Invoking his government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said self-reliance is not just a government policy but a national spirit. “When every countryman takes pride, every countryman connects; self-reliant India doesn’t remain just an economic campaign but becomes a national spirit,” said Modi as he mentioned a series of Made in India achievements — from fighter plane Tejas to vaccines — in his monthly radio address Mann ki Baat.
Making a pitch for rainwater harvesting, Modi announced the “Catch The Rain” campaign as part of which he urged the citizens to conserve rainwater for 100 days during monsoons.
With most areas of the country expected to start receiving rain in May-June, the PM asked the people to start preparations for rainwater harvesting. “We shall have to understand our collective responsibilities with regard to water. Can we right away start a 100-day campaign for the sake of cleaning up water sources around us and conserving rainwater? With this very thought in mind, in a few days from now, Jal Shakti Abhiyan ‘Catch The Rain’ is being initiated by the Jal Shakti Ministry,” Modi said.
Continuing with his Atmanirbhar Bharat pitch, Modi spoke about applying science in day-to-day life, raised the mantra of ‘Lab to Land’ and mentioned several examples of how people are applying scientific principles to create better products. “When every citizen of the country will spread the spirit of science in his life and in every field avenues of progress will open up, the country will become self-reliant too.”
But with water remaining the dominant theme of his Mann Ki Baat, Modi read out letters on water storage techniques, shared how locals have found ways to rejuvenate water bodies and signaled what needs to be done in this regard. “We shall get existing rain water harvesting systems repaired, clean up lakes and ponds in villages, remove impediments in the way of water flowing into water sources; thus we shall be able to conserve rainwater to the maximum,” he said.