Wishing all the people of Bhavnagar a very Happy Navratri! First of all, I have to apologize to Bhavnagar for coming here after such a long period. This has happened for the first time. I apologize as I could not come before. I would never forget the blessings you showered on me and the love you have given me. I can see such a large number of people far and wide and that too on a scorching day. I bow to all of you.
This meeting in Bhavnagar is special today. On the one hand, the country has completed 75 years of independence while Bhavnagar is going to complete 300 years of its foundation day this year. In this journey of 300 years, Bhavnagar has made a mark for its steady growth as well as being the cultural capital of Saurashtra. Several projects worth crores of rupees have been either inaugurated or foundation stone has been laid here today to give a new dimension to this development journey. These projects will empower the identity of Bhavnagar, will give a new gift of irrigation to the farmers of Saurashtra and will further strengthen the ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ campaign. With the establishment of Regional Science Center, Bhavnagar’s identity as a city of education and culture will be further enriched. Many congratulations to all of you for all these projects.
Brothers and sisters,
Whenever I came to Bhavnagar, I emphasized one thing. The echo, which has been there in Surat, Vadodara and Ahmedabad since the last two to three decades, is now going to resonate in Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar as well. I have strong faith in Saurashtra’s prosperity because it has unprecedented potential for industry, agriculture and tourism. Today’s program is a living proof of the efforts of the double engine government moving rapidly in this direction. Bhavnagar district is situated on the sea shore. Gujarat has the longest coastline in the country. But this vast coastline had become a kind of big challenge for the people due to lack of attention to coastal development for several decades after independence. The salt water of the sea was a curse for this place. The villages on the banks of the sea had become deserted. People started migrating to other cities. The youth going to Surat were forced to share one room with 10-15-20 people. It was a very pathetic situation.
We have made sincere efforts in the last two decades to make Gujarat’s coastline the gateway to India’s prosperity. Many new employment opportunities have been created. We developed and modernized many ports in Gujarat. Gujarat today has three major LNG terminals and petrochemical hubs. Gujarat was the first state in the country where the first LNG terminal was built. We developed hundreds of coastal industries and many small and big industries in the coastal areas of the state. We also created a network of coal terminals to meet the energy demand of the industries. Today there are many power plants in the coastal areas of Gujarat which supply power not only to Gujarat, but to several states of the country as well.
We built fishing harbours to help our fishermen, promoted fish lending centers and fish processing. The strong network of fishing harbours that we built is also continuously being expanded and modernized. We have made the coastal ecosystem more secure and strengthened by developing mangrove forests in the coastal region of Gujarat. The then minister in the Government of India had once remarked that the coastal states of India should learn from Gujarat how mangroves can be developed. It is with the cooperation of all of you that this has been made possible in Gujarat.
We also continuously promoted aquaculture. Gujarat is one of the leading states of the country where great efforts have been made for the seaweed cultivation. Today, the coastline of Gujarat has become a medium of employment for lakhs of people, besides playing a big role in the import and export of the country. Today, Gujarat’s coastline is emerging as synonymous with renewable energy and the hydrogen ecosystem. We have also tried to make Saurashtra an important center of energy. This region is becoming one of the biggest hubs to meet the energy needs of Gujarat and the country. Now many projects of solar energy are also being set up in this region. The solar power project, which was inaugurated in Palitana today, will provide affordable and adequate electricity to many families in the region. There was a time in Gujarat when people used to rejoice if there was electricity during dinner time. Many of the people who are 20-22 years old today would not be aware of that situation. When I became Chief Minister of Gujarat, I remember people started pleading with me from day one to at least ensure electricity during dinner time. All those miserable days are passé now, friends.
Today, new business opportunities are being created, industries and businesses are flourishing due to sufficient electricity. Bhavnagar is also going to benefit from the investment being made in Dholera for renewable energy, space and semiconductor industries. A neighboring area of Bhavnagar is being developed and the day will not be far away when this entire region of Ahmedabad to Dholera and Bhavnagar will achieve new heights of development.
