Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that ‘Meri Mati Mera Desh’ campaign will be launched soon ahead of Independence Day to honour the martyred men and women. Addressing the nation in his Mann Ki Baat programme on All India Radio, Mr Modi said that many programmes will be organised across the country in memory of the martyrs in the midst of the ongoing reverberations of Amrit Mahotsav. He added that special inscriptions will also be installed in lakhs of village panchayats. The Prime Minister highlighted that under the Meri Mati Mera Desh campaign, ‘Amrit Kalash Yatra’ will be organised across the country.

Mr Modi said ‘Amrit Vatika’ will be built near the National War Memorial by fusing the soil and saplings that would arrive in the 7500 urns.

Mr Modi recalled that last year on Independence Day, the entire nation came together for ‘Har Ghar Tiranga Abhiyan’. He said that the Tricolour should be hoisted at every house this year as well.

Speaking about the menace of drugs, the Prime Minister hailed the efforts being made by people to tackle the evil. He said awareness is being spread in Jammu and Kashmir against drugs by innovative means like musical nights and bike rallies. 

The Prime Minister gave the example of a village in Madhya Pradesh, Bicharpur, which is called Mini Brazil. It earned the name of ‘Mini Brazil’ as this village has become a stronghold of the rising stars of football today. The Prime Minister recounted that the journey of Bicharpur village to Mini Brazil commenced two-and-a-half decades ago.On the topic of monsoons, Mr Modi noted that the past few days have been full of anxiety and hardships on account of natural calamities. He said people in many areas have had to suffer due to flooding in many rivers including River Yamuna. He said landslides have occurred in the hilly areas and the Biparjoy cyclone hit the western part of the country.

The Prime Minister stressed that these calamities brought the power of collective effort to the fore. He further stated that local people, NDRF jawans, and local administration have worked day and night to combat such calamities. He expressed pride that this spirit of Sarvajan Hitaaya is the hallmark of India as well as the strength of India.

Mr. Modi emphasised that this phase of rain is important for ‘tree plantation’ and ‘water conservation’. More than 60 thousand Amrit Sarovars have been built during the ‘Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. The work of building more than 50 thousand Amrit Sarovars is currently underway. He praised people for making novel efforts for ‘water conservation’. He gave the example of the tribal people of Pakaria village in Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh.

Mr Modi spoke about the Kanwar Yatra undertaken during Sawan month to worship Lord Shiva. He said that numerous devotees are reaching the 12 Jyotirlingas on account of Sawan these days.

 Mr Modi mentioned two Americans who had come from California to perform the Amarnath Yatra. He also spoke about a woman of French origin, Charlotte Chopin, who is a Yoga Practitioner and a Yoga Teacher. She is over a hundred years old and has been practising yoga for the last 40 years. She gives credit for her health to yoga and has become a prominent face of India’s science of yoga and its strength in the world. The Prime Minister also made a mention of Ujjain where 18 painters from all over the country are making attractive picture storybooks based on the Puranas. These paintings will be made in many distinctive styles such as the Bundi style, Nathdwara style, Pahari style, and Apabhramsh style. These will be displayed in Ujjain’s Triveni Museum.

Mr. Modi also referred to a unique painting by Prabhat Singh Modbhai Barhat, who is an artist from Rajkot. This painting was based on an incident in the life of Chhatrapati Veer Shivaji Maharaj. The artist had depicted Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj going to visit his Kuldevi ‘Tulja Mata’ after the coronation.

The Prime Minister spoke of Suresh Raghavan from Vadavalli in Tamil Nadu, who decided to preserve the information about plants and animals through his paintings. Suresh Raghavan documents the information by making paintings of varied Flora and Fauna. Till now, he has made paintings of dozens of such birds, animals, and orchids, which are on the verge of extinction.

During the Mann Ki Baat programme, the Prime Minister also mentioned the rare and ancient artefacts which were recently returned to India by the US. These have been made using Terracotta, Stone, Metal, and Wood.