Mann Ki Baat: PM Modi Says Success Of India's COVID Vaccination Drive Shows Nation's Capability

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday addressed the nation on the 82nd edition of his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat' today. The address comes after India registered a landmark feat of administering more than 100 crore doses of the Coronavirus vaccines.

Beginning his 'Mann Ki Baat' address, PM Modi greeted citizens with ‘koti-koti namaskar’ as "after crossing the 100 crore vaccine doses, the country is surging ahead with a new zeal; renewed energy. The success of our vaccine programme displays the capability of India…manifests the might of our collective endeavour".

He added, "I had firm faith, since I am well acquainted with the capabilities of my country and her people. I knew that our healthcare workers would leave no stone unturned in the vaccination of our countrymen. Our health workers, through their tireless efforts and resolve, set a new example… they established a new benchmark in service to humanity through innovation and sheer determination. There are innumerable instances about them that convey how they crossed all hurdles and provided the security shield to the maximum number of people".

The Prime Minister interacted with Poonam Nautiyal, a healthcare worker who hails from Uttarakhand's Bageshwar and has contributed towards making India's vaccination a success.

They spoke about her team's efforts in inoculating people along with hurdles she faced on the way to the same.

Drone Technology

Addressing the nation, PM Modi also spoke about the vast spectrum of drone usage and its capabilities.

"India is one of the first countries in the world, which is preparing digital records of land in its villages with the help of drones. India is working extensively on using drones for transportation. Whether it is farming in the village or delivery of goods at home; Providing help in emergency or monitoring law and order; it is not long before we will see drones being deployed for all these needs of ours," he mentioned. 

He stated how Drones are also playing their role in the Covid vaccine campaign as seen in in Manipur, where vaccines were delivered via a drone to an island. Telangana has also done trials for vaccine delivery by drone.

Talking about India's new drone policy, he said: "This policy has been formulated according to the present and future prospects related to drones. With this, you will neither have to be entangled in the web of multiple forms anymore nor will you have to pay as much fees as before. I am happy to inform you that after the introduction of the new drone policy, foreign and domestic investors have invested in many drone start-ups. Many companies are also setting up manufacturing units".

"The Army, Navy and Air Force have also placed orders worth more than Rs 500 crores with the Indian drone companies. And this is just the beginning. We must not stop here. We have to become a leading country in Drone Technology. For this, the Government is taking all possible steps. I will also urge the youth of the country to certainly think about taking advantage of the opportunities created after the Drone Policy and come forward," he added. 

Remembering Sardar Patel & Bhagwan Birsa Munda

He also remembered Sardar Patel ahead of the iconic leader's birth anniversary on October 31. "On behalf of every listener of Mann ki Baat…and from myself…I bow to the Lauh Purush, the Iron Man. Friends, we celebrate the 31st of October as National Unity Day. It is our duty that we must associate ourselves with some activity that conveys the message of national unity," PM Modi said during 'Mann Ki Baat'.

"Friends, Sardar Sahab used to say- “We can take our country to loftier heights only through our united efforts. If we don’t have unity amongst ourselves, we will get entangled in ever new calamities”. That is, with national unity, the nation has stature and has development," he added.

The Prime Minister urged the youth to learn from the life and thoughts of Sardar Patel by reading a pictorial biography of Sardar Saheb , published by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

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He also remembered Bhagwan Birsa Munda ahead of his birth anniversary on November 15.

"Bhagwan Birsa Munda is also known as 'Dharti Aaba'. It means the father of earth. The way Bhagwan Birsa Munda fought to protect his culture, his forest, his land, it could have only been done by ‘Dharti Aaba'! He taught us to be proud of our culture and roots. The foreign rule subjected him to countless threats and applied immense pressure, but he did not relinquish the tribal culture," PM Modi said, hailing him as "one of our greatest inspirations".

United Nations Day

As the ‘United Nations Day’ is celebrated today, PM Modi recalled how India's woman power has played a large role in increasing the influence and strength of the United Nations.

"In 1947-48, when the Universal Declaration of UN Human Rights was being drafted, it was being inscribed in that Declaration "All Men are Created Equal". But a Delegate from India objected to this and then it was written in the Universal Declaration - "All Human Beings are Created Equal". This was in consonance with India's age-old tradition of Gender Equality. Did you know that Smt. Hansa Mehta was the delegate because of whom this became possible? At the same time, another delegate Smt. Lakshmi Menon had strongly put forth her views on the issue of gender equality. And not only this, in 1953, Smt. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit became the first woman President of the UN General Assembly," he mentioned.

The Prime Minister also stated that India is working on using drones for transportation, be it for delivery of goods at home or assistance during emergencies or monitoring law and order.

"Soon drones will be deployed for all such needs. Drones are being used in the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. New Drone Policy is designed according to present and future possibilities related to it," he informed.

"After the introduction of this policy, many foreign and domestic startups have invested in drone start-ups. Army, Navy, and IAF have placed orders of more than Rs 500 crore to Indian companies for drones," PM Modi added.

He further stated that India has always strived for world peace. "We are proud of the fact that India has been a part of UN peacekeeping missions continuously since the 1950s. India is also playing a leading role in addressing issues related to poverty alleviation, climate change and workers. Apart from this, India is working closely with WHO or World Health Organization to popularize Yoga and AYUSH," he noted.

Vocal For Local

Towards the end of his address, PM Modi urged citizens to shop local in the festive season amid a host of celebrations coming up next month.

Reminding people about 'Vocal For Local' initiative, he said "If you buy local, then your festival will also be illuminated and the house of a poor brother or sister, an artisan, or a weaver will also be lit up. I am sure that the campaign which we all have started together will be stronger this time during the festivals".