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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked Indians to hoist the national flag at their homes during 13-15 August as part of the Centre’s ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ programme.

Addressing the nation through the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme, the prime minister also suggested the citizens to place the tricolour on their social media profile pictures from 2 August to 15 August.

“The tricolour connects us, inspires us to do something for the country. I also have a suggestion that from the 2nd of August to the 15th of August, all of us can place the tricolor in our social media profile pictures...2nd of August also has a special connection with our tricolor. This day is the birth anniversary of Pingali Venkaiah who designed our national flag. I pay my respectful homage to him," Modi said.

Under the programme, the government wants about 200 million homes in the country, involving a billion people to fly the tricolour during 13-15 August. According to the government, the programme is aimed at increasing the spirit of patriotism.

On 19 July, Mint had reported that the cabinet secretary’s office has mandated ministries to ask their officers and employees to hoist the national flag in the run-up to the 76th Independence Day celebrations, during 13-15 August.

The prime minister mentioned a new endeavour of the government, ‘Azadi Ki Railgadi Aur Railway Station’, wherein the objective is to make people know the role of Indian Railways in the freedom struggle. A total of 75 railway stations with connections to the Indian freedom struggle have been identified and are being decorated ornately, he said.

Talking of the covid-19 situation, he said that the fight against the pandemic is still underway both in India and globally. He highlighted the “increasing interest" of people in holistic healthcare amid the pandemic.

“We all know how useful Indian traditional methods are in this. In the fight against Corona, AYUSH has played an important role, at the global level. There is a growing interest in Ayurveda and Indian medicine around the world. This is one of the major reasons why Ayush exports have witnessed a record growth and it is also a matter of joy that many new start-ups are also emerging in this sector," Modi said, adding that in the recent Global Ayush Investment and Innovation Summit investment proposals of about 10,000 crore were received.

He added that during the pandemic, there has been a lot of increase in research on medicinal plants. Mentioning the recent launch of the Indian Virtual Herbarium, he said that it is a collection of digital images of preserved plants or plant parts, which is freely available on the web.

More than 1 lakh specimens and scientific information related to them are available on this virtual herbarium, Modi said.

Talking of growing exports, he also threw light on the India’s toy exports, he said that the country has reversed the trade flow in terms of toys and exports currently stand at around 2,600 crore up from 300-400 crore earlier. Imports on the other hand have declined around 70%. Earlier, the country used to import toys worth 3,000 crore, said the prime minister.

“India’s toy sector has proven its mettle by transforming itself. Indian manufacturers are now making toys based on Indian mythology, history and culture. Toy clusters that are there everywhere in the country, small entrepreneurs who make toys, are getting a lot of benefit from it. The toys made by these small entrepreneurs are now going around the world."

Noting that toy manufacturers from India are also working closely with the world’s leading global toy brands, Modi congratulated Indian manufacturers and start-ups for the growth in the segment.

The prime minister extended best wishes to the Indian athletes in the ongoing Commonwealth Games, in Birmingham, UK. “I am also happy that India is going to host the FIFA Under 17 Women’s World Cup as well. This tournament will be held around October, which will enhance the enthusiasm of the daughters of the country towards sports," he said.

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