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Modi stresses need to conserve water during approaching summer
New Delhi, February 28, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today stressed the need to conserve water during summer months and initiate action to renovate and preserve traditional sources of water in the shape of lakes, ponds and wells across the country.
Delivering his monthly radio address “Mann Ki Baat" over All India Radio (AIR), Modi noted that March 22 was being celebrated as World Water Day.
Referring to the tradition of villagers collectively looking after wells and ponds, he cited one such effort underway at Thiruvannamalai in Tamilnadu where the local people have been campaigning for the conservation of their wells. They were rejuvenating public wells in their vicinity that had been lying unused for years.
Similarly, Babita Rajput of village Agrotha in Bundelkhand, Madhya Pradesh mobilized other women of the village to revive a lake near the village by building a canal to bring rainwater to the lake. He also referred to the work of Jagdish Kuniyal, resident of Bageshwar, Uttarakhand, along with fellow villagers, planted thousands of trees over the entire area to revive the dried up water sources.
“Friends, similarly, we shall have to understand our collective responsibilities concerning water. In most parts of India, rainfall begins in May-June. Can we right away start a 100-day campaign for cleaning up water sources around us and conserving rainwater? With this very thought in mind, a few days from now, ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan Catch the Rain’ is being initiated by the Jal Shakti Ministry. With the slogan ‘catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls,’ we shall commit ourselves to the task right now…we shall get existing rainwater harvesting systems repaired, clean up lakes and ponds in villages, remove impediments in the way of water flowing into water sources. Thus we shall be able to conserve rainwater to the maximum,” he added.
He urged the youth to derive inspiration from Sant Ravidas, whose birth anniversary falls on Magh Purnima, not to bind themselves to old methods and practices but shape the life themselves with unshakable self-confidence to stand on their own feet.
Referring to "National Science Day" celebrated today, he said the day is dedicated to the discovery of the "Raman Effect" by the great scientist of India, Dr CV Raman. In this context, he said the power of science would contribute to the "Atmanirbhar Bharat" (Self-Reliant India) campaign in programmes like "Lab to Land".
Modi mentioned Chintala Venkat Reddy from Hyderabad, a farmer, who was told by a doctor friend about the diseases caused by the deficiency of vitamin D, and managed to develop breeds of wheat and rice containing vitamin D. He received a patent for this work from the World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva this month. Reddy was also honoured with the Padma Shri last year.
Similarly, Urugen Futsog of Ladakh is engaged in raising about 20 crops cyclically and organically by utilising the waste of one crop as manure for the other crop. Kamraj Bhai Choudhary from the Patan district in Gujarat has developed good quality seeds of the drumstick, also called Sargava or Moringa. Harishchandra of Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh has started cultivating Chia seeds that had been till recently mostly imported. Murugesan from Madurai had been making ropes from banana waste.
“The purpose of talking about so many people to the listeners of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is that we all should get motivated by them. When every citizen of the country spreads the spirit of science in his life and every field, avenues of progress will also open up and the country will become self-reliant too. I do believe that every citizen of the country can do this,” he added.
He also urged the people to take pride in the country and things made by fellow Indians so that self-reliant India doesn’t remain just an economic campaign but becomes the spirit of the nation.
“When we see fighter plane Tejas made in our own country doing acrobatics in the sky, when made in India tanks and missiles increase our pride, when we see India-made coaches in metro trains of wealthy and advanced nations, when we see Made in India corona vaccines reaching dozens of countries, then our heads rise higher," he said.
Meanwhile, he said, the Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve Authority in Assam has been carrying out its Annual Waterfowls Census. The number of water birds has increased by about 175% compared to last year. A total of 112 species of birds have been sighted. Of these, 58 species happen to be winter migrants from different parts of the world including Europe, Central Asia and East Asia. Improved water conservation along with low human interference has resulted in this happy situation, he pointed out.
During the address, the Prime Minister regretted that he had not made much effort to learn Tamil, the oldest language in the world.
“I could not make myself learn Tamil! It is such a beautiful language, which is popular all over the world. Many people have told me a lot about the quality of Tamil literature and the depth of the poems written in it. India is a land of many languages, which symbolizes our culture and pride,” he added.
In this context, he played two sound clips, that of a guide at the Statue of Unity, informing people in Sanskrit about the tallest statue of Sardar Patel in the world. “You will be happy to know that there are more than 15 guides in Kevadiya, who guide people in fluent Sanskrit,” he said.
The second sound clip of a cricket commentary in Sanskrit was from Varanasi where a cricket tournament was held among Sanskrit colleges. The colleges were Shastharth College, Swami Vedanti Ved Vidyapeeth, Sri Brahma Veda Vidyalaya and International Chandramouli Charitable Trust.
“We have seen that games in which commentaries are vibrant, they get promoted and gain popularity very fast. Here too, we have many Indian sports, where commentary culture has not permeated yet and due to this they are in a state of near extinction. Why not have good commentaries of different sports and especially Indian sports in more and more languages. I would urge the Sports Ministry and private institutional partners to think about it,” he added.
Referring to the coming exam season, he said, “ Like every year, this year too we will have 'Pariksha Pe Charcha’. But before the 'Pariksha Pe Charcha' to be held in March, I request all of you exam warriors, parents and teachers to share your experiences, your tips. You can share on the MyGov platform and the Narendra Modi app. This time, along with the youth, parents and teachers are also invited to 'Pariksha Pe Charcha'"