Citing examples of women who had contributed in positive transformation of the country, PM Modi named Kalpana Chawla, Nirmala Sitharaman & others.


On the 40th edition of his monthly radio program, Mann Ki Baat – the first radio address in 2018 – Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the achievements of women, who contributed to the positive transformation of the country.

“Women are advancing in many fields, emerging as leaders. Today there are many sectors where our Nari Shakti (women power) is playing a pioneering role, establishing milestones. India’s Nari Shakti has contributed a lot in the positive transformation being witnessed in our country and society,” said PM Modi.

Citing examples of women who are and had played a pioneering role, establishing milestones in their respective field, PM Modi remembered astronomer Kalpana Chawla – who died in the Columbia space shuttle mishap. The Prime Minister also mentioned the contributions of Union Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman , who recently flew a Sukhoi-30MKI and Lt Commander Vartika, who lead an all-women crew sailing across the globe.

“The 1st of February is the death anniversary of astronaut Kalpana Chawla. She left us in the Columbia space shuttle mishap, but not without becoming a source of inspiration for millions of young people the world over,” said the Prime Minister.

“Women are revered as ‘Shakti’ in Indian society, women have always taken leadership positions in our country and our ancient scriptures say, ‘One daughter is equal to 10 sons’,” he added.

Further praising tribal women from Chhattisgarh, who drive e-rickshaws amid continuing unrest by the Maoists, Modi said, “I want to appreciate the women of Dantewada in Chhattisgarh. This is a Maoist affected area but the women there are operating e-rickshaws. This is creating opportunities; it is also changing the face of the region and is also environment friendly.”

Also talking about women achievers, recently felicitated by President Ram Nath Kovind, Modi said, “A few days ago, the Honourable President of India met women achievers, who distinguished themselves in various fields.”

Speaking on the more transparent ways in the process of nominating Padma awardees, PM Modi cited the contributions of common Indians who received the prestigious awards this year for their contributions to the society.

“I am sure you all felt proud after reading about the Padma Awards. We have honoured those who may not be seen in big cities but have done transformative work for society.” Talking about some of the Padma Awardees, PM said, “Honouring those who have done pioneering work across India,” he said.

Mentioning the name of Arvind Gupta, who was conferred with Padma Shree award this year, Modi added, “He, spent all his life creating toys for children from waste. We have honoured those who may not be seen in big cities but have done transformative work for society.”

Also appreciating the Bihar government’s initiative to fight against practices like dowry, Modi said, “In our country, there have been unending endeavors against social ills and evil practices, both individually and collectively. In order to uproot social ills in Bihar, world’s longest human chain spanning over 13,000 kilometers was formed.”