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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday appealed to the people to start a 100-day 'Catch the Rain' campaign to conserve water ahead of the summer.

Addressing the country in his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat', the Prime Minister said, "This is the best time to think about water conservation in the summer months ahead".

"In most parts of India, rainfall begins in May-June. Can we right away start a 100-day campaign for the sake of cleaning up water sources around us and conserving rainwater?

"With this very thought in mind, in a few days from now, Jal Shakti Ministry will begin a similar campaign 'Catch the Rain'. Its credo is 'Cath the rain, where it falls, when it falls'," the Prime Minister said.

Modi further said, "We shall commit ourselves to the task right now and get existing rainwater harvesting systems repaired, clean up lakes and ponds in villages, remove impediments in the way of water flowing into water sources; thus we shall be able to conserve rainwater to the maximum.

"For the conservation of water, we should begin efforts right away. A few days later, just on the 22nd of the month of March, it's World Water Day."

Referring to 'Kumbh' being organised in Uttarakhand's Haridwar -- a major pilgrimage and festival in Hinduism -- the Prime Minister said that water is not only connected with our life but also our faith and the stream of development.

"There must not be a single day in India, when there is no festival connected with water in some corner of the country or the other. Water has been crucial for the development of humankind for centuries," Modi said while beginning the interesting discussion on water conservation in the second 'Mann Ki Baat' programme of this year.

"For us, water is life, faith too and the flow of development as well. In a way, water is more important than PARAS, the philosopher's stone. It is said that with the touch of a PARAS, iron gets turned into gold. Similarly, the touch of water is necessary for life; imperative for development."

Mentioning about the festival of 'Magh Poornima' which was celebrated on Saturday, the Prime Minister said the month of 'Magh' is related especially to the rivers, lakes and water sources.

"In the month of Magh, a bath in any holy water body is considered sacred," Modi said, adding, "in every society of the world, invariably, there is one tradition or the other with respect to a river".

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