PM’s address in the 99th Episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on 26.03.2023
By PIB Delhi
My dear Countrymen, once again a very warm welcome to all of you in Mann Ki Baat. As we commence this discussion today, many thoughts are arising in the mind and the heart. This mutual connection through Mann Ki Baat has reached its ninety-ninth (99th) distinction. Generally, we get to hear that the turn around the ninety-ninth (99th) is very difficult. In Cricket, “Nervous Nineties” is considered a very difficult stage. But, where there is Mann Ki Baat of the people of India, the inspiration therein is something else altogether! I’m also happy that there is a lot of enthusiasm among the people of the country regarding the hundredth (100th) episode of Mann Ki Baat. I am receiving a lot of messages; even phone calls. Today, when we are celebrating the Azadi ka Amrit Kaal; moving forward with new resolutions, I’m also very eager to know your suggestions and thoughts regarding the hundredth (100th) episode of Mann Ki Baat. I am eagerly waiting for such suggestions of yours. Although, one always has to wait…this time the wait is just longer. Your suggestions and ideas will make the hundredth (100th) Mann Ki Baat on the 30th of April extremely memorable.
My dear countrymen, in Mann Ki Baat, we have mentioned thousands of people who dedicate their lives in the service of others. There are many people who spend their entire pension towards the education of daughters…some dedicate their whole life’s earnings for the environment and the living beings. In our country, selfless charity, Parmarth has been placed so high that people do not hesitate to donate their all for the happiness of others. That’s why since childhood we are narrated the sagas of Shivi and Dadhichi, who sacrificed their mortal selves.
Friends, in this era of modern medical science, organ donation has become a very important means of imparting life to someone. It is said that when a person donates one’s body after death, it creates a possibility for eight to nine people to get a new life. It is matter of satisfaction, that today awareness about Organ Donation is also rising in the country, In the year 2013, there were less than five thousand cases of organ donation in our country; but in 2022, this number has increased to more than fifteen thousand. People who have done organ donation, their families, have actually accomplished a lot of Punya!
Friends, I cherished a desire for a long time to know the Mann Ki Baat of people who do such noble deeds and share it with the countrymen as well. So today in Mann Ki Baat a lovely daughter, a father of a beautiful angel and her mother are going to join us. The father’s name is Sukhbir Singh Sandhu ji and the mother’s name is Supreet Kaur ji…this family resides in Amritsar, Punjab. After many a prayer, they were blessed with a very beautiful girl child…a doll like daughter. The people of the household lovingly named her Ababat Kaur. The connotation of Ababat is related to the service of others…it is related to ameliorating the sufferings of others. When she was only thirty nine days old, she left this world. But Sukhbir Singh Sandhu ji and his wife Supreet Kaur ji, their family took a very inspiring decision. And the decision was…Organ Donation of a daughter who was thirty nine days only. Sukhbir Singh and his wife are present with us on the phone line at this moment. Come, let’s talk to them.
Prime Minister – Sukhbir ji Namaste.
Sukhbir ji – Namaste Honorable Prime Minister. Sat Shri Akal
Prime Minister – Sat Shri Akal ji, Sat Shri Akal ji, Sukhbir ji, as I was thinking about ‘Mann Ki Baat’ today, I felt that since the matter pertaining to Ababat is so inspiring, I should listen to it straight from you, because when a daughter is born in the household, it brings along many dreams and a lot of joy… but I can also imagine how severe the pain would be if the daughter departs so soon. The way you have taken the decision, I want to know about it in its entirety.
