VARANASI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who turned 68 on Monday, donned the hat of a teacher during his visit to Varanasi, his parliamentary constituency, as he interacted with students at a primary school in Narur village here and gave them tips on life.
Soon after his arrival at the Babatpur airport where he was received by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and senior BJP leaders, he went on a chopper to Dereka from where he drove straight to the primary school and told children that sports are an integral part of development in formative years and that they should "go out and play".
He also told the students, who gifted him red roses, that they should not shy away from asking questions as doing so "is a key aspect of learning".
Greeting students on the Vishwakarma Puja, the Prime Minister also told the neatly dressed school children that it is important for them to understand the significance of skill development.
"It is important to learn various skills as this will help you forever," Modi told the wide-eyed students who appeared elated at the fact that the Prime Minister was amidst them.
After spending some 30 minutes with the children, he drove back to Dereka where he would be spending the night at a guest house.
The Prime Minister earlier had a brief interaction with Aanganwadi workers who carried banners to thank Modi for increasing their daily wages. He mingled with them freely and enquired about their work, families and their issues. He also told them that they should become "Yashoda Maiyya" for thousands of children who need attention and better healthcare.
Modi is scheduled to meet some students of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) late in the evening. Some local party leaders and workers are also scheduled to meet the Prime Minister, apprise him of some local issues and wish him on his 68th birthday. He will also be paying a late-night visit to the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple and seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. Prime Minister Modi has been a regular visitor to the temple.
He is scheduled to gift many projects worth over Rs 500 crore to the people of his parliamentary constituency on Tuesday.
The entire city has been decked up on the occasion. A large 68-kg cake of "laddoos" was cut by burqa-clad women at the Azam Park in Lahurabir locality here. Many of the women were from the minority wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The women also sang the happy birthday song for their MP and prayed for his long and healthy life. The intellectual wing of the ruling party held a 108-litre "Kesar Jal" "Rudrabhishek" along with milk of the holy Ganga river at the Ahilyabai Ghat and prayers were held for a long life of Modi.
A "68-Kundalini Mahayajna" was also organized at the Panini Girls Degree College.
Girls took part in this yajna and offered "Aahutis" as they said Prime Minister Modi has done a lot of things for the empowerment of girls. Girl students also held a birthday bash for the Prime Minister at the Agrasen Kanya PG College's Bulanala campus. The cake was distributed on this occasion.
Some schools and colleges have undertaken a cleanliness drive and programmes of Yoga to mark the birthday of Modi. Tea parties have also been organized in some localities.