By OUR STAFF REPORTER
RISHIKESH, 29 Nov: The President of India Ramnath Kovind, who is on a two day tour to Rishikesh and Haridwar currently last evening visited Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh and participated in the famous Ganga Aarti ceremony held every evening on the Ganga Ghats adjoining the Parmarth Niketan. During the second day of his visit to Parmarth Niketan, Kovind today called on Swami ChidanandSaraswati, the head of the Parmarth Niketan Mission and discussed with hi the various programmes and initiatives inspired and blessed by Swami and implemented by Parmarth Niketan, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance and the Divine Shakti Foundation.
Swami Chidanand Saraswati outlined numerous solutions and innovations for a variety of topics from faecal sludge management, sustainable solid waste management, development of Rudraksha Van (forest of Rudraksha trees) and Kedar Smriti Van (forest in memory of those who lost their lives in the Kedarnath floods) and many other initiatives taken up by the Parmarth Niketan. On this occasion, the President and his family were also presented with a sacred sapling of the Rudraksh tree to be planted at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The Rudraksh is Parmarth Niketan’s signature gift as trees give life and Rudraksh trees inspire sacred living according to the ancient Hindu scriptures. It may be recalled that yesterday, on the first day of his visit to Haridwar and Rishikesh, Kovind had visited Patanjali Peeth University and attended the Convocation there. During his stay at Parmarth Niketan, Kovind also interacted with a group of teachers and students of Divine Shakti Foundation, spoke about Swami Saraswati shared, “I am so glad to be able to share these new innovative technologies with our President who is so dedicated and committed to protection of our water, our air and our natural environment. With his leadership, I know Bharat will continue to become more and more green and eco-friendly. I really love our green and serene President!” Kovind also interacted with a group of teachers and students of the Divine Shakti Foundation as well as youth leaders from the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance’s LifeSkills Programme in addition to the team of sevaks and volunteers who serve tirelessly at the Ashram. He discussed with them various skill programmes and women’s empowerment with them. Speaking on this occasion, Swami Chidanand Sarawati said that he was very glad to be able to share these new innovative technologies with our President who was so dedicated and committed to protection of the waters, the air and the natural environment of the country. Saraswati added that under his guidance, Bharat would continue to be more and more green and eco-friendly. On this occasion, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati was also present and the President was presented a copy of Sadhvi’s newly released best-selling memoir, “Hollywood to the Himalayas: A Journey of Healing and Transformation.” Speaking on this occasion, Sadhvi Bhagawati said that that it was an honour and a moment of blessing for her to be able to present a copy of her new book to the President. This book was her new memoir and covered her journey from Hollywood to the Himalayas and by now, she had already spent 25 years at the Parmarth Niketan and that India lived in her heart. She was here to serve the humanity. As the President and his family departed, Swami warmly invited the President to grace the inauguration or concluding ceremony of the 2022 International Yoga Festival from 8-14 March next year!