Celebrate eco-friendly Ganeshotsav: PM Modi

Asking people to celebrate eco-friendly Ganeshotsav whole-heartedly with great enthusiasm and fervour, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that the festival has publicly become an effective medium in promoting a spirit of ‘social awakening, integration, amity and equality among the masses’.

” I urge all of you to celebrate Ganesh Utsav with great enthusiasm and fervour whole heartedly but insist on keeping these celebrations eco-friendly. Right from Ganesh idol to all decorative material everything ought to be eco-friendly,’ Mr Modi said in his monthly edition of radio broadcast ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

The celebration of Ganesh Utsav publicly had become an effective medium in promoting a spirit of social awakening, integration, amity and equality among the masses besides projecting a sense of dedication and festivity in them, Mr Modi said.

During British rule, the period when there was a need for people to get united in the fight against them , ‘these festivals, by breaking the barriers of casteism and communalism served the purpose of uniting all,’ he said, adding that such events gained more popularity with the passage of time.

All families in that street collectively organise these pandals and this was an excellent chance for the youth wherein they can learn qualities of leadership and organisation and inculcate these in themselves, he said.

Mr Modi said the tradition of publicly celebrating Ganesh Utsav was initiated with the efforts of Lok Manya Tilakji.

The Prime Minister laid emphasis on improving the quality of governance in the country and said time has come to say ‘Suraaj is our birth right’.

Quoting legendary freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s famous slogan ‘Swaraj is our birth right’, he said in the context of ‘New India’, it is now high time to lay clear emphasis on good governance and say that “Suraaj is our birth right”.

“Lokmanya Tilak evoked self- confidence amongst our countrymen and gave the slogan “Swaraj is our birth right and I shall have it. Today is the time to say that Good Governance is our birth right and we will have it,” Mr Modi asserted.

“Every Indian should have access to good governance and positive results of development. It is the factoring in of this outreach that will create a New India,” he said.

Mr Modi also paid rich tributes to freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad and said his “passion” for the country and his bravery will country to inspire Indians.

The Prime Minister also said that the teachings of saints continue to inspire millions of countrymen in the fight against social evils.

After a good rainfall being received in North India, Mr Modi said news of abundant rainfall has been steadily coming in — excessive in some of the places some places and lean in some.

‘The vastness and diversity of India, in fact, at times even rains play hide and seek through partiality laced likes and dislikes. But why should we blame the rains! After all it was humankind that chose the path of conflict with nature and consequently earned her periodic wrath,’ he said, adding that it was collective responsibility to become protector and conserver of Nature.

Narrating the story of human resilience from Thailand wherein a flooded Thai cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach were trapped for more 18 days and then evacuated safely, Mr Modi said, ‘At each level, the sense of responsibility displayed in the rescue mission was amazing.’

He said everyone got involved in the rescue of 12 young football players and their coach like a team. ‘While everyone was struggling, the whole humanity came together.’

‘Different sense of perspectives came together and displayed responsibility. Everyone’s restrained behavior is a lesson for all,’ he said.

‘The sense of responsibility and commitment, prevailing at every level was astonishing. The government, their parents, family members, media, citizens of that country, each one of them displayed an awe-inspiring sense of peace and patience. All of them came together as a team to accomplish their mission. I feel the self-control exercised by each one of them in conduct is worth understanding and emulating,’ he said.

Paying homage to famous poet Gopal Das Neeraj, who passed away recently, Mr Modi said, ‘ He always exuded hope, faith, resolve confidence. We can draw a lot of inspiration from him.’

‘Neeraj ji was blessed with a special quality… it was a combination of hope, faith, a firm resolve and self-confidence. Every word of Neeraj ji’s work can instill a lot of strength & inspiration in us Indians,’ he said.

Usually, the months of July and August are very important for farmers and the youth, Mr Modi said. ‘July is the month when the youth step into a new phase of life, where the focus shifts from questions and veers towards cut-offs,’ he said.

He urged youths especially the neo-college goers to focus on learning new skills but also counseled them to be calm and enjoy inner peace.

This is the time young students move out of schools and join colleges and the youths become their own ‘sarthis (self motivators and guide)’, Mr Modi said.

