Let us bring head & heart together to tide over COVID-19 crisis: Vice President

RSTV Bureau
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu reading a book at his residence. (Picture Courtesy: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu's FB handle)

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu reading a book at his residence. (Picture Courtesy: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu’s FB handle)

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday morning shared a post on his various social media platforms, where he shared his everyday routine during the ongoing lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Vice President mentioned that his friends and well-wishers were curious to know about his lockdown routine as they knew that he actively travels, meets and interacts with people.

He also mentioned his conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the announcement of lockdown.

He said, “Soon after the announcement of the first lockdown, the Prime Minister, Shri Narendrabhai Modi during a telephonic talk, had said in jest that it indeed will be an ordeal for a person like me to remain at one place for a long time.”

Vice President while saying that the root of everything is in the mind, quoted a few lines from Jnanpeeth, a Telugu poetical work by Dr C Narayana Reddy, that summed up the essence of his thoughts: “For sainthood or for animal instincts; For good deeds and evil acts; For freedom or confinement; For compassion or cruelty, the first seed lies in the Mind. This is the core of universal philosophy and the eternal truth of life”.

He said that whenever we face a daunting challenge, we need to prepare the mind to accept and adapt to the unknown. We can embrace any change joyfully once we understand this small stratagem.

Vice President while talking about his student years said that he had never spent a long time at a single place. Therefore this was a novel experience for him of which he thrives to make the most by conditioning his mind to handle the uncertainty with equanimity.

While talking about making best of the time, Vice President Naidu shared, “I am trying to use the time in a constructive manner and enhancing my perception by reading good books and sharing my thoughts and ideas with near and dear ones. All this is made possible by making small and significant changes to my daily routine. No doubt my mobility is restricted, but my mind is brimming with new thoughts and ideas. I have not done anything special except for reorienting my mind.”

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu at his residence. (Picture Courtesy: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu's FB handle)

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu at his residence. (Picture Courtesy: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu’s FB handle)

Vice President shared his everyday routine amid the lockdown:  “As earlier, my day starts at 5 AM. For half an hour I enjoy listening to Sri Annamayya kritis. I get pepped up with a cup of green tea and a warm concoction of turmeric, cumin, ginger, cinnamon powder, lemon with a dash of honey. To meet the protein requirement of my body, I take soaked almonds, raisins and sprouts.

From 6 AM to 7 AM, I read English, Hindi and Telugu newspapers, mostly online. I underline important news items and articles and have them filed for future use. From 7 AM, I and my wife Smt. Ushamma go for a walk for about half an hour in the sylvan surroundings of Upa-Rashtrapathi Nivas followed by light yogic exercises for 15 minutes. At 8 AM, I spend half an hour talking to my friends and loved ones. At 8.45 AM we have breakfast.

From 9-15 to 10 AM, I review the situation in relation to the issues pertaining to the government. Based on the suggestions received from the public, I share my thoughts and ideas with ministers and officials. Depending on the need, I convey important feedback to the Prime Minister…From 10 AM onwards, sitting under a big tree in the lawns of Upa-Rashtrapathi Nivas, I discuss important issues over the phone with officials of the Rajya Sabha and Vice-President’s secretariat, besides attending to urgent files. Meanwhile, Smt. Ushamma joins me after finishing her pooja and other activities. For about one-and -half hours, i.e., from 11 AM to 12-30 PM, we talk to our friends and former colleagues over the phone enquiring their well being. Smt Ushamma makes it a point to talk to all the friends and relatives in and around Nellore and neighbouring States. Subsequently, we talk to our son-in-law, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and grand children living in Chennai and Hyderabad respectively. Also discuss important issues, if any.

