Mann Ki Baat
27th December, 2015
All my dear countrymen, my greetings ( Namaskar) to you all. This episode of Mann Ki Baat is going to be, in a way, the last of the matters of my heart for the year 2015. Next I will be speaking to you about my Mann Ki Baat in 2016.
We all have just got over with the Christmas celebration s and now we are getting ready to welcome the New Year. India is filled with diversities. We have a plethora of festivals. Just as we get over with one festival, there is another festival ready to come up. In a way, one festival leaves you craving for another festival to come. Sometimes one feels that India is a country that has a festival driven economy. Festivals have become a reason for the poor, the people of the low income group, to have some economics gains, some earnings. My heartiest greetings to all my countrymen for a Merry Christmas; and I hope that the New Year 2016 brings in a lot of happiness for you all. A new joy, new hopes, new resolutions, may they take you to new heights. Let’s hope the world is free from all dangers, be it terrorism, global warming, natural disasters, or a danger created by man himself. Let’s hope humanity finds a life filled with peace and happiness. What could be a greater joy than this!
You all are aware that I make full use of the technology and I keep getting a lot of information and knowledge. I keep a constant eye on my portal www.mygov.in . Shri Ganesh V. Sarveneshwalkar from Pune; he does seem to have a long surname. He writes that this season is the tourist season. Tourists in great numbers from abroad come to visit India. People also go out during their Christmas holidays. In the field of tourism a lot of attention is paid to all others facilities but wherever there are tourist destinations, tourists places, travel resorts, places to stay, in these places we should make a special appeal to keep them clean. The cleaner our tourists spots will be, the better image India will present to the world.
I welcome the ideas of Ganesh ji (Mr. Ganesh) and I am conveying his message to the countrymen. And we, in any case say “atithi devo bhavo:”( Guest is akin to God). When we are expecting a guest at home, then we clean and decorate our homes so much. So at our tourist destinations, tourist places, travel resorts and the places to stay also, we should give a lot of stress upon the cleanliness. At the same time, I am also very happy that we keep getting constant news related to the cleanliness of the country.
From day-one I have thanked our friends in the media, because they have found and brought to notice of the people, such small and nice things. Recently I read one item in the newspaper which I wish to share with the people of my country. In Bhojpur village of Sihor district in Madhya Pradesh, there is an aged labourer named Dilip Singh Malaviya. He is just an ordinary worker who works as a mason; he does manual labour but he did such a unique thing that his story was printed in the newspapers and when this came to my notice, I felt that I too must bring this to you all. Hailing from a small village, Dilip Singh Malaviya decided that if anyone provides material to the village for constructing a toilet, then whatever the cost of labour for building this toilet is, the wages of the labour, he will not take that and he will work free as a mason to construct the toilet. And in the Bhojpur village, without charging a single penny for his labour, considering this work to be sacred, he has till now constructed hundred toilets. I extend my heartiest felicitations to Dilip Singh Malaviya.
Sometimes it comes to the mind of the people that they get to hear at times only disappointing news of their own country. But there are so many small individuals like Dilip Singh who are doing something good in their own special way, and this is where the strength of the nation lies, this is where the hope for the nation lies; and these are the things that take our nation forward. And then it is only natural that we should take pride in a man like Dilip Singh in this program Mann Ki Baat.
This is the result of the untiring efforts of so many people that is nation is advancing so rapidly, 125 crore people are marching ahead step-in-step and also taking the country ahead. We have the best education, the finest expertise and new employment opportunities every day, from the matters concerning life insurance cover for the citizens to extending the banking facilities for them, introducing reforms in the age of doing business on a global platform, and providing an easily available infrastructure for new trades and businesses, we have made this possible. People from ordinary homes who were never able to even reach the doors of a bank, for them we have made easy loans available under the Mudra Yojna (Monetary Scheme)
When we Indians learnt that the entire world has got attracted to Yoga and when the world celebrated the International Yoga Day and all the countries were a part of this, it was then that we all were assured and confident of a what a great country India is. When such a feeling is awoken inside our hearts, then we get to see a larger than life picture. Who can forget that wonderful sight of the entire universe inside the mouth of infant Lord Krishna when his mother Yashoda opened it to see what he had in his mouth. It was then that she became aware of the great supernatural powers of Lord Krishna. The celebration of the ‘International Day for Yoga’ has given us all the realization of a similar feeling.
