Script: VINIT WAHI, Senior Journalist
Concerned over the alarmingly rising number of corona cases in the country during the past few days, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi appealed to the citizens to take the covid vaccine. This can also be seen as a message in the larger context to the world where a large number of countries are going through the second wave of corona pandemic.
In fact, in the 75th episode of his popular monthly programme ‘Mann ki Baat’ over the All India Radio network, he also said modernisation in agriculture is the need of the hour as already a lot of time has been lost.
The Mann ki Baat programme saw the Prime Minister touching upon a gamut of pressing and topical issues ranging from corona to agriculture, from environment to coming festivals, and from women’s empowerment to lighthouse tourism among others.
Mr. Modi urged the people to take covid vaccine and asked them not to forget the mantra to fight this pandemic- dawayee bhi, kadhayee bhi. His appeal assumes significance as it comes at a time when while the country’s total vaccination coverage has surpassed 6 crore (60 million) at the same time there has been a sudden spike in corona cases in the recent past with fresh cases rising to about 68,000 last week, the biggest 1-Day jump since October. Recalling the month of March last year when people were asking when the vaccine would come, he said he is happy to observe how elderly people are enthusiastic about getting the vaccine and lauded the work of corona warriors saying steadfastly they endured to save the life of every citizen of the country.
The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to stress that modernisation in agriculture is the need of the hour. Asserting that adopting modern practices in farm sector is imperative, he said in every aspect of life; newness and modernisation is essential. To create new employment opportunities in the agriculture sector, to increase farmers’ income, it is equally important to adopt new alternatives along with traditional practices. The country has witnessed this during the White Revolution and “bee farming” is also emerging as one such alternative, he said.
Mr. Modi’s call for embracing modern techniques is to help bring about great changes in India’s agriculture sector and help boost farmers’ income. This will help bring in more investments and modern practices. The recently enacted legislations will allow farmers to sell their products anywhere across the country.
The Prime Minister, talking about ‘Naari Shakti’ or women’s empowerment, said it is excelling in the sports field and lauded the recent sporting feats of cricketer Mithali Raj and shuttler P V Sandhu. He also said the Mann Ki Baat programme has completed 75 episodes at a time when India is looking forward to celebrating its 75 years of independence.
The sacrifices of our great freedom fighters must inspire us to think about our duties as citizens. This is something Mahatma Gandhi talked about extensively, Mr. Modi recalled.
He also spoke about the tourism sector which has taken a severe beating due to the corona pandemic and focused on the need to develop and strengthen lighthouse tourism. He informed the country has been working towards promotion of this sector and 71 lighthouses have been identified across the country to strengthen facilities in this regard. He said museums, amphitheatre, open-air theatre, cafeteria, Children Park, eco-friendly cottages will be prepared in these lighthouses as per their capacity.
In this context, he referred to a lighthouse in Gujarat’s Jhinijhurada town in Surendra Nagar district whose unique feature is that it now stands about 100 kms away from the coastline. Not only did he talk about saving the environment, he also said we have to work hard to enrich the immense cultural heritage around us for it to be passed on to the next generation.