Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said a “new India” can be built only when women are empowered and given equal opportunities in social and financial matters. The prime minister made the remark during his monthly radio programme Mann ki Baat.

“At this moment, I am reminded of Swami Vivekananda’s quote – ‘the idea of perfect womanhood is perfect independence,’” Modi said. He claimed that India was moving from “women’s development” to “women-led development”.


Modi also talked about the government’s GOBAR-Dhan Yojana – the Galvanising Organic Bio-Agro Resources scheme – that would stress on turning waste to energy. “I request you to become a part of the revolution of clean energy and green jobs,” he said. “Turn waste into wealth in your villages, turn gobar into ‘gobar-dhan’ [dung wealth].”

He said this would benefit people in rural areas. “Farmers in India view gobar as a source of wealth and not just waste,” the prime minister said. “This will help keep the villages clean, animals will be looked after, and productivity will increase.”

On Mann ki Baat, he also praised personnel who work in relief and rescue operations and said that the Bimstec countries – Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal – had decided to launch a joint disaster management initiative.

Modi also spoke of the need to leverage artificial intelligence technology to improve everyone’s standard of living. Only human beings can decide how this technology is used as science and technology are value neutral, he added.