PM Modi calls upon people to maintain dignity of pilgrimage sites Chardham Yatra, Amarnath Yatra, Pandharpur Yatra & Jagannath Yatra

New Delhi: On the topic of cleanliness, the Prime Minister said the holy pilgrimage of ‘Char-Dham’ in Uttarakhand is currently underway and it is sad that filth is being spread by some pilgrims in Kedarnath.

Many people have expressed their displeasure on social media as well. He said going on a holy pilgrimage and coming across a heap of filth there is not right. He however said that there are many devotees who are worshiping in the Dham of Baba Kedar, as well as cleaning the area. Some are cleaning near the place of stay, while others are cleaning garbage along the travel route. Many organizations and voluntary organizations are also working there along with the Swachh Bharat campaign team. Mr Modi said that ‘teerth seva is as important as pilgrimage and without ‘teertha seva’, a pilgrimage is incomplete.

There are many people in Uttarakhand who are engaged in cleanliness and service. Mr Modi spoke about Manoj Bainjwal hailing from Rudraprayag. For the last 25 years, Manoj has taken it upon himself to look after the environment. Apart from running the campaign of cleanliness, he is also engaged in making holy places plastic free.

Surendra Bagwadi hailing from Guptkashi has also made cleanliness his life mantra. In Guptkashi, he regularly runs cleanliness programmes, and has named this campaign as ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Similarly, Mr Modi mentioned Champa Devi from village Devar has been teaching waste management to women of the village. She has planted hundreds of trees and has set up a stretch of forest full of greenery.

The Prime Minister said that along with ‘Chardham Yatra’, many Yatras are nearing including ‘Amarnath Yatra’, ‘Pandharpur Yatra’ and ‘Jagannath Yatra’. He called upon people to maintain the dignity of these pilgrimage sites.

Prime Minister said Environment Day will be celebrated on the 5th of June. He said there is a need to run positive environment campaigns. He urged listeners to make some effort for cleanliness and tree plantation.

The 8th ‘International Yoga Day’ will be celebrated on 21st of June. The theme for this year is Yoga for Humanity. Mr Modi urged everyone to celebrate ‘Yoga Day’ with great enthusiasm and also take necessary precautions related to Covid. He said the situation now is looking better than earlier across the whole world. He said the pandemic has made people realize the overarching importance of health and Yoga being a great medium in ensuring the same. He added that people are experiencing the boost in physical, spiritual and intellectual well being due to Yoga.

The Prime Minister said he has come to know about some very innovative examples being held on ‘Yoga Day’ in the country and abroad. One of these is Guardian Ring under which, the Movement of the Sun will be celebrated. Indian missions in different countries will organize yoga programs at sunrise according to the local time there. The program will successively commence, following one country after another. Mr Modi said the journey from east to west will go on continuously.

Keeping in mind the ‘Amrit Mahotsav’ in the country, ‘International Yoga Day’ will also be organized at 75 major places in the country. The Prime Minister urged people to celebrate Yoga Day and choose any place in their city, town or village which is most special. This place can be an ancient temple and tourist center, or it could be the banks of a famous river, lake or pond. He said that by doing so, the identity of that area will be reinforced and tourism will get a boost.

Mr Modi also spoke about a few Japanese people who harbour amazing attachment and love for India. One of them is Hiroshi Koike, who is a well-known Art Director. He has directed the Mahabharat Project which was started in Cambodia and is continuing for the last 9 years. Hiroshi Koike travels to one country in Asia every year and produces parts of the Mahabharata with local artists and musicians there. Through this project, he has done productions and given stage performances in nine countries including India, Cambodia and Indonesia. Hiroshi Koike brings together artists who have had a diverse background in Classical and Traditional Asian Performing Art.
The Prime Minister recounted how he met Atsushi Matsuo and Kenji Yoshi during his recent visit to Japan. Both of them are associated with TEM Production Company. This company is associated with the Japanese Animation Film based on Ramayana that was released in 1993. This project was associated with Japan’s very famous film director Yugo Sako.

About 40 years ago, in 1983, he came to know about Ramayana for the first time. ‘Ramayana’ touched his heart, after which he started researching deeply on it. He read 10 versions of Ramayana in Japanese language, and showcased it through animation. Even Indian animators have worked on the film. Mr Modi said that after 30 years, this animation film is being re-mastered in 4K now. He said it is a matter of pride and wonder that people in Japan have dedication and reverence for Indian culture.

The Prime Minister said serving the society by rising above the self, is a part of Indian values. He gave the example of Ram Bhupal Reddy from Markapuram in Andhra Pradesh. Ram Bhupal Reddy has donated all his earnings after retirement for the education girls. He got accounts opened for about 100 girls under ‘Sukanya Samridhi Yojana’, and deposited more than 25 lakhs in it.

Mr Modi cited another such example from Kachora village of Agra in Uttar Pradesh. There was a shortage of fresh water in this village for many years. Kunwar Singh, a farmer of the village, found water in his field 6 to 7 kilometres away from the village. He and his younger brother Shyam Singh together bore the entire cost of laying a pipeline from the farm to the village for supplying fresh water to the villagers. Mr Modi stated that society can be empowered only by walking on the path of duty. He said this should be the resolution in this Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

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