My Dear Countrymen, Namaskar!
This year the rains have started on a good note. This will definitely prove beneficial to our farmer brothers and sisters in sowing of kharif crops. I am very pleased to share an immensely good news with you all. We have always faced scarcity of pulses and oilseeds in our country. Poor people require pulses and some amount of oil to prepare vegetables for their food. The good news for me is that there has been an increase of approximately 50% in the production of pulses and an increase of around 33% in the production of oilseeds. I would especially like to congratulate and compliment all my farmer brothers and sisters for this achievement.
My dear countrymen, 26th July is marked as Kargil Vijay Diwas in the history of our country. The intensity with which the farmers are connected with their land, our soldiers too are connected with the land in the same degree. During the Kargil war, each one of our soldier proved mightier than hundreds of soldiers of our enemies. I would like to salute all our brave soldiers who thwarted the attempts by our enemies without caring for their lives. Kargil war was not limited to just our borders, but each of our cities, villages contributed in this war. This war was fought by those mothers and sisters whose sons and brothers were fighting against the enemies at the border. This war was also fought by the daughters of our country, who were newly married and their henna were still fresh on their hands. Also, by the proud fathers, who saw themselves as soldiers, seeing their sons fighting for the country, and also by that infant who had not even learnt to walk catching his father’s fingers. It is because of these unmatchable sacrifices that our country is proudly standing on its feet in front of the entire world. Hence, I would like to salute all these valiant warriors on this occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas.
There is another reason why I consider 26th July quite important because MyGov.in was launched a few months after our government was formed. Our pledge was to promote citizen participation in democracy and connect every citizen in the development work. And today I am pleased to share this after one year that nearly two crore people have visited MyGov website. We have received comments from five and a half lac people and I am extremely glad to mention that more than fifty thousand people took out time from their precious schedule to apply their mind and provide their suggestions on PMO applications as they considered this work important. And we have received quite significant suggestions. One of the suggestions sent from Mr. Akhilesh Vajpayee from Kanpur is to provide separate quota to the disabled for booking tickets on IRCTC website. It is quite unfair that the disabled citizens have to go through the same tiring procedure and buy tickets at the railway station. Though this is a very minor issue but the government never took note of it or thought about the same previously. But on the suggestion of our brother Akhilesh Vajpayee, our government looked into this suggestion seriously and we have implemented this facility in our system for our disabled brothers and sisters. We are receiving quite positive suggestions on MyGov, it is helping in getting assistance in creating logos, tag-lines and formulating policies by yourselves. We are experiencing fresh air in the administrative system. We are experiencing a new sense of consciousness. I am even receiving suggestion on MyGov that what should be my speech on 15th of August.
We have received quite a few suggestions from Suchitra Raghavachari from Chennai in this regard. She has suggested me to speak on the topics like Save our Daughters, Educate a Girl Child, Clean Ganges, Swachh Bharat. With this I got an idea and I am requesting you all to send suggestions about what should be the topics for my 15th August speech. You can send in your suggestions through MyGov, letters to Radio or write letters to the PM’s office. Look, I believe that this will be a great initiative to include people’s suggestion in framing my speech for 15th August. I believe that you will send your good suggestions.
I would like to talk about an issue which is a matter of great concern. I neither want to sermonize nor I am trying to find an escape route towards my responsibilities pertaining to state government, central government or units of local self-government institutions.
Two days ago a visual of an accident in Delhi caught my attention, wherein the victim on scooter was fighting for his life for ten minutes post the accident. He did not receive any help from the passers-by. In general also I have noticed that I have been receiving suggestions to speak on road safety and make the people aware of this. Be it Hoshakote Akshay from Bengaluru, Ameya Joshi from Pune or Prasanna Kakunje from Mudbidri, Karnataka – all these all people have written to me… there are many other names which I am not being able to mention and have raised their concerns. I agree that whatever you have put forth is valid.
My heart shivers when I look at the statistics of accidents. We are witnessing an accident every minute in our country. Due to these road accidents we are witnessing one death every four minutes in our country. It is a matter of huge concern that out of these deaths, nearly one third of the victims comprise the youth ranging from 15 to 25 years of age group, and such death shakes the very foundation of an entire family. The government system will continue to work towards this but I would like to request all the parents to make their children aware of all the Safety Rules pertaining to driving a two-wheeler or a four-wheeler – the families should encourage discussion of road safety at home and create an atmosphere about the same to promote road safety. We have seen few lines written at the back of auto-rickshaws, “Papa, come home early” and after reading it we are so touched by it. And therefore I say that the government has taken a lot of new initiatives in this regard, be it the initiative of education on Road Safety, initiative related to road engineering or of enforcement of road safety laws and the discussion on Emergency Care to be provided post accidents. We are going to implement Road Transport and Safety Bill to adopt these safety measures in our country. In the coming days, we are also planning to take many important measures for implementing National Road Safety Policy and Road Safety Action Plan.
