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New Delhi : President of India Ram Nath Kovind visited the Divya Prem Sewa Mission, Haridwar, on September 23, 2017. The President received a rousing reception despite heavy rain. Speaking on the occasion, he said that this is his first visit to ‘Devbhoomi’ Uttarakhand after assuming the office of President. He commended the state for its natural beauty and spiritual heritage. The President also praised the national contribution of famous political leaders from the state such as G B Pant and H N Bahuguna.

The President highlighted the legacy and efforts of the state in the area of ecological conservation. He said illustrious people from Uttarakhand such as Sundarlal Bahuguna have set an example for the world on how to preserve and protect nature and the environment. People associated with the ‘Chipko Andolan’ used to sing a song that goes, ‘Our soil, Our water, Our forest; Our forefathers nurtured these. We will certainly save them’. Uttarakhand has to achieve its development goals within this framework of environmental protection. There is need to maintain the right balance between conservation and development, he said, according to a PIB release.

The President said that the ‘Namami Gange’ mission will travel to the plains of India and end in West Bengal but it begins in Uttarakhand. Therefore, the movement to clean and preserve the Ganga should also start in Uttarakhand.

The President praised the work done by the Divya Prem Seva Mission in the service of leprosy patients. He expressed hope that people of the country will draw inspiration from the efforts of the Divya Prem Seva Mission and dedicate themselves in the service of humanity, according to the PIB release.

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