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English rendering of the Text of Prime Minister’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ on All India Radio, 31st January 2016

My dear countrymen, this is my first Mann Ki Baat of 2016. Mann Ki Baat has bonded me with you all in such a way that any idea that comes to me, I feel like sharing with you. Yesterday, I went to pay homage to respected Bapu at Rajghat. Every year we pay tributes to the martyrs on this day. Observing 2 minutes silence at sharp 11 A.M. is an occasion to express our gratitude to great and brave men, sages and saints who have laid down their lives for the country. However if we see, there would be many among us who won’t have maintained this 2 minutes silence. Don’t you think that it should become a habit and we should take it up as a national responsibility? I know that this will not happen with just one Mann Ki Baat. However, I thought of sharing what I felt yesterday. And these are the thoughts that inspire us to live for the country. Imagine 125 crore Indians, observing silence for 2 minutes at 11 A.M. on January 30. You can imagine the kind of power this event may have. And it is true what our scriptures have said- “संगच्छध्वं संवदध्वं सं वो मनांसि जानताम” – “May you move in harmony, speak in one voice; let your minds be in agreement”. This is the true strength of a nation and the inspiration comes fom such events.

My dear countrymen, I was trying to understand the thought process of Sardar Patel a few days ago when some of his ideas grabbed my attention. With regards to khadi, Sardar Patel said, “the freedom of India lies in khadi, India’s culture also remains in khadi; non-violence, the ultimate religion that we believe in India, is also in khadi; and the farmers of India for whom you show so much of emotion, their welfare too lies in khadi”. Sardarji used simple language to put across his message in a clear way and he explained the importance of khadi in a proper way. Yesterday on 30th January during the occasion of death anniversary of respectful Bapu, I made an attempt to reach out to as many people associated with khadi and rural industries by writing letters to them. Well, as you knowBapu was a supporter of science, so I also used technology as a medium to reach these lakhs of brothers and sisters. Khadi has now become a symbol, it has a different identity. Now, khadi is becoming the centre of attraction for the young generation and has become a perfect solution for those who have an inclination for organic and holistic health care. Khadi has carved out a niche for itself in the fashion world. My greetings to the people associated with khadi for their earnest efforts to bring something new in khadi. Market has its own importance in the economy. In addition to the emotional value, it is important that khadi makes a mark in the market itself. When I told people that you have so many different types of garments, then you should have khadi as well. And now people are understanding that if they can’t become a person using khadi only, they can however have atleast one khadi in addition to the several garments in their closet. The Government organizations are witnessing a positive trend for khadi. You may recall, many years ago, khadi was used extensively in the government organizations. However, it slowly began fading out of the scene in the name of modernization and those associated with the Khadi industry were losing jobs. Khadi has the potential to provide employment to millions. Few days ago, Railway Ministry, Police Department, Indian Navy, Postal Department of Uttarakhand and many such government organizations took intiatives to promote the use of khadi. And I was told that, efforts from the government organizations will result in more work for people in this sector, will generate employment of additional 18 lakh man days to fulfill the requirements, serve the needs of the government, which in turn would be a big jump in itself. Respected Bapu was always aware and insistent of technological up-gradation and also remained in the forefront for the same. And this is why, with constant development, our ‘Charkha’ has arrived to where it is now. Running charkha with solar and linking solar energy with Charkha have become a successful experiment. It has made it more efficient, production is higher and there is an enhancement in quality of the yarn. I have received many letters especially on the solar charkha. Geeta Devi and Komal Devi from Dausa in Rajasthan, and Sadhna Devi from Nawada district in Bihar have written to me saying that slar charkhas has made remarkable changes in their lives. “Our income has doubled and there has been a rise in demand for our yarn”. All these things adds to enthusiasm. And on January 30, when we rememeber Respected Bapu, I repeat – atleast make it necessary to keep one khadi among many of your garments, and become an supporter for the same.

Fellow Citizens, we all celebrated the 26th January with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm. Braving the terror threats, citizens of our country showed courage and celebrated the Republic Day with pride and dignity. But some people came out with an out of the box thinking. I would like to emphasize that these innovations are worth paying attention, especially the experiments of Haryana and Gujarat. The two states selected the most educated girls from every village to do the flag hosting in government run schools in the states. Haryana and Gujarat gave importance to the girls, provided special importance to the educated girls. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao – they made an effort and sent a good message. I congratulate the imagination of these two states and also congratulate all those girls who got the opportunity to host the flag. Last year in Haryana something even unique happened, the families wherein a girl child was born was invited as special guest and given the seat in the first row as a VIP. This was a huge moment of pride in itself and I am happy for the fact that I started ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ from Haryana where as the sex-ratio worsened. The number of girl child went down in proportion to thousand males. It was a huge concern as social balance was in danger. And when I picked Haryana, many of our officers told me to do away with that, saying there was a huge negative atmosphere in the state. But I persisted and today I greet Haryana from the bottom of my heart for accepting this proposal and now the birth of girls is growing at a very rapid pace there. I truly welcome the change brought in the social life there.

