Addressing a public meeting at Mana village on the Indo-China border, 3 km from Badrinath Dham, the Prime Minister said that Kedarnath, Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib are also being connected with facilities. He said, ‘Such a grand Ram temple is being built in Ayodhya and India is calling for its cultural uplift till the corridor of Goddess Vindhyachal. It is now becoming easier and easier for every devotee to reach these centers of faith. He said that even after independence, the mentality of slavery kept the country stuck and the previous governments did not develop their places of faith due to inferiority complex about their culture.
Slave mentality brought places of faith to a shambles
“The slavery mentality has brought our places of faith to a shambles,” he said. For hundreds of years, the stones coming from the weather and the way to get there were destroyed. But those governments did not even find it necessary to provide facilities to their citizens to go to these places. Earlier, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for road and ropeway projects worth Rs 3,400 crore, including the 12.40 km long Govindghat-Hemkund Sahib ropeway (ropeway), the 9.7 km long Gaurikund-Kedarnath ropeway.
‘Staying firm even after gross neglect’
Modi said that despite the blatant neglect, “neither the importance of our spiritual centers has diminished nor has our devotion towards them diminished.” He said that apart from the elders, efforts should be made to make them the center of reverence for the younger generation as well. The Prime Minister said that today the whole country is filled with pride for the development of its spiritual centers and after the formation of the double engine government in Uttarakhand, 45 lakh devotees have come to Chardham so far. He said that with the reconstruction of places of faith and spirituality, there is also an aspect of employment and convenience of life of the people. He said, ‘When rail, road and ropeway reach the hills, they also bring employment with them and make life lively, luxurious and easy.’ He said that the government is now working on delivering goods to the hills through drones.
What did PM Modi appeal to 130 crore countrymen?
He said that the drone would soon deliver fresh vegetables grown in the hills to the big cities, which would also increase the income of the local people. Appreciating the quality and packaging of salt, spices and other items produced by self-help groups working in the hills, the Prime Minister urged every pilgrim who visits the place to buy the goods and carry them along. Modi said that he prays to 130 crore countrymen of the country from Mana village, located near the China border, to spend at least 5 percent of their travel expenses in buying local products. Urging the campaign to be run as ‘Vocal for Local’, the Prime Minister said, “Even if one product is in your house, bring another.” Give a gift to someone, but definitely take it. He said that this will give you satisfaction and happiness and people of the area will get livelihood.
PM Modi told how Mana village is progressing
He said that a local woman from Mana told him that this time due to the good journey, his goods worth Rs 2.5 lakh were sold. The Prime Minister described the industriousness of the people of the hills as their strength but said that the previous governments used their strength against them and did not give them any facilities. Modi said that but he tried to solve the challenges of the mountain and provided every basic facilities including electricity, water to every village. Bringing digital connectivity to every nook and corner of the state. He said that he wanted to tell some of his friends in Parliament that even in Mana village women studying up to class VIII were also taking digital payments. He said that the double engine government is providing financial assistance to the youth for skill development and soon a program of NCC in border areas is being prepared for them.
‘Government working on rail, road and air traffic in the mountains’
PM Modi said that even to overcome the problem of connectivity of hills, his double engine government is working on every means- rail, road and air transport to provide multimodal connectivity to Uttarakhand. Referring to the Himachal Vande Bharat train in this regard, he said that the dream of Rishikesh-Karnprayag rail in Uttarakhand would also be realized soon. He said that apart from reducing the distance due to good connectivity, industries will also get a boost. In this regard, he said that since 2014, Border Roads Organization has constructed 7000 km of new roads and hundreds of bridges in the border areas of the country. He said that in order to increase the connectivity of the hill states, now the work of mountain ranges will be taken forward on the lines of Sagarmala and Bharatmala. Under this, a large network of ropeways has started in Uttarakhand and Himachal. Referring to the development of the border villages, he said that there should be increased activity in them and such villages should be made so that even the people who have left them feel like returning there.