PTI Photo by Atul Yadav
PTI Photo by Atul Yadav

Pune: Stating that global warming and environmental degradation have posed a challenge before the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday stressed the need to conserve natural resources.

Interacting with IT professionals as part of a townhall through video-link from Delhi, he said rampant exploitation of natural resources is not an Indian tradition. “It is true that due to global warming and environmental issues we are facing difficulties. And this problem is becoming apparent day by day. Therefore saving natural resources is our responsibility,” Modi said. “Whatever we are doing (by exploiting natural water resources) is not our tradition and culture, and this is one bad habit we have borrowed from somewhere (else),” he said in reply to a question by Siddhesh Bhobe of PersistentSystems who had asked how the IT industry can be a part of Modi’s vision of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

The prime minister added that rainwater harvesting has been a part of Indian culture. “But unfortunately, over the years, we stopped that thing and created the current situation,” he added. There are some social entrepreneurs and NGOs which are using conventional methods for water conservation and ground water recharging, and “we need to see how can we do this scientifically and turn it into a mass-movement,” Modi said.

He also pitched for increased use of drip irrigation. IT professionals can go to universities and colleges in Pune to create awareness about water conservation, the prime minister said. “You will find that 60 per cent of students living in hostels are from rural and farming background. So you can use them, train them and help them to mobilise resources and when the students go back to their villages in holidays, they will be your volunteers and will help spread the word in their area,” said Modi.

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