New Delhi: Linking the intense heatwave and drought to environmental degradation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday made a strong pitch for a mass movement to save forests and conserve "every drop" of water during the upcoming Monsoon season.
Modi, who has been reviewing drought situation with Chief Ministers recently, said a number of states have taken some good initiatives towards water conservation and that he had asked Niti Aayog to study the best practices for their replication all over the country.
In his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat', he also talked about some other issues, like the need for moving towards cashless society for transparency and curbing blackmoney.
During the 30-minute broadcast, the Prime Minister also urged the countrymen to practice Yoga for illness-free life and informed that on the International Yoga Day on June 21, he would join a programme in Chandigarh.
Referring to the intense heatwave being witnessed in the country, he said concerns increased few days back when news came in that Monsoon could be delayed by a week beyond June 1.
"Most parts of the country are experiencing intense heatwave. Be it humans, birds or animals, all are troubled... It is only because of environment that such problems continue to increase. Depletion of forests has been going on, trees continue to be cut. In a way, the humankind itself destroyed the environment and put itself on the path of destruction," he said.
He mentioned the recent cases of fire in forests of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, and said the root cause of such incidents is that there are dry leaves and little carelessness.
"That is why, saving forests and conserving water becomes everybody's responsibility," Modi said while underlining the need for saving "every drop" of water, which he described as "God's 'prasad'".
"I urge the countrymen, let us decide that we will not let even a drop of water go waste during June, July, August and September (comprising Monsoon season)... The issue of water concerns not only the farmers but everybody... The rainy (Monsoon) season is coming.. Start the preparations now to see where to save water," he said.
"I urge you. Do not let this (Monsoon) season go. In the coming four months, a mass movement in the form of 'Save Water Abhiyan' is needed to save every drop of water. And this task is not only of the governments or politicians but that of the common masses," he said, seeking contribution from the media too in this endeavour.