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PM Narendra Modi to launch ‘Meri Mati Mera Desh’ campaign

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that ‘Meri Mati Mera Desh’ campaign will be launched soon ahead of Independence Day to honour the martyred men and women. Addressing the nation in his Mann Ki Baat programme on All India Radio, Mr Modi said that many programmes will be organised across the country in memory of the martyrs in the midst of the ongoing reverberations of Amrit Mahotsav. He added that special inscriptions will also be installed in lakhs of village panchayats. The Prime Minister highlighted that under Meri Mati Mera Desh campaign, ‘Amrit Kalash Yatra’ will be organised across the country. This ‘Amrit Kalash Yatra’ will reach the capital of the country, carrying soil in 7500 urns from every corner of the country. Saplings will also be brought from different parts of the country during this journey.
 
Mr Modi said ‘Amrit Vatika’ will be built near the National War Memorial by fusing the soil and saplings that would arrive in the 7500 urns. He said this ‘Amrit Vatika’ will become a grand symbol of ‘Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat’. He added that by participating in the ‘Meri Mati Mera Desh’ campaign, the nation will also take an oath to fulfill the ‘five resolves’ or ‘Panch Prana’ for the next 25 years of Amrit Kaal. He urged everyone to upload selfies on yuva.gov.in while taking the oath and holding the sacred soil of the country.
 
Mr Modi recalled that last year on Independence Day, the entire nation came together for ‘Har Ghar Tiranga Abhiyan’. He said that the Tricolour should be hoisted at every house this year as well. He added that by making these efforts, people will realise their duties, and value of freedom, and remember the innumerable sacrifices made for the freedom of the country.

Prime Minister stressed that the nation must always remember the freedom fighters. He urged countrymen to work day and night to make their dreams come true. He added that ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is just the medium to bring this hard work and collective efforts of the people to the fore.
 
Mr Modi highlighted that about two lakh programmes have been organised in the country during Amrit Mahotsav. He said ‘Writers’ Meet’ organised for Divyang writers was one such programme. The Prime Minister added that the ‘National Sanskrit Conference’ was also organised in Tirupati of Andhra Pradesh. Speaking about the menace of drugs, the Prime Minister hailed the efforts being made by people to tackle the evil. He said awareness is being spread in Jammu and Kashmir against drugs by innovative means like musical nights and bike rallies. 

He also spoke of local clubs in Chandigarh by the name of VADA – Victory Against Drug Abuse. He added that many sports groups have been formed in Punjab, which are running awareness campaigns to focus on fitness and get rid of drug addiction. He termed the increasing participation of youth in the campaign against drug abuse as very encouraging. He emphasised that ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan’ was launched on the 15th of August 2020 with the objective of keeping future generations away from drugs.  More than 11 crore people have been connected with this campaign.
 
Mr Modi stated that two weeks ago, India took huge action against drugs and destroyed 1.5 lakh kilograms of seized drugs.  He pointed out that India has also created a unique record of destroying 10 lakh kg of drugs. The cost of these drugs was more than 12 thousand crore rupees.

The Prime Minister appreciated everyone who is contributing to de-addiction. He gave the example of a village in Madhya Pradesh, Bicharpur, which is called Mini Brazil. It earned the name of ‘Mini Brazil’ as this village has become a stronghold of the rising stars of football today. The Prime Minister recounted that the journey of Bicharpur village to Mini Brazil commenced two-and-a-half decades ago. During that time, Bicharpur was infamous for illicit liquor and was in the grip of intoxication. Raees Ahmed, a former national player, and coach, recognised the talent of the youngsters there. 

He started teaching football to the youth and within a few years, football became so popular that Bicharpur village was identified with football. A programme called Football Kranti is going on in the village now. This programme has been so successful that more than 40 national and State-level players have emerged from Bicharpur. The Prime Minister expressed wonder that more than 1200 football clubs have sprung up in Shahdol and its surrounding areas.
 
On the topic of monsoons, Mr Modi noted that the past few days have been full of anxiety and hardships on account of natural calamities. He said people in many areas have had to suffer due to flooding in many rivers including River Yamuna. He said landslides have occurred in the hilly areas and the Biparjoy cyclone hit the western part of the country.
The Prime Minister stressed that these calamities brought the power of collective effort to the fore. He further stated that local people, NDRF jawans, and local administration have worked day and night to combat such calamities. He expressed pride that this spirit of Sarvajan Hitaaya is the hallmark of India as well as the strength of India.

Mr. Modi emphasised that this phase of rain is important for ‘tree plantation’ and ‘water conservation’. More than 60 thousand Amrit Sarovars have been built during the ‘Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. The work of building more than 50 thousand Amrit Sarovars is currently underway. He praised people for making novel efforts for ‘water conservation’.