Brothers and sisters,
Today Bhavnagar is developing as an important center of port-led development. This port will ensure multimodal connectivity with different industrial regions across the country. This port will also be connected to the separate track being laid for goods trains and there will be better connectivity with other highways and railway networks. The PM GatiShakti National Master Plan is going to give a new thrust to these connectivity projects. In a way, this port of Bhavnagar will play an important role in the building of a self-reliant India and hundreds of new employment opportunities will be created here. There is going to be an expansion of business related to warehousing, transportation and logistics. The port will also cater to large projects like vehicle scrapping, container production and Dholera Special Investment Region. As a result, new employment will be created here and self-employment opportunities will be developed.
Alang is known to have one of the largest ship breaking yards in the world. There is hardly anyone who is not aware of Alang. When the new vehicle scrapping policy of the Central Government to scrap old vehicles will be implemented, I say with full confidence that you will benefit the most. The reason being Alang has the expertise regarding scrapping as well as the knowledge of scrapping big ships. In such a situation, it can also become a big center of scrapping of other small vehicles along with ships. I do not need to remind my promising entrepreneurs of Bhavnagar that they will bring small vehicles from abroad and start scrapping them here.
The iron derived from breaking ships is used extensively in the construction sector. Recently, we have seen how a major crisis can arise from over-dependence on a single country for containers. This is also a new as well as a big opportunity for Bhavnagar. On the one hand, India’s share in global trade is increasing and on the other hand, the world is also looking for a reliable supplier of containers. The whole world needs millions of containers. The containers being built in Bhavnagar will also give energy to self-reliant India and will also create many employment opportunities here.
When there is a sense of service towards the people in the mind and there is a will to bring change, then it is possible to achieve bigger goals. You are very much aware of the condition of vehicles from Surat to Bhavnagar. Hours of travel, road accidents and above all the cost of petrol and diesel! There were so many difficulties. Now there is less tension and there is saving of both time and money on transport fares. We fulfilled the dream of the Ghogha-Dahej ferry service despite so many hurdles. The distance between Saurashtra and Surat has been reduced from about 400 kms to less than 100 kms due to Ghogha-Hazira Ro-Ro ferry service. About three lakh passengers have used this service in a very short time. More than 80,000 vehicles have been transported and more than 40 lakh liters of petrol and diesel have been saved this year alone. In other words, you saved a lot of money. From today onwards, the way has been cleared for even big ships on this route.
You can understand this great service for the common people, farmers and traders of this region. But all these things are happening without any hue and cry and without wasting money on massive advertisements, friends. It is because our motivation and goal has never been the temptation for power. We always consider power as a medium of service. This is our yagna of service. It is because of this spirit of service that we are getting so much love and blessings which keep on increasing continuously.
Our efforts have not only facilitated transportation, but tourism has also got a boost. Unprecedented work is being done in the coastal areas of Gujarat to save its maritime heritage and make it a tourism destination. Probably, very few of you would be aware that the Maritime Museum being built in Lothal is going to create a name for itself in the world. Like the Statue of Unity, Lothal’s Maritime Museum will also create the same identity. It is a matter of pride for us. The world’s oldest port Lothal is on our Gujarat soil, it is on the edge of our Bhavnagar. Lothal has been an important center of our heritage and efforts are being made to bring it on the tourism map of the whole world. Along with Lothal, the eco-tourism circuit in Velavadar National Park is also going to benefit Bhavnagar, especially the small businessmen and traders.
Brothers and sisters,
The lives of both farmers and fishermen in Saurashtra have changed a lot in the last two decades. There was a time when fishermen’s lives were often in danger due to lack of information. When I was the Chief Minister here, the fishermen were given a red basket with different buttons on it. In the event of an accident, an alert was sent directly to the Coast Guard’s office by pressing the button resulting in immediate help. We have extended this service to the entire country after 2014. We gave subsidies to fishermen to modernize their boats and gave Kisan Credit Cards to fishermen like farmers.
