On his 72nd birthday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the National Logistics Policy and addressed several events, besides releasing cheetahs at a national park under a programme to reintroduce the animal in the country.
Since Modi assumed the highest executive office in 2014, a number of events are held on his birthday. Different ministries and state governments, especially those run by the BJP, organise their own initiatives to mark the day.
In 2020, amid COVID-19 concerns across the country, the BJP focussed on ‘seva’ (welfare) programmes to help people on Modi’ birthday, while last year over 2.5 crore Covid vaccine doses, a record, were administered across the country in a day under a special campaign.
In 2019, the prime minister spent the day in Gujarat where he visited the Sardar Sarovar Dam to witness the landmark of the Narmada river dam reaching a height 138.68 metres for the first time.
He was in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi on his birthday in 2018. He visited a school and interacted with students. He also visited the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
The prime minister inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat in 2017. He also visited the family of Marshal of Air Force Arjan Singh to express his condolences on his death.
He visited Navsari in his home state in 2016 to attend a function where aid was distributed to differently-abled persons. He also spent time with tribals in Limkeda and later inaugurated drinking water and irrigation projects in the parched region of Dahod district.
The prime minister visited Shauryanjali, a military exhibition to mark the golden jubilee of the Indo-Pak War of 1965, in 2015.
In 2014, Modi hosted a dinner for Chinese President Xi Jinping in Ahmedabad.
Within hours of arriving from the Uzbek city of Samarkand on Saturday after attending the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Modi travelled to Madhya Pradesh.
The prime minister participated in a self-help group (SHG) meeting with women members at Karahal, Sheopur, after releasing eight cheetahs in a special enclosure in the Kuno National Park.
The prime minister, who has often travelled to Gujarat on his birthday to meet his mother Heeraben, said he was enjoying the blessings of lakhs of mothers and described women as his strength and inspiration.
“Normally I meet my mother on my birthday and seek her blessings. Today so many mothers of Madhya Pradesh have blessed me,” he said, addressing a large gathering.
In the evening, he attended the grand launch of the National Logistics Policy in the national capital and said it aims to expedite last-mile delivery, helping businesses save time and money.
Modi also virtual addressed students at the first-ever convocation of students of Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) and gave the mantra of “Skilling, Reskilling and Upskilling” to the country’s youth and exhorted them to innovate and continuously upgrade their skills in line with the evolving times.
“I spent the day attending programmes that cover our economy, society and the environment. I truly believe that when we collectively work on these spheres, we will fulfil our goal of sustainable and inclusive development. May we keep working harder and harder in the times to come,” Modi later tweeted.
His party embarked on a fortnight-long nationwide drive of public outreach with initiatives like blood donation, helping the poor and disabled, and cleanliness measures, and also observe a “unity in diversity” programme.
(With PTI inputs)