The talk of cleanliness now echoes in every home. The participation of the citizens is constantly growing. The people living in cities that use electricity, have no idea of the boundless joy and hope when the darkness is dispelled in those homes, where after so many years of Independence, one odd electric pole has reached their village. The Ministry of Energy and the State Electricity Board had been working in this direction from before but now we have taken a resolution to make electricity available in the areas within a thousand days. And we get informed daily of the villages that have been electrified, and the people there who are filled with enthusiasm and joy. Till now there has been no mention of this news in the media but I am confident that the media will reach these villages and make the joy and the hopes of these villagers known to the country. The biggest benefit on account of this will be that all the officials, who are working on this, will gain tremendous satisfaction and happiness over the fact that they have done something that has changed a village and the life of the people living there. Do we not need to give this news to the farmer, the poor, the youth, and the women? The news should be given not because they come to know which government did work and which government did not work but rather they should know about these things so that they become aware of what they are entitled to and they should not let their rights slip ways from them. Should they not come to know how they can obtain their right?
We all should make an effort to spread the news about the right things, the good things, and news that is of use to the ordinary man, to as many people as possible. This is also a kind of human service. I have also tried to make a small effort to render this service in my own way. And what I speak, I must do also. So, I have made possible that even an ordinary man can get connected with me by downloading ‘Narendra Modi App’ on his mobile. And I share such small matters on this App. It is a matter of great pleasure that even the people share with me a lot of things. You can also, in your own way, get linked to this endeavour of reaching out to 125 crore Indians. How can I reach out to them without your help? Come, let us all together to bring news for the good of the common man, in his common language, to motivate him to reach out for the things that he has a right to.
My dear young friends, from the rampart of the Red Fort on 15th August I had in a preliminary way spoken about of “ Start-Up India, Stand Up India” . This led to it being discussed in all government departments- “can India become a Start-Up capital? Can the Indian states have among themselves new start ups, starts ups with many experts, new innovations that will serve as an excellent opportunity for the youth? There is something new, a new method, a new idea, everywhere; it be manufacturing, be it the service industry or it be agriculture- the world cannot move ahead without innovation.
‘Start-Up India, Stand-Up India’ has come with a very big opportunity for the young generation. My dear young friends, on 16th January, the Government of India is going to launch the complete plan of “Start-Up India, Stand-Up India’; the what, how and why of it. The complete framework will be put forth before you. And in this launch, all the I.I.T’s, I.I.M.’s, Central Schools... wherever we have our young generation, they will be connected to this programme via live connectivity. We have a very fixed way of thinking about start up in our country; we think it is only for the digital world or for I.T. professionals. No, it is not like that. A change has to be brought in it according to the needs of our country. There is a poor man who toils away somewhere, he does physical labour. Can’t we have something designed that is the result of an innovation done by a youth, which will reduce the physical labour of the poor man and make things a bit easy for him? I will tell the banks to help these youths with such an innovative mind and I will motivate that youth to move ahead with his design; he is sure to find a market for it. In the same way, is it that our intellectual wealth is confined only to a few cities in India? No. It is wrong to think like that. The youth are endowed with such talent in every corner of India, they just need an opportunity. ”Start-Up India, Stand-Up India” should not remain limited to just a few cities; it should spread to every corner of India. I would like to appeal to all the state governments to carry this thing forward. On 16th January I will be face to face with all of you and speak in detail on this topic and invite your suggestions.
