Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday praised “people power” saying that his appeals to promote khadi and to give up cooking gas subsidy had fetched tremendous response.
In his monthly radio transmission Mann ki Baat, which has completed 12 editions, Modi said he had learnt the power and reach of democracy through his monthly address.
“Mann ki Baat has taught me a lot, about the strength that lies in the hands of the common people to bring changes in society,” he said.
He said he had made simple suggestions to people through the radio, and “I have got response in lakhs”.
Modi said his appeal to people to suggest how to improve governance had fetched massive response, with people writing to All India Radio or to his website on gov.in.
He said the lakhs of letters he had received had opened his eyes to the numerous problems people face vis-a-vis government programmes including at the grassroots level.
Giving examples of “people power”, Modi said his mention of “selfie with daughter” had fetched lakhs of responses. “The daughter got so much of pride. This was like a silent revolution.”
Similarly, his appeal to send photos of interesting spots from across India had fetched a huge response.
People sent lakhs of beautiful pictures from all corners of the country. “Perhaps the tourism department has not got so many pictures of India, and the government has not spent any money.”
Referring to his first Mann ki Baat address in October last year, Modi said he had asked people to buy khadi.
“In the past year, khadi sales have doubled, not due to government intervention but due to the awareness of the people.”
Similarly, his suggestion that people give up the subsidy on cooking gas cylinders had prompted 30 lakh families to respond positively.
He said many of them were from lower middle class. “Is this not a silent evolution?” he asked.
Modi said the government can work together with the society like a catalyst to bring about changes.
The prime minister also said that on his urging, people had telephoned to give suggestions.
The 55,000 calls had come from all parts of India, from Siachen in the north to Kutch in the west, and from Kamrup in the east to Kanyakumari in the south.
He said he had attended to some of the telephone calls personally, and his government was working on some of the suggestions.
None of the callers had anything negative to say about his government, he added.