He gave the example of the tribal people of Pakaria village in Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh. With the help of the local administration, the village people have converted about a hundred wells into water recharge systems. Rainwater now flows into these wells, and from the wells, the water enters the ground. This will gradually improve the groundwater level in the area. The Prime Minister said that now, all the villagers have set a target of using about 800 wells in the entire area for recharging.
 
He cited another example from Uttar Pradesh where the record of planting 30 crore trees in a single day was made a few days ago. This campaign was started by the State government, and completed by the people. The Prime Minister said such efforts are great examples of public participation as well as public awareness.
 
Mr Modi spoke about the Kanwar Yatra undertaken during Sawan month to worship Lord Shiva. He said that numerous devotees are reaching the 12 Jyotirlingas on account of Sawan these days.  He expressed happiness that the number of people reaching Banaras is also breaking records. More than 10 crore tourists are reaching Kashi every year.

The number of devotees visiting pilgrimages like Ayodhya, Mathura, and Ujjain is also increasing rapidly. Mr Modi said lakhs of poor are getting employment due to this.  He said this is the result of people’s collective cultural awakening. He added that people from all over the world are coming to India’s pilgrimage sites.

Mr Modi mentioned two Americans who had come from California to perform the Amarnath Yatra. He also spoke about a woman of French origin, Charlotte Chopin, who is a Yoga Practitioner and a Yoga Teacher. She is over a hundred years old and has been practising yoga for the last 40 years. She gives credit for her health to yoga and has become a prominent face of India’s science of yoga and its strength in the world.
 
The Prime Minister also made a mention of Ujjain where 18 painters from all over the country are making attractive picture storybooks based on the Puranas. These paintings will be made in many distinctive styles such as the Bundi style, Nathdwara style, Pahari style, and Apabhramsh style. These will be displayed in Ujjain’s Triveni Museum.
Mr. Modi also referred to a unique painting by Prabhat Singh Modbhai Barhat, who is an artist from Rajkot. This painting was based on an incident in the life of Chhatrapati Veer Shivaji Maharaj. The artist had depicted Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj going to visit his Kuldevi ‘Tulja Mata’ after the coronation.

The Prime Minister spoke of Suresh Raghavan from Vadavalli in Tamil Nadu, who decided to preserve the information about plants and animals through his paintings. Suresh Raghavan documents the information by making paintings of varied Flora and Fauna. Till now, he has made paintings of dozens of such birds, animals, and orchids, which are on the verge of extinction.

During the Mann Ki Baat programme, the Prime Minister also mentioned the rare and ancient artefacts which were recently returned to India by the US. He said these artefacts are 2500 to 250 years old and are related to different regions of the country. 

These have been made using Terracotta, Stone, Metal, and Wood. The Prime Minister said that there is a beautiful sandstone sculpture of the 11th century among these, an artwork of an ‘Apsara’ dancing. Many idols of the Chola era are also part of these. The idols of Devi and Lord Murugan date back to the 12th century and are associated with the rich culture of Tamil Nadu. Nearly a thousand-year-old bronze statue of Lord Ganesha has also been returned to India. Mr Modi said that an idol of Uma-Maheshwara in Lalitasan has been returned. It is said to be from the 11th century, in which both deities are seated on Nandi. Two stone idols of Jain Tirthankaras have also returned to India.
 
The Prime Minister thanked the US government for returning the valuable heritage of India. He said that many artefacts were returned to India even when he visited the US in 2016 and 2021. He expressed confidence that with such efforts, awareness will increase across the country to stop the theft of India’s cultural heritage. Mr Modi made note of a letter written by the women of Niti Mana valley of Chamoli district in Uttarakhand regarding ‘Bhojpatra’. He said these women had presented him with a unique artwork on Bhojpatra in October last year. 

He said that since ancient times, scriptures and books have been preserved on these Bhojpatras. Mahabharata was also written in the Bhojpatra. He said that these women of Uttarakhand are making very beautiful artefacts and souvenirs from the Bhojpatra. During his visit to Mana village, the Prime Minister appreciated this unique effort and appealed to the tourists to buy as many local products as possible. Mr Modi was pleased to note that today, the products of Bhojpatra are very popular among pilgrims and tourists.  He also expressed happiness that the State government is imparting training to women to make novel products from Bhojpatra.

The Prime Minister talked about another letter written by the Muslim women who have recently returned from the Haj pilgrimage. He said that more than four thousand women performed Hajj without any Mehram, male companion. He termed this as a huge transformation and expressed his gratitude to the Government of Saudi Arabia. He said women coordinators were specially appointed for women going on Hajj without Mehram.

He remarked that the changes that have been made in the Hajj Policy in the last few years are being highly appreciated. He added that the blessings given by the people who have returned from Hajj pilgrimage are very inspiring.

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