Mehsana, September 4: President Ramnath Kovind began his first visit to Gujarat by visiting the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad where he offered floral tributes at the Mahatma Gandhi statue. On this occasion, President Kovind said, "Non-violence is the core essence of Indian culture and it was a political tool for Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom struggle."
President Kovind further said the “globally cherished” Gandhian values of truth and non-violence were as much relevant in the contemporary times as in the past. In the visitor’s book, President Kovind wrote, “It is a matter of great honour and privilege for me to be on the sacred precincts of the Sabarmati Ashram, epitomising the globally cherished Gandhian values of truth and non-violence, which continue to be as relevant today as they were in the past.”
President Kovind also planted a sapling on the premises of the Ashram as well as took a briefing from the trustees about the ongoing work of preserving the Gandhian-era documents and letters. The President said, “On the occasion of the year-long Sabarmati Ashram Centenary Celebrations, let me reaffirm our resolve to follow the path of Gandhiji for peace and harmony amongst the nations and the entire mankind.”
The President was presented with a charkha (spinning wheel) and book at the ashram. The president also visited "Hriday Kunj", a house inside the Ashram where Gandhiji and his wife Kasturba once lived.
Later, President Kovind visited Mehsana where he attended a programme at Simandhar Swami Jain Temple on the occasion of Guru Ashish Mahaparv and inaugurated several welfare programmes. The President will lay the foundation stone of ‘Saurashtra Narmada Avataran Irrigation Yojana’ (SAUNI) Phase-II Link-4 at Rajkot on Monday. The President will also visit Ghela Somnath temple near Jasdan town.