Sukhbir ji – Sir God had given us a very beautiful child, a very lovely doll had arrived into our house. As soon as she was born, we came to know that she has a bunch of nerves in her brain due to which the size of her heart was getting bigger. So we were taken aback that the child was healthy…so beautiful and yet born with such a big problem! So, for the first 24 days the child was completely normal. Suddenly her heart stopped working completely, so we quickly took her to the hospital, where the doctors revived her, but it took time to understand what was wrong with her… such a big problem; a small child and a sudden heart attack. So we took her to PGI Chandigarh for treatment. There the child fought bravely during the treatment. But the disease was such that its treatment was not possible at such a tender age. The doctors tried a lot to revive her, if the child were to approach the six month mark, then one could have thought of operating on her. But God had something else in mind, when she was only 39 days old, the doctor said that she had suffered a heart attack again, now there was very little hope left. So we both husband and wife weepingly came to the decision that we had seen her fighting bravely again and again as if she would go away now but then she was reviving, so we felt that this child had some purpose in coming here. So when they expressed utter helplessness, both of us decided… why not donate the organs of this child. Maybe there would be light in someone else’s life! Then we contacted the administrative block of PGI and they guided us that only kidneys of such a small child can be taken. The almighty gave us the courage, it is the philosophy of Guru Nanak Saheb that guided us in this decision.
Prime Minister – In life,You have truly abided by the teachings given by the Gurus. Are you there Supreet ji? Can we talk to her?
Sukhbir ji – Yes sir.
Supreet ji- Hello.
Prime Minister – Supreet ji I offer my Pranam to you.
Supreet ji- Namaskar sir Namaskar sir, it is a matter of great pride for us that you are talking to us.
Prime Minister – You have done such a great deed and I believe that when the country will get to know of all this, many people will come forward to save someone’s life. This contribution of Ababat, indeed is very big.
Supreet ji- Sir, this too was probably a Bakshish from Guru Nanak Badshah ji that gave us the courage to take such a decision.
Prime Minister – Nothing can happen without the blessings of the Gurus.
Supreet ji – absolutely sir absolutely.
Prime Minister- Sukhbir ji, when you were in the hospital and when the doctor gave you this shocking news, even after that you and your wife took such a big decision with a calm and composed mind, it is the teachings of the Gurus that led to such an altruistic thought in the mind and in fact the meaning of Ababat in common parlance is helpful. I want to hear of the moment that this work was done.
Sukhbir ji- Sir, actually Priya ji, a family friend of ours had donated her organs and we got inspiration from her too…so at that time we felt that the body which is there would merge into the five elements. When someone gets separated forever and goes away, his body is burnt or buried, but if his organs are useful to someone, then it is a good deed and we felt more proud at that time when the doctors told us that your daughter had become the youngest donor in India whose organs had been successfully transplanted. So our heads were held high with pride that whereas we could not bring glory to our parents till this age, a small child had come and raised our name in so many days…and the bigger thing that today I am talking to you about this topic. We are feeling proud.
Prime Minister – Sukhbir ji, it is not as if only one part of your daughter is alive today. Your daughter has become an immortal traveler of the immortal saga of humanity. She is present even today through a part of her body. For this noble deed, I appreciate you, your wife, your family.
Sukhbir ji – Thank you sir
Friends, the greatest feeling behind organ donation is that someone’s life should be saved even while leaving. People who wait for organ donation know how difficult it is to pass each moment of waiting. And in such a situation, when an organ donor or a cadaver donor is found, then virtually, a form of the Almighty is seen in him. Snehlata Chaudhary, a resident of Jharkhand, was also like that who gave life to others as the Almighty would! Snehlata Chowdhary, 63, donated her heart, kidney and liver. Today in ‘Mann Ki Baat’, her son Abhijit Chowdhary is with us. Let’s hear from him.
Prime Minister – Abhijeet ji, Namaskar.
Abhijeet ji- Pranam sir.
Prime Minister- Abhijeet ji, you are the son of such a mother who gave you life in a way by giving birth to you, but even after her death, your mother gave life to many people. You Abhijeet must certainly be feeling proud as a son.
Abhijeet ji – Yes sir.
Prime Minister- Tell us a little bit about your mother, under what circumstances the decision of organ donation was taken?
