It has just been a day since Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation in 2016’s first ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio session and the country has already gone crazy to hear some more.
During his monthly radio programme on January 31, PM Modi had announced that they were launching a miss-call facility under which a person can give a miss call to 8190881908 to be able to listen to that month’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ session.
He said that in the coming months these sessions would also be provided in other regional languages so that those who didn’t know English or Hindi could hear it.
With just hours having passed since the announcement, the government was flooded with over four lakh missed calls from people all across India.
The facility, which can be accessed at any time of the day, has now put Congress in a soup as just a day before they had accused PM Modi of using ‘Mann ki Baat’ as advertisement and stated that the nation was fed up of it.
According to a senior government official, the number was expected to rise in the next couple of days as this figure was just till late evening of January 31. He said:
“We had 4 lakh missed calls till late evening…over 25,000 calls came in the first hour itself after the broadcast ended…. the number is rising.”
The official also said that the idea behind the new number was to widen the reach of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ as the present internet connectivity in rural parts of India still remains a challenge.
He further added:
“If someone is not able to tune in at 11 am on the last Sunday of the month to listen to the Mann Ki Baat, the option the person has is to go to the Internet and listen to the broadcast on a sound cloud. But that presumes a person has a good quality Internet connection. Many in rural India, our farmers, do not have it. But mobile penetration in India is very high. Leaving a missed call on the number will trigger an integrated outbound calling solution with the caller getting a call to listen to the Mann Ki Baat.”
Though the official also expressed his concern with regard to lines getting jammed and explained that with high number of calls and call back being 28 minute-long, the queue for listing to the programme was piling up.