In emotional gesture, President Ram Nath Kovind bows down to his birthplace
President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday arrived in Uttar Pradesh for a three-day visit. As per the first thing on his schedule, the President travelled to his native village Paraunkh, where he visited the Pathri Mata temple and hailed the villagers present there. In an emotional gesture, President Kovind was seen bowing down to the ground and touching the soul to pay obeisance to the land where he was born.
Photographs shared by the Rashtrapati Bhavan show the President of India bowing down to the ground shortly after landing at the helipad near his village Paraunkh, in the Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh.
President Kovind was flanked by UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and state governor Anandiben Patel, both of who bowed their heads in a respectful gesture. The President took a bit of the soil and applied it on his forehead, supposedly as a sign of reverence for his native land.
"I had never imagined even in my dreams that an ordinary boy like me from a village like this would receive the privilege of discharging the responsibilities of the highest office in the country," the President said in a public address at the Jan Abhinandan Samorah in Kanpur Dehat. "But our democratic system has made it possible," he noted.
Extending greetings to his fellow citizens, President Kovind said, "Today, on this occasion, I bow to the freedom fighters of the country and the drafting committee of the Constitution for their sacrifice and contribution. As far as I have reached today, the credit goes to the soil of this village and the love and blessings of all of you."
Recalling his childhood and friends from the era, the President said that he was more than happy to come back to his native village. "Wherever you are, I am too," he said, "I am only called the first citizen as the President." Earlier, it would have been difficult to get out of this village but not so now, the President added, hailing the democratic system of the country which, as he put it, has opened a way forward for everyone, irrespective of their status at birth, to achieve important milestones.