Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday appealed to people to opt for organ donation, and said his government is working on a uniform policy that will make the process easy and encourage people to adopt the life-saving exercise.
Those who donate their organs after death are "godlike" to recipients, he said in his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' radio broadcast, adding that people's preference for it can save and make many lives.
"It is a matter of satisfaction that the awareness about organ donation is rising in the country," Modi said, noting that the condition of being a state domicile for receiving organs has been removed to allow the needy to register themselves anywhere in the country.
A decision to remove the age criteria of being less than 65 years for donating organs has also been taken, he added.
From less than 5,000 cases of organ donations in 2013, the number has grown to over 15,000 in 2022, he said.
Organ donation from one deceased person can help eight to nine persons, he noted.
The prime minister also spoke to family members of those whose organs were donated after death. This included an Amritsar-based couple who decided to donate the organs of their daughter who passed away 39 days after being born with a fatal condition.
Modi effusively praised the families for opting to donate the organs of their deceased members.
He said, "Great donors like them make us understand the importance of life. A large number of needy people are waiting for an organ donor in the hope of a healthy life. It is a matter of utmost satisfaction for me that, to make organ donation easy and to encourage it, work is being done on a uniform policy in the whole country."
Modi also noted that the cases of corona are rising in some places and asked people to take precautions.
In the field of clean energy, he said, India's growing presence is being lauded globally.
The speed with which India is moving forward in the field of solar energy is a big achievement in itself, he said, noting that Diu has become the first district in India to consume only clean energy for all day time needs.
"Through solar panels, more electricity is being generated in Diu than required during the day time. Through this solar project, about 52 crore rupees have also been saved. The environment has also benefitted a lot," he said, encouraging the use of clean energy.
In his address, the prime minister lauded the increasing presence of women in different fields, and said "woman power" is playing a big role in India's growing strength.
He mentioned several examples, including that of Surekha Yadav becoming the first women loco pilot in Asia.
Producer Guneet Monga and director Kartiki Gonsalves brought laurels to the country by winning an Oscar for their documentary 'The Elephant Whisperers', he said and also lauded women's role in the NDRF's relief and rescue work in Turkiye.
Modi said, "India has also deployed a Women-only Platoon in the Peacekeeping Force under the UN Mission."
Noting the recent celebration of ancient ties between people of Varanasi and Tamil Nadu though the 'Kashi-Tamil Sangamam' held in the holy city, he said 'Saurashtra-Tamil Sangamam' will be held in different parts of Gujarat during April 17-30.
Such programmes are driven by the spirit of 'Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat', he said.
Amid the ongoing official celebration of the 400th birth anniversary of Assamese general Lachit Borphukan, credited for defeating the Mughals, Modi said people will be surprised to know that about 45 lakh people sent essays on his life as part of a campaign.
"You will also be happy to know that now it has become a Guinness record," he said.
The essays have been written in 23 languages, he said.
In his address, Modi also mentioned the rising demand for Kashmir's lotus stems not only in India but abroad as well and the boost in farmers' income of Jammu and Kashmir's Bhadarwah after they began growing lavender.
"A few days ago, the grand temple of Maa Sharda was inaugurated in Kupwara. This temple is built on the same route one would use to go to visit Sharda Peeth. Local people have helped a lot in its construction. I congratulate the people of Jammu and Kashmir for this auspicious work," he said.
Modi also asked people to share their ideas for the 100th episode of the programme scheduled for next month.