Today, I feel very satisfied when I see the change taking place due to Sauni Yojana. I remember launching the project in Rajkot. The media wrote that Modi ji had announced the project in view of the impending elections. Once elections are over, it will be forgotten. But I proved everyone wrong. Today the waters of the Mother Narmada are reaching everywhere we promised due to the Sauni Yojana. We are the people who live up to our words and who live for the society.
When one part of the Sauni project is inaugurated, then the work on the other part begins simultaneously. We don’t let the work stop. Even today, the part of the project which has been dedicated has led to water reaching many dams of Bhavnagar and Amreli districts. This is going to benefit the farmers of many villages of Gariadhar, Jesar and Mahuva talukas of Bhavnagar and Rajula and Khambha talukas of Amreli district. Another project has been renewed today to supply water to hundreds of villages and dozens of cities in Bhavnagar, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Botad, Junagadh, Rajkot and Porbandar districts.
Brothers and sisters,
It is the commitment of the double engine government to remove poverty and take forward those who have been left behind in development. When the poorest of the poor get resources, they start changing their fortunes. They work hard day and night and defeat poverty. We often used to organize Garib Kalyan Melas in Gujarat. During one such program, I had given a three wheeler cycle to a sister here in Bhavnagar. She was a Divyang and what did she tell me? Look at the spirit of the people of Bhavnagar and Gujaratis. I remember it vividly. That sister said that she did not know how to ride a bicycle and asked for an electric tricycle. This is the mood of my Gujarat and Bhavnagar. The trust that my sister had in her mind is my biggest asset, brothers. These dreams and aspirations of the poor give me the energy to work continuously. May this energy continue with your blessings, and your love continues to grow. And I must say today that it took me a few years to come here, I came late, but I have not come empty handed. I have come with all the outstanding dues of the previous years. And anyway, Bhavnagar has all the rights over me. One is reminded of Narseebaba’s ‘Ganthiya’ and ‘pedas’ of Das. While talking about ‘Ganthiya’, I am reminded of Harisingh Dada. Several years ago, when I was not active in politics and used to be a very small-time activist, it was Harisingh Dada who introduced me to ‘Ganthiya’. Whenever he would come to Ahmedabad, he would bring ‘Ganthiya’ for me. He used to care for me. Now that I am in Bhavnagar today, it is of no use today as the Navratri fasts are underway. But, the ‘Ganthiya’ of Bhavnagar is famous in the country and the world. It is not a small matter, friends. This is the strength of Bhavnagar. Friends, today I have come with many development projects. These projects will decide the future of the younger generation of Bhavnagar. These projects will brighten the future of Bhavnagar. No one will be able to imagine that these projects will usher in rapid development of Bhavnagar. These projects will benefit Saurashtra, Gujarat and the entire country. Brothers and sisters, I am deeply grateful to you for the love and blessings you have showered on me by coming in such huge numbers. Raise your both hands and speak with me with all your might:
Bharat Mata ki – Jai!
Bharat Mata ki – Jai!
Bharat Mata ki – Jai!
Thanks a lot!
DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of PM’s speech. Original speech was delivered in Hindi & some parts of Gujarati language.
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My dear countrymen, Namaskar! In this month of August, all your letters, messages and cards have soaked my office in the hues of the tricolor. I have hardly come across any letter which does not carry the tricolor, or does not talk about the tricolor and Freedom. Children and young friends have sent beautiful pictures and artwork on the Amrit Mahotsav. In this month of independence, in our entire country, in every city, every village, the nectar of Amrit Mahotsav is flowing. On this special occasion of Amrit Mahotsav and Independence Day, we have seen the collective might of the country. There has been a sense of realisation. Such a big country, so many diversities, but when it came to hoisting the tricolor, everyone seemed to flow in the same spirit. People themselves came forward, becoming the vanguard of the pride of the tricolor. We had also seen the spirit of the country in the cleanliness campaign and the vaccination campaign. We are getting to witness the same spirit of patriotism again in the Amrit Mahotsav. Our soldiers hoisted the tricolor on the peaks of high mountains, on the borders of the country, and in the middle of the sea. People also came up with different innovative ideas for the tricolor campaign. Such as young friend, Krishnil Anil ji. Anil ji is a puzzle artist and has created beautiful tricolor mosaic art in record time. In Kolar, Karnataka, people presented a unique sight by holding the tricolor that was 630 feet long and 205 feet wide.
