PM lauds J&K Govt’s innovative efforts to tackle drug menace

Mentions Americans’ visit to Shri Amarnath yatra

*4000 women perform Haj without ‘mehram’

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, July 30:Prime Minister Narendra Modi today lauded innovative efforts being made by the Jammu and Kashmir Government for tackling the menace of drugs including organizing Musical Nights and bike rallies in high altitudes in the Union Territory.

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In 103rd episode of his monthly Radio Address `Mann Ki Baat’ this morning, the Prime Minister also referred to ongoing annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji and obeisance offered to Lord Shiva in South Kashmir Himalayas by two Americans.
“Whether it be the Musical Nights in Jammu and Kashmir, Bike Rallies at high altitudes, local clubs in Chandigarh and many sports groups in Punjab…it sounds as we are talking about entertainment and adventure but it’s something different. These events are related to a common cause and this cause is awareness campaign against drugs,” Modi said.
He said to save the youth of Jammu and Kashmir, many innovative efforts are visible including conduct of Musical Nights and Bike Rallies.
“Increasing participation of youth in the campaign against drugs abuse is encouraging. These efforts lend a lot of strength to the campaign against drugs in India. If we want to save future generation of the country, we have to keep them away from drugs. With this thought, `Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan’ was launched on 15th August 2020,” the Prime Minister said.
He pointed out that only two weeks ago, India took huge action against drugs by destroying 1.5 lakh kg consignment. The nation has also created a unique record of destroying 10 lakh kg of drugs valued at Rs 12,000 crore.
“I would like to appreciate all those who are contributing in this noble campaign of de-addiction. Drug addiction becomes a big problem not only for the family, but for the whole society,” Modi said.
Asserting that number of devotees to Ayodhya, Mathura and Ujjain is increasing rapidly, the Prime Minister said now for darshan, people from all over the world are coming to our pilgrimage sites.
“I have come to know about two such American friends who had come here from California to perform Shri Amarnath yatra. These foreign guests had heard somewhere about experiences of Swami Vivekananda related to Amarnath Yatra. They got so inspired that they themselves came for the pilgrimage. They consider it as the blessings of Lord Bholenath. This is the specialty of India that it accepts everyone and gives something or the other to everyone,” Modi said.
He also referred to just concluded Haj pilgrimage saying he has received large number of letters in ‘Mann Mi Baat’ written by Muslim women on their return from Haj.
Asserting that this journey of women is very special in many ways, Modi said these are the women, who have performed Haj without any male companion or ‘mehram’, and the number is not 50 or 100 but more than 4000, which is a huge transformation.
“Earlier, Muslim women were not allowed to perform Haj without ‘mehram’. I also express my heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Saudi Arabia,” he said, adding that women coordinators were specially appointed for women going on Haj without ‘mehram’.
The Prime Minister said that changes made in the Haj Policy during last few years are being highly appreciated. Our Muslim mothers and sisters have written a lot to me about this. Now, more and more people are getting the chance to go for Haj. The blessings given by the people who have returned from Haj pilgrimage especially our mothers and sisters through their letters, is very inspiring in itself, he added.
The Prime Minister also referred to ‘Meri Mati Mera Desh’ campaign being launched in the country to honour bravehearts men and women.
Under this campaign, he said, many programmes will be organized across the country in the memory of our immortal martyrs. Special inscriptions will also be installed in lakhs of Village Panchayats of the country. An ‘Amrit Kalash Yatra’ will also be organized across the country carrying soil in 7500 urns (pots) from every corner of the country which will reach Delhi.
“An ‘Amrit Vatika’ will be built near the National War Memorial by planting saplings that would arrived in 7500 urns. The Vatika will become a grand symbol of ‘Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat’. Similarly, this time too, we have to hoist tricolor at every house and continue the tradition. With these efforts, we will realize our duties and innumerable sacrificed made for freedom of the country,” Modi said.
PTI adds: Noting the US recently returned hundreds of rare and ancient artefacts to India, he said it sparked a lot of debate on social media and the youth displayed a sense of pride about their heritage.
These artefacts returned to India are 2,500 to 250 years old and are related to different regions of the country. These have been made using terracotta, stone, metal and wood, Modi noted.
He shared details of some of the items and noted that many artefacts were returned to the country following his earlier visits to the US in 2016 and 2021 as well. These efforts will increase awareness to stop the theft of our cultural heritage and will further deepen the attachment of the countrymen to our rich heritage, he said.
Referring to the floods, landslides and other natural calamities hitting different parts of the country during the monsoon season, he said people suffered at many places.
Amid natural calamities, people of the country also again brought to the fore the power of collective effort, the prime minister said.
Modi said it was encouraging to see people make novel efforts for water conservation at many places. He cited the record plantation of 30 crore saplings in a day in Uttar Pradesh, saying it is an example of public participation and awareness.
Over 60,000 ‘Amrit Sarovars’ built during the ‘Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ are helping in water conservation during the rainy season, he said, adding over 50,000 more ponds are being built.
During his recent visit to France, Modi said he met Charlotte Chopin, a yoga teacher and practitioner who is more than 100 years old.
“She gives credit for her health and this age of 100 years only to yoga. She has become a prominent face of India’s science of yoga,” he said.
“Let us not only embrace our heritage but also present it responsibly to the world,” the prime minister added.
Lauding efforts against the use of drugs, he said the increasing participation of youth in such campaigns is very encouraging.
“If we want to save the future generations of the country, we have to keep them away from drugs,” he said, noting that ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan’ was launched on August 15, 2020, with this idea.
More than 11 crore people have been connected with this campaign, he said adding India has created a unique record of destroying 10 lakh kg of drugs worth over Rs 12,000 crore.
In this context, he lauded the transformation of Madhya Pradesh’s Bicharpur village from the “grip of intoxication” to become a place for football, now known as ‘mini Brazil’. He lauded the efforts of Raees Ahmed, a former national player and coach, for leading the change.
“Just imagine, a tribal area which was known for illicit liquor, infamous for drug addiction, has now become the football nursery of the country. That’s why it is said — where there is a will, there is a way,” he said.