NEW DELHI: With the Paris climate change summit getting underway, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday held up the example of Noor Jahan from Kanpur who formed a group of women engaged in making and renting solar lanterns and also urged farmers not to burn crop residue and instead use it as organic manure.
“One Noor Jahan is inspiring everyone else. Her name also signifies giving light to the world,” the prime minister said in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address.
Noor Jehan has set up a factory of solar lamps. These lamps are rented out to about 500 households for Rs 100 each per month while the charging costs about Rs 3-4 daily, the PM said. “Her work can be an inspiration for all those want to fight climate change,” he added.
Urging people to adopt measures for energy conservation and energy efficiency so that global warming was avoided, Modi said the government was running a number of schemes, like LED bulbs, and asked people to take advantage of these. He also said it was everyone’s responsibility to combat the challenge of climate change.
Modi also spoke of alternatives for farmers in the context of the hardships faced by Punjab agriculturalists. Responding to one Lakhwinder Singh from Jalandhar, the PM said farmers needed to be educated about the benefits of initiatives like organic farming.
With the burning of crop residue becoming a major talking point after its polluting effects on north India, specially Delhi, the PM said this should be avoided. “Burning of stubble destroys the top soil and affects soil fertility. If we push this back into the earth, this become manure. It can also be used as cattle feed,” he said.
Modi also held up the example of one Javed Ahmed who, despite being disabled, has engaged in social work. Shot by terrorists, he survived but could not stand. But the crisis in his life turned him to compassion and he dedicated his life to social service.
This is the third instance in recent weeks that the PM has help up examples of persons from the Muslim community to highlight how individuals are making a difference to society. Speaking at London’s Wembley Stadium, he spoke of Imran Khan in Alwar, who has designed 50 apps for educational use which he offers for free.
During his visit to the UK and in his speech in Parliament on Friday, the PM dwelled at length on India’s varied cultures and religions being its strength. Talking of the relevance of the Constitution, he said it was a remarkable document which addressed the needs and aspirations of people hailing from 12 different faiths.
Expressing empathy for the floods in Tamil Nadu, he said it was unfortunate that people were suffering hardships in the festive season. He said he hoped SAARC nations would work together to contain the effects of natural disasters.
The PM expressed concern that the Mudra Bank for small entrepreneurs had not taken off in the manner anticipated, but said the initial gains were nonetheless encouraging as the effort was to give a fillip to enterprise, earning and empowerment