‘People from all over country will reach J&K for pilgrimage’
Modi praises Srinagar’s cyclist for bringing honour to UT
Sanjeev Pargal/Irfan Tramboo
JAMMU, June 26: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made special mention of Shri Amarnath Ji yatra in South Kashmir Himalayas, Lord Jagannath in Puri, Pandharpur in Maharashtra and Sabarimala in South saying the local people of Jammu and Kashmir take the responsibility of this pilgrimage.
In his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ Radio Address, Modi also praised Kashmiri cyclist Adil Altaf for bringing laurels to Jammu and Kashmir as well as his family after struggling hard to achieve historical success by winning gold in 70 kilometres cycling.
“Just four days later, Shri Amarnath Ji yatra is going to start from the 30th of June. Devotees from all over the country reach Jammu and Kashmir for this pilgrimage,” Modi said.
He said the local people of Jammu and Kashmir take the responsibility of this yatra with equal reverence.
“The locals fully cooperate with the pilgrims,” the Prime Minister said.
Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage is due to start from Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu on June 29 while it will take off from forward base camps of Nunwan in Pahalgam and Baltal from June 30.
The yatra will last 43 days and conclude on August 11 coinciding with Raksha Bandhan.
The Government has made all arrangements including that of security for the pilgrims. The Government is anticipating eight lakh pilgrims to visit Shri Amarnath Ji shrine in South Kashmir Himalayas this year.
In his address, Modi also referred to various other pilgrimages which are taken out across the country in June and July.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister praised Kashmiri Cyclist Adil Altaf also in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ for bringing laurels to J&K as well as his family after struggling hard to achieve a historical success that created a name for the Union Territory.
In the 90th episode of the program, Modi talked at length about the new talent which has emerged during the Khelo India Youth Games and said that these youth, despite belonging to ordinary families, remained successful in leaving their mark behind, with continuous support from their families.
“Father of Adil Altaf from Srinagar, who won the gold in 70 km cycling, does tailoring work, but, has left no stone unturned to fulfill his son’s dreams. Today Adil has brought pride to his father and the entire Jammu-Kashmir,” Modi said.
While talking to Excelsior, Adil who hails from Srinagar’s Lal Bazaar, and is these days undergoing high-altitude training outside J&K said that he cannot believe that the Prime Minister has mentioned him and praised his efforts.
“I am these days busy with the training and remains away from the mobile phone; but to know that the Prime Minister has named me in his monthly radio program is something unexpected, I cannot express my feelings; it will certainly boost me up for doing and achieving more,” he said.
It is worthwhile to be mentioned here that earlier, Adil created history by winning gold in the 70 km cycle race in the Khelo India Youth Games while before that, he had also secured silver in the 28 km cycle race.
Modi further said in his address: “…there has been another special feature of Khelo India Youth Games. This time too many such talents have emerged, who are from very ordinary families. These players have struggled a lot in their lives to reach this stage of success. In their success, their family, and parents too, have had a big role to play.”
Adil, who comes from a modest background, is a son of a tailor, who has been facing hardships on the financial front, particularly after the COVID-19; however, he has been ensuring that his son gets to achieve what he is aspiring for.
Soft-spoken, Adil, who has now become a star, is currently studying in class 12 with Commerce subjects at Kashmir Harvard Higher Secondary School and is being fully supported by the school management apart from his family in pursuing his sports career.
Talking about his struggle so far, Adil said the medals which he has won during the Khelo India Youth Games have come after three years of continuous efforts and support from his school as well as the sponsors. He vividly remembers how he kick-started his journey on the cycle which belonged to his brother.
“The medal came after three years and it means a lot. I started in 2018 after I participated in a cycle race which was organized by the school; it was a 10 km race in which I figured in the third slot; I used my brother’s cycle which was gifted to him by our grandmother; that’s how it all began,” he said.
After that, Adil kept participating in various events including several national events, but, he said, he was not seeing himself making any improvement and even felt disappointed.
“After using my brother’s cycle, my school came out to support me; even the school later provided me with financial assistance which then made it possible for me to get a new bike, paving a way for me to start the journey. I then participated in several events, but failed to make my mark which got me thinking whether I was wasting my time; I was feeling de-motivated,” he said, adding then things changed all of a sudden.
The change came after was able to first win a silver medal and then gold at Khelo India Youth Games held recently. “I feel happy; my family is overwhelmed; I am looking forward to doing more in the future,” he said.
Modi during the program also mentioned several other players who have made their name despite coming from ordinary backgrounds and said: “Gold winner L. Dhanush’s father is a carpenter in Chennai. Sangli’s daughter Kajol Sargar’s father works as a tea vendor. Kajol would help her father and practice weight lifting as well. This hard work of hers and her family paid off and Kajol has won a lot of accolades in weight lifting. Tanu of Rohtak has performed a similar kind of miracle. Tanu’s father Rajbir Singh is a school bus driver in Rohtak. By winning the gold medal in wrestling, Tanu has realized her own, her family’s and her father’s dream.”