In Assam, government employees created a 20 feet tricolor with their own hands to hoist at the Dighalipukhuri War memorial. Similarly, people in Indore made the map of India through a human chain. In Chandigarh, the youth made a giant human tricolor. Both these efforts have also been recorded in the Guinness Records. In the midst of all this, a great inspirational example was also seen at the Gangot Panchayat of Himachal Pradesh. Here the children of migrant laborers were included as chief guests in the Independence Day Programme of the Panchayat.
Friends, these colors of the Amrit Mahotsav were seen not only in India, but also in other countries of the world. Local singers living in Botswana sang 75 patriotic songs to celebrate 75 years of India’s independence. What is more special in this is that these 75 songs were sung in languages like Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bangla, Assamese, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Sanskrit. Similarly, in Namibia, a special stamp has been released on the Indo-Namibian cultural-traditional relations.
Friends, I want to share with you another thing of joy. Just a few days ago, I got an opportunity to attend a program of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. There, they had organised the screening of ‘Swaraj’, the Doordarshan serial. I got an opportunity to attend its premiere . This is a great initiative to acquaint the younger generation of the country with the efforts of unsung heroes and heroines who took part in the freedom movement. It is telecast every Sunday at 9 pm on Doordarshan. And I was told that is going to continue for 75 weeks. I urge you to take time out to watch it yourself and do show it to the children of the house. And people from schools-colleges can also record it and compose a special program when the school-college opens on Monday, so that a new awakening will arise in our country about these great heroes of the birth of Freedom. The Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav will continue till next year i.e. August 2023. For the country, for the freedom fighters, the writings and events that we have been organising, we have to carry them forward.
My dear countrymen, the knowledge of our forefathers, the farsightedness of our ancestors and the EkAtmaChintan, integral self realisation is so significant even today; when we go deep into it, we are filled with wonder. Our thousands of years old Rigveda! In Rigveda it is said:-
Oman-mapo manushi: amritkam dhaat tokay tanayaaya shyamyo: |
Yooyam Hisatha Bhishjo Matritama Vishwasya Sthatu: Jagato Janitri: ||
Meaning – O water, you are the best friend of humanity. You are the giver of life, food is produced from you, and from you is the well-being of our children. You are the protector of us and keep us away from all evils. You are the best medicine, and you are the sustainer of this universe.
Think about it…the importance of water and water conservation has been explained in our culture thousands of years ago. When we see this knowledge in today’s context, we are thrilled, but when the nation accepts this knowledge as its strength, then their power increases manifold. You will remember, in ‘Mann Ki Baat’, I had talked about Amrit Sarovar four months ago. After that, the local administration got active in different districts, voluntary organizations came together and local people connected… – and Lo & behold, the construction of Amrit Sarovars has become a mass movement. When there is a deep feeling to do something for the country, realize one’s duties, concern for the coming generations, then the capabilities also get added up, and the resolve becomes noble.
I have come to know of a brilliant effort from Warangal in Telangana. A new Gram Panchayat has been formed here, named ‘Mangtya-Valya Thanda’. This village is close to the Forest Area. There was a place near the village where a lot of water used to accumulate during monsoon. On the initiative of the villagers, this place is now being developed under the Amrit Sarovar campaign. This time due to the rains during the monsoon, this lake has been filled to the brim with water.
