Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India has always vouched for world peace, unity and harmony and its armed forces have contributed in this direction through UN missions across the globe. He said that currently around 7,000 Indian security personnel are deployed on peacekeeping missions, making it the third highest contributor.
In his 37th edition of monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Prime minister said besides, Indian forces have provided peacekeeping training to their counterparts from 85 countries and have been providing medical services to people from a number of countries.
Mr Modi said Indians believe that everyone should live in peace and harmony and move towards a better and peaceful tomorrow. Mr Modi said, jawans of Indian security forces play an important role not only on Indian borders but they play a very vital role in establishing peace the world over.
The Prime Minister said, everybody recalls the efforts and constructive role of the United Nations in establishing peace throughout the world and with the belief in Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam India has been cooperating very actively in various important initiatives taken by the UN.
Mr Modi said, both the preface of the Indian Constitution and the UN Charter starts with the words We the people. He said, more than 18 thousand Indian security personnel have lent their services in UN Peacekeeping Operations and presently, about seven thousand Indian soldiers are associated with UN Peacekeeping initiatives which is the third highest number of soldiers from any country.
He said, till August this year, Indian soldiers had lent their services in about 50 of the total of 71 Peacekeeping operations undertaken by the UN the world over.
Mr Modi said, in Congo and Southern Sudan more than twenty thousand patients were treated in hospitals of the Indian army and countless lives were saved.
Mr Modi also mentioned that Indian women have played a leading role in peace keeping efforts and India was the first country which sent a female police unit to Liberia for the United Nations Peace Mission.
He said, India’s contribution is not limited to just peacekeeping operations but it is also providing training to peacekeepers from eighty five countries.
He said, the brave peacekeepers from the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Gautam Budha have sent a message of peace and amity around the world.
The Prime Minister remembered brave UN Peacekeepers, Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria who laid down his life while fighting in Congo in Africa and Lieutenant General Prem Chand who carved a special niche for themselves in Cyprus, General Thimaiyya who lead the UN Peacekeeping force in Cyprus.
Remembering his Diwali celebrations with security forces in Gurez sector of Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime minister said, the memories will stay long cherished in his heart.
Mr Modi said, India has always stressed on the importance of equality for women and the UN Declaration of Human Rights is a living example of this.
He said, in the initial phrase, it was proposed as all men are born free and equal which was amended and adopted as all human beings are born free and equal with the efforts of the Indian representative Hansa Mehta.
Mr Modi said, on Gandhi Jayanti he has always advocated the use of handloom and Khadi and on 17th of this month on Dhanteras day the Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan store in Delhi witnessed a record sale of one crore twenty lakh rupees.
He said, during Diwali Khadi gift coupon sales recorded an overwhelming 680 per cent rise and compared to last year the total sales of Khadi and Handicrafts have risen almost by 90 percent.
He said, many weaver families, poor families, and the families working on handlooms must have benefitted from this. He said, earlier it was Khadi for nation and Khadi for fashion but now, it is becoming Khadi for transformation.
Expressing concern over diseases like diabetes affecting children, Mr Modi said, the diseases which surfaced in old age or emerged around the last lap of life have started to appear in children nowadays due to lack of physical activity and the changes in the eating habits.
He said, Yoga will be helpful for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and protecting children from lifestyle disorders.
Mr Modi congratulated Indian Hockey team for winning the Asia cup and Kidambi Shrikanth for winning Denmark Open. Mentioning about FIFA Under-17 World Cup, the Prime Minister said, it was successfully organized and all the teams performed their best.
Speaking about cleanliness, the Prime Minister mentioned of transformation of Chandrapur Fort in Maharashtra where an NGO called Ecological Protection Organization launched a cleanliness campaign. He said, during the campaign lasting for two hundred days, people performed the task of cleaning the fort, non-stop, without any fatigue and with team-work.
The Prime Minister also paid homage to Guru Nanak Dev saying that he is not only the first guru of Sikhs but guru to the entire world.
Paying tributes to Sardar Patel whose birth anniversary will be celebrated on Tuesday, Mr Modi said, translating a thought into reality was Sardar Patel’s forte’ and he took on the reins of weaving a unified India.
Mr Modi urged people to participate in Run for Unity, the festival of mutual harmony. The Prime minister also remembered former PM Indira Gandhi.