Abhijeet ji – There is a small village in Jharkhand called Seraikela, where both my parents live. They used to go on a morning walk continuously for the last twenty-five years.According to her routine, she left for her morning walk at 4 in the morning. At that time a motorcyclist hit her from behind and she fell instantly due to which she suffered severe head injury. Immediately we took her to Sadar Hospital, Seraikela, where the doctor bandaged her, but she was bleeding profusely. And she had no consciousness. Immediately we took her to Tata main hospital. She underwent surgery there, after 48 hours of observation, the doctor said that there are very few chances from there on. Then we airlifted her and brought her to AIIMS Delhi. She was under treatment here for about 7-8 days. After that the observation was fine, but suddenly her blood pressure dropped a lot, after that, we came to know that she had suffered brain death. Then the doctor briefed us with the protocol about organ donation. We could not tell our father that there is something like organ donation because we felt that he would not be able to absorb that, so, We wanted to remove from his mind that something like that was going on. As soon as we told him that the matter of organ donation was going on. Then he said that no – no, this was the mother’s wish and we had to do this. We were very disappointed till the time we came to know that mummy will not be able to survive, but as soon as this organ donation discussion started, that disappointment turned to a very positive side and we entered a very positive environment. While doing that, we had counselling at 8 o’clock in the night. On the second day we did organ donation. Mummy had lofty thoughts in this matter… earlier she used to be very active in social activities such as eye-donation. Perhaps we were able to do such a big thing with that very thought in mind, and because of my father’s decision making regarding this matter, this thing became possible.
Prime Minister – How many people benefitted through the organs?
Abhijeet ji – Her heart, two kidneys, liver and both eyes were donated, so four people got their lives back and two people their eyes.
Prime Minister- Abhijeet ji, both your father and mother are entitled to a respectful bow. I salute them…your father led your family members in such a big decision, it is really very inspiring. I believe that a mother is afterall a mother. A mother is also an inspiration by herself. But the traditions that the mother leaves behind become a great strength from generation to generation. The inspiration for organ donation is reaching the whole country today through your mother. I congratulate your whole family for this sacred and great work. Thank you Abhijeet ji, and do convey our regards to your father.
Abhijeet ji – definitely, thank you
Friends, whether it is 39-day-old Ababat Kaur or 63-year-old Snehlata Chowdhary, great donors like them make us understand the importance of life. In our country today there are a large number of needy people who are waiting for an organ donor in the hope of a healthy life. It is a matter of utmost satisfaction for me that in order to make organ donation easy and to encourage it, work is being done on a uniform policy in the whole country. In this direction, it has also been decided to remove the condition of domicile of the states, that is, now the patient will be able to go to any state of the country and register for receiving the organs. The government has also decided to abolish the age limit of below 65 years for organ donation. In the midst of these efforts, I urge the countrymen that organ donors should come forward in maximum numbers. One decision of yours can save the lives of many people, can give life.
My dear countrymen, this is the time of Navratri; the time to worship Shakti. Today, the potential of India which is emerging from a new perspective, our woman power has a very big role in it. Recently, many such examples have emerged before us. You must have seen Asia’s first female loco pilot Surekha Yadav on social media. Surekha ji, setting another record, has also become the first woman loco pilot of Vande Bharat Express as well. This month, producer Guneet Monga and director Kartiki Gonsalves brought laurels to the country by winning an Oscar for their documentary, ‘The Elephant Whisperers’. Sister Jyotirmayi Mohanty, Scientist of Bhabha Atomic Research Center has also notched another achievement for the country. Jyotirmoyee has received a special award from IUPAC in the field of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Earlier this year, India’s Under-19 women’s cricket team created history by winning the T-20 World Cup. If you look at politics, a new beginning has taken place in Nagaland. In Nagaland, for the first time in 75 years, two women legislators have reached the Vidhan Sabha through their victory. One of them has also been made a minister in the Government of Nagaland, that is, for the first time the people of the state have also got a woman minister.
