Kanpur Dehat (Uttar Pradesh) [India], June 27 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday visited his native village Paraunkh and in a rare and emotional gesture, bowed and touched the ground to pay obeisance to the land of his birth.
While addressing a Jan Abhinandan Samaroh in his village, the President remembered his background and said that Paraunkh was not just a village, but was his motherland, from where he drew inspiration.
"I had never imagined even in my dreams that an ordinary boy like me from the village would get the privilege of discharging the responsibilities of the highest office of the country. But our democratic system has shown this by doing it," he said.
"The credit for where I have reached today goes to the soil of this village and the love and blessings of this region and all of you... The smell of the earth of my village and the memories of the residents are always present in my heart. For me, Paraunkh is not just a village, it is my motherland, from where I have always been inspired to go ahead and serve the country," he added.
The President further said that it was this inspiration of his motherland that took him from High Court to Supreme Court, from Supreme Court to Rajya Sabha, from Rajya Sabha to Raj Bhavan and from Raj Bhawan to Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Kovind, along with his wife Savita Devi, chose to travel to their hometown in a special train from Delhi to connect with people - the first rail journey by an incumbent President in 15 years. He arrived at his native village on a helicopter and landed near his village.
Governor of Uttar Pradesh Anandiben Patel and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath received the President on his arrival at Kanpur Central Railway Station on Friday.
Speaking about the Indian culture of 'Matri Devo Bhava' (Mother is God), 'Pitru Devo Bhava' (Father is God) and 'Acharya Devo Bhava' (Teacher is God), he said that he was glad to see people in the village respecting parents and gurus.
"It has been a tradition in my family to give the status of mother to the oldest woman in the village and father to the elderly man, irrespective of caste, class or sect. Today I am happy to see that this tradition of our family of respecting elders continues even now," he said.
With the trip taking place amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the President told the people that vaccination is like a shield to protect from the coronavirus and urged people to get vaccinated.
The President is scheduled to return to New Delhi on a special flight on June 29. (ANI)