Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a slew of programmes, including for country-wide cattle vaccination and checking use of plastics on Wednesday. He said that his government is trying to maintain a balance between nature and economic development.
The world is looking for a "role model" for conservation efforts, but people of India have always taken inspiration from Lord Krishna's "love for environment", he said at an event in Mathura, considered the abode of the deity.
"Environment and livestock have been at the core of India's economic philosophy. And hence, be it Swachh Bharat or Jal Jeevan Mission or promoting agriculture and animal husbandry we always try to maintain a balance between nature and economy as we move forward to build a strong new India," Modi said and stressed on adopting the concept of 'waste to wealth'.
Greeting the audience with the local salutation of 'Radhey Radhey', he said, "The Brajbhoomi has always been inspiring the entire world and humanity. Today the entire world is searching for a role model for conservation of global environment.
"But, India has a source of inspiration like Lord Krishna, who cannot be imagined without his love for environment."
The prime minister launched the 'Swachhta Hi Seva' programme with focus on reducing the use of single-use plastic in the country, saying "imbibing cleanliness in our lives will be the best tribute to Mahatma Gandhi".
The prime minister announced the start of Rs 12,652-crore National Animal Disease Control Programme (NACDP) for vaccinating cattle in the country to eradicate Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis amongst the livestock.
The prime minister said many countries in the world have got rid of FMD, but unfortunately it could not happen in India and asserted that "solutions to problems of the country will be derived for its soil".
The Prime Minister also urged the self-help group, civil society, organisations, youth, women, clubs, schools and colleges to be a part of the campaign to get rid of single use plastic.
"We must try to make our homes, offices and work place free of single-use plastic by October 2 this years," he said, and added that in government programmes there should be a provision to use metal or earthen utensils instead of plastic.
He also launched the National Artificial Insemination Programme and a country-wide workshop in all the Krishi Vigyan Kendras(KVKs) in 687 districts of the country on vaccination and disease management, artificial insemination and productivity.
Referring to his meeting with women sanitary workers, he said, "I got a chance to meet the women who were segregating plastic from waste, and they are earning. Such work should be undertaken in the villages.
"The concept of waste to wealth will help in cleaning and conserving our environment."
He also observed that there has been an increase in milk production and also in the income of animal rearers.
"Be it animal husbandry, pisciculture or apiculture, the investments made in these sectors give higher returns. Hence, in the past five years, we have moved ahead with the approach of exploring these options," he remarked.
Necessary steps have also been taken to expand the ambit of dairy farming, while keeping in mind the quality of livestock and their health.
"To expand the dairy sector, there is a need for innovation and new technique. These innovations should also come from rural society, hence the Startup Grand Challenge was also launched today," he said.
Startups can be launched by making cheap and easily available alternatives to plastic bags to proper provision of green fodder, he said.
"We need to find an appropriate solution for regular supply of green fodder and nutritious diet to the livestock."
"I assure my young friends that their ideas will be considered seriously. They will be taken forward and provision for necessary investment will also be made. This will also prepare new avenues of employment," he said.He said that there is tremendous scope for heritage tourism in Mathura. "India has jumped from 65th spot (in 2013) to 34th spot in tourism ranking," he said.