Residents of Kashi are its true brand ambassadors: PM Modi

VARANASI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the residents of Kashi were its true brand ambassadors and expressed his desire to see the ancient temple town's glory reverberating around the world.

Addressing a gathering after inaugurating 16 residential schools for needy children in Uttar Pradesh named after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Modi also announced a tourist guide competition and said that be it a tourist spot or a ‘dham' (pilgrimage place), good guides are very necessary.

"The people of Kashi know the most about Kashi. Here, every person, every family is the brand ambassador of Kashi in its true meaning. But it is also important that everyone is able to convey the information about Kashi effectively," he said.

"I want to start for the first time in the country...'Kashi Saansad Tourist Guide Pratiyogita'...I want to do this because I want my Kashi's glory to reverberate around the world," he said.

Modi represents Varanasi, also known as Kashi, in the Lok Sabha.

The prime minister said a guide should be talented and complete in terms of having all the information.

"This strength should be there in Kashi. Today tourist guide is a very big employment avenue as tourists who come here want to understand everything and they also want to pay," he said.

The prime minister said India established its presence globally through the G20 Summit and there was a special discussion about Kashi and its ‘seva' (service), ‘swaad' (taste), ‘sanskriti' (culture) and ‘sangeet' (music) during the meet.

"Kashi is now seeing unprecedented development. Today I laid the foundation of an international cricket stadium. I also got the opportunity to dedicate to the nation 16 Atal Awasiya Vidyalayas," he said.

"When I came here in 2014, the dream of development and heritage of Kashi that I had imagined is now gradually coming true," he said, referring to his first election from the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat.

The prime minister also said the biggest base for the educational success of Varanasi is its all inclusive nature.

People from different corners of the country and the world come here to study, he said.

He also spoke about the new National Education Policy and the PM Schools for Rising India (PM SHRI) initiative.

The 16 schools inaugurated by the prime minister have been built at a cost of about Rs 1,115 crore.

These schools - Atal Awasiya Vidyalayas - have been opened to provide quality education to children of labourers and construction workers and those orphaned in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before dedicating the schools to the nation, Prime Minister Modi interacted with some students.

The residential schools will accommodate 1,000 students each.

These will enhance access to quality education and help in holistic development of children.

Each of the schools is constructed on an area of 10-15 acres with classrooms, playground, recreational areas, a mini auditorium, hostel complex, mess and residential quarters for staff members.

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