Mann Ki Baat: PM Modi says India proves its leadership by making African Union a full member of G20 forum

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that India has proved the mettle of her leadership during the recently held G20 Leaders' Summit by making the African Union a full member of the G20. Addressing the nation in his Mann Ki Baat programme on Akashvani, Mr. Modi said the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor announced during the Summit is going to become the basis of world trade for hundreds of years to come. He exuded pride that history will always remember that this economic corridor was initiated on Indian soil. He compared it with the Silk Route which was a major medium of business and trade when India was very prosperous.

Mr Modi added that the venue of Delhi G20 - Bharat Mandapam - has turned out to be a celebrity in itself. He appreciated that people are taking selfies with it and posting them on social media with pride.

Prime Minister made a special mention of the way India's youth power associated itself with the G20. He spoke about the ‘G20 University Connect Programme’ which is going to be held in Delhi. Through this programme, lakhs of university students across the country will connect with each other. Many prestigious institutions like IITs, IIMs, NITs, and Medical Colleges will also participate in it. Prime Minister asked college students to watch this program to be held on 26th September and join it. He said he looks forward to communicating with college students during the programme.

Mr Modi noted that the fascination towards India has risen a lot in the last few years, especially since the G20 Summit. He said that more than one lakh delegates came to India for the G20. Saying that World Tourism Day is being observed on the 27th of this month, Mr Modi said employment generation is a very big aspect of tourism. He further drove home the point that the Tourism sector generates maximum employment with minimum investment. He added that during G20, foreign delegates got acquainted with the diversity of the country and the different traditions,  cuisines, and heritage. He said that the experiences that the delegates have carried back with them will further expand tourism.

Prime Minister expressed happiness that the number of world heritage sites in India is continuously rising. Shantiniketan and the Hoysala temples of Karnataka have been declared world heritage sites recently. Mr Modi congratulated all the countrymen for this wonderful achievement. Recalling his visit to Shanti Niketan in 2018, Mr Modi said Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore had been associated with Shanti Niketan.

Mr. Modi said the Hoysala temples of Karnataka are known for their excellent architecture of the 13th century. He said the recognition from UNESCO   is also an honour to the Indian tradition of temple building. The total number of World Heritage Properties in India has now reached 42. Prime Minister said it is India's endeavor to ensure that more and more historical and cultural places get recognized as World Heritage Sites. He urged people to observe the diversity of India whenever they visit a new place, understand the culture of different States, and visit Heritage Sites.

Prime Minister said the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 is another feat of the country.  He said people across the nation were waiting with anticipation when the lander of Chandrayaan-3 was about to land on the Moon. He highlighted that more than 80 lakh people watched this event on ISRO's YouTube Live Channel which is a record in itself. He said this while conveying the deep attachment of crores of Indians to Chandrayaan-3. Mr Modi said that a quiz competition is underway named - ‘Chandrayaan-3 Mahaquiz’. So far, more than 15 lakh people have participated in this competition being held on the MyGov portal. This is the largest participation in any quiz after the launch of MyGov. Prime Minister urged people to participate in the quiz with six more days to go.

Mr Modi was pleased to note that a 21-year-old girl from Germany has become popular on Instagram singing Indian songs. He said Kasmi has never been to India, but she is a fan of Indian music. He said her interest in Indian music is very inspiring. He praised her saying she has not stopped from making extraordinary achievements despite being blind since birth. He lauded her for learning to play the tabla and singing in many Indian languages including Sanskrit, Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, and Assamese.

Prime Minister stated that education is always seen as a service in India. He mentioned how some youth of Uttarakhand are working for the education of children with the spirit of service. These youth in the Nainital district have started a unique ‘Ghoda Library’ for children. The biggest feature of this library is that books are reaching children even in the most remote areas, and the service is absolutely free. Till now, 12 villages of Nainital have been covered under this.

Mr Modi also spoke about a similar effort in Hyderabad. He praised 11 year old Akarshana Satish for running seven libraries for children. Akarshana got her inspiration two years ago when she went to a cancer hospital with her parents. Her father had gone there to help the needy and the children there asked her for 'Colouring Books'. Touched by this, Akarshana started collecting books from her neighbourhood, relatives, and friends for the children. Around six thousand books are now available in the seven libraries that she has opened so far at different places for needy children. Mr Modi remarked that in this era of Digital Technology and E-Books, books still play the role of a good friend in people’s lives. He said children should be motivated to read books.

On the topic of wildlife conservation, the Prime Minister said a commendable rise has been observed in the numbers of lions, tigers, leopards and elephants in the past few years. He said many efforts are going on continuously to save animals living on this planet. He cited one such example in Pushkar, Rajasthan where Sukhdev Bhatt and his team ‘Cobra’ are working together to save wild animals. A large number of people are involved in this team, who reach the spot on just a call and get involved in their mission. The team has saved the lives of more than 30 thousand venomous snakes till now. It is also involved in the service of ailing animals. The Prime Minister highlighted the example of auto driver M. Rajendra Prasad who has been engaged in the service of pigeons for the last 25-30 years in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Mr Prasad has more than 200 pigeons in his house and takes full care of every need of the birds like food, water, and health.

Mr Modi said Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal is the period of duty for every citizen of the country. He spoke about the people of Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh where more than 70 villages have united to revive River Sot. Mr Modi said the people of Sambhal have resolved to bring back Sot River to life. In December last year, more than 70 Gram Panchayats together started the work of rejuvenation of the Sot River. In just the first six months of the year itself, these people had restored more than 100 kilometres of the river.  People there have also planted more than 10 thousand bamboo saplings on the banks of the river so that her banks remain completely safe. More than thirty thousand Gambusia fish have also been released into the river water so that mosquitoes do not breed.  The Prime Minister also hailed West Bengal’s Shakuntala Sardar who has become an inspiration for many other women. Shakuntala is a resident of Shatanala village of Jangal Mahal and her family used to earn their livelihood by working as labourers. Shakuntale turned her fortune around by making beautiful designs on 'Sal' leaves.  She is also working on imparting training to many women now.


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