In the last edition of Mann Ki Baat I talked about two things. First, why don’t we, being citizens, clean the statues of great personalities? We get very emotional to build statues, but get careless thereafter. And the second thing that I told was, when there is a Republic Day, how can we then put emphasis on duties and discuss it? There have been plenty of discussions on rights and will continue to happen. But there should also be discussions on the duties. I am happy that people from many places, social organizations, educational institutions, few saints came forward to clean the statues and their premises. It has been a good start, and this is not only a Swachta Abhiyan, it also is Samman Abhiyan. I am not mentioning about everyone here, but the news that has been received is highly satisfying. Few people perhaps do not give information due to hesitation. I urge all those people to send photos of the statues cleaned by them on the portal MyGov.in as people from around the world can see that and feel honored.

In the same way I asked for views on ‘Duties and Rights’ on January 26 and I am happy that thousands of people participated in it.

My dear countrymen, I need a help from you and I believe that you will come along with me.A lot is being said in the name of farmers in our country. Well, I don’t want to embroil into this controversy. However, the biggest crisis of farmers is the sheer waste of their efforts in the natural disaster. His year goes waste. There is only one solution that is to provide security to farmers and that is Fasal Beema Yojana. Government of India has given a very big gift to the farmers in 2016 – ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana’. But this is not meant to praise the scheme and the Prime Minister. Even though discussions have been happening on crop insurance for so many years, not more than 20-25 per cent of the farmers across the country have become its beneficiary and get connected with the same. Can we pledge to reach out to at least 50 percent of the country’s farmers with the crop insurance over the next 1-2 years. I need your help in this exercise. If a farmer gets linked to the crop insurance scheme, he gets a big help in the times of crisis. Let me tell you, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana has got a lot of public acceptance as it is very comprehensive, simple and with technological inputs. And not only this, even if something happens within 15 days of crop harvesting, even then assurances for support is provided. Focus has been on using the technology to fast track it and ensure there is no delay in receiving the insurance claims. On the top of it, the insurance premium rate has been slashed to its lowest level which no one would have ever thought of. In the new insurance scheme for the farmers, the maximum limit of premium would be 2 percent for kharif and 1.5 percent for the rabi crops. And tell me, if any of my farmer brothers is deprived of the scheme, then will it be damaging for him or not? You may not be a farmer, but must be listening to Mann ki Baat. Will you make my voice reach the farmers? And therefore I want that you promote it the most. And for this, I have also brought a new scheme. I want that my talks regarding Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana reaches the masses. And it is right that you are listening to my Mann Ki Baat on TV and radio. But what if you have to listen to it later? Here is gift from my side, you can listen to my Mann Ki Baat on mobile phone at anytime. All you have to do is just give a missed call from your mobile phone. The number kept for Mann Ki Baat is 8190881908, eight one nine zero eight, eight one nine zero eight. Just give a missed call and you will be able to listen to Maan Ki Baat whenever you want to. As of now, it is in Hindi. But very soon, you would get the opportunity to listen to Mann Ki Baat in your mother tongue. I will arrange for this as well. My dear youngsters, you have done a commendable job. I experienced new energy, new consciousness, new zeal and new vigour during the start-up program, which was held on January 16. Lakhs of people had registered to attend this event. However due to space constraint, the program was eventually held in Vigyan Bhawan. Many of you couldn’t make it, but we ensured that you are able to participate in the event for the entire day online. It is rare to find that a program keeps lakhs of young people engaged for so many hours, but it happened. And I was a witness to the kind of excitement start-ups has. There is a misconception among the people that start-up means IT related talks, very sophisticated business. The start-up event cleared this misconception Let me tell you- Start-up around IT is a small part. Life is big, needs are endless. Start-up also brings innumerable opportunities.

I visited Sikkim few days ago. Sikkim has now become an organic state and I had invited the country’s agriculture ministers and secretaries there. I got the chance to meet two young individuals there who have studied from IIM. One is Anurag Agarwal and other is Sidhi Karnani. They have ventured towards start-up and met me in Sikkim. They work in agriculture field in North East and do the global marketing of herbal and organic produce. That’s a great job.

