PUNE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his profound gratitude as he received the prestigious Lokmanya Tilak National Award during a notable event in Pune, where he shared the stage with Sharad Pawar, the distinguished leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Overwhelmed with emotion, PM Modi stated, "This moment will forever hold a special place in my heart. Lokmanya Tilak represents the essence of our freedom struggle."
Highlighting the significant role Lokmanya Tilak played in India's struggle for independence, PM Modi humbly acknowledged that it is impossible to encapsulate his contributions in a few words or anecdotes. He paid homage not only to Tilak but to all the valiant freedom fighters who fought for the nation's freedom. He also expressed his honor in standing on the soil of Maharashtra, a land graced by the likes of Chhatrapati Shivaji and Jyotirba Phule.
With a philanthropic spirit, the Prime Minister decided to donate the prize money from the award to the Namami Gange project, emphasizing that this noble gesture is a dedication to the 1.4 billion people of the country. He further outlined his vision for nation-building, encapsulated in the roadmap of 'Vyavastha Nimaan Se Sanstha Nirmaan', 'Sanstha Nirmaan Se Vyakti Nirmaan', and 'Vyakti Nirmaan Se Rasthra Nirmaan,' which India is diligently following.
The Lokmanya Tilak National Award, instituted in 1983 by Tilak Smarak Mandir Trust, has recognized 41 illustrious personalities, including luminaries like Shankar Dayal Sharma, Pranab Mukherjee, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Indira Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, NR Narayana Murthy, and E Sreedharan, among others.
During his day-long visit to Pune, PM Modi also participated in various development projects. Among the highlights was the inauguration of the Metro trains, marking a significant milestone in the city's progress. The official statement from the PMO stated that Prime Minister Modi actively contributed to the city's growth by launching and laying the foundation stone for several crucial initiatives. His visit to Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Mandir for prayers demonstrated his spiritual connection to the place and its cultural heritage.
The event marked a remarkable occasion for the nation, as the Prime Minister received recognition for his exceptional contributions, and he continued to reaffirm his commitment to the country's progress and welfare.