I also want to tell you about the Amrit Sarovar built in Mocha Gram Panchayat in Mandla, Madhya Pradesh. This Amrit Sarovar is built near the Kanha National Park and has further enhanced the beauty of this area. The newly constructed Shaheed Bhagat Singh Amrit Sarovar in Lalitpur, Uttar Pradesh is also drawing a lot of people. This lake, built in the Niwari Gram Panchayat, is spread over 4 acres. The tree plantation on the shoreline of the lake is enhancing its beauty. People are also coming from far and wide to see the 35 feet high tricolor near the lake. This campaign of Amrit Sarovars is going on in full swing in Karnataka as well. Here in the village ‘Bilkerur’ of Bagalkot district, people have built a very beautiful Amrit Sarovar. In fact, in this area, people had a lot of problems because of the water flowing down from the mountain; farmers and their crops also suffered losses. To make the Amrit Sarovar, the people of the village channelized all the water and brought it aside. This also solved the problem of floods in the area. The Amrit Sarovar Abhiyan not only solves many of our problems today; it is equally necessary for our coming generations. Under this campaign, at many places, old water bodies are also being rejuvenated. Amrit Sarovars are being used for quenching the thirst of animals as well as for farming. Due to these ponds, the ground water table of the surrounding areas has risen. At the same time, greenery is also increasing around them. Not only this, people at many places are also engaged in preparations for fish farming in Amrit Sarovars. I urge all of you, especially my young friends, to actively participate in the Amrit Sarovar campaign and lend full strength to these efforts of water conservation & water storage and take them forward.
My dear countrymen, an interesting project is being run in Bongai village of Assam – Project Sampoorna. The purpose of this project is to fight against malnutrition and the method too is very unique. Under this, the mother of a healthy child from an Anganwadi center meets the mother of a malnourished child every week and discusses all the nutrition related information. That is, one mother becomes a friend of another mother, helps her, and teaches her. With the help of this project, in this region, in one year, malnutrition has been eradicated in more than 90 percent children.
Can you imagine, whether song and music and bhajans can also be used to remove malnutrition? It was successfully used in “Mera Bachha Campaign”; the “Mera Bachha Abhiyan” in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh. Under this, bhajan-kirtans were organized in the district, in which teachers as nutrition gurus were called. A Matka program was also held, in which women bring a handful of grains to the Anganwadi center and with this grain, a ‘Balbhoj’ is organized on Saturdays. Besides this increase in the attendance of children in Anganwadi centers, malnutrition has also shown a dip. A unique campaign is also going on in Jharkhand to increase awareness about malnutrition. A snake-ladder game has been prepared in Giridih, Jharkhand. Through play, children learn about good and bad habits.
Friends, I am telling you about so many innovative experiments related to malnutrition, because all of us also have to join this campaign in the coming month. The month of September is dedicated to festivals as well as a big campaign related to nutrition. We celebrate the Poshan Maah every year from the 1st to the 30th of September. Many creative and diverse efforts are being made all over the country against malnutrition. Better use of technology and also public participation has become an important part of the Nutrition campaign. From providing mobile devices to millions of Anganwadi workers in the country, a Poshan Tracker has also been launched to monitor the accessibility of Anganwadi services. In all the Aspirational Districts and the states of the North East, 14 to 18 year old daughters have also been brought under the purview of the POSHAN Abhiyaan. The solution to the malady of malnutrition is not limited just to these steps – in this fight, many other initiatives also play an important role. For example, take the Jal Jeevan Mission…this mission is also going to have a huge impact in making India malnutrition free. Efforts for social awareness play an important role in tackling the challenges of malnutrition. I would urge all of you in the coming nutrition month, to take part in the efforts to eradicate malnutrition.
My dear countrymen, Sridevi Varadarajan ji from Chennai has sent me a reminder. She has written something like this on MyGov – There are less than 5 months left for the New Year to come, and we all know that the ensuing New Year will be celebrated as the International Year of Millets. She has also sent me a millet map of the country. She’s also asked if you could discuss this in the upcoming episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’. It gives me immense happiness to see this kind of spirit in my countrymen. You will remember that the United Nations has passed a resolution declaring the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets. You will also be very happy to know that this proposal of India had been accepted by more than 70 countries.
