Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated 'Arogya Van', a garden housing medicinal plants and herbs, near the Statue of Unity in Kevadiya village of Gujarats Narmada district. Arogya Van (health forest) is spread over an area of about 17 acres, displaying a wide range of medicinal plants which play an important role in the well-being of human beings, said a release by the authorities. It is one of the 17 projects to be inaugurated by the PM on Friday and Saturday near the Statue of Unity, a towering monument dedicated to Sardar Patel which has emerged as a popular tourist attraction in Gujarat.
The health forest also emphasises on the importance of yoga, ayurveda and meditation in people's lives. Five lakh plants of 380 selected species have been grown in the sprawling garden, the release said.
The Arogya Van comprises a lotus pond, alba garden, aroma garden, yoga and meditation garden, indoor plant section, digital information centre, souvenir shop and a cafeteria serving ayurveda foods, among other things, it said. Modi also visited the digital information centre and the indoor plant garden created inside the Arogya Van. The PM moved around in the Arogya Van on a golf cart and also interacted with guides posted there for the benefit of tourists.
Gujarat: Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes a tour of 'Arogya Van' in Kevadia after inaugurating it.— ANI (@ANI) October 30, 2020
The park has hundreds of medicinal plants and herbs and also provides information about their usage and importance.
CM Vijay Rupani and Governor Acharya Devvrat also present. pic.twitter.com/ZRODmTocLn
Earlier today, PM Modi paid tributes to the late Gujarat CM Keshubhai Patel and also met with grieving family members of Gujarati film legends Kanodia brothers, who died a few days ago. Patel (92), a BJP stalwart, died on Thursday. Soon after his arrival in the morning at the Ahmedabad airport for a two-day Gujarat visit, Modi directly reached Patel's residence in Gandhinagar and offered floral tributes to the veteran politician, who headed the first BJP-led government in the state in 1995. The PM spent some time with Patel's kin and consoled them.
"Modiji recalled his long association with Keshubhai and asked us about his last moments," a family member told reporters after the PM left Patel's residence. Modi had on Thursday paid rich tributes to Patel, saying he had mentored many BJP workers, including him. Modi had remembered Patel through a series and tweets and shared some old photographs with the former Gujarat CM.
"Our beloved and respected Keshubhai has passed away. I am deeply pained and saddened. He was an outstanding leader who cared for every section of society. His life was devoted towards the progress of Gujarat and the empowerment of every Gujarati," Modi tweeted on Thursday.
After meeting Patel's kin in Gandhinagar, the Prime Minister visited the grieving kin of Gujarati cinema superstar Naresh Kanodia and his music composer-brother Mahesh Kanodia, both of whom died recently, at their residence in the state capital.
Naresh Kanodia (77) died on October 27 at a hospital while undergoing treatment for coronavirus, just two days after his elder brother Mahesh (83) died due to age-related ailments. Both brothers were associated with the BJP. While Naresh Kanodia was a former MLA, Mahesh Kanodia had served as a BJP MP. Modi paid floral tributes to the famous duo and spent some time with their family members, including Naresh Kanodias son Hitu Kanodia, a sitting BJP MLA.
"Modiji fondly remembered my father and uncle. He told us that both the brothers loved each other immensely and now they have became immortal. He also regretted not coming earlier to meet them," Hitu Kanodia told reporters.
This is PM Modi's first visit to Gujarat which also happens to be his home state, since the coronavirus outbreak in March-end.
The Prime Minister will stay overnight at Kevadiya. He will also pay tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at the 'Statue of Unity' near Kevadiya on the occasion of birth anniversary of the first Home Minister of independent India on October 31.