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Modi says water conservation collective duty (Roundup)

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IANS New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said water conservation "must be a collective responsibility" and that it was not difficult to do for Indians as "our forefathers have lived this as a way of life for centuries".
In his monthly radio address "Mann Ki Baat", Modi also dwelt upon the teachings of Prophet Mohammad and Lord Buddha who taught love and compassion.
"We often hear that in times to come, the world will face a war because of water. Everyone talks about this but do we not have any responsibility towards conservation of water? Do we not feel that water conservation must be a social responsibility? This must be a collective responsibility," Modi said.
Modi said several baodis (stepwells) across the country were popular tourist spots but one should not forget that these were also the "living symbols of the water conservation campaigns which our forefathers had accomplished".
He said in the last three years, an average of Rs 32,000 crore has been spent besides the MNREGA budget each year on water conservation and water management by the government.
Greeting the listeners ahead of the holy month of Ramazan, Modi said the essence of fasting was that when a person experiences hunger and thirst himself, he becomes sensitive towards the hunger and thirst of others.
"This is an opportunity to remember the teachings of Prophet Mohammad... It is our responsibility to follow the path of equality and brotherhood as morals from his life. Once a person asked the Prophet as to which was the best thing in Islam and the Prophet replied 'feeding a poor and needy and meeting everyone cordially, whether you know him or not'," Modi said.
Modi said one should be proud that India is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, pointing out that Buddhism forges a link between India and many Asian countries like China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar where Buddhist traditions are followed.
"Lord Buddha was the fountainhead of egalitarianism, peace, harmony and brotherhood. These are human values, which are most desired in the world today," Modi said.
The Prime Minister said it was on the day of Buddha Purnima on May 11, 1998 that India conducted its successful nuclear tests in Pokhran, Rajasthan, which established the country's nuclear prowess as well as scientific superiority.
He said India acquired nuclear capabilities in consonance with Buddha's teaching who said that the power of inner strength was necessary to live in peace.
"Now that we are going to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Pokhran-II test, I ask the younger generations of our nation to imbibe the mantra of 'Jai-Vigyan' (hail science) for enhancing the might and the power of India, to build a modern, powerful and self-reliant India."
The Prime Minister congratulated the Indian athletes for their "excellent performances" at the 2018 Commonwealth Games where India bagged 66 medals -- 26 gold, 20 silver, 20 bronze -- and observed that a large number of medal winners were women.
He urged the people to stay fit and adopt Yoga as part of their fitness regime.
Modi asked students across the country to join the government's Swachh Bharat Summer Internship programme, saying the interns who accomplish their tasks well would be awarded two credit points each by the University Grants Commission.
--IANS
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First Published: Apr 29 2018 | 7:54 PM IST

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