In first Mann ki Baat since return from US, Narendra Modi supports e-cigarette ban, calls for equality ahead of Navratri

  • The prime minister started his radio address on Sunday with wishing renowned playback singer Lata Mangeshkar on the occasion of her birthday on Saturday

  • Extending greetings to the nation for the ongoing festive season, Modi pitched for 'equality' in the ability to celebrate

  • He also advocated greater awareness and environment consciousness in the run-up to Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary on 2 October

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who received a "rousing" welcome on his return from a week-long visit to the United States which saw his participation in various significant events, on Sunday addressed a 'Mann ki Baat' in which he touched upon a variety of topics ranging from the ban on e-cigarettes, to Lata Mangeshkar's 90th birthday; from Sister Mariam Thresia who is to be canonized to Daniil Medvedev, runner-up in the US Open men's tournament, Modi referenced various personalities.

Modi, supporting the decision to ban e-cigarettes, said that there was "very little" awareness about its harmful effects even though the hazards of tobacco and nicotine are well known. He said that the fact that addiction to tobacco is "extremely harmful" and is difficult to get out of is known.

 In first Mann ki Baat since return from US, Narendra Modi supports e-cigarette ban, calls for equality ahead of Navratri

File image of Narendra Modi. AFP

"There is very little awareness among people about e-cigarettes. They are completely unaware of its danger and for this reason, sometimes e-cigarettes find their way into homes out of curiosity," he added, reiterating that people who consume tobacco are vulnerable to diseases such as cancer, diabetes, blood pressure.

Extending greetings to the nation for the ongoing festive season — Mahalaya kicked in on 28 September, Navratra begins today (29 September) — Modi pitched for "equality" in the ability to celebrate. Saying that some homes were illuminated and had plenty while other homes were deprived of festivities due to financial constraints, Modi said, "On one hand, when we experience the ‘Delivery In’ of sweets, and gifts, let us think for a moment on the process of ‘Delivery Out’. At least in our homes, items that are in excess and thus, not required anymore, could be allocated for ‘Delivery Out'."

"At least in our homes, items that are in excess and thus, not required anymore, could be allocated for ‘Delivery Out’. In many cities, many NGOs have formed start-ups for this endeavor. They collect clothes, sweets, food from homes and then deliver them to the needy. Can we, this time, during the festival season, dispel some of the darkness beneath the lamp with due awareness and resolve? The smiles on the faces of numerous underprivileged families will more than double your joy during festivals," he said.

The prime minister started his radio address on Sunday with wishing renowned playback singer Lata Mangeshkar on the occasion of her birthday on Saturday. On Saturday, celebrities, politicians, and well-wishers greeted Mangeshkar for her "timeless" songs.

Modi also paid tribute to Mangeshkar saying, "There will be hardly anyone who does not show utmost regard for Lata Mangeshkarji. She is older than most of us and has been witness to different eras in the country. We address her as 'didi'. She turns 90 today."

He then played a recording of a telephone conversation he had with Mangeshkar before he left for the US. Thanking Modi for his wishes, Mangeshkar said, "The picture of India has changed ever since you have taken charge, it makes me happy."

Referring to Medvedev's reaction after losing to multiple Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal, Modi said that the "display of the ardour of the defeated and the humility of the victorious in the same was a sight to behold."

He added, “Just see how on the one hand, victory in the US Open was discussed and on the other, runner-up Daniil Medvedev’s speech was equally doing the rounds in public discourse, especially on social media. The simplicity and maturity displayed by the 23-year-old Medvedev touched everyone.

"It surely stirred me. Moments before this speech, he suffered defeat at the hands of tennis legend Rafael Nadal, 19-time Grand Slam winner. An event such as this would have pushed anyone towards despair but in the case of Medvedev, there was no sign of the slightest pallor on his face. Rather, his expression lit up the faces of those watching him with meaningful smiles. He won hearts with his humility and simplicity; the epitome of the spirit of sportsmanship in the truest sense that he is, in letter and spirit. Spectators welcomed his reflections with warmth and fervor”.

He also spoke  to runner Ripudaman Belvi, who is at the helm of a pan-India cleanup drive and anti-plastic campaign and advocated greater awareness and environment consciousness in the run-up to Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary on 2 October.

Congratulating Christians for the sainthood to be conferred on Sister Thresia of Kerala, Modi said, "It is a matter of pride for every Indian that on 13 October, His Holiness Pope Francis will declare Sister Mariam Thresia (founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family) a saint. I pay my tributes to Sister Thresia."

Modi also urged the public to "honour and feel proud" of girls while claiming the success of the 'Selfie with daughter' initiative of the Centre in 2017.

He said, “Our society must recognise daughters, honour them and feel proud of them. Programmes to felicitate them should be held throughout the country. We could do something more; we could highlight the achievements of these daughters by sharing their achievements on social media, using the hashtag #BharatKiLaxmi. The way we jointly ran a mega campaign 'Selfie with daughter', which spread globally. Similarly, this time, let us do a campaign 'Bharat ki Laxmi'. Encouraging the Laxmi of Bharat amounts to strengthening the paths of prosperity for the country and her citizens."

With inputs from agencies and Shishir K Tripathi

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Updated Date: Sep 29, 2019 15:09:45 IST