DATA STORIES

Mann Ki Baat: Thoughts and Transformation Going Hand in Hand

When the words “Mere Pyare Deshwasiyon” are heard on the radio at 11 AM, on November 25, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monthly radio address, Mann Ki Baat, touches a milestone of 50 episodes.

For the first time in the history of independent India, such a direct, regular communication from the Prime Minister of India was started on October 03, 2014. Since then, PM Modi has been discussing with nation various issues ranging from society to economy and from sports to the environment. If one listens to the programme or takes a cursory look at the transcripts of Mann Ki Baat, it is clear that some issues are spoken of more regularly than others. Some of the issues and themes that have often appeared in his Mann Ki Baat programme are as follows:

  1. Khadi
  2. Cleanliness
  3. Tourism
  4. Yoga
  5. Water Conservation

While Mann Ki Baat reaches its 50th episode and while PM Modi has been speaking of the above issues from the first episode to the 49th, has anything changed on the ground with respect to the above 5 regularly occurring themes? Here is an analysis that finds this out

1. Khadi

Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the people to encourage Khadi industry by buying Khadi products, a sudden jump has been seen in sales.

Khadi sales have more than doubled in the last 4 years as shown in the graph below. If a comparative study is done between both the UPA and NDA governments, there was an increase of only 17% during UPA whereas an increase of 132% is seen after NDA came to power, and much of this has been attributed to PM Modi’s personal push for Khadi through Mann Ki Baat.

Data for 2010-11, 2013-14 – KVIC Website

Data for 2017-18 – The New Indian Express

Similarly, riding on the higher demand, the production of Khadi has also gone up as depicted in the graph below, it has also increased by 84% in the last 4 years which was only 20% during the 4 years of UPA.

Data for 2010-11, 2013-14 – KVIC Website

Data for 2017-18 – The New Indian Express

Apart from production and sales, PM Modi through his Mann Ki Baat has given a great push to the use of Charkha (spinning wheel), considered more than merely a tool in India, as it was a symbol of India’s independence movement. This push is clearly seen in the graph below which shows the huge rise of about 17,000% in the number of Charkha distributed in the last 4 years.

Data Source: KVIC

It was in his first Mann Ki Baat Episode on October 03, 2014 that Prime Minister Modi had first urged the nation to use the Khadi. Subsequently, in many episodes, he has appealed for Khadi adoption. Clearly, the Khadi industry has seen an unprecedented revival.

2. Cleanliness

Swachh Bharat has been one of the key focus areas of the current government. PM Modi has urged society to organise itself for the goal of cleanliness through various episodes of his Mann Ki Baat.

This has also resulted in transformational change on the ground. We have already explained in one of our earlier articles as to how the people in the country have responded to the appeal of the Prime Minister. The story of Kunwar Bai, a 105-year-old woman from Chhattisgarh, who sold her goats to raise money to build the toilets in her village, has been one of the many such inspiring stories.

As shown in the graph below, India had sanitation coverage of 38.7% on October 02, 2014 which has increased to 96.38%, as on November 23, 2018.

Let us look at some of the data points to grasp the picture.

Under Swachh Bharat (Rural)

  • 8.88 Crore household toilets built
  • Over 5 lakh villages have become Open Defecation Free
  • 532 districts have become Open Defecation Free

Under Swachh Bharat (Urban)

  • Over 50 lakh individual toilets constructed
  • Over 4 lakh community & public toilet construction achieved
  • Over 3,000 cities have become Open Defecation Free

Under Swachh Vidyalaya Initiative

  • 4.17 lakh toilets built in schools for girls
3. Tourism

Asking the people to visit the other states of the country to understand the diversity of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often emphasized upon tourism through Mann Ki Baat. Let’s take a look at both trends of domestic and international tourism in India.

Source: Tourism Statistics at Glance 2018, MOT

In the graph above, a comparative study over the similar time frame of the first three years of UPA and NDA government shows the rising graph in the number of domestic visits in India

Not only domestic tourism but international tourist trends also (as shown below) seem positive. India has seen a huge rise in the number of foreign travellers from all over the world. If there is a rise of 20% from a developed state like the USA, then there is also a rise of 70% from a developing state like Oman.

Therefore, India’s tourism potential is being tapped more and more.

4. Yoga

The theme of ‘Yoga’ has frequently appeared in many episodes of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ program. PM Modi is not only a Yoga practitioner himself but has also been an avid promoter, often speaking about the benefits of Yoga in Mann Ki Baat and otherwise.

With the emergence of many other physical fitness options, the growth of Yoga in India had not been much to write home about. In recent times, however, a quantum jump in Yoga’s popularity has been noted, especially in the background of the push given to it by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Therefore, apart from getting June 21 recognised as International Yoga Day by UNESCO, PM Modi has led the way in promoting Yoga in India and worldwide. His discussions about Yoga on Mann Ki Baat have also helped in India.

As per the Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018 by Walter R. Thompson of Georgia State University, Yoga has made it to the top 10 fitness trends in 2014 and has been under the top 10 since then including in the current year 2018 as shown below in the table.

Further, as per the Yoga in America Study 2016 conducted by the Yoga Journal, some of the findings make a case for Yoga’s increasing popularity.

  • There are 36.7 million yoga practitioners in the USA, up from 20.4 million in 2012 which indicates a steep rise of about 80%.
  • Yoga as an industry is rising in the U.S.A. Yoga practitioners spend about $16.8 bn annually on Yoga classes, clothing, equipment and accessories.

And it’s not only USA or UK, but almost every country is adopting Indian Yogic traditions. Yoga continues to gain popularity in China, too.

In India, the land of Yogic traditions, the Yoga industry is growing very fast. Data from KVIC on the sale of Yoga Khadi Kit sales as shown below corroborates the above claim.

Source: KVIC

5. Water Conservation

India is a country where most of the rainfall happens over a period of 4 months. This makes the case for water harvesting and conservation so that it can be used for the whole year. It is due to this reason that PM Modi, in Mann Ki Baat, has focused on the importance of water conservation in the country.

In comparison with the UPA government, NDA government has seen more serious policy action in this direction. As shown in the graph below, 2.24 lakh hectare of the additional area has been brought under micro-irrigation over the similar time frame of 3 years under both the government. Even the budgetary allocation, for micro-irrigation of about Rs. 12,711 crore by the present government shows the rise of almost 300% over the budgetary allocation by the previous government in the similar timeframe of five years.

Apart from Micro-Irrigation, there have been many other efforts toward water conservation in the country. Let’s take a look at some statistics.

  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana aims to find a solution to drought by investing Rs 50,000 crore for a period of five years (2015-16 to 2019-20) by developing a complete irrigation supply chain (water conservation).

Linking MGNREGS to Water Conservation

  • Over 143 lakh hectares have benefitted in the last 3 years
  • 2,156 river rejuvenation works are under progress by the States across the country
  • Over 15 lakh farm ponds created
  • All the assets of water conservation under MGNREGS are geo-tagged which has helped in auditing of the projects.
Conclusion

In all of the above issues or themes that have featured frequently in PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat programme over the last 49 episodes, there has been substantial progress. Apart from being a unique communication initiative, Mann Ki Baat has clearly been instrumental in strengthening India’s transformation.