. Actually, it is a part of the TB Free India campaign, whose basis is public participation; a sense of duty. It is possible to cure TB with the right nutrition, with the right medicines at the right time. I believe that with this power of public participation, India will definitely be free from TB by the year 2025.

Friends, I have also come to know such an example from the Union Territories of Dadra-Nagar Haveli and Daman-Diu, which touches the heart. Jinu Rawatiya ji, who lives in a tribal area here, has written that under the ongoing village adoption program, students of the medical college have adopted 50 villages. It also includes the village of Jinu Ji. These medical students make the people of the village aware to avoid illness, also help in the recuperation, and also impart information about the schemes of the government. This spirit of philanthropy has brought new joy in the lives of the people living in the villages. I congratulate all the students of the medical college for this endeavor.

Friends,a variety of new topics are being discussed in 'Mann Ki Baat'. Many times, through this program, we get an opportunity to delve into the depth of some old subjects. Last month in 'Mann Ki Baat', I discussed about coarse cereals, and celebrating the year 2023 as 'International Millet Year'. People are very curious about this topic. I have received many such letters in which people have written how they have made millets a part of their daily diet. Some people have also referred to traditional dishes made from millets. These are signs of a big change. Seeing this enthusiasm of people, I think that we should prepare an e-book together, in which people can share their experiences and dishes made from millets, so that, before the start of the International Millet Year, we will have a public encyclopedia based on millets which can be published on the MyGov portal.

Friends, that’s all this time in 'Mann Ki Baat', but before I leave, I want to tell you about the National Games as well. National Games are being organized in Gujarat from the 29th of September. This is a very special occasion, because the National Games are being organized after many years. The previous events had to be canceled due to the Covid pandemic. My very best wishes to every player who takes part in this sports meet. To raise the enthusiasm of the players on this day, I will be in their midst. All of you must also follow the National Games and encourage our players. I now take leave of you. We will meet again next month with new topics in 'Mann Ki Baat'.

Dhanyavaad, Namaskar!