Today, around the world, craze for these very coarse grains, millets, is rising. Friends, when I talk about coarse grains, I want to share one of my efforts with you today. For the last some time, when any foreign guests come to India, when Heads of State comes to India, it is my endeavor to get dishes made from the millets of India, that is, our coarse grains in the banquets. And the experience has been that these dignitaries have very much relished them and they also try to collect a lot of information about our coarse grains, about Millets. Millets, coarse grains, have been a part of our Agriculture, Culture and Civilization since ancient times. Millets are mentioned in our Vedas, and similarly, they are also mentioned in Purananuru and Tolkappiyam. If you go to any part of the country, you will definitely find different types of Millets in the food of the people there. In millets too, just like our culture, a lot of diversity is found. Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, Sawan, Kangni, Cheena, Kodo, Kutki, Kuttu, all these are just Millets. India is the largest producer of Millets in the world; hence the responsibility of making this initiative a success also rests on the shoulders of us Indians. Together we all have to make it a mass movement, and also increase the awareness of Millets among the people of the country. And friends, you know very well, millets are also beneficial for the farmers and especially the small farmers. In fact, the crop gets ready in a very short time, and does not require much water either.
For our small farmers, millets are especially beneficial. Millet hay is also considered the best fodder. Nowadays, the young generation is much focused on Healthy Living and Eating. Even if you look at it this way, millets contain plenty of protein, fiber, and minerals. Many people even call it a Superfood. Millets have many benefits, not just one. Along with reducing obesity, they also reduce the risk of diabetes, hypertension and heart related diseases. Along with that, they are also helpful in preventing stomach and liver ailments. We referred to malnutrition, just a while ago. Millets are also very beneficial in fighting malnutrition, since they are packed with energy as well as protein. Today a lot is being done to promote Millets in the country. Along with focusing on research and innovation related to this, FPOs are being encouraged, so that, production can be increased. It is my request to my farmer brothers and sisters to adopt Millets, that is, coarse grains, more and more and benefit from it. It feels good to see that many such start-ups are emerging today, which are working on Millets. Some of these are making Millet Cookies, while some are also making Millet Pancakes and Dosa. There are some who are making Millet Energy Bars, and Millet Breakfasts. I wish all the very best to all the people working in this field. In this festive season, we also use Millets in most of the dishes. You must share the pictures of such delicacies made in your homes on social media, so that it helps in increasing awareness among people about Millets.
My dear countrymen, just a few days ago, I saw news from Jorsing village in Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. This news was about a change that the people of this village had been waiting for, for many years. In fact, in Jorsing village this month, 4G internet services have started from Independence Day. Like, earlier people used to be happy when electricity reached the village; now, in new India, the same happiness is felt when 4G reaches there. There has been a new sunrise in the form of 4G in the remote areas of Arunachal and North East; internet connectivity has brought a new dawn. Facilities which were once available only in big cities, have been brought to every village through Digital India. For this reason, new digital entrepreneurs are rising in the country. Setha Singh Rawat ji of Ajmer district of Rajasthan runs ‘Darzi Online’, an’E-store’. You will wonder what is Darzi online! Actually, Setha Singh Rawat used to do tailoring work before Covid. When Covid came, Rawat ji did not take this challenge as a difficulty; rather as an opportunity. He joined the ‘common service centre’ i.e. CSC E-Store, and started working online. He saw that customers were placing orders for masks in large numbers. He hired some women and started getting masks made. After this he started his online store named ‘Darzi Online’ in which he started selling stitched clothes of many other kinds. Today, with the power of Digital India, the work of Setha Singh ji has increased so much, that now he gets orders from all over the country. He has given employment to hundreds of women here. Digital India has also turned Om Prakash Singh ji of Unnao, UP into a digital entrepreneur. He has established more than one thousand broadband connections in his village. Om Prakash ji has also built a free wifi zone around his common service centre, which is helping the needy people a lot. Om Prakash ji’s work has increased so much that he has hired more than 20 people. These people are providing broadband connection to the schools, hospitals, tehsil offices and Anganwadi centers of the villages and are also getting employment from it. Like the common service center, there are many such success stories are being seen on the Government E-market place i.e. GEM portal.
