Modi addresses Indian community, visits IRRI, Mahaveer Philippine Foundation in Manila

Saying that the ASEAN region is very important for India with the long shared heritage and emotional bonding through the Buddha and the Ramayana, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the Indian diaspora in the region had a key role to play in nurturing this heritage.
Addressing the Indian community in the Philippines capital last evening, Mr Modi said India has never harmed another country. He spoke of the sacrifice of one and a half lakh Indian soldiers, who laid down their lives in distant lands during World Wars I and II.
He said that India's present too must be equally bright, and radiant. He said the country should do everything possible to ensure that the 21st century, which is termed "Asia's century" becomes "India's century."
The Prime Minister spoke of initiatives such as ‘Jandhan Yojana’ and ‘Ujjwala Yojana’, taken by the Government for empowering the poor. He also mentioned the gains made through Aadhaar linking of subsidy.
Mr Modi also visited the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), at Los Banos, in the Philippines. IRRI is a premier research organisation dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protecting the rice-growing environment for future generations.
He also viewed a photo exhibition that showcased flood, drought and salinity tolerant rice varieties, drought tolerant rice varieties and IRRI's work with women farming cooperatives.
The Prime Minister undertook a symbolic groundbreaking for a new plot for submergence tolerant rice varieties. He unveiled a plaque to mark the inauguration of the Shri Narendra Modi Resilient Rice Field Laboratory. He presented two Indian rice seed varieties to the IRRI gene bank.
During the course of the visit, the Prime Minister interacted with several Indian scientists working at IRRI.
The Prime Minister also visited the Mahaveer Philippine Foundation in Manila. This is a long-running humanitarian cooperation programme, between India and the Philippines, and was set up by an Indian origin Mayor of Manila Dr Ramon Bagatsing. The Foundation, in association with Mahaveer Viklang Sahayta Samiti, has been instrumental in the fitment of Jaipur Foot to needy amputees. The Prime Minister interacted with people who have benefited from the Jaipur Foot.


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