On 23rd February, PM Shri Narendra Modi in its 62nd edition of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ shared his exprience of his recent visit to ‘Hunar Haat’ in Delhi. He said that nearly three lakh artisans have gained opportunities of employment through ‘Hunar Haat’. Here, we are publishing excerpts of the address for our esteemed readers.
My dear countrymen, I am fortunate to have got an opportunity once again to greet citizens from Kutch to Kohima, Kashmir to Kanyakumari; in fact across the length & breadth of the country. Namaskar to all of you.
Reflecting on the expanse & diversity of our land, revering them fills each & every Indian with a sense of pride. And an opportunity to experience this varied diversity is one that touches the heart, filling it up with joy; it is a flower that radiates inspiration. A few days ago, at a small place at the Hunar Haat in Delhi, I witnessed hues of our country’s diverse expanse, cultures, traditions, cuisines & the warmth of emotions.
As a matter of fact the repertoire comprising traditional attires, handicrafts, carpets, utensils, Bamboo & brass products, Phulkari of Punjab, exotic leatherwork of Andhra Pradesh, beautiful paintings from Tamilnadu, brass products of Uttar Pradesh, Bhadohi carpets, copper work of Kutch, a number of musical instruments & innumerable stories; the vivid mosaic of pan- Indian art & culture was truly unique. The stories of the artisans’ perseverance, zeal & love for their skill are equally inspiring as well.
Listening to a divyang woman at the Hunar Haat was a source of fulfillment. She told me that earlier she used to sell paintings on the pavement. Her life changed after she connected with Hunar Haat.
Today, she is not only self- reliant; she has purchased a house too. At Hunar Haat, I got the opportunity to converse with many other artisans. I am told that over 50 per cent of the crafts persons participating at Hunar Haat are women.
An important piece of information connected with Meghalaya drew my attention. Very recently, biologists have discovered a new species of fish whose habitat is within the caves of Meghalaya. It is believed that this fish is the largest among aquatic species found under the surface of caves. It lives in deep, dark underground caves, with little chance of light reaching in. Scientists are perplexed at the ability of this large fish to survive in such deep caves. It is a matter of joy that our India, and especially Meghalaya is home to a rare species.
It lends a new facet to India’s bio-diversity. We are surrounded by many such mysteries, which are still undiscovered. To discover such a phenomenal enigma calls for fierce detective passion.
The great Tamil poetess Avvaiyar writes: Kattat Kemaavoon Kalladaru Udgadvu, Kaddat Kamiyan Adva Kalladar Olaaadu.
Our biodiversity too is a unique treasure for the entire human kind. We have to preserve it, conserve it & explore further.
My dear countrymen, the beautiful valleys of Ladakh witnessed a momentous event on the 31st of January 2020, for History was made when an Indian Air Force AN-32 aircraft took off from Leh’s Kushok Bakula Rimpoche Airport. A mixture of 10% Indian Bio-jet fuel was used in this flight and this was the first time that this mix was used in both engines.
Not just that, but the airport from which this plane took off from Leh is not only one of the highest altitude airports in India but also in the world! Notably, the bio-jet fuel is prepared from non-edible tree borne oil. It is procured from various tribal areas of India. These efforts will not only reduce carbon emissions but may also reduce India’s dependence on crude oil imports.
My dear countrymen, the entrepreneurship of women and daughters of our country, their courage, are a matter of pride for each one of us. We find many such examples around us which illustrate the manner in which our daughters are breaking age old shackles and attaining new heights. I would particularly like to share with you, the achievement of twelve-year-old daughter Kamya Karthikeyan. Kamya, at the age of just twelve years, has conquered Mount Aconcagua. This is the highest peak of the Andes Mountains in South America, which is about 7000 meters high.
Every Indian will be touched by the fact that at the beginning of this month, when Kamya conquered the peak, the first thing she did was to hoist our tricolour there. I have also been told that Kamya, who has made the country proud, is now on a new mission, which is called ‘Mission Saahas’. Under this she is trying to conquer the highest peaks of all the continents. Also, under this mission she will also be skiing on North and South poles.
I wish Kamya all the best for ‘Mission Saahas’. A Nation that is fit, will always be a nation that is a hit. By the way the oncoming months are very opportune for adventure sports. The geography of India is such that it provides many opportunities for adventure sports in our country. On the one hand, we have high mountains, on the other, there is a desert spread far and wide. Similarly on the one hand we have a network of dense forests, on the other, there is an infinite expanse of the sea.
Therefore, I make a special appeal to all of you to visit the place of your choice, pick up the activity of your interest and ensure integrating of your life with adventure. Shouldn’t there always be adventure in life? And on top of that friends, after knowing the success story of our twelve-year-old daughter Kamya, you will be astonished, once you hear the success story of 105-year-old Bhagirathi Amma….
Our 105 year old Bhagirathi Amma, also gives us this inspiration. Now you would be wondering, who Bhagirathi Amma is! Bhagirathi Amma lives in Kollam in Kerala. She lost her mother when she was very young. Soon after her marriage at a young age, she lost her husband as well. But Bhagirathi Amma did not let go of her courage, did not lose her spirit.
She had to quit school before she was 10-years-old. She restarted her school education at the age of 105! She started studying again!In spite of her advanced age, Bhagirathi Amma wrote her level 4 exam…and then eagerly awaited her results. She scored 75 percent in her exams. Not just that, she scored cent per cent marks in Mathematics. Amma now wants to continue her studies; wants to appear for higher exams. It’s obvious that people like Bhagirathi Amma are the strength of this country; a great source of inspiration for all of us. Today I specially salute Bhagirathi Amma.
Friends, our courage, our determination during adverse circumstances in life can help us completely alter the situation. Recently, I read one such story in the media, which I would surely like to share with you. This is the story of Salman who lives in Hamirpur village of Moradabad. Salman is divyang by birth. He is unable to stand on his feet.
Despite this hardship, he hasn’t lost hope, and decided to start his own business. On top of that, he resolved to help other divyang people people too. And soon enough, Salman started manufacturing slippers and detergent in his village itself. And in no time, 30 divyang people joined him. Do also note, that while Salman himself found it difficult to walk, he decided to manufacture slippers, that help others walk easily.
The important thing is that Salman trained his divyang colleagues himself. Now all of them jointly not only manufacture the products, but also market them. By dint of their hard work, they not only ensured employment for themselves, but also turned their venture into a profit-making one. Today, all of them together manufacture 150 pairs of slippers a day.
Not just that, this year Salman has resolved to provide employment to 100 more such divyang mates. I salute their courage and their enterprise. Recently the festival of Maha Shivaratri was celebrated throughout the country.
Friends, along with Mahashivaratri, now the splendour of spring will keep blooming day by day. In the coming days, we will celebrate Holi and soon after that, Gudi Padva will be celebrated. The festival of Navaraatri is also associated with spring. Ram Navami will also be celebrated. Festivals and celebrations are an inseparable part of the social fabric of our country. Every festival has a hidden social message which binds not just the society, but the entire country into a spirit of unity. After Holi, from the Chaitra Shukla Pratipada, the Indian Vikrami New year also begins. For that too, please accept my greetings in advance.
Many many thanks. Namaskaar.