Monday, October 5, 2009

Porbandar Junagadh District President Pratibha Patil Saurashtra Visit News Gujarat India

President visits Bapu's birthplace in Porbandar City.

President Pratibha Patil paid homage to Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, at his birthplace, Kirti Mandir, in Porbandar on Friday. The governor, chief minister Narendra Modi, state ministers, Porbandar MP Vithal Radadiya, Porbandar MLA Arjun Modhvadiya and other diginitaries, who accompanied the President, also paid homage to Gandhiji on his 140th birth anniversary.

The President arrived at Porbandar at 9.10 am and directly went to Kirti Mandir to participate in an all-religion prayer.

She was welcomed by girls there. In a reciprocal gesture, she applied tilak on the girls' forehead. It was for the first time in the history of Kirti Mandir that a President participated in the all-religion prayer.

President Patil paid homage to Gandhiji with a garland of cotton thread. Thereafter, she sang Gandhiji's favourite bhajan 'Vaishnav jan to...' along with all the dignitaries.

"It was a great moment and experience to visit the place where Gandhiji was born and (later) sacrificed his life to make India independent from British rule," she wrote in the visitors'book. Greeting people on this occasion, she said, "This is an occasion for all of us to reflect on the life and work of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi."

"Whenever I remember Bapu, particularly on this day, I am overwhelmed by his leadership, philosophy and values. His leadership inspired millions to unite for the cause of independence," she added.

"He also taught us to shed fear, to understand the importance of truth and to work for the eradication of poverty, illiteracy and discrimination," Patil said. The President also visited the birth place and memorial of Kasturba Gandhi, wife of the Mahatma and leading woman freedom fighter.

To facilitate the visit of the President and other VIPs to Kirti Mandir and Kasturba Memorial, the entry of general visitors was restricted. The local administration also restricted traffic before president's arrival and departure. The shops near Kirti Mandir were asked to remain closed till the President's visit.

The President also visited Arya Kanya Girls Gurukul in Porbandar, where girls welcomed her and presented her an oil painting of Kirti Mandir. She also watched the girls present traditional dances and sing the national anthem. Patil also offered puja at the historical Lord Krishna temple at Dwarka in Jamnagar district on Friday morning.

"The President offered puja and had 'darshan' at the Dwarkadhish temple. She took a round of the entire temple area," said Dwarkadhish Temple board vice-chairman and Rajya Sabha member, Parimal Nathwani.

Subsequently, the President held a meeting with the temple board and district authorities regarding development of the temple and the town. "She asked the authorities to create infrastructural facilities at the temple and in Dwarka town for tourists," said Minister Saurabh Patel.

In afternoon, she reached Junagadh and watched world-famous Asiatic lions in the Gir forest and in night she watched Junagadh's Siddi tribe's traditional dance.

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