Mann Ki Baat

Recently, the 19th episode of Mann Ki Baat, where our Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi?s addresses the nation over radio, was aired. It is a wonderful initiative of the present Union Government to reach out to the citizens of this country at large. As we might know, Mann Ki Baat is a monthly programme aired on Radio, DD National, and DD News. Since October 3, 2014, this programme has completed a year-and-a half of sharing information and relevant knowledge with the citizens- urban and rural alike.

As I was listening the talk about various issues and challenges of India last Sunday, it came as no surprise to me that he spent considerable time highlighting the challenges emanating out of climate change. I wanted to share a few points from his speech that particularly caught my attention. He began by emphasizing on water conservation, and appealed to the nation to become change agents to help restore the Ganga to its original glory. He also spoke about how prediction of bountiful rains have increased economic growth prospects for the entire nation, especially that of our farmers. Sharing the example of a village in Ahmednagar, he explained how shifting to new crop patterns and optimizing on water intake in agriculture, the villagers were able to restore adequate water availability in their locality.

His speech does inspire us to think about the huge challenges we are facing together- especially that of climate change and erratic agriculture patterns. While the Government is working hard to set up the required policy structure and schemes, private companies are contributing their bit through research and development of technologies which can help overcome such phenomena.

The situation of water availability in the country after consecutive droughts and due to the lack of holistic long-term planning and vision to undertake conservation measures on a war-footing, has reached critical levels for both humans and animals alike, to put it mildly. Precious lives are being lost as a result and the proverbial ?water wars? are likely to be upon us sooner rather than later, if immediate measures are not put in place.

In the event, we hope that the Prime Minister along with other measures, gives a serious thought to technology adoption on a large scale to mitigate the crisis. And the need of the hour is to adopt technology across the board pertaining to various facets of water-management including irrigation, usage of water-efficient seed technology, rain-water harvesting, innovation in cropping patterns and the like.