At sharp 1 PM, we have lunch along with my aunt, Suseelamma Garu who is staying with us and take rest for an hour. From 3 to 4 PM, we enjoy either listening to some old Telugu songs of yesteryear stalwarts like Sri Ghantasala, Suseelamma, Janaki and Sri S.P Balasubramanyam or watching short old films. At 4 PM, I get rejuvenated with a cup of green tea and return to my favourite place on the lawns. Sitting under the tree, I discuss official matters and give necessary instructions to Sri Vikrant and other officials. I and Smt. Ushamma once again speak to our friends and find out about their well-being and happenings at their respective places. We get nostalgic reminiscing good olden days.

At least once a week, I enquire about the service activities and programmes planned at the Swarna Bharat Trust (SBT) and give necessary suggestions. There is no substitute to the immense satisfaction I derive in rendering service and speaking to the inmates at the ‘Elders House’ in Swarna Bharat Trust.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu along with his wife at his residence.   (Picture Courtesy: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu's FB handle)

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu along with his wife at his residence. (Picture Courtesy: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu’s FB handle)

Both of us take a stroll around the kitchen garden situated in the backyard of Upa-Rashtrapathi Nivas and give instructions to the gardener for its proper maintenance. Choicest vegetables and leafy vegetables are being grown in the kitchen garden. We enjoy eating chemical-free organic food and relish a typical Telugu cuisine. In addition, we make it a point to have eggs daily.

Smt. Ushamma derives immense satisfaction in distributing the vegetables and leafy vegetables grown in the kitchen garden among the families of the staff staying on our campus.

At 6 pm, we settle down at a small, old temple of Lord Anjaneyaswamy located in the premises of Upa- Rashtrapathi Nivas and enjoy listening to bhajans. Both of us discuss the menu for the next day and instruct the cook, Shri Kedar regarding the dishes to be prepared.

For an hour from 7 PM, I review important news developments of the day. We listen to old Telugu songs, followed by early dinner at 8.30 pm and retire for the day.”

Vice President also mentioned that he makes it a point to read books from his personal collection at the library in the Vice President House.

“I read books on the lives of national leaders and important speeches made in the Constituent Assembly and various legislative bodies. I closely follow the latest global trends in research and share the significant ones with my friends. According to the protocol, the doctors of the Vice President’s Secretariat attend to us and check our well being. In a nutshell, this has been our daily routine in the wake of the lockdown,” he added.

Speaking about the articles that he has been writing for newspapers in different languages, he said, “Apart from reviewing a whole gamut of issues that come under my purview, I have been writing articles for newspapers in different languages on a wide range of subjects. I closely follow the messages of WHO, ICMR, Central Government and renowned international scientists and share important ones through twitter to sensitize people. I also discuss with my friends and experts in different fields.”

Vice President said that these activities were not new to him, and he had been doing the same for past many years.

Coming to his family, Vice President expressed his happiness to be able to spend time with his wife for such a long time at a stretch. He also mentioned that he was in constant touch with other family members too.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu along with his wife at his residence.   (Picture Courtesy: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu's FB handle)

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu along with his wife at his residence. (Picture Courtesy: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu’s FB handle)

Vice President also mentioned that the lockdown gave him an opportunity to speak to several veterans with whom he had worked in the past.

Vice President noted that the lockdown helped strengthen the Indian family system which weakened due to a variety of reasons in this fast-paced world. He said that in a way, the crisis facilitated families to come together and stay together, reviving the traditional family system, which he called is the USP of India.

He mentioned that there were various reports that revealed that there is a considerable decline in air and noise pollution levels in the national capital.

“This is making us to sit and take note of the extent of damage caused by us to nature in the quest for modernization. The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to adopt a healthy lifestyle. There is a much-needed shift from casual eating to conscious eating,” he added.

Vice President appreciated the timely measures taken by Prime Minister and all the Chief Ministers that helped yield positive results.

He said, “Coming together and cooperating with each other is the mantra to tide over the present crisis. The saying ‘Prevention is better than cure’ holds good in the present scenario. The only way to contain the spread of the virus is by maintaining social distancing and diligently following the guidelines issued by health experts, scientists and the government.”

