New Delhi, Oct 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the success of India's Covid vaccination drive shows its capability and noted that the country is moving ahead with new energy after crossing the 100 crore vaccine doses milestone.
In the Mann Ki Baat radio broadcast, Modi said the Culture Ministry is geared up to conduct a competition on patriotic songs to mark 'Amrit Mahotsav', a celebration of 75 years of India's Independence, and urged the youth to pen creations that reflect the thought of new India, are inspired by the current success of the country, and fuel the country's resolve for the future.
Noting that lullabies also have their own diversity, Modi called on reviving this art and said the ministry has also decided to organise a competition related to it after receiving suggestions from the listeners.
He urged the people to write lullabies pertaining to patriotism, write poems, songs, something or the other which can be easily recited by mothers in every home to their little children.
"In these lullabies there should be reference to modern India, the vision of 21st century India and its dreams," Modi said.
Modi said the Culture Ministry is also set to conduct a Rangoli contest to mark Amrit Mahotsav that would see people draw Rangolis related to the freedom movement.
In his radio programme, Modi also talked about the country's new drone policy, saying it has been formulated according to the present and future prospects related to drones.
"With this, you will neither have to be entangled in the web of multiple forms anymore, nor will you have to pay as much fees as before. I am happy to inform you that after the introduction of the new drone policy, foreign and domestic investors have invested in many drone start-ups," he said.
Noting that many companies are also setting up manufacturing units, Modi said the Army, Navy and Air Force have also placed orders worth more than Rs 500 crore with the Indian drone companies.
"And this is just the beginning. We must not stop here. We have to become a leading country in drone technology. For this, the government is taking all possible steps," he asserted.
Hailing the crossing of 100-crore vaccine doses milestone, Modi said the country is surging ahead with a new zeal and new energy.
"The success of our vaccine programme displays India's capability and the strength of the 'sabka prayas' (collective effort) mantra," he said.
Modi hailed healthcare workers for the vaccine milestone and said he knew that they would leave no stone unturned to vaccinate the people of the country.
He said had developed the belief that this campaign would achieve such a "huge success".
"I had this firm faith, since I am well acquainted with the capabilities of my country and her people. ... Our health workers, through their tireless efforts and resolve, set a new example. They established a new benchmark in service to humanity through innovation and sheer determination," the prime minister said.
There are innumerable instances about them that convey how they crossed all hurdles and provided the security shield to the maximum number of people, he said.
Modi also interacted with a healthcare worker, Poonam Nautiyal, from Bageshwar in Uttarakhand and talked about the problems she faced at the start of the vaccine programme and how she overcame them.
He lauded both Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh for achieving cent per cent vaccination of the first dose despite the difficult terrain there.
On October 21, India achieved a major milestone in its vaccination programme against COVID-19 as the cumulative vaccine doses administered in the country surpassed the 100-crore mark.
Lauding the jump in the number of women police personnel, Modi also noted that it has doubled between 2014 and 2020 and expressed hope that they will lead the "new age policing" in future.
He said a notion existed earlier that the services like the Army and police were meant for men but it was no longer so and cited a Bureau of Police Research and Development figure to say that the number of women police personnel rose to over 2.15 lakh against 1.05 lakh in 2014.
His government had come to power in 2014.
Their numbers in the last seven years have almost doubled in the central armed police forces as well, he said.
He also highlighted the unique role Indian women have played in increasing the influence and strength of the United Nations, which had officially come into force on this day in 1945.
Modi also said India has always worked for world peace and this is seen in the country's contribution to the UN Peacekeeping forces.
Noting that next Sunday, 31 October, is the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel, the prime minister paid tribute to the former home minister.
"It is our duty that we must associate ourselves with some activity that conveys the message of national unity," he said, noting that recently Gujarat Police took out a bike rally from the Lakhpat Fort in Kutch to the Statue of Unity and Tripura police are organising a bike rally from Tripura to the Statue of Unity.
Personnel of Jammu and Kashmir police too are giving this message of unity of the country by taking out a similar bike rally from Uri to Pathankot, he said.
Asserting that 'Ekta (unity)' is the way forward for an individual's and nation's progress, he urged the people to keep Patel's thoughts alive by bringing unity in the society.
He also urged fellow Indians to pledge against using plastic and buy local art and handicrafts products to further strengthen the 'Vocal for Local' initiative this festive season.
"If you buy local, then it will not only illuminate your festival but also light up the house of our poor brother or sister, an artisan or a weaver. I am sure that the Vocal for Local campaign which we have started together will be stronger this time," Modi said.