Friends, A few days ago, I also met those brave daughters who went to help the people of Turkey after the devastating earthquake. All these were part of the NDRF contingent.
Their courage and skills are being praised all over the world. India has also deployed a Women-only Platoon in the Peacekeeping Force under the UN Mission.
Today, the daughters of the country are raising the flag of their bravery in all the three armed forces. Group Captain Shalija Dhami has become the first woman Air Force officer to get a Command Appointment in a Combat Unit. She has a flying experience of about 3000 hours. Similarly, brave heart Captain Shiva Chauhan of the Indian Army has become the first woman officer to be posted at Siachen. Shiva will be stationed for three months in Siachen where the temperature drops to minus sixty (-60) degrees.
Friends, this list is so long that it is difficult to discuss all of them here. All such women, our daughters, are today giving energy to India and India’s dreams. This energy of women power is the oxygen of a developed India.
My dear countrymen, these days there is a lot of talk about clean energy, renewable energy all over the world. When I meet the people across the world, they certainly talk about India’s phenomenal success in this field. Especially, the speed with which India is moving forward in the field of solar energy is a big achievement in itself. The people of India have had a special relationship with the Sun for centuries. The scientific understanding we have about the power of the Sun, the traditions of worshiping the Sun, are rarely seen at other places. I am happy that today every countryperson understands the importance of solar energy and also wants to contribute towards clean energy. This spirit of ‘Sabka Prayas’ is taking India’s Solar Mission forward today. In Pune, Maharashtra, one such excellent effort has caught my attention. Here the people of MSR-Olive Housing Society have decided that they would now run things of common utility like drinking water, lift and lights in the society with solar energy only. After this everyone together in this society got solar panels installed. Today about 90 thousand kilowatt hour electricity is being generated from these solar panels every year. This is resulting in saving of about 40, 000 rupees every month. All the people of the Society are getting the benefit of this savings.
Friends, Like Pune, the people of Diu in Daman-Diu, which is a separate district, have also done a wonderful job. You must know that Diu is near Somnath. Diu has become the first district in India, which is using 100% clean energy for all day time needs. The mantra of this success of Diu is also Sabka Prayas. Once upon a time resources for power generation were a challenge. People chose solar energy as a solution to this challenge. Here solar panels were installed on barren land and many buildings. Through these panels, more electricity is being generated in Diu than what is required during the day time. Through this solar project, about 52 crore rupees have also been saved on the purchase of electricity. Due to this, the environment has also been saved a lot.
Friends, what they have done in Pune and Diu, such efforts are being made in many other places across the country. This shows how sensitive we Indians are about the environment and nature, and how our country is very alert for the future generations. I heartily appreciate all such efforts.
My dear countrymen, in our country, with the passage of time, according to the situation and circumstances, many traditions develop. These traditions increase the strength of our culture and also give it new vitality daily. A few months ago, one such tradition started in Kashi. During the Kashi-Tamil Sangamam, the centuries-old historical and cultural ties between Kashi and the Tamil region were celebrated. The spirit of ‘Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat’ gives strength to our country. When we know and learn about each other, this feeling of oneness strengthens. With this spirit of unity, ‘Saurashtra-Tamil Sangamam’ will be held in different parts of Gujarat next month. The ‘Saurashtra-Tamil Sangamam’ will run from April 17 to 30. Some listeners of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ must be wondering, what the relation of Saurashtra in Gujarat with Tamil Nadu is? Let me tell you, centuries ago many people from Saurashtra had settled in different parts of Tamil Nadu. These people are still known as ‘Saurashtri Tamil’. Even today, some glimpses of Saurashtra can be found in their food habits, lifestyle and social rituals. Many people from Tamil Nadu have written appreciative letters to me regarding this event. Jayachandran ji, who lives in Madurai, has written something very poignant. He said that – “After a thousand years, for the first time someone has thought about the Saurashtra-Tamil relations, and brought to the fore the people who settled in Tamil Nadu from Saurashtra.” Jayachandran’s words are the expression of thousands of Tamil brothers and sisters.
