New Delhi, Dec 30 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked the people to seek “loftier goals” with “renewed zeal” in the coming year as he recalled the various strides India made in 2018.
Delivering his last ‘Mann Ki Baat’ address of 2018, which was the 51st edition of the monthly radio programme, the Prime Minister summed up the year’s achievements in the field of economy, social sector, solar energy, climate change, sports and others, saying it could happen because of the collective efforts of the people.
“Whether it is the life of a person, life of a nation, or the lifespan of a society, inspiration is the basis of progress,” Modi said, appealing for renewed zeal and loftier goals to “change oneself and the country too.”
Asserting that the country has taken strides in the area of poverty alleviation at a record pace, the Prime Minister said it has also seen unprecedented improvement in the “ease of doing business” rankings and noted that world institutions have acknowledged India’s growth.
Listing the achievements of the government in 2018, he said: 2018 saw launching of world’s biggest health insurance scheme ‘Ayushman Bharat’; in honour of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India witnessed the unveiling of the tallest statue in the world, ‘Statue of Unity’; electricity reached each and every village of the country; the ease of doing business in India improved notably; on the 75th anniversary of Azad Hind government, a Tricolour was unfurled at Delhi’s Red Fort for the first time, and the highest United Nations Environment Award ‘Champions of the Earth’ was conferred on India.
Modi said the country’s self-defence mechanism got further reinforced and that it was during this year that India successfully accomplished the nuclear triad, which means India is now armed with nuclear capabilities in sea, land and sky.
He said the Swachcha Bharat Scheme and sanitation coverage have been rapidly advancing towards crossing the 95 per cent mark and dedicated the success to the people.
He also listed opening of India’s first multi-modal terminal on the Ganga river in Varanasi and Sikkim’s first airport as major achievements.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that India clinched a large number of medals in Asian Games and performed very well in Para Asian Games and cricket too.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the tradition of Kumbh Mela and celebration of Republic Day on January 26.
“The world famous Kumbh Mela is also a huge medium of self-discovery, where every visitor experiences a unique feeling and learns to look at the worldly things from a spiritual perspective. This is expected to have a footfall from more than 150 countries, the spirituality of Kumbh spreading India’s splendour throughout the world,” he said.
He said this year the country will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.
“South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is going to grace the Republic Day celebrations as chief guest. Mahatma Gandhi and South Africa shared an unbreakable bond,” he said remembering former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.
The Prime Minister also called on people to give importance to positive news and make positivity “viral” instead of dwelling on negative news.
Modi referred to certain news and opinion websites like thebetterindia.com, and yourstory.com, which, he said, write about “inspiring lives” and are “infusing more sensitivity into society” through their stories.
“Can we join hands in one endeavour?.. Let us share such websites among ourselves. Let’s come together to make positivity viral. Spreading negativity is fairly easy. But some really good work is being done around us in our society,” he said.
Conveying his greetings for Lohri, Pongal, Makar Sankranti, Uttarayan, Magh Bihu, Maaghi Purnima, he said, all the festivals may carry different names, the underlying or inherent feeling of celebrating them is singular.
Paying his obeisance to Guru Gobind Singh, the Prime Minister said he was a divine figure full of heroism, valour, courage, sacrifice and devotion.