President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday said that the “globally cherished” Gandhian values of truth and non-violence were as much relevant in the contemporary times as in the past.
The President, who began his two-day visit of Gujarat by first visiting the Sabarmati Ashram of Mahatma Gandhi, wrote in the Visitors’ Book: “It is a matter of great honour and privilege for me to be on the sacred precincts of the Sabarmati Ashram, epitomising the globally cherished Gandhian values of truth and non-violence, which continue to be as relevant today as they were in the past.”
Kovind, who is visiting the State the first time after becoming the President, was received by Governor O.P. Kohli, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel at the airport here this afternoon.
Visiting the ashram, he offered his floral tributes at the Mahatma Gandhi statue inside the Ashram, which is managed by the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust. Trust Chairperson Elaben Bhatt, along with trustees Kartikeya Sarabhai and Amrut Modi, accompanied Kovind during his tour of the Ashram, which is celebrating 100 years of its establishment.
Mahatma Gandhi lived here between 1917 and 1930.
The President planted a sapling on the premises of the Ashram as well as took a briefing from the trustees about the ongoing work of preserving the Gandhian-era documents and letters.
Writing in the Visitors’ Book outside Hriday Kunj, where Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi lived, Kovind continued: “I join the nation in paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, whose teachings and ideals are an eternal source of inspiration and strength not only for India but also for the entire world.”
The President’s message said: “On the occasion of the year-long Sabarmati Ashram Centenary Celebrations, let me reaffirm our resolve to follow the path of Gandhiji for peace and harmony amongst the nations and the entire mankind.”
Kovind later left for Mehsana town in north Gujarat, where he attended a programme at Simandhar Swami Jain Temple on the occasion of Guru Ashish Mahaparv. He will be going to Jasdan in Saurashtra region’s Rajkot district to address a public gathering after attending the foundation stone laying ceremony for the link-4 of the ambitious SAUNI (Saurashtra-Narmada Avataran Irrigation Yojana) project.
The President will also visit Ghela Somnath temple near Jasdan town, which is around 60km from Rajkot city.