Friends, I would like to inform the listeners of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ about a piece of news related to Assam. This too strengthens the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat’. You all know that we are celebrating the 400th birth anniversary of Veer Lachit Borphukan ji. The brave Lachit Borphukan had liberated Guwahati from the clutches of the tyrannical Mughal Sultanate. Today, the country is getting acquainted with the indomitable courage of this great warrior. A few days ago, a campaign for essay writing based on the life of Lachit Borphukan was launched. You will be surprised to know that about 45 lakh people sent essays for this. You will also be happy to know that now it has become a Guinness Record. And the biggest thing and a matter of great happiness is that these essays that have been written and sent by the people on Veer Lachit Borphukan have been written in about 23 different languages. Among them, apart from the Assamese language, people have sent essays in languages like Hindi, English, Bangla, Bodo, Nepali, Sanskrit, and Santhali. I express my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who has been a part of this effort.
My dear countrymen, when it comes to Kashmir or Srinagar, the first picture that comes to our mind is of her valleys and Dal Lake. All of us would like to enjoy the views of Dal Lake…However, there is one more thing special about Dal Lake. Dal Lake is also known for its delicious Lotus Stems, also known as ‘Kamal Kakdi’. Lotus stems are known by different names in different places across the country. In Kashmir, they are called Nadru. The demand for Nadru of Kashmir is continuously increasing. In light of this demand, farmers cultivating Nadru in Dal Lake have formed an FPO. About 250 farmers have joined this FPO. Today these farmers have started exporting their Nadru to foreign countries. Just some time back, these farmers sent two consignments to UAE. This success is not only bringing a name to Kashmir but also it has increased the income of hundreds of farmers.
Friends, another such effort of the people of Kashmir related to agriculture is diffusing the fragrance of its success these days. You must be wondering why I am talking about the fragrance of success – Well…it is a matter of fragrance and it is a matter of aroma! There is a town ‘Bhadarwah’ in the Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir. Here, the farmers had been engaged in traditional maize cultivation for decades, but some farmers thought of doing something different. They turned to floriculture, that is, the cultivation of flowers. Today, around two and a half thousand farmers are cultivating lavender here. They have also been handheld through the Aroma Mission of the Central Government. This new cultivation has greatly increased the income of the farmers, and today, along with the lavender, the fragrance of their success is spreading far and wide.
Friends, when there is talk of Kashmir, talk of lotus, talk of flowers, talk of fragrance, then it is very natural to remember Maa Sharda who is seated on the lotus flower. A few days ago, the Grand Temple of Maa Sharda was inaugurated in Kupwara. This temple is built on the same route one would use to go to visit Sharda Peeth. The local people have helped a lot in the construction of this Temple. I congratulate the people of Jammu and Kashmir for this auspicious work.
My dear countrymen, that’s all for this edition of ‘Mann Ki Baat’. I will meet you next time in the hundredth episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’. I urge you all to send your suggestions. In this month of March, from Holi to Navratri, we have been busy with many festivals. The holy month of Ramzan has also started. The auspicious festival of Shri Ram Navami is also going to be celebrated in the next few days. After this… Mahavir Jayanti, Good Friday and Easter will also be observed. In the month of April, we also celebrate the birth anniversaries of two great personalities of India. These are two great men – Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, and Babasaheb Ambedkar. Both these great men made unprecedented contributions to eradicate discrimination from society. Today, in ‘Azadi ka AmritKaal’, we need to learn from such great personalities and take constant inspiration from them. We have to keep our duties at the forefront. Friends, at this time, cases of Corona are also rising in some places. That’s why, all of you must take precautions and be mindful of cleanliness. We will meet again next month in the 100th episode of Mann Ki Baat. Till then, I take leave of you.
Thank you, Namaskar!