“Be calm, enjoy your inner peace,” he said. To move out of home, out of own village and to move away from “protected environment” has its own excitement as this is the time young people take first step to give ‘new direction’ to their lives, the Prime Minister said.

Referring to works and achievements of younger generation in various parts of the country, Mr Modi said youth are contributing towards creating a ‘New India’.

Wishing all the young people about to begin a new innings, said ‘Young people who leave their homes for the sake of studies should discover their new places, know more about the people, language, culture and tourism facets related to them.’

He urged them to keep learning something new, such as newer skills and languages. “Leaving home for the first time, moving out of one’s village, coming out of a protective environment amounts to taking charge of the course of one’s life. This multitude of young people leave their homes for the first time to chart a new direction for their lives. Some students might have joined their respective colleges and some must be about to join. All I would like to say to you is ‘Be calm, enjoy life, seek inner happiness in life’,” he said.

Mr Modi also reminded the youngsters that – “There is no alternative to books, one has to study, yet one’s bent of mind should be towards discovering new things”.

The Prime Minister hailed the achievements of number of young achievers including an Ahmedabad-based auto rickshaw driver’s daughter Afreen Sheikh and said such episodes always inspire and engergise him.

“Any commendable incident from any part of the country infuses my heart with energy and inspires me,” he said, making a special reference to the recent academic achievement of “Bitiya Afreen Sheikh of Ahmedabad, whose father drives an auto rickshaw”.

Ms Afreen recently came out with flying colours in GSEB SSC exams scoring a 98.31 per cent marks.

Besides Afreen Sheikh, he also hailed the achievements of the likes of Asharam Choudhury a student from an extremely poor family in Madhya Pradesh – who “overcame life’s many challenges” to achieve success.

“In his maiden attempt, he cracked the entrance exam for MBBS at AIIMS, Jodhpur. His father earns his daily bread by waste-picking. I congratulate him on his success. There are many such instances of students from deprived families,” Mr Modi said.

He also mentioned about Prince Kumar of Delhi, whose father is a DTC bus driver and Abhay Gupta of Kolkata who studied on foot-paths under street lights.

This only exemplifies sheer determination and perseverance, the Prime Minister said and maintained these will stand out to be beacons of inspiration to others.

He also spoke about Nagpur-based Khushi, whose father is a school bus driver, Karthik of Haryana, whose father is a watchman or Ramesh Sahu of Jharkhand, whose father is a brick-kiln labourer and also Gurgaon’s ‘divyang angel’ Anushka Panda, who suffers from a hereditary disorder called spinal muscular atrophy. “… all of them overcame each and every obstacle through their firm resolve and zeal, attaining success for the world to see,” the Prime Minister said.

Mr Modi said two IT Professionals from Rae Bareilly Yogesh Sahu and Rajneesh Bajpayee have made a unique attempt to develop a SmartGaonApp by utilising their professional skills.

The App is not only connecting the villagers from Taudhakpur in Rae Bareilly with the whole world but now they can obtain any information on their own mobile phones and village chief, District Magistrate and CDO have joined in to create awareness amongst the masses.

‘This App is actually bringing in a Digital Revolution in the village, with the help of this App, it has since become easier to record, track and monitor developmental work being done in the village. This App contains phone directory, News section, events list, health centre and information centre of the village, he said .

Mr Modi said the striking thing is and that is the young man living in America adhering to that country’s life-style and ideology, knows the finer details and challenges about his village and still is emotionally attached to it. ‘A sense of belonging towards the village and towards one’s roots and also a spirit to show and do something is naturally there in each and every Indian,’ he said.

Mr Modi congratulated ‘India’s brave daughter and a farmer daughter’ Hima Das who made history by winning the gold medal in the 400-meter race in the Junior Under-20 World Athletics Championship in Finland.

Among others, he hailed the achievements of Ekta Bhyan, who won the gold and bronze medals in World Para Athletics Grand Prix 2018 held in Tunisia. ‘Her achievement is all the more special because she has made the imposing challenges in her life the key to her success,’ Mr Modi said.

He also congratulated Yogesh Qathunia, who won the gold medal in the discus throw in Para Athletics Grand Prix in Berlin for ‘fortitude and passion’.


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