Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 20 May 2022 4.23 PM IST

Modi talks about fight against COVID, remembers Group Captain Varun Singh in Mann Ki Baat


NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday once again cautioned people against the continuing threat of Covid-19 and new variant Omicron, as he also paid tributes to Group Captain Varun Singh who was the pilot of the ill-fated chopper which crashed killing India's first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 13 others.

In his radio program Mann Ki Baat, the Prime Minister Modi said it is the strength of the people and because of everyone's effort that India could fight the biggest pandemic in a 100 years.

"We stood by each other like a family in every difficult moment. To help someone in one’s locality or city... everyone tried to do more than what one could have done. If we compare the vaccination figures of the world today with those of India, it feels that the country has handled such an unprecedented task... how big a goal has been achieved," the Prime Minister said.

"Crossing the 140 million vaccine dose mark is an achievement of each and every Indian. This shows the trust of every Indian in the system; shows trust in science and in scientists; and is also a testament to the willpower of we Indians who are fulfilling our responsibilities towards the society," he said.

He however cautioned citizens against the continuing threat of the pandemic, and said, "We also have to keep in mind that a new variant of Corona has already knocked at the door. Our experience of the last two years is that our own effort as a citizen is very important to defeat this global pandemic."

"In such a situation, self-awareness, self-discipline is in itself the country’s strength in fighting against this variant of Corona. It is this very collective strength of ours that will defeat Corona; with this very sense of responsibility we have to enter into 2022," he said.

The Prime Minister also remembered Group Captain Varun Singh, and said, "In that accident, we lost the country's first CDS, General Bipin Rawat and his wife along with many brave hearts. Varun Singh also fought death bravely for many days, but then he also left us."

The Prime Minister also quoted from his letter to his school principal after winning the Shaurya Chakra this year.

"After reading this letter, the first thought that came to my mind was that even after reaching the pinnacle of success, he did not forget to nurture his roots. Second - that when he had time to celebrate, he showed concern for the generations to come. He wanted that the lives of the students of the school that he studied in should also be a celebration," Modi said.

The Prime Minister quoted from Group Captain Singh's letter, "It is ok to be mediocre. Not everyone will excel at school and not everyone will be able to score in the 90s. If you do, it is an amazing achievement and must be applauded. However, if you don't, do not think that you are meant to be mediocre. You may be mediocre in school but it is by no means a measure of things to come in life".

"Never lose hope. Never think that you cannot be good at what you want to be. It will not come easy, it will take sacrifice of time and comfort. I was mediocre, and today, I have reached difficult milestones in my career. Do not think that 12th board marks decide what you are capable of achieving in life. Believe in yourself and work towards it," the letter said.

"Varun had written that if he could inspire even a single student, it would be a lot. But today I would like to say – he has inspired the whole country. Even though his letter talks only to the students, he has given a message to our entire society," said the Prime Minister.

At the beginning of his address, the Prime Minister also said that he could have talked about government's achievements in this radio program which has now been running for seven years, but talking about citizens who have dedicated their lives for national good is "very comforting" and gives "deep inspiration".

In the 84th episode of Mann Ki Baat, the Prime Minister shared a clipping of national song 'Vande Mataram' being sung by students in Greece as a part of the celebrations 'India's Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav'. He mentioned Dr Kurela Vithalacharya from Telangana who has set up a library with over two lakh books Ramannapet Division in Yadadri-Bhuvnagiri District, Serbian Scholar Dr Momir Nikich who has compiled a Bilingual Sanskrit-Serbian Dictionary, 93-year old Professor J Gendedharam of Mongolia who has translated about 40 ancient texts, epics and compositions of India into Mongolian language, and Sagar Mule of Goa who is preserving and practicing centuries old 'Kaavi' painting style.

He also mentioned a special drive being run in Arunachal Pradesh where people are surrendering their air guns to control hunting of birds. Prime Minister also urged people to read more books, and urged the audience to share five of their favorite books to inspire others to read.

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