President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday said he had never imagined that an ordinary village boy like him would have the honour of occupying the highest post in the country, and thanked the people of his birth place for this. He was addressing a gathering at the Paraunkh village, which is his birthplace, in Kanpur Dehat district.
"I had never imagined even in my dreams that an ordinary village boy like me would have the honour of occupying the highest post in the country. But, our democratic system made this possible," Kovind said. "Wherever I have reached today, the credit goes to the soil of this village, this region, and to your love and blessings," he said and also paid tributes to freedom fighters and makers of the Constitution.
"According to my family's 'sanskaar' (values), the oldest woman in the village is given the status of mother and the oldest man is given the status of father, irrespective of caste or community. Today, I feel happy that this tradition of giving respect to the elders in our family is still continuing," Kovind said.
He said that the scent of soil of the village and the memories of its residents always remain etched in his heart. "For me Paraunkh is not only a village, it is my 'maatribhoomi' (motherland) from where I get inspiration to serve the country," Kovind said.
"This inspiration has made me reach from high court to the Supreme Court to the Rajya Sabha. From the Rajya Sabha, I moved to the Raj Bhavan and from there to the Rashtrapati Bhavan," the president said.
Kovind also recited a Sanskrit phrase to highlight the pride of 'janmabhoomi' (place of birth), and said, "The pride of a mother who gives birth (to a child) and the 'janmabhoomi' is greater than heaven."
Kovind on Sunday morning reached Paraunkh village where he was welcomed by Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, said Vikas Rai, the PRO to SP Kanpur Dehat. He took a round of the village along with Patel and Adityanath.
Kovind, along with his wife and daughter, also visited the Pathri Devi temple where they offered prayers.