Friends, I get many such messages from villages, which share with me the changes brought about by the internet. The internet has changed the way our young friends study and learn. For example, when Gudiya Singh of UP came to her in-laws’ house in Amoiya village of Unnao, she was worried about her studies. But, BharatNet resolved her concern. Gudiya carried on her studies through the internet, and also completed her graduation. How many such lives in villages are getting new strength from the Digital India campaign. Do write to me as much as you can about the Digital Entrepreneurs of the villages, and also share their success stories on social media.
My dear countrymen, sometime back, I received a letter from Ramesh ji, a listener of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ from Himachal Pradesh. Ramesh ji has enumerated many specialities of the hills in his letter. He wrote that the settlements on the mountains might be far apart, but the hearts of the people are very close to each other. Indeed, we can learn a lot from the lives of the people living in the hills. The first lesson we get from the lifestyle and culture of the hills is that if we do not come under the pressure of circumstances, we can easily overcome them, and secondly, how we can become self-sufficient with local resources. The first lesson that I mentioned, a beautiful picture of it is being seen in the Spiti region these days. Spiti is a tribal area. Here, these days, pea plucking goes on. This is a laborious and difficult task on hill farms. But here, the women of the village gather, and together, pluck peas from each other’s fields. Along with this task, women also sing the local song ‘Chhapra Majhi Chhapra’. That is, mutual cooperation here is also a part of folk tradition. The best example of utilization of local resources is also found in Spiti. Farmers who rear cows in Spiti, dry up the dung and fill it in sacks. When winter comes, these sacks are laid out in the sheds where the cows live, which is called khud here. During snowfall, these sacks give protection to the cows from the cold. After winters, this cow dung is used as manure in the fields. That is, the animals’ protection using animal waste, and also manure for the fields. The cost of cultivation is also low, and the yield in the fields is also high. That is why this area, these days, is also becoming an inspiration for natural farming.
Friends, many such commendable efforts are also being seen in our, other hill state, Uttarakhand. Many types of medicines and plants are found in Uttarakhand, which are very beneficial for our health. One of them is the fruit – Bedu. It is also known as Himalayan Fig. In this fruit, minerals and vitamins are found in abundance. People consume it not only in the form of fruit, but it is also used in the treatment of many diseases. In view of these qualities of this fruit, now the juice of Bedu, jams, chutneys, pickles and dry fruits prepared by drying them have been launched in the market. With the initiative of the Pithoragarh administration and the cooperation of the local people, it has been successful in bringing Bedu to the market in different forms. Bedu has also been launched in the online market by branding it as Pahari Fig. Due to this, farmers have not only found a new source of income, but the benefits of the medicinal properties of Bedu have started reaching far and wide as well.
My dear countrymen, in the beginning of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, today, we referred to the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. Along with the great festival of Independence Day, many more festivals are lined up in the coming days. Just a few days from now, is the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, the festival of worship of Bhagwan Ganesha. Ganesh Chaturthi, that is, the festival of blessings of Ganpati Bappa. The festival of Onam is also commencing before Ganesh Chaturthi. Onam, especially in Kerala, will be celebrated with a sense of peace and prosperity. Hartalika Teej too is on the 30th of August. The festival of Nuakhai will also be celebrated in Odisha on the 1st of September. Nuakhai simply means new food, that is, this too, like many other festivals, is a festival associated with our agricultural traditions. Meanwhile, there will also be the Samvatsari festival of the Jain community. All these festivals of ours are synonymous with our cultural prosperity and vitality. I wish you all the best for these festivals and special occasions. Along with these festivals, tomorrow on the 29th of August, National Sports Day will also be celebrated on the birth anniversary of Major Dhyanchand ji. May our young sportspersons continue to raise the glory of our tricolor on global forums, this will be our tribute to Dhyan Chand ji. Let us all keep working together for the country like this; keep raising the honor of the country…With this wish I conclude my point. Next month, we will have ‘Mann Ki Baat’ once again.
Thank you very much!
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