Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation through the 73rd episode of his radio programme 'Mann ki Baat' on Sunday morning. The first one for this year, Modi spoke on a bouquet of subjects such as the vaccination drive, violence that erupted on 26 January in the national capital between protesting farmers and the Delhi police, increasing participation of women in India's workforce and Indian cricket team's famous win in Australia, among other things.
The programme was live on All India Radio, Doordarshan and the Narendra Modi mobile app at 11 am, and comes a day before finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is scheduled to release the Union Budget 2021.
The radio programme is broadcast on the last Sunday of every month. Here are the major highlights from Sunday's episode of 'Mann Ki Baat':
On India's vaccination drive
India has been the fastest country in the world to inoculate 3 million people during its vaccination drive. Speaking about it the prime minister said, "The 'made in India' vaccine is a symbol of India’s self-reliance; it is also a symbol of her self-pride."
He said, "India's vaccination programme is turning out to be exemplary to the world. We are vaccinating our citizens faster than anywhere in the world. In 15 days, India vaccinated 30 lakh corona-warriors whereas it took America 18 days and Britain 36 days to achieve the same feat."
On Republic Day Violence
The violence during the farmers tractor rally left one farmer dead and several police officials injured. PM Modi said, "The country was saddened by the insult to the tricolor on the 26th of January in Delhi."
On India's win in Australia
India's win this month in Australia was historic and was much talked about, drawing praise from all quarters. Calling the win inspirational, PM Modi said, "This month, there has been very good news from the cricket pitch too. Our cricket team, after initial setbacks made a grand comeback, winning the series in Australia. The hard work and teamwork of our players is inspirational."
On India's 75th Independence day
Pm Modi said,"This year, India is going to commence the celebration of 75 years of her Independence – Amrit Mahotsav. This is an excellent time to explore places associated with those heroes on account of whom we attained freedom."
Initiative for young writers
PM Modi said that the government was starting an initiative for young writers called 'India@75'. He said, "This will encourage young writers of all states and of all languages. You can learn more about this initiative on the ministry of eduction website."
On women achievers
Swati Rathore became the first woman to lead the fly past during the Republic Day parade. Lauding the efforts of women taking lead in India, the prime minister said, "You must have witnessed a few days ago, that four women pilots from India took command of a non-stop flight from San Francisco, America to Bangalore.You must have also observed this time in the 26th January parade, where two women officers of the Indian Air Force created a new history. Whatever be the area, the participation of women of the country is continuously on the rise."
On 'Road Safety Month'
PM Modi said, "From January 18 to February 17 we are observing 'Road Safety Month'. We should become active stakeholders to reduce road accidents and save lives. The goals with which we started 2021, we all have to work to fulfil them together."