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PM Narendra Modi plays ‘postman’ to convey wishes to Rio players

Talking about the Rio Olympics, PM said: "We have many expectations, but it is also the responsibility of the 1.25 billion Indians to boost their morale"

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India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses a gathering in New Delhi, India, January 16, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, July 31, said he would play the “postman” to relay the people’s best wishes to the Indian contingent for the Rio Olympics, adding that it was the responsibility of the 1.25 billion Indians to cheer the squad.

In his radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Modi touched upon various matters ranging from bank frauds to antibiotic resistance but did not speak about any political issues, including that of the violence in Kashmir Valley which has left over 50 people dead since July 9.

Talking about the Rio Olympics, the Prime Minister said: “We have many expectations, but it is also the responsibility of the 1.25 billion Indians to boost their morale.”

“Every Indian should wish the players. I am ready to do this and be your postman,” Modi said, urging people to send their wishes on the Narendra Modi App.

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Modi also referred to the Monsoon and floods, stating that the government was making all efforts to mitigate the situation.

“We were worried about drought till some time back, and now, as we enjoy monsoon, we are also getting reports of floods. Both the state and the Central governments are working together to help those affected by the floods,” Modi said.

“Despite the few difficulties the rains bring, every person is delighted with the rains as it lies at the centre of all our economic and agricultural activities,” he said.

Kalam-final-rites-tomorrow-at-his-home-town-Rameshwaram

Talking about former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, whose first death anniversary was observed on July 27, Modi said the country needed to focus on research and innovation in the field of technology to fulfil Kalam’s dream.

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“We can only fulfil Kalam’s dream if the next generation works towards developing technology which can be used in day-to-day life.”

“Technology keeps changing from time-to-time, you can’t hold the technology. The coming century is technology-driven. Therefore, we must focus on research and innovation in technology,” the Prime Minister said.

Touching on the topic of health care, Modi urged people not to take antibiotics without the prescription. He warned people against “antibiotic resistance” and stressed on the need to maintain cleanliness to fight Dengue.

Expressing concern over pregnancy-related deaths and other complications, Modi said government hospitals and other facilities will provide free medical care to pregnant women in the country.

He urged doctors to join in the government’s mission to provide free medical care once in a month to pregnant women in their areas.

Modi cautioned against phishing emails that lure people into sending money and cheat them.

The Prime Minister also called upon people to send him suggestions for his speech on Independence Day. (IANS)

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Know How Grammy Award Winner Inspired by PM Modi to Dedicate Music to Environment

From songs like "Ganga" - depicting the plight of the river considered holy by most Indians - to his Grammy-winning album "Winds of Samara" - which speaks of peace and global harmony

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grammy award winner, modi
"What was to be a photo opportunity with the Prime Minister turned into an hour-long discussion with him on environment. He spoke on the impact music could have on society and inspired me to make music on environment," Kej told IANS in an interview here. Wikimedia

A chance meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2015 in New Delhi inspired Bengaluru-based Grammy Award winner Ricky Kej to dedicate his life and music to the cause of environment.

Since then, Kej, who has represented India on global fora, performing at venues including the United Nations General Assembly in New York and UN Headquarters in Geneva, has been using music to flag ecological issues to policymakers and public the world over.

“What was to be a photo opportunity with the Prime Minister turned into an hour-long discussion with him on environment. He spoke on the impact music could have on society and inspired me to make music on environment,” Kej told IANS in an interview here.

From songs like “Ganga” – depicting the plight of the river considered holy by most Indians – to his Grammy-winning album “Winds of Samara” – which speaks of peace and global harmony – Kej’s music connects with all — from world leaders to the man on the street.

With the aid of compelling visuals, Kej’s music, and collaborations with global music artists, highlights the deleterious consequences of urbanisation, climate change and human-animal conflict.

modi, grammy award winner
From songs like “Ganga” – depicting the plight of the river considered holy by most Indians – to his Grammy-winning album “Winds of Samara” – which speaks of peace and global harmony – Kej’s music connects with all — from world leaders to the man on the street. Wikimedia

“There are so many issues in India like child labour, gender inequality and poverty, which none seem to be reflecting through music. We see that music has lost the identity of being an art form and has become a profession,” he lamented.

Kej, 37, bagged Grammy in 2015 for the ‘Best New Age Album’ for “Winds of Samsara”, created along with South African flautist Wouter Kellerman. He is also recognised as the ‘United Nations Global Humanitarian Artist’ for his music with environmental consciousness.

The subjects of Kej’s music include, the rising air pollution in global cities and towns, the perils being posed to wildlife due to urbanisation and the story of Republic of Kiribati, an island nation in the central Pacific Ocean off Fiji, whose coasts are receding each year due to rising ocean levels due to global warming, among others.

With 15 studio albums released internationally, 3,500 commercials, three feature films in Kannada and over 100 music awards in 20 countries to his credit, the conservationist-musician’s album “Shanti Samsara” was released by Modi and then French President Francois Hollande at the United Nations Conference of Parties (CoP-21) Climate Change Conference in Paris, held from November 30-December 12, 2015.

The album, conceived after his meeting with Modi, had Kej collaborate with about 500 musicians from 40 countries, for songs like “Ganga”, throwing light on the pollution plaguing the river, and on “Earth and Water”.

“Politicians and policymakers are used to statistics and numbers, but when one approaches them through art, it makes a lot of difference. I have seen politicians change their perspectives towards environmental causes after attending my concerts,” Kej asserted.

The element of environment and nature in his work comes from his own experiences. For instance, he composed the song “One With Earth” – which highlights natural farming and the need to give up chemical fertilisers – after he lived with the tribals in Andhra Pradesh’s Araku Valley to understand their lifestyle and traditional farming techniques.

Grammy award winner, modi
“There are so many issues in India like child labour, gender inequality and poverty, which none seem to be reflecting through music. We see that music has lost the identity of being an art form and has become a profession,” he lamented. Wikimedia

Born in 1981 in North Carolina in the US, Kej moved to Bengaluru with family when he was eight, with intense love for music and nature.

“As a child, I felt music and nature were connected and found music in the sounds of nature, birds and animals. I used to look at music as a way of understanding history, cultures and emotions from different parts of the world. A lot of my education was through music,” said Kej, who was part of a rock band “Angel Dust” during his class 12th from Bishop Cotton Boys’ School in Bengaluru.

Even as Kej pursued a dental science course on his father’s advice, he continued to create music and decided to pursue it full-time on completing the degree.

“Like most musicians, I started my career with popular music and later turned to heavy metal and jazz. I finally zeroed in on world music as it connects with the people the world over, irrespective of the language they speak,” Kej recalled.

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As a professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) in the renowned Indian Institute of Science (IISc) campus in this tech hub, the musician believes his job is to approach environmental subjects artistically.

“Numbers don’t hit people as hard as visuals and art can. My job as a musician is to drive the numbers and data through emotions,” Kej added. (IANS)