PM Modi asks people to honour and celebrate rivers: ‘Mann Ki Baat’

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to commemorate World Rivers Day on Sunday and remember the importance of water in our lives.

“We commemorate and celebrate a variety of occasions. Your little sons and daughters will be able to provide you with a list of such days if you ask them. But there is one more day that we should all remember, keeping with Indian traditions,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during the 81st episode of Mann Ki Baat after wrapping up his official three-day visit to the United States.

“It is about reuniting with the traditions that have been a part of our lives for millennia. It’s World Rivers Day today,” he added. Every year on the fourth Sunday in September, World Rivers Day honours the world’s waterways. The day’s website highlights the many benefits of rivers and aims to raise public awareness and urge better stewardship of rivers around the world.

PM Modi also announced that the earnings from the ongoing special e-auction of presents he receives will go to the government’s flagship project, ‘Namami Gange.’ The government has created a separate website, pmmementos.gov.in, to showcase and e-auction memories with prices ranging from $100 to $30,000. Visitors to the site can sort the mementoes according to their price range.

“This campaign will enhance with the same enthusiasm with which you offer me presents. Cleaning rivers and making them pollution-free is a task that can be fulfilled with everyone’s help and cooperation. The Namami Gange Mission is also progressing, thanks to collective efforts, public awareness and mass activity are important factors” he added.

The Centre’s integrated conservation and rejuvenation program, Namami Gange, was started in June 2014.

Our scriptures warn against polluting rivers, said the Prime Minister, and the western half of the country, particularly Gujarat and Rajasthan, where there is a severe water deficit, has begun to follow a new custom. “As the rains begin in Gujarat, we observe Jal Jhulni Ekadashi. This means that in today’s world, catching the rain is synonymous with catching every drop of water, or Jal Jhulni.”

The Prime Minister also encouraged people to follow Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings and keep the rivers clean, saying that Gandhi worked to make cleanliness a mass movement.

During the Mann Ki Baat show last month, Prime Minister Modi highlighted Sanskrit, famous hockey player Major Dhyanchand, forays into space by young Indian entrepreneurs and India’s booming startup environment. The Prime Minister also emphasized the importance of the country’s commitment to the Swacchh Bharat, or Clean India, initiative.

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