Cheetahs, a 56-inch thali, gold rings for infants: PM Narendra Modi’s birthday will be a happy one for India

There will be no cakes and havans but there will be cheetahs. The PM will have a busy day, but his supporters are celebrating. A Delhi restaurant is serving a 56-inch thali and the Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP is giving gold rings to babies born on 17 September

FP Explainers September 16, 2022 20:13:25 IST
Cheetahs, a 56-inch thali, gold rings for infants: PM Narendra Modi’s birthday will be a happy one for India

Art school students give final touches to paintings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the eve of his birthday in Mumbai. The PM will turn 72. AFP

It is going to be a birthday like no other. Prime Minister Narendra Modi turns 72 on Saturday and while there might be no cake, balloons or havans, there is a grand plan in place.

17 September 2022 will go down in history – one that not only the PM but the rest of the country will remember for days to come. We tell you why.

A wild celebration

Eight African cheetahs from Namibia are coming to India on Saturday. The flight carrying them from Windhoek will land in Gwalior around 6.30 am and they will then be ferried to Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno-Palpur National Park in helicopters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the state around 10 45 pm and will head to the sanctuary, where he will release the eight radio-collared cheetahs into a giant enclosure, where they will be quarantined for a few days.

He is likely to address the nation on the historic occasion, emphasising the need to preserve the environment and conserve wildlife.

An auctioning of gifts

Modi is quite the giver. From Saturday, the PM will auction the gifts he has received over the years and proceeds will go to the “Namami Gange Mission”, the government’s flagship programme to clean and rejuvenate the river.

Among the 12,00 items that will go under the hammer at the e-auction are a model statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose made by sculptor Arun Yogiraj and sporting memorabilia gifted to the PM by Commonwealth Games medallists. Yogiraj, who sculpted the monolithic 28-feet statue of Netaji which was recently unveiled at India Gate, had l gifted a model of the freedom fighter to Modi in April.

A statue of Lord Ganesh, models of the upcoming Ram temple at Ayodhya and the Kashi-Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, will also be part of the e-auction of gifts, Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy said at a press conference on Friday.

Around 24 sporting memorabilia will be auctioned along with miniature statues of Sardar Patel and BR Ambedkar.

Seva Pakhwada

The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) will organise various social programmes as part of a “Seva Pakhwada”, a fortnight of service, from 17 September to 2 October, Gandhi Jayanti as part of Modi’s birthday celebration.

Announcing the plan on Twitter, the BJP said, “Various programs of ‘Seva Pakhwada’ will be organised by Bharatiya Janata Party across the country from September 17 to October 2 to commemorate the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

Campaigns will be undertaken to plant trees, maintain cleanliness, and educate people about the need for water conservation. Blood donation camps will be held at the district and state levels.

As part of the initiative, a special race will be held with participants from the slums in October. Around 10,000 children and youth from slums in Delhi will participate in the race under age categories of 10-15 years for 2.5 km and 16-20 years for 5 km. Certificates and prize money of up to Rs 3 lakh will also be given to the winners under different categories.

Last Sunday, BJP president JP Nadda held a videoconference with all party legislators to brief them on plans for the PM’s birthday. “Naddaji told us very clearly that there would be no pujas or havans, and no cake cutting," a BJP Lok Sabha MP told Hindustan Times. “We should concentrate on giving talks, informing people about our work, and organising blood donation drives.’

Delhi’s 56-inch thali

While the BJP wants to keep it simple, Modi’s followers are in the mood to celebrate his birthday in style. A restaurant in Delhi is paying tribute to the PM by serving an elaborate thali with 56 items, a nod to the famous “56-inch chest” remark.

Sumit Kalra, the owner of Delhi-based ARDOR 2.1, said that patrons will be able to choose between vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes when ordering the jumbo thali.

“Modiji is our nation’s Prime Minister and his chest is also 56-inches wide. The thali is an old concept, but we wanted to give him a special birthday gift,” Kalra told news agency ANI.

A touch of gold

The Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP will distribute gold rings to newborn infants born on 17 September, 720 kilogrammes of fish, among other things.

“We have identified the government RSRM hospital in Chennai and decided that all children born on the Prime Minister’s birthday will be given a gold ring,” said L Murugan, minister of state for fisheries and information and broadcasting.

The party is expected to spend around Rs 5000 for a 2 gramme for a gold ring. The local unit of the party said that around 10 deliveries are expected.

‘Adopt a TB patient’

In the first of its kind initiative, the Centre has come up with a policy where tuberculosis patients can be adopted from across the country. Those pledging to take care of them will be called Ni-kshay Mitra.

This voluntary scheme, which provides for the patients’ nutritional needs and helps them find a vocation is part of a larger mission to eliminate TB by 2025.

Launched by President Droupadi Murmur on 9 September, 1.78 lakh patients have been adopted under the Ni-kshay Mitra. The target is to find all those who have registered a Mitra by the PM’s birthday.

“Each of the BJP workers will adopt five tuberculosis (TB) patients and ensure their timely intake of medicines and nutrition as part of the Centre’s TB elimination programme,” the party’s Bihar chief Sanjay Jaiswal told Hindustan Times.

Cheetahs a 56inch thali gold rings for infants PM Narendra Modis birthday will be a happy one for India

It will be an eventful day for India and PM Narendra Modi. After releasing the cheetahs at Kuno National Park in the morning, he will unveil the National Logistics Policy. AFP

Tech that

The NaMo app will get new creative features, which will enable users to send birthday wishes to the PM. People can also access a new feature called ‘Family E-card’ and before sending a greeting to the PM, an entire family-in-one greeting can be uploaded. The feature is intended to bring people from all over the country together to send Modi their best wishes.

People can also make various pledges on the app, from TB-mukt Bharat to Swacch Bharat, where people have to take an initiative to clean their vicinity.

National Logistics Policy

The day, which starts with welcoming the cheetahs, will end with Modi unveiling the National Logistics Policy, which aims to reduce the logistics cost to eight per cent of the GDP by improving the country’s logistics performance.

The policy will bring a holistic focus and lay down an “overarching interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral, multi-jurisdictional and comprehensive policy framework” for all sub-sectors in the ecosystem that are critical for efficient logistics, reports News18.

Currently, the logistics sector employs about 22 billion people and the policy will have provisions for investing in their skill development to ensure quality and efficiency in services.

With inputs from agencies

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