Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday stressed the importance of collective responsibility towards water conservation and called for a 100-day campaign to clean up water bodies and prepare them for rainwater harvesting before monsoons. The Prime Minister, on his monthly Mann Ki Baat programme, said water has been crucial for the development of humankind for centuries.
“In most parts of India, rain starts in May-June. Can we start a 100-day campaign from now on to harvest rainwater, to clean the waters around us? With this thinking, a few days from now, the Jal Shakti Abhiyan – ‘Catch the Rain’ is also being started by the Jal Shakti ministry. The basic mantra of this campaign is – Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls,” he said.
Modi said this is the best time to think about water conservation ahead of the months of summer. “Yesterday was the festival of Magha Purnima. The month of Magh is associated with rivers, lakes, and water bodies…Water is life for us, it is also faith and it is also a stream of development. Water is more important than ‘Paras’ in a way. It is said that by the touch of ‘Paras’, iron can be converted into gold. In the same way, the touch of water is necessary for life,” the Prime Minister said on the 74th episode of Mann Ki Baat.
Citing an example of a farmer, Kamegowda who is above 80 years of age living in Mandavali, Karnataka who has an extraordinary personality. Kamegowda, apart from taking his animals for grazing, is also contributing his efforts by digging ponds in the region. During the rainy season, water can be collected and saved in these ponds which helps the villagers overcome the problem of water scarcity. Modi said that Kamegowda has dug 16 small ponds till now. Even though the size is small, Modi said that his efforts are huge.
Modi gave another example of Vadodara city in Gujarat that has an interesting and effective campaign of rainwater harvesting. With the campaign, PM announced that the practice of rainwater harvesting has been initiated in 1,000 schools of Vadodara and estimated that 100 million liters of rainwater can be collected on an average in a year. With this, the Prime Minister has urged people to also think about small initiatives that can conserve water.
He also said there is a need to make science more popular across the country and asserted that science cannot be limited to physics-chemistry and labs. Modi called for expanding science with a mantra of ‘lab to land’.
PM Modi also talked about Sant Ravidas, whose birth anniversary was observed on Saturday, on the occasion of Magha Purnima. “Sant Ravidas Ji taught us to keep working, do not expect anything… When this is done there will be satisfaction. He taught people to go beyond conventional thinking,” the Prime Minister added.
During the broadcast, the prime minister also rued not being able to make enough efforts to learn the world’s oldest language, Tamil.
“In run up to Mann Ki Baat, I was asked if there was something I missed out on during these long years as chief minister and prime minister. I feel — it is a regret of sorts that I could not make enough efforts to learn the world’s oldest language Tamil. Tamil literature is beautiful,” Modi said. PTI
Prime Minister Modi had appealed to the countrymen to write about freedom fighters and stories of their struggle to mark the country’s 75th Independence Day this year in his last Mann Ki Baat episode in January. Mann ki Baat is PM Modi’s monthly radio programme to the nation, aired on the last Sunday of every month.