Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday took a holy dip at the Sangam here and interacted with sanitation workers, who have ensured cleanliness during the ongoing Kumbh Mela, describing them as “real karm yogis” whose contributions are being lauded all over.
Modi also performed the Ganga aarti and washed the feet of sanitation workers.
He presented them ‘angvastram’ and said he would carry the memory of washing the feet of safai karamcharis life-long. In a tweet, he said he prayed for the well-being of 130 crore Indians at the Sangam.
“No one can know the labour they (safai karamcharis) have put in the Kumbh. Cleanliness has been the trademark of this Kumbh,” Modi said at a gathering at the Kumbh Mela, adding they are the “real karm yogis”.
“It is my wish that your blessings remain with me and I continue to work for you.”
He said no stone was left unturned to make this “Divya Kumbh” a “Bhavya (grand) Kumbh”.
“The Swachh Kumbh is happening at a time when the nation is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who had 100 years ago expressed the desire for a clean Kumbh when he visited the Kumbh in Haridwar. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is moving ahead, and by October 2, India will become open defecation-free,” he said.
Starting and ending his speech paying gratitude to the holy rivers in Prayagraj, a place of reverence, especially for Hindus, Modi also praised the “naaviks’ (boatmen), calling them the “sevak” of Lord Ram.
The prime minister described himself as their, the boatmen’s, pradhan sevak (principal servant).
“Boatmen play an important role during Kumbh. There is a strong relationship between Prayagraj and boatmen. They are the dedicated soldiers of Maa Ganga. Without them, the Ramayana of Lord Ram is incomplete,” Modi said.
“Lord Ram, by whose benevolence everyone’s boat sails through, his boat was ferried by our naavik friends. I share a deep relationship with you… You call yourself ‘Gangaputra’, I have come on the call of Maa Ganga and serving you,” the prime minister said amid an applause from the audience.
He said the infrastructure created for this year’s Kumbh is permanent, unlike previous years. PTI