MBK becomes great medium to learn: PM Modi

Guwahati: Addressing the nation in the 100th episode of Mann Ki Baat on All India Radio and congratulating the listeners on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi commented that MKB becomes a great medium to learn from the qualities of others. Thanking the dedicated listeners of the program for their letters & messages over the years, Modi stated that he got emotional at the outpouring of love and asserted that the program belongs to them only.

The MKB journey began on 3 October 2014 on the festival of Vijaya Dashami. Modi expressed satisfaction that any subject which the program got associated with turned into a mass movement. He gave the examples of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Swachh Bharat movement, love for Khadi, Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and Amrit Sarovar and credited the people for the success of these movements. Modi added that when he jointly addressed MKB with the then US President Barack Obama, it became a matter of discussion all over the world.

Modi recounted that when he was the Gujarat chief minister, it was natural for him to meet and interact with the common people. However, once he became PM in 2014, he found it difficult to meet people because of rigours of security and time limits. So Modi recalled feeling empty in the initial days. He emphasised that he had not left his home fifty years ago just to be cut off from the people of his own country. MKB gave him a solution to this challenge and a way to connect with the common man. He asserted that it’s not just a program for him, but a form of worship. He stated that MKB is like a Thaal of Prasad at the feet of God. He stressed that it becomes a spiritual journey of his being and that he sees the program as a journey from the self to the collective.

Modi opined that all the people who find mention in the program are heroes. He lauded the people who have been planting trees on deserted hills & barren land, digging stepwells & ponds for water conservation, teaching underprivileged children, and those who are helping in the treatment of the poor. As the program reaches the milestone of 100th episode, Modi spoke to some of these heroes to know about their onward journey. Modi mentioned about Sunil Jaglan of Haryana and his selfie-with-daughter campaign that turned into a global campaign after he was praised in MKB. Modi also exuded pride that hundreds of inspiring stories of woman power were included in MKB.

He recalled discussing with the women of Deur village of Chhattisgarh, who run campaigns to clean village squares, roads and temples through self-help groups. He added that inspiring stories came from the tribal women of Tamil Nadu, who exported thousands of eco-friendly terracotta cups. Moreover, 20 thousand women in Tamil Nadu came together to revive the Nag river in Vellore. Modi had a chat with Manipur’s Vijayashanti Devi who makes clothes from lotus fibres. Her eco-friendly idea of hers was discussed in MKB and her work became known across the country. Vijayashanti informed that she was working with a 30 person team and her goal is to employ 100 women soon.

Modi also talked to Manzoor Ahmed, who informed about the Pencil Slates initiative in Jammu and Kashmir that is providing employment to 200 people. Venkat Murali Prasad of Visakhapatnam, Pramod of Bettiah, Santosh of Garhmukteshwar, D Prakash Rao of Odisha, Sanjay Kashyap of Jharkhand, Pradeep Sangwan of Healing Himalayas campaign etc were also mentioned in the program. Many mass movements also came into being and gained momentum. He cited the examples of the toy industry, raising awareness about Indian breed dogs, Har Ghar Tiranga campaign among others.

Incredible India movement was also discussed in the program and many people came to know about nice places. Various topics like clean Siachen, single use plastic and e-waste were broadly discussed in MKB. Finally Modi thanked the personnel of AIR who recorded the entire program with great patience. He also thanked the translators, who translated the program into different regional languages in a very short time. He also expressed gratitude towards the personnel of Doordarshan and MyGov, and also the electronic media, who telecast MKB without commercial breaks.