[PM at the 80th Anniversary Celebrations of the Brahma Kumaris Family via Video Conference-2017]
I welcome all the members of Brahmakumari Organisation, and the participants in this International cultural festival. I also salute all of you by chanting “Om Shanti”. The soul of the founder of Prajapita Brahmakumari Ishwariy University Dada Lekhraj must have been happy today to see that his thought that shaped this institution into a movement through women power has now completed 80 years. In our nation turning 80 years has special significance. Though the world generally celebrates 25 years, 50 years, 75 years and 100 years, but in India 80 years of age is considered as a specific incident. And when a person or institution becomes 80 year old, it is like an occasion of seeing full moon 1000th times.
Today is that moment of witnessing full moon 1000th time for Brahmakumari Vishvavidyalaya, a movement started by Dada Lekh Raj. His efforts of bringing peace to human race on this globe will gain new momentum and move ahead.
Dadi Janaki ji completed her centenary last year; she is 100 plus. She is still blessing us like a Karmyogi and has also spared her time today for us. From here I wish Dadi ji. Two days later “Cheti Chand”, a festival of New Year (Samvatsar) will be celebrated across the country. I also extend you all my hearty greetings on the occasion of Nav-Samvatsar and Cheti Chand.
I got a number of opportunities to be amongst you and I am grateful to you for the affection showered on me. For an institute 80 years timeframe is not a short period. In today’s scenario any institution gets disintegrated after 10,15 or 20 years. Groupism and factionsim starts. Ten institutions comes into existence out of one. It was because of the wisdom of Dada Lekhraj ji that the values and vision with which he established Brahmakumari Vishvishavidyalaya and Brahmakumari Movement is still enlightening the rest of world with the same dedication, vitality and commitment and has created a chain of lakhs of workers. The Brahmakumars and Brahmakumaris are actively spreading the message of Indian spirituality in the entire world. You all deserve accolade and honour. I salute you all.
I am lucky to be amongst you many a time and have witnessed your calibre. I have tried to understand your philosophy.
Currently I am more pre-occupied and hardly get any spare time. Though I am not physically present in front of you all, I have the opportunity to connect through video conferencing. Brahmakumari work- plan is always unique. I noticed today that you all wished me through the lighting of Torches, and on TV I can see that the way you have tried to lighten the premises through torches is in reality an attempt of spreading the light of wisdom in the world on the lines established by Dada Lekhraj ji and Dadi ji.
We represent a nation that never believes in forcing its ideology on others. We are of the view that knowledge has no boundary and no timeframe. No passport or visa is required for knowledge. Knowledge is a human asset for ages; it transents time limit, and ever new. We are able to attain the facts of life only treading that knowledge path.
This continuous effort by Brahmakumari is the uniqueness of India. This is a nation that has told the world with authority that God is One. He is known by varied names. Separate God for Hindus, different ones for Muslims, Christian and Persians- it’s not our concept. So even in the days of Vedas our great men and sages taught us: एकसमत, विप्रा:, बहुधा वदन्ति
Truth is one, sages call it in different ways.
Different people interpret it in different ways but our approach to ‘truth’ is driven by the same feelings.
I have heard that you are opening a Solar Project in Shanti Van today. Once I had visited your Shanti Van hospital. There I came across the great service rendered by your to the poor. Your impressive efforts in the field of Solar Energy today reminds me of your decision taken years ago to run your Abu Road premises and that too at a time when Global Warming was not a hot topic as is now. Its a vibrant example of your vision. Hence its my belief that under your guidance one energy revolution has just started in the country as well as in the day to day life of humanity. I can visualise that the importance of solar power is no less than the valour of a human being. And when valour, capability and resolve come together, a person can scale new heights. I am sure that your initiative taken today for 3 Mega Watt Solar Energy Plant is going to propel things in many ways.
Gujarat took a very grand initiative for solar energy years ago. That became a catalyst in encouraging other states to think about solar energy. The Gujarat experiment was a success. Today Shanti Van is also getting associated with it. It is a work to save nature. It will be possible to prepare food for 38 thousand people in one day using this solar plant. How enormous work you are doing to save the nature! In a campaign mode you have started home delivery of Solar Lantern, Home lighting systems, Solar Cooking Boxes etc. This is an effort for a massive change in the society. Instead of preaching spirituality you have opted to coexist with nature by working relentlessly in bringing change in the life of the poorest of the poor.
