Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to martyrs on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas on Sunday during his monthly radio address to the nation.
“I salute all brave soldiers who lost their lives in the Kargil war (in 1999) for their sacrifice and valour...The day is reminiscent of the bravery and sacrifice of our soldiers. Kargil yudhh mein humara ek ek jawan 100-100 dushmano par bhaari padha (One Indian soldier took on hundreds of enemies in the Kargil war),” he said.
Modi mentioned the hardships faced by families of martyrs, saying they too were fighting a battle.
“The Kargil conflict was not fought just on the borders, every Indian village, city and town made a contribution,” he said during the tenth edition of Mann ki Baat.
Indian troops had mounted a campaign in 1999 to evict hundreds of Pakistani soldiers who occupied strategic heights in the Kargil sector of the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
At a time when problems faced by farmers have sparked a raging debate in society, Modi allayed fears of a below-normal monsoon, saying: “We have seen a good start to the monsoon this year. This will definitely help our farmers to grow kharif crops.”
He said the production of pulses and oilseeds increased by 50% and 33% respectively. “It is a matter of great joy.”
Expressing concern at an increase in road accidents across the country, he announced that his government will soon unveil a cashless treatment policy for victims in select cities and along national highways.
This initiative will ensure a victim gets the best treatment in the first 50 hours after an accident. “This will ensure that treatment is done without caring about issues such as if the money will be paid or not, who will pay or not pay. Priority will be given to ensure the best treatment of victims,” he said.
Modi said the programme will be launched along national highways and in cities such as Gurgaon, Jaipur and Vadodra before being rolled out in Mumbai, Ranchi and Rangaon.
Referring to statistics, Modi said he was shocked to learn one road accident takes place every minute and that one person dies in such accidents every four minutes. A majority of those who die are aged between 15 and 25, he added.
According to estimates, more than 141,000 people died in road accidents across the country in 2014.
Stressing the need for better awareness to reduce the number of people killed or handicapped in road accidents, Modi said his government is taking several measures for road safety and move the road transport and safety bill in Parliament.
“We also intend to take important steps towards implementing the national road safety policy and road safety action plan,” he added. Modi said it is the responsibility of the family, especially parents, to spread awareness among their children about road safety.
In his 17-minute talk in Hindi, Modi avoided any mention of the ongoing stalemate in Parliament over the opposition’s demand for the resignation of foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje for allegedly helping tainted former IPL chief Lalit Modi after his Indian passport was revoked and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam recruitment and admission scam.
In the first initiative of its kind, Modi invited suggestions from the people for his Independence Day speech.
He expressed concern at the declining interest in science and technology. “When we ask students what they want to become when they grow up, only one out of 100 says he or she wants to become a scientist. Science and technology is the DNA of development,” Modi said.
The human resource development ministry has launched a scheme called Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan to promote scientific innovation, he added.
Modi said his government is also working to provide round-the-clock electricity in villages. “We have taken up a major task and aim to provide 24x7 power supply to all villages. It is a difficult task, but we have initiated it.”
On the northeast, Modi said his government has decided to send officers of the DONER ministry to places in the region for seven days to understand and resolve the problems of the people. “It was thought that we cannot solve the problems of the people of the northeast while sitting in Delhi,” he said.
He complimented government officials of Harda in Madhya Pradesh for starting the “Bhai No 1” campaign whereby any man who builds a toilet for his sister as a ‘rakshabandhan’ gift will be rewarded. He also lauded a railway official who paints pictures related to the railways.
He congratulated the people of Kesla of Chhattisgarh for constructing toilets for each family, thus making the village free of the problem of people defecating in the open.