Last time, I told people associated with start-up to narrate their experiences and send it to me on ‘Narendra Modi App’. Many have sent, but I will be delighted if many more people come forward. Let me tell you, the narratives which I have received so far, are truly inspiring. There is young guy named, Vishwas Dwivedi He has an online kitchen start-up and he undertakes the work of transporting tiffins to the middle class people, who have gone out for jobs, through online networking. Then there is one Dignesh Pathak. He has made up his mind to work for the farmers, especially the animal feed. If our animals get good feed, then we will get good milk. And if we get good milk, then the young people of our country will be powerful. Manoj Gilda, Nikhilji have started agri-storage start-up. They are developing the bulk storage system for agricultural products with scientific fruits storage system. Means lots of suggestions have come. And you send more, I will feel good and if I have to talk about start-up repeatedly in my ‘Mann Ki Baat’ like I do every time for cleanliness, will do so for startups as well, as your power is our inspiration.

My dear countrymen, cleanliness is also getting associated with beauty. We kept expressing anguish against the filth for so many years, but it didn’t disappear. Now people of the country have started discussion on cleanliness, leaving behind the filth. And somewhere or the other, something or the other work is happening on cleanliness. But now, people have marched one step ahead in the initiative. They have added beauty with cleanliness. In a way, this is doubly beneficial, and it is especially seen at the railway stations. I see that many local people, local artists, students are engaged in decorating the railway stations of their cities. Keeping the local art at the centre, painting the walls, making artistic sign boards with content to keep people aware, and so many other things being undertaken by the people. Someone told me that the tribal women have decrorated the Hazaribagh station with the local Sohrai and Kohbar Art design. Over 300 volunteers of Thane district decorated the King Circle, Matunga, Borivali, Khar stations. Many news are coming from Rajasthan; Sawai Madhopur, Kota. It seems that our railway stations in themselves will become the identity of our tradition. Nobody will search tea and pakoda walas through the windows. Sitting on the train, on the walls one can see the specialty of the place. This was neither the initiative of the Railways nor Narendra Modi. This was the people’s initiative. See when people do, and how well they do. I see that I have got some pictures, but I want to see many more pictures. Can you, who have take some effort of cleaning along with decoration on railway station or other places, send me the pictures? Do send those. I will definitely see, people will also see and others will also get inspiration. And whatever can happen on the railway station, can happen on the bus station, hospitals, schools, near temples, churchs, mosques, gardens etc. Whoever brought this thought, started and promoted it, deserves a compliment. But yes, do send me the photos, I also want to see what you have done.

My dear countrymen, it is a matter of pride that India is hosting a major event from 4th to 8th of February. The entire world is coming and our navy is making a whole hearted effort to become a good host. Warships, naval ships of many countries are gathering at the coastal region of Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. International Fleet Review is happening on the coastal region of India. This is an effort to ensure rapport between us and world’s military power. This is a joint exercise. It is a very big opportunity. In the coming days, you will get to know about this through TV media as it will be a very big programme and everyone will emphasize on it. This is very important for a country like India, which has a golden coastal history. They say sea as Udhi or Sagar in Sanskrit. This means endless sufficency. Borders and land may be separating us, but water connects us, sea connects us. We can connect ourselves with sea, we can connect with anyone by sea. And our ancestors made the introduction of this power by roaming around the world, doing global trade. Be it Chatrapati Shivaji, Chola Dynasty which made a new identity with Naval power. Even today, there are many states where several cultures associated with sea exists and are celebrated with zest. When the world is becoming our guest, the power of the navy is getting introduced, this is a good opportunity. I will also get the fortune to be present on this global event.

In the similar way, South Asian Federation games involving SAARC nations is going to be held in Guwahati. Thousands of SAARC countries’ players are coming to the land of Guwahati. There is an atmosphere and excitement of sports. A grand celebration from the new generation of SAARC countries is happening on the land of Guwahati in Assam. This also is a good opportunity to make relations with the SAARC countries.

My dear countrymen, I had even said earlier that whatever comes to mind, I want to express it with you openly. Final Examinations for grade 10th and 12th will be conducted in the coming days. Last time I had shared my views with the students regarding the examinations. It is my wish that the students who have got the success share their experiences, how they have spent the tension-free days of examination, they can write to me regarding the atmosphere in family, roles played by teachers and elders, efforts made by them, any tips or suggestions and role played by the seniors. You must have had good experiences. This time you can send your experiences on Narendra Modi App. And I will request the media to promote the good things through their medium so that the students all over the country can read, watch on TV and appear in the exams in a tension-free atmosphere. I believe that media friends will definitely cooperate in this regard. Yes, but they will do only when you write to me. You will send, right? Please do send.

Many many thanks, friends. We will meet again for the next Mann Ki Baat next month. Many thanks.

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