Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday celebrated Diwali with jawans of the Indian Army and ITBP, at Harsil in Uttarakhand.
Greeting the jawans on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that their devotion to duty in the remote icy heights, is enabling the strength of the Nation, and securing the future and the dreams of 125 crore Indians.
He said that Diwali is the festival of lights; it spreads the light of goodness and dispels fear. He said that the jawans, through their commitment and discipline, are also helping to spread the sense of security and fearlessness among the people.
The Prime Minister recalled that he has been visiting soldiers on Diwali, ever since he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. He also spoke of his interactions with the jawans of ITBP, years ago when he was part of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
The Prime Minister said India is taking great strides forward in the defence sector. He spoke of various measures being taken for welfare of ex-servicemen, including One Rank, One Pension (OROP) .
The Prime Minister said that the Indian Armed Forces draw admiration and appreciation across the world, in UN peacekeeping operations.
The Prime Minister offered sweets to the jawans. He also interacted with people from nearby areas who had gathered to greet him on Diwali.
Later, the PM also visited the Kedarnath temple and offered prayers there. He also took a round of the whole re developed area that was hit by the flash floods in 2013.
PM Modi, along with Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat also had a round of the ghats along the Mandakini that were buikt after the floods.
Harsil station is situated at over 8000 ft from the sea level and it is close to India-China border and famous religious place 'Yamunotri Dham. It is the last most populated place in the valley and known for its scenic beauty.
This was also an important transit station for traders travelling on the century old ancient silk route stretching from Central Asia to Europe . Traders used to stay here for both selling and procurement purposes.
In 2015, the Prime Minister celebrated Diwali with BSF jawans on the LoC near the Indo-Pakistan border in Punjab, while in 2016, he was with ITBP jawans in Himachal Pradesh, on the occasion of the festival of lights.
Last year, PM Modi celebrated the festival of lights with Army soldiers at Gurej in Jammu and Kashmir.