We have undertaken another project called Cashless Treatment in Gurgaon, Jaipur and Vadodara to Mumbai, Ranchi, Rangaon and Mundiya national highway and it will be further extended. The Cashless Treatment refers to the policy for the first fifty hours post-accident – one need worry if one has money or not, who will pay the bills, leaving all this worry – one has to give primary importance to the road accident victim who is injured so that he is treated and provided the best hospital facilities at the earliest. We have started a toll-free number 1033 for providing information about incidents across the country and ambulance service but all these are services are for post accidents. One must strive to avoid accidents first but it is also important for us to see from the perspective that each and every soul, each and every life is precious.
Sometimes I say that the government employees to be Karma Yogis or selfless workers. I recalled a few incidents in the last few days which I liked and hence would like to share with you. Sometimes people get tired of their continuous jobs. In the initial few years the attitude is “okay, I get my salary so I will work”. However, I came across an incident of a railway department a few days ago, wherein a railway TTE Vijay Biswal from Nagpur division who is gifted with painting prowess could have has chosen to showcase his skills related to any field but he continues to work with the railways and paints various scenes related to railways only. Through this he gets an inner satisfaction for his job and also enjoys his hobby at the same time. Using his example, we can learn how to bring more life to our own jobs. Vijay Biswal has shown us how we can connect our jobs with our hobbies, interests or skills. Who knows, Vijay Biswal’s work may get recognised by his paintings across the nation in the near future.
I have come to know about a very inspiring work started by the entire team of government officials in Harda district, Madhya Pradesh. These bunch of officials with their entire team have started such a work which has touched me immensely and I really liked it – and the work they have started is ‘Operation Malyuddh’, and upon hearing this you will feel that this subject will go in a certain direction. But the key focus of this operation is to give a new direction to Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. They are working on ‘Brother Number One’ operation in which the best brother has to gift one toilet to his sister. On the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, they are influencing all the brothers to gift toilet to their sisters, so that all the mothers and sisters of the district avoid going to toilet in the open. This operation has given a new meaning to Raksha Bandhan and I would like to congratulate the entire government team of Harda district for this initiative.
I came across a news a few days back and these small news really gives me immense pleasure and I would like to share the same with you. There exists a small village called Keshla in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh. The inhabitants of this village from last few months tried and lead a campaign for building toilets in the village. Now, nobody from this village has to go to toilet in the open. After the completion of this campaign, the entire village celebrated this accomplishment just like a mega festival. These finest examples coming up to me show how our society is bringing change in human values and human mind and how the citizens of this country are taking the nation forward.
Bhavesh Deka from Guwahati has written to me on the North-East related issues and problems. I must say that North-East people are quite active. I really appreciate that they write about a lot of issues. I would like to tell them with great pleasure that we have a separate ministry for North-Eastern region. During the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee as our Prime Minister, a DONER Ministry called “Development of North-East Region” was formed. After our government was formed, the DONER Department took an important decision of not staying in Delhi and working from centre for the North-East regions? Instead it was decided to send the government officials and their team on a seven days camp to North-East states like Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Assam and Sikkim. These officials would visit the districts, villages and meet the local government officials and talk to people’s representatives and the citizens of those regions. They will listen to their problems and direct the government in taking appropriate measures in solving those problems. This initiative will bring a fruitful result in the near future. The officials who will visit these states would realize the beauty of these states and will feel very determined to work for the development of these states and to fix the problems of these states. When they return with this pledge, they can easily understand the problems of these states even when they reach Delhi. This is a great initiative to go far-off from Delhi to East, and this act is called “Act East Policy”.
My dear countrymen, we are extremely delighted and proud of the “Mars Mission” success. India’s PSLV C-28 has launched five UK satellites, which are the heaviest satellites launched by India till date. Such news remain in the flashlight for few moments and are gone. We often do not remember these achievements for a long time. I am often worried by this thought that we speak to the youth of our nation and ask about their dream job, only one out of 100 would express their interest in becoming a scientist. Youth is losing their interest in science, which is a matter of great concern.
Science and Technology is a type of DNA for development. The youth of our country should dream about becoming a scientist and imbibe interests in the field of research and innovation. Their capabilities should be monitored and must be assisted in the right direction to achieve success in this field. Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India has initiated a National Discovery Campaign. It was inaugurated by India’s ex-President Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam. As a part of this campaign, IIT, NIT, Central and State Universities being their mentor and guide are going to educate and motivate the aspiring students to choose the right path in their career. I always press upon the IAS officers of our government, who have reached such heights with their vast intellect and education that they should visit the nearby schools and colleges and share their knowledge for just two to four hours in a week. Your experience and intellect would certainly help the new generation to some extent.
We have raised a very big issue regarding the supply of 24 hours electricity in the villages of our country. This work is difficult but it must be done. We have auspiciously inaugurated this scheme and the villages will get a supply of 24 hours electricity in the coming years. The students of the villages should not be affected with the shortage of electricity during their exams. There should be enough electricity for starting a small industry. Today, the villagers have to go to other villagers for charging their mobile phones. The villages should be provided with all the facilities that are available in the cities. For this purpose, we have launched “Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Programme”. I am aware that this country is quite vast and we have to reach the villages and far off corners of the country. We have to run for the development of the Poor. We will achieve this goal and it is already in progress. We will certainly achieve this. Today, through Mann ki Baat, I felt like expressing these myriad of thoughts.