Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the landing of Chandrayaan-3 and the organisation of the recent G20 Summit in New Delhi in his 105th episode of Mann ki Baat on Sunday. “More than 80 lakh people watched [Chandrayaan-3’s landing] on ISRO’s YouTube channel, which is a record in itself,” Mr. Modi said. “This conveys how deep the attachment of crores of Indians is to Chandrayaan-3.”
“India has proven the mettle of its leadership by making the African Union a full member of the G20,” Mr. Modi said in his monthly radio show. He invoked the Silk Road to emphasise the significance of the proposed India-Middle East-Europe Economic corridor. “This corridor is going to become the basis of world trade for hundreds of years to come, and history will always remember that this corridor was initiated on Indian soil,” Mr. Modi stressed.
Mr. Modi said that the arrival of over 1 lakh foreign delegates to India for the G20 would boost tourism in India. “Just a few days ago, Shantiniketan and the holy Hoysala temples of Karnataka were declared [UNESCO] World Heritage Sites,” Mr. Modi said, referring to the township most commonly associated with Rabindranath Tagore.
“It’s said that if any sector boosts employment with the least investment, it is tourism,” Mr. Modi said. He encouraged visits to world heritage sites, saying that by doing so “you will of course become familiar with the glorious history of our country, but on top of that, you will also be an important means to increase the income of the local people.”
Mr. Modi encouraged spending on local products in the upcoming festive season. “As far as possible, you should buy goods made in India, use Indian products and gift only Made in India goods,” Mr. Modi said, restating his ‘Vocal for Local’ tagline.
Mr. Modi played excerpts of German singer Cassandra Mae Spittmann singing songs in different Indian languages, praising the 21-year-old’s interest in Indian culture. “CassMae has been unable to see since birth, but this difficult challenge has not stopped her extraordinary achievements,” Mr. Modi said, referring to Ms. Spittman by her stage name.
Mr. Modi invoked scripture to highlight the importance of wildlife. “People go to temples and worship, but don’t pay attention to the birds and animals serving as the mounts of the deities,” Mr. Modi said. He brought up Cobra Team, a collective based in Ajmer, Rajasthan, that saves venomous snakes. The collective, led by Sukhdev Bhatt, “has till now saved the lives of more than 30,000 venomous snakes,” Mr. Modi said.
He also praised Chennai-based M. Rajendra Prasad, an autorickshaw driver by profession who has taken care of hundreds of pigeons at his home. “He spends quite a lot of money on this, but he is steadfast in his work,” the Prime Minister said of Mr. Prasad.
Mr. Modi praised residents of Uttar Pradesh across several gram panchayats who worked to restore the Sot tributary of the Ganga river, and planted bamboo shoots along its banks. The river was brim with water after the monsoon arrived, he said.