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Varanasi – Getting Modern, Deepening Roots in Tradition

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The latest visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his Parliamentary constituency Varanasi was marked by the initiation of various development related projects. Varanasi, the ancient city, which is revered by people across India, is getting an unprecedented face lift ever since it became the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We have earlier documented the development journey of Varanasi in our article PM Modi and Varanasi’s Journey to Vikas.

New Gifts for Varanasi -Relevance Beyond the Constituency

In his visit to Varanasi on January 16, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated developmental projects worth Rs 1200 crore.

From the beginning, development of Varanasi was not about completely turning it into a new, unfamiliar city. Rather, every step of the administration seems to be in line with developing Varanasi in sync with the traditions it deeply connected to. Even in this day-long engagement of the Prime Minister at Varanasi on Sunday, the approach was clearly evident.

There were announcements of train facility and super speciality hospital that will align Varanasi with the modern needs. On the same day, he took part in the closing ceremony of the Centenary Celebration of Jagadguru Vishwaradhya Gurukul at Jangamwadi Mutt. The latter is not just about Varanasi but the Veera Shaiva tradition that has spread across India. At the event, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi also released the translated version of ‘Shri Siddhant Shikhamani Granth’ in 19 languages. He also launched the ‘Shri Siddhant Shikhamani Granth’ Mobile App.

Thus, the developmental approach is not only to address the needs of the constituency; it also about repositioning Varanasi as the destination for every Indian.

While the inauguration of 430 bed super-speciality government hospital serves the people of Kashi and Purvanchal, the third corporate train Mahakaal Express links three important Jyotirling Pilgrim Centres – Varanasi, Ujjain and Omkareshwar – with each other.

Prime Minister Modi also attended an exhibition titled ‘Kashi Ek Roop Anek’. The exhibition was a showcase event that signifies the role of MSMEs in the economy and a roadmap for the sector. The exhibition also included the various products from Kashi and others districts of UP produced by the weavers and handicraftsmen. As PM Modi noted, “in the last 2 years more than 3500 artisans, weavers from 30 districts were supported by UP Institute of Design (UPID). Toolkits were also given to over 1000 workers.”

Paying Homage to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay’s Antyodaya

The statue of Deendayal Upadhyay that PM Modi dedicated to the nation at Varanasi stands for the concept of Antyodaya, reaching the last person. Many programmes in housing, electricity, toilets etc have proved that Antyodaya is not just a slogan for the Modi government; rather, it is an article of faith. PM Modi’s adopted village in Varanasi, Jayapur itself narrates the ideal story of last mile connectivity. As this report back in 2015, briefs about the village, “in a village of 700-odd families, 135 solar street lights have come up. There is a solar pump near the under-construction ‘Panchayat Bhawan’ which fills in ample water in an overhead tank. Of the 15 bio-toilets to come up in the village.”

As the ghats have become cleaner long-back, Varanasi also has to its credit the first multi modal terminal on river Ganga. All these are indicative of the grand role the city of Varanasi is going to achieve in the history of New India. You may read our earlier article Varanasi, A Story of Real Development to know all the developmental journey the city travelled so far under the Modi government.

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