Take lead in battling climate change, PM tells media

Chennai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged the media to take a lead in the battle against climate change and promote initiatives like 'Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat' that seeks to promote national integration.

Stating that during times of natural disasters, media does its best to cover its various aspects, he said natural calamities seem to be "occurring with increasing frequency and intensity" across the world.

"Climate change is a challenge for each one of us," he said, addressing the platinum jubilee of Tamil daily Dina Thanthi at the Madras University Centenary Auditorium here.

"Can media take a lead in the battle against it? Can media devote just a little space, or a fixed time daily, to report, discuss, or increase awareness about what we can do to combat climate change?" he said.

Appreciating media s response to the 'Swachh Bharat' Mission, Modi said he was touched by the constructive role that media has played, both in generating awareness and mass consciousness towards cleanliness.

"They have also pointed out the work that remains to be done, before we can claim to have achieved our goal." 

He said in initiatives like 'Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat' as well, media can play an important role.

"Can a newspaper, devote just a few column inches of space, each day for one year, to this cause? Everyday, they can write one simple sentence in their language of publication, along with its translation, and trans-literation, in all major Indian languages." 

At the end of the year, the readers of the newspaper will have been exposed to 365 such simple sentences, in all major Indian languages, he said.

Stating that this will create a positive impact, he said further schools can be encouraged to discuss this in their classrooms "so that children too, are exposed to the strength and richness of our diversity." 

After completing his 25-minute address, a smiling Modi walked down from the dais and shook hands with those in the audience which included industrialists, film stars, and political leaders of Tamil Nadu's opposition parties.

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