My dear young friends, 12th January is the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekanand. There are millions of humble people in this country like me who have drawn inspiration from Swami Vivekanand. Since 1995, we have been celebrating 12th January as the National Youth Festival Day. This year, this festival is going to be held from 12th to 16th January at Raipur in Chhatisgarh. I have come to know their theme for this time, because their event is a theme based event. The theme is really very good- “Indian Youth of Development Skill and Harmony”. I have been told that from all states, more than ten thousand youth from every corner of India are going to gather here. The scenario is all set be to that of a miniature India. We are going to see a flood of all our dreams, get a feel of our resolution. Can you all please send to me your suggestions for this festival? I would like to specially appeal to my young friends to send their ideas directly to me on my app- “Narendra Modi App”. I want to get to know and understand what is on your mind and I want all that to be reflected in this festival. I will give appropriate suggestion to the government for that and also keep them notified. So dear friends, I shall wait for your suggestions for the Youth Festival on Narendra Modi App.
Dilip Chauhan of Ahmedabad in Gujarat is a visually challenged teacher. He celebrated in his school “Accessible India Day”. He called me up to express his thoughts and feelings-
“Sir, we celebrated ‘Accessible India Campaign’ in my school. I am a visually challenged teacher and I addressed two thousand children on the issue of disability and how we can spread awareness and help differently-abled people. And the response of the student’s was fantastic that we enjoyed in school. And the students were inspired and motivated to help the disabled people in the society. I think it was a great initiative by you.”
Mr. Dilip a hearty thanks to you. You have been working in this field yourself and must be surely understand such matters very well and must have faced a lot of problems too.
Sometimes when we get the chance to meet such people in society, we are overcome with so many thoughts in our mind. And depending on the way we think about such people, that’s how we perceive them and deal with them. There are many people who have lost their organs on account of unfortunate accidents. Then there are some people who are born with some deformities. And for such people so many terms have been used the world over. But we are constantly worried about the names we use for such people. People are always concerned and feel that ‘no”, to call out to these people with such terms, they don’t sound good, these name are not respectable. You must have noticed that so many words have been brought in use for them- sometimes ‘handicapped’, at times we hear them being called ‘disabled’ and then sometimes we call them ‘specially-abled people”. It is true that words have their own importance. This year when the Government of India launched the Sugamya Bharat Campaign ( Accessible India Campaign) , I was all set to go for it, but there were ravaging floods in some parts of Tamil Nadu and especially Chennai where I had to rush and visit that place so I could not attended the programmed of Accessible India Campaign. But since it was on my day’s agenda to attend that programme, I kept thinking about it and then suddenly a thought came to my mind. If God gives some deformity in somebody’s body, given that person some damage, one or two organs don’t work properly, then we call that person handicapped, and we also recognize that person as handicapped. But when we get to know such people closer and better, we realize that what we can see with our eyes is only their handicap but God has bestowed on them some extra power, a different quality has he created in them which we can’t see with our eyes but when we see that person working then we are drawn to his talents and competence and we say, “Hey! Wow! How does he do that?” And so I thought to myself that with our eyes we see that person as perhaps handicapped but what we experience in that person’s company makes us realize that he has some extra power, some additional ability and this is what gave me the idea that in our country we should use the term ‘divinely-abled’ instead of ‘disabled’ for such people. These are the people who have been endowed with that one special or many special divine organs, through which a divine force is transmitted, which we people with normal organs do not have. I do not like the word “disabled”. My dear countrymen, can we bring the in use the term “divinely-abled” for these people, instead of the word “disabled” which we are in the habit of using.
I hope that you will take this idea forward. That day we started the Accessible India Campaign under which we will bring reforms in the physical and virtual infrastructure to make is more accessible to these divinely-abled people. Be it in the school, hospital, government office, bus terminal... there should be a ramp in the railway station, accessible parking, accessible lift, Braille script, there are so many things that are needed. And to make all these things accessible, we need innovation, we need technology; we need to be sensitive to this issue. We have taken on this task and we are also getting people’s participation; people have appreciated this effort and you too can become a part of this in your own way.