Vice President mentioned that in contrast to the worrisome situation in many developed countries, India with a mammoth 130-crore population could minimize the impact by taking timely action with public cooperation. He said that this was made possible by the discipline and the foresight displayed by the able leadership of the country.

Vice President reminded that it was important to note that this was achieved by gaining the trust of the people and not by force.

He expressed confidence that a united India will triumph in this fight against the pandemic.

“The ability to contain the pandemic is determined not only by political will but also by the help extended by experts, the administrative skill of officials and co-operation of the people,” he added.

Vice President cautioned: “We need to take precautions to overcome the stress caused by the Coronavirus. It’s better to watch Corona-related news only once a day. Watching the news day-long will lead to paranoia, which is detrimental to one’s well being.”

“There is no doubt in saying that people are taking much-needed precautions by observing social distancing and self isolation. But anxiety will lead us nowhere. Over enthusiasm and stress will lead to agitated minds. Bhagavadgita says fearlessness is one of the sublime qualities. Let’s all imbibe this. Be courageous and have faith in God. It’s important to avoid indiscriminate use of mobile phone soon after getting up and before retiring to bed. Similarly, sitting in front of the TV or computer for long hours is not good. Enjoy being one with nature at the crack of dawn. Observing sunrise in the blue horizon is an uplifting and wonderful experience leading to positive thoughts,” he added.

Noting the advantages of the present scenario, Vice President urged to convert this adversity into an opportunity.

He said, “There are many ways to make constructive use of time which can be utilized for long term strategizing and development, especially by youngsters. Spending time with family members, helping each other in daily chores like cooking and cleaning will ease the burden of parents. Youth can learn many valuable aspects of life, including sharing and caring, by spending time with their grandparents.”

“The lockdown period is a wonderful opportunity to get in touch with old friends and relatives. Let us use this time to revive old friendships and reinforce bonding with distant relatives,” he added.

Vice President advised the students to make use of these holidays by learning Hindi, English and new languages along with their mother tongue. He urged students to learn at least one new language.

Talking about his grandchildren Vice President said: “I am motivating my grandchildren to learn any of these in addition to acquiring proficiency in a neighbouring state’s language. Reading books like Panchatantra along with Chandamama, Balmitra and Bommarillu online will enhance one’s perception and wisdom. It also helps them to understand our rich culture and heritage.”

“Parents and children should understand that all these things are as important as academics in the holistic development of an individual,” he added.

Vice President urged people to join hands with NGO’s and Civil Society Organizations to render service and mitigate the hardships faced by the poor and the needy.

Vice President Naidu expressed pleasure for the overwhelming manner in which the people of the country responded to the call given by the Prime Minister in clapping and lighting lamps and candles. He said that this expresses our solidarity for the frontline warriors like doctors, health care workers, sanitation staff and police, who are risking their lives and striving day and night to protect us from the pandemic.

“Our collective efforts will show positive results in these darker times and help us in overcoming this crisis. We are not alone and are backed by 130-crore Indians in this common goal of defeating Corona Virus. Let’s display an iron will and determination,” he added.

Vice President urged to strictly follow the doctor’s advice and voluntarily adhere to the norms laid down by the government for our safety. Nothing is impossible to achieve if we pursue with single-minded focus and dedication, he added.

Vice President Naidu said that the decision (second lockdown) was made in consultation with the Chief Ministers and scientists after analyzing the global scenario, therefore further extension, relaxation and lifting of the lockdown will completely depend on the behaviour of citizens.

“It is understandable that everyone may not have the privileges of the Hon’ble Vice President of India. In the given limitations, one must rise to the occasion, plan and prioritize one’s daily routine with a calm and composed mind. Let us walk together on this difficult path with restraint and greater determination. Let’s fight this pandemic head-on. Only a controlled and compassionate mind can achieve anything. This is the advice I render to my beloved people and friends. In the end, victory will be ours,” he added.