Now how India can work for the rest of world in tackling the Global Warming? India’s resolve is by 2030 that is within 13 years from now we have aimed that 40 per cent of our total energy requirement will be generated from non-fossil fuel based renewable energy.
India will celebrate 75 years of its independence in the year 2022. What initiatives in the area of Solar Energy we can take by then? India has resolved to generate 175 Giga Watt renewable energy. It’s a gigantic target of the Government, and the society and institutions will achieve that. Just the way you have started this 3 Mega Watt units. The more we use this the more we are going to serve humanity, nature and the almighty. I salute you for your contribution in this field. You are working for nature’s conservation in many ways. It will benefit the country to a great extent.
Similarly, Green Revolution, White Revolution and Energy Revolution are in a way saving the nature and will guide mankind to a new direction. I congratulate you for your involvement in these areas too. Government of India has taken one more action in the field of Energy Conservation and that is distribution of LED Bulbs. Today more than 22 crore LED bulbs are being used by Municipalities, corporations and common men resulting in the saving of nearly 11 thousand crore rupees.
Now you have 8500 Brahmakumari Centres with lakhs of volunteers. As you have shown a new way to society by using solar energy, the same can be done for LED bulbs. Your volunteers are capable of creating awareness in the country for the use of LED bulbs. This will save energy leading to money saving for the poor. Municipalities and corporations will also save money that could be utilised for other purposes. Earlier an LED bulb used to cost Rs. 400-500. Now that is available for Rs. 50-60. So this can be added to the task of Brahamkumaris in addition to their current assignments.
Today we are dependent on Imported Diesel and Petrol. If we promote and put stress on wind energy, hydro power, solar energy then the millions and trillions of rupees currently being incurred on the purchase of Petroleum will be saved and that could be utilysed for the poor. Your contribution is a right step in that direction and hence you deserve this praise.
Our Scriptures have forbidden us to exploit the nature and it is considered to be a sin. We are only allowed of milking of the nature and using it judiciously and for that your initiative is going to be fruitful.
The Mantra of Brahmakumari’s Institution- One God, One Global Family is basically rooted in the ethos of our country. Such a great and eternal thought of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” can perhaps take shape only in this land. It may have different expressions and wordings from time to time, but only India is in constant quest for attaining justice, pride, opportunity and prosperity of all in this world. These are the initiatives of India that has been reflected in the International Solar Alliance aimed to save nature and the rest of the countries in the world have joined us in this movement. Today in this function on the occasion of your 80th anniversary I urge you all to think about the 75th year of Indian Independence in 2022. Are we not bound to fulfil the dreams cherished by our freedom fighters who laid down their lives in that struggle? Is it not our collective responsibility to work for fulfilment of those dreams? We should work with a resolve unitedly in the right direction. And any change brought about in the lives of such a huge population will also become a platform for global welfare. You have assembled in such a large number. Now take a pledge whatever you deem fit. 2,3,5 or 7 units and accomplish this task by 2022 through your branches spread across the country and abroad. And see the magnitude of your involvement. What is now happening in India on the solar energy sector, …..I am sure you will complement it with your efforts.
Recently you have witnessed that after demonetization we have proceeded for a decisive fight against black money and corruption. In order to save the nation from going back towards black money once again, the Digital Technology can be of much use. We can develop a transparent system in which there should be minimum cash usage and maximum digital payments. Can all the Brahmakumars and Brahmakumaris wherever they are working effectively download the BHIM App in their respective mobiles and try to do away with cash payment through digital payments to small vendors? Today I am talking to you through digital technology; but I have such a relation with you that I think, can ask you to lay emphasis on this task so that your enormous cultured manpower could become a harbinger of change in the country.
In addition to Brahmakumars, Brahmakumaris are more energetic and active. A large number of children in our country are still deprived of immunisation. Due to this they are prone to diseases. Mother and infant mortality rates as well as malnutrition are a matter of concern. Government is desirous of implementing the immunisation work in a big manner to each household with commitment and accountability under the Indradhanush Yojana. The Brahmakumars and Brahmakumaris must associate with it as volunteers in the future immunisation drives and be a life saviour for infants and this will be a great service indeed. You are already serving the humanity; so opting this in addition will be a marked achievement.