My dear countrymen, the government constantly brings out its schemes, they keep going on but it is very important that schemes must be kept active and alive till the last person in line for it. They should not become dead and lie buried in files. After all, these schemes are planned for the ordinary man, for the poor man. Recently the Government of India had made an effort that the people who rightfully deserve the benefits of scheme should be able to avail of that easily. In our country, we offer subsidy on gas cylinder. Crores of rupees are spent on that. But there was no account being kept whether the benefit of that subsidy is really reaching out or not, to the person who deserves it; is it reaching out timely or not. The government introduced some changes in it and took the help of the Jan-Dhan Bank Account and the Aadhar Card and started the task of the largest cash transfer program in the world, which was to put the subsidy directly in the bank accounts of the actual beneficiaries. I take great pride in telling my people of the country and this has now made an entry in the ’Guinness Book of World Records’ as the world’s largest cash transfer programme which has been successfully launched and implemented under the name of ‘PAHAL’ and this exercise has done very well. By November end, nearly 15 crore L.P.G. consumers are the beneficiaries of the ‘PAHAL’ scheme; the government money goes directly in their bank accounts, no middleman, no need of any recommendation, no possibility of corruption. First was the exercise of the introducing the Aadhar Card , second was the opening of the Jan-Dhan bank account and third was the coming together of the state and central government and preparing a list of the beneficiaries and linking them to their Aadhar and bank accounts; and this process is going on.
These days we also have the MNREGA which assures employment in villages, gives opportunities in villages. But a lot of complaints were received regarding the disbursement of the money. And now in many places, the money is being directly transferred to the bank accounts of those labourers. Students also faced a lot of difficulties in getting their money for scholarships, we got several complaints. For them also we have introduced this system and we will gradually expand it. Till now, nearly 40 crore rupees have been directly transferred to the bank accounts of the individual beneficiaries. This figure is a rough estimate taking together into account the 35-40 ongoing schemes which have been incorporated in the direct-cash transfer plan.
My dear countrymen, 26th January is our Republic Day, a golden moment of glory for the Indian republic. And it is a fortunate coincidence that it happens to be the 125th birth anniversary of the Father of the Constitution, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Two days were kept aside in the Parliament to specially discuss this issue and it was a really good experience. All the political parties, all the parliamentarians spoke very well on the sanctity of the Constitution, the importance of the Constitution and the need to understand it in the correct context. We should take this forward; can the Republic Day, in its true sense, link each citizen to the Constitution and the Constitution to each citizen? Our Constitution has bestowed so many Fundamental Rights upon us and these are freely discussed, and rightly so because they are equally important. But the Constitution also lays stress on our Fundamental Duties. But if we come to look at it, these Fundamental Duties are hardly ever discussed. Whenever we have elections, we mostly see advertisements all around us; there are writings on the wall; and hoardings are put up to remind us that voting is our fundamental duty. There is a lot of talk about our duty as a citizen to cast our vote, but why not also talk of our duties in our routine day-to-day life.
This time when we will celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of Baba Saheb Ambedkar, keeping 26th January as the focus, can we not organize in schools, colleges, in our village, in the towns and cities, within different societies and organization, on the topic of “Our Fundamental Duties”, essay competitions, poetry competitions and debates? If 125 crore citizens keeping taking steps forward with a sense of commitment to their duties, then what a great history we shall create! But first let’s start by discussing our duties. I have one idea- if you can in your mother tongue; and besides your mother tongue if you want to write in Hindi, then Hindi; else if you want to write in English, then English, compose poems on “Duties”, write essays and compositions on “Duties” and send them to me. I want to know your thoughts and views on this. You can write and send it on to me “Narendra Modi App”, I will get to see it directly. I would like to know what the young generation feels about their duties.
I want to give one small suggestion. On 26th January when we celebrate 26th January, can’t we set this day for the citizens, for the students of schools and colleges to come and clean the statues and figures of all the great personalities, and also clean up the area and complex around these statues in the best possible way and decorate them in the best possible manner? And I am not saying this along the government lines. The way we, as citizens, are so emotional and enthusiastic about putting up these statues of great people, in the same way we are just as disinterested later in the upkeep and maintenance of these statues. For the sake of our society, for the sake of our country, can we not make it a part of our nature and habit to take care of these? This 26th January let us all come together and make an effort to clean the area around these statues which we erected to honour these great men, clean up these statues. And this should be willingly and voluntarily done by the public, by the citizens.
My dear countrymen, once again I extend lots of good wishes to you all for the New Year 2016. My hearty thanks to all of you.