Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his radio programme "Mann ki Baat" on Sunday appreciated the people who are taking initiatives like providing books free of cost to needy students and coming up with innovative concepts like mobile libraries.
Prime Minister lauded the efforts made by Manzoor Ahmed Elahi, who is providing pencil slate to big firms of the country.
"Today, Pulwama in Kashmir is playing an important role in educating the entire nation. Almost 90 per cent of the demand for the pencil slate in the country is met by Kashmir Valley and Pulwama has a big share in that. At one time we used to import the wood for pencils, but now, our Pulwama is making the nation self-reliant in this field. The Chinar wood from the valley has high moisture content and softness which makes it most suitable for the production of pencils. Ukhoo in Pulwama is known as the pencil village. There are many units engaged in the production of pencils slates which are generating employment and in these units, women are working in large numbers," Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister said that Manzoor Ahmed Elahi was a normal woodcutter and now providing jobs to 200 people.
"Elahi wanted to do something new so that his future generation does not live in poverty. He sold his ancestral property and started a unit to make apple wooden boxes. While engaged in his small business, he got to know that Chinar wood is being used in Pencil production. After learning this, Manzoor exhibited his entrepreneurial instincts and started supplying popular wooden boxes to famous pencil manufacturing units. He found it profitable and his income also started increasing. He then purchased pencil slate manufacturing machinery and started supplying pencil slate to big firms of the country. He is providing employment to about 200 people and has a turnover in crore. On behalf of countrymen, I appreciate his efforts," he added.
Prime Minister also highlighted the works of the people engaged in e-platform and delivering agricultural products.
"A self-help group of women in Jharkhand got an app ''Ajivika Farm Fresh'' designed to deliver vegetables and fruits to households directly from the fields of the farmers," he said.
"Atul Patidar of Barwani in Madhya Pradesh has connected 400 farmers in his areas through a digital medium. Through the E-platform farm card of Patidar, farmers are now able to get the essentials of agriculture, such as fertilizers, pesticides home delivered. Modern agriculture equipment is also available for hire in this digital platform. Even during the lockdown, thousands of packet containing seeds of cotton and vegetable were delivered to farmers through this platform," he said.
Prime Minister said that one farmer producer company procured corn from the corn-producing harvesters and this time, the company paid not just the cost of the corn but also an added bonus with it.
Prime Minister Modi also talked about Sandeep Kumar of Chandigarh who runs an NGO that has set up a mobile library in a minivan, through which, poor children are given books free of cost... Similarly, ''Pustak Parab'', an innovative project, provides literary and other books free of cost.
Prime Minister Modi also talked about Pon Mariyappan from Thoothukudi, TamilNadu who runs a salon. "He has converted a portion of his salon into a library. He has studied up to class 8 only," PM Modi said.