In his hour-long speech from the historic ramparts of Delhi’s Red Fort on the 73rd Independence Day of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed his concern for the environment more than ever. Modi’s address to the nation was heavily focused on sustainability, with topics ranging from rainwater harvesting and water conservation, to abandoning single-use plastic and to saving the country’s soil from chemical contamination in the name of agriculture. He also stressed on population control and consumption of local produce.
Here are six green things that PM Modi said in his I-Day speech that gives a clear message to the people of India to be more environmentally conscious and make positive changes that can make the country and the world a better place for all.
- CONSERVE WATER: “The country fully understands the importance of water conservation and that is why a ministry for Jal Shakti has been formed.” PM Modi said the government will focus on “Jal Jivaan Mission” for the Centre and states to work together to provide water to every household. A total of ₹3.70 lakh crore has been allotted for this mission. This water mission, under the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation will focus on proper management of water at the local level, including the creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge, and management of household wastewater for reuse in agriculture. The Jal Jeevan Mission aims converge with other Central and State Government Schemes to achieve its objectives of sustainable water supply management across the country.
- CONTROL POPULATION: PM Modi also talked about the increasing population of the country and urged the nation to understand the importance of birth control. “Population explosion in the country will create various problems for the coming generations. Those who follow the policy of small family also contribute to the development of the nation, it is also a form of patriotism. There is a need for social awareness in the country,” he said in his I-Day speech.
- SAY NO TO PLASTIC: “On October 2, let us pledge to make the country free of single-use plastic. On Diwali, let us gift people cloth bags instead of plastic packs,” Modi said emphasizing the hazardous effects plastics have created the world over. PM Modi also urged the startups to come up with ideas to recycle plastics in the country.
- ENCOURAGE TOURISM: Prime Minister also mentioned about creating 100 tourist destinations in the country. “Let us pledge to visit at least 15 tourist destinations before 2022,” says PM Modi. Eco-tourism should certainly be considered within this initiative.
- REDUCE CHEMICALS IN AGRICULTURE: Modi had one ask from the farmers of India. Reminding everyone that the soil of this country and that of mother earth is sacred to us, he urged every farmer to stay away from chemical fertilizers and pesticides as much as possible. “Let the farmers of our land pledge to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers by at least 10-15%.”
- USE LOCAL PRODUCE: PM Modi also urged people to give utmost priority to local products for a better tomorrow. Grow local, produce local, and you’ll soon not have any reason to go beyond the state level for any requirement, said the Prime Minister in his address. Local consumption augers well for the environment in many ways including the reduction of natural resource consumption and thereby cutting down on pollution and the resulting depletion of the environment.
” PM Modi’s most eco-friendly I-Day speech comes closely on the heels of his 5-mile-long walk through the jungles of Corbett National Park with Bear Grylls on the latter’s celebrated television show ‘Man Vs. Wild,’ which was aired on the Discovery channel barely a few days before Independence Day. “You should never be afraid of nature because when we think that we are in conflict with nature is when the problem starts,” Modi told Grylls. He also talked about living the love for nature and not exploiting it for one’s own ends but leaving it for the future generations.