For one more thing, I will urge you. Is Brahmakumari Vishvavidyalaya in a position to start an Online Certificate Course for Nutrition? Then the people of this country could be educated and motivated to appear in online examination on the subject of nutrition. Still there is a lot of misconception in this area. What diet should be taken in a particular age is also not known to many people. Most of the people think twice a day meal is sufficient. Even financially well off persons, who can afford quality food twice a day are not aware of the basic facts; what to eat and when and how to eat? Is it possible to start an online certificate course followed by online examination on such issues related with nutrition and adverse effects of malnutrition by Brahmakumar Vishvavidyalaya? And whether all the Universities in India could be brought under its ambit? Majority of the members of your institution are women. So women too have an active role to play. To solve nutrition problem and pulling out our children from malnutrition you can contribute in a big way. I request you to think about it. I will ask Government of India and State Governments as well to extend you a helping hand and provide whatever necessary assistance is required we have to take it up as a movement.
If our daughters who are studying in class IXth, Xth, Xith and XIIth are educated in Nutrition, then certainly they will control the kitchen after getting involved in household chores. Even if they become professionals, they will have an edge on the kitchen matters. You can imagine the tremendous change you can bring in. This can be done through your involvement and so I am inviting you to take a pledge for making it happen by 2022.
Government of India has taken a number of steps towards women empowerment. You have seen that we have increased the maternity leave admissible to working women class from the present 12 weeks to 26 weeks. This will enable her to give full time to rear her child at that time when it is most required as the initial months of an infant are highly critical so far as his overall development is concerned. A mother’s presence during this time can play an important role. Probably there are only 2 or 3 nations that are giving more than 26 weeks holiday. Even the developed and progressive countries are not giving 26 weeks maternity leave. Government of India has taken such a huge step because empowerment of our mothers and sisters can instil a new energy and accelerate in the strengthening of our country and can lead us to high end successes.
Now be it Kanya Samruddhi Yojana, the Scheme for providing 6000 Rupees in three instalments in bank accounts of expecting mothers or Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matrutva Abhiyan we have taken a number of initiatives. We have recently launched a big drive under the Ujjwala Yojana. Our mother and sisters from poor community used to cook meals with firewood and as per medical fraternity, preparing food with firewood results in inhaling smoke equivalent to 400 cigarettes a day. Children playing around them also inhale the same. In such a situation what will happen to the health of those mother and sisters? Government of India has taken a big initiative with the intention of giving freedom from cooking on firewood stoves. For that, a massive campaign of issuing LPG connections was launched. This campaign is in progress and nearly two crore gas cylinders have reached to the poor families. They got rid of firewood stoves and gas stoves are being used in their homes. We have decided to make it available to 5 crore families within three years.
Now our emphasis is on empowering our mothers and women. Brahmakumaris can contribute in a big way in it. I request you to work for it more sincerely although you have many other things in hand. But your proactive approach in these drives will result in big results indeed.
Once again I got a chance to join your assembly. Nature conservation, protection of mother power and efforts of bringing changes in the life of the children are important issues. People from different parts of the world have gathered here for a noble cause and they will carry great thoughts of Indian ethos emanated from here. The enlightenment of knowledge from here will reach far away lands and will be utilised for the welfare of mankind. Your efforts will lend a new energy to the initiatives of Dada Lekh Raj ji and the pain taken by our 100 year old Dadi Ji will continue to motivate and inspire the new generations and people will gain a new strength for accomplishing their tasks.
Dadi ji had been our brand ambassador in my Swacch Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Drive). Dadi ji has strengthened Swacch Bharat Abhiyan through Brahmakumaris. I am sure that our Brahmakumars and Brahmakumaris in white attaire are capable of strengthening cleanliness drive in a massive way.
So with such commitments we have to continue till 2022. And in 2019, the year of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi we have to reach the final destination of making cleanliness a habit of every one and every house hold.
Today I am amidst you and I am urging you for some commitments. I am sure you will fulfil it. You are brimming with capability, institutional strength and resolve along with piously motivated workers. You can deliver results. Once again I whole heartedly welcome all the dignitaries coming from across the world and expect your kind cooperation in spreading this message of knowledge.
I am grateful to you all for giving me a chance to be amidst you. Om Shanti, Om Shanti, Om Shanti.