The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, today celebrated Diwali with jawans of the Indian Army and ITBP, at Harsil in Uttarakhand. Greeting the jawans on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that their devotion to duty in the remote icy heights, is enabling the strength of the nation, and securing the future and the dreams of 125 crore Indians.
He said that Diwali is the festival of lights; it spreads the light of goodness and dispels fear. He said that the jawans, through their commitment and discipline, are also helping to spread the sense of security and fearlessness among the people.
The Prime Minister recalled that he has been visiting soldiers on Diwali, ever since he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. He also spoke of his interactions with the jawans of ITBP, years ago when he was part of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. He said India is taking great strides forward in the defence sector. He spoke of various measures being taken for welfare of ex-servicemen, including OROP (One Rank, One Pension).
The Prime Minister said that the Indian Armed Forces draw admiration and appreciation across the world, in UN peacekeeping operations. The Prime Minister offered sweets to the jawans. He also interacted with people from nearby areas who had gathered to greet him on Diwali.
Earlier in the day, on the occasion of Diwali, Narendra Modi visited Kedarnathy. He offered prayers at the historic Kedarnath Temple. He extensively walked around the entire temple complex, where significant reconstruction works are in progress. He was briefed by senior officials about the progress of the works. He interacted briefly with various people present at the temple complex.
The Kedarnath Temple complex is currently the focus of a major development and reconstruction effort, following the severe flood and landslide that affected the region in 2013.