In 2021's last Mann Ki Baat, PM Modi lauds people's collective effort to fight pandemic; warns about Omicron

In PM Modi's last Mann ki Baat for the year, he emphasised that India could fight the biggest pandemic in 100 years because people stood by each other like a family in every difficult moment, helping someone in one’s locality.

Individuals and organisations need to commit to the promise of doing something better in the new year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat that celebrates positive deeds. 

“Away from the glare of the media, away from the headlines of newspapers, there are millions of people who are doing great things…for the coming generations of the country…talking about such people is very comforting; it gives deep inspiration,” PM Modi said in his last Mann ki Baat for 2021 on Sunday. 

He emphasised that India could fight the biggest pandemic in 100 years because people stood by each other like a family in every difficult moment, helping someone in one’s locality. 

After a brutal second wave that hit the country in early 2021, the country has administered 140 million vaccine doses. However, PM Modi also warned about the Omicron variant, assuring, “Our scientists are continuously studying this new Omicron variant. They are getting new data everyday , their suggestions are being worked upon. In such a situation, self-awareness, self-discipline is in itself the country’s strength in fighting against this variant of the coronavirus. It is this very collective strength of ours that will defeat coronavirus; with this very sense of responsibility we have to enter into 2022.”

Amid rising COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, PM Modi yesterday announced that vaccination against COVID-19 for children between 15-18 years will start from January 3, 2022, while "precaution dose" for healthcare and frontline workers as well as citizens above 60 years of age and with comorbidities on the advice of their doctor would be administered from January 10.

Message to students

The Prime Minister delved on aspects of student’s life related to examinations, career, success and the pressure they carry. He urged students to register for an online competition that will also be organised for students, teachers, and parents of Class IX to XII to discuss the same.

While remembering the unfortunate passing of General Bipin Rawat and his wife, and Group Captain Varun Singh in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu, PM Modi recalled coming across a letter written by Varun to his school principal when he received the Shaurya Chakra in August this year – which he believes will inspire every student.

“It is okay to be mediocre. Not everyone will excel at school and not everyone will be able to score in the 90s. If you do, it is an amazing achievement and must be applauded. However, if you don't, do not think that you are meant to be mediocre…it is by no means a measure of things to come in life. Find your calling - it could be art, music, graphic design, literature, etc. Whatever you work towards, be dedicated, do your best. Never go to bed, thinking, I could have put-in more effort,” PM Modi read to the listeners.

“Never lose hope…do not think that 12th board marks decide what you are capable of achieving in life. Believe in yourself and work towards it."

(Representational image)

To indomitable spirits

Eighty four-year-old Kurela Vithalacharya from Telangana made it to this month’s Mann ki Baat for building his dream library of over two lakh books at Ramannapet Division in Yadadri-Bhuvnagiri District.

A childhood dream of his while growing up in British India, Vittlachary went on to become a lecturer of Telugu language and put his life’s earnings to realise the dream seven years ago.  

“Vitthalacharya ji says that when it comes to studies, no one else should have to face the difficulties he had to. Today he feels very happy to see that a large number of students are getting its benefits. Inspired by his efforts, people of many other villages have started setting up libraries,” PM Modi narrates, prompting listeners to share five books they have enjoyed reading this year. 

He also appreciated the entrepreneurial efforts of the youth in ensuring clean India, specifically Goa-based startup Saaf Water that leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) to offer insight into water purity and quality.

Looking forward to the coming year, PM Modi reinstated that India can be self-reliant only if the power of locals is recognised and that the way to achieve Atmanirbhar Bharat lies in learning, innovating, and achieving new goals. 

“Let us reiterate our resolve to think big, dream big, and work hard to make them come true. And, our dreams will not be limited to us alone. Our dreams will be such that the development of our society and the country is connected, our progress will open the way for the progress of the country and for this, we have to start working from today…I am confident that the country will move forward in the coming year, and 2022 will be the golden page of building a new India,” he signed off.
Edited by Kanishk Singh