Ram Nath Kovind today hailed Arunachal Pradesh, saying that if the northeast is the crown of the country, the State is the "jewel in the crown". The President, who is on a four-day tour of the northeast, arrived here on his maiden visit to the state and attended the valedictory function organised at the Indira Gandhi Park to mark 40 years of the Vivekananda Kendra.
"Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalayas (VKVs) have become a source of inspiration to the people for its motto and philosophy of 'Service to humanity is service to nation'," the President said while addressing the function. He said the 36 VKVs in the state, while maintaining tribal culture and traditions, had been imparting quality education to the tribal students.
Appreciating the band performance by the VKV students, the president said it was comparable to the ones exhibited by the defence forces. "Being the head of armed forces, I get the opportunity to witness the band display by the Army, Air Force and the Navy on many occasions. The band display by the students here is brilliant and at par with the armed forces," he said.
The President also referred to historical places in the state such as Vismaknagar, where, according to mythology, Lord Krishna had married Rukmini, and said Arunachal found a mention in the epics. "Arunachal has a special mention in the epics and history of the country. If northeast is the crown of this country, Arunachal Pradesh is the jewel in the crown," Kovind said.
"The state with lush green vegetation, and snow-clad mountains has been attracting many tourists," the president said, amidst applause. Stating that Arunachal Pradhesh exhibited 'unity in diversity', the president appreciated the state's village heads and Kebang institution, the local justice delivery system. Terming the state a "power house" of the country, Kovind said the State had a number of developmental projects on its radar, including a 1500-km Trans Arunachal Highway and 500-beded Tomo Riba Institute of Medical Sciences (TRIMS) at Naharlagun.
Later, Kovind also inaugurated the new Assembly building and addressed the legislators at a special session. His itinerary for the next three days includes a visit to Namami Barak festival in Assam on its closing day, inauguration of the North East Development Summit and a tour of the INA war memorial in Manipur.
Speaking at the Vivekananda Kendra function, Governor B D Mishra said he would seek help from VKV volunteers to give a major boost to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in the State capital. Chief Minister Pema Khandu highlighted various skill development programmes initiated by the government and said the dearth of gainful employment was the biggest challenge for the youth in this state. He appreciated VKVs for their social services and asserted that his government was striving to ensure quality education in all the schools.