Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the launch of PN Panicker National Reading Day coined a new mantra to give a book instead of a bouquet as a greeting. “I appeal to people to give a book instead of the bouquet as a greeting. Such a move can make a big difference,” news agency ANI quoted. “There can be no joy greater than reading and no strength greater than knowledge. Kerala had been an inspiration to a whole nation in terms of literacy,” he said at the launch. PM Modi admired the work of late PN Panicker and his foundation calling him PN Panicker the “driving spirit” behind the library network in Kerala. During the ‘Reading Month Celebration’ event, PM stated Kerala as a state that boasts 100% literacy rate and also mentioned that the achievement is not only because of the government but the citizens have also played a crucial role in it.
PN Panicker was the founder of the ‘Grandhasala Sangam’ network with 47 libraries and is a real inspiration for the youth. ‘Grandhasala Sangam’ network has more than 6,000 libraries across the towns and villages of Kerala at present. Earlier on Saturday, PM Narendra Modi arrived in Kochi at the INS Garuda Naval Air Station and was welcomed by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. He inaugurated the Kochi Metro rail and took a ride in it along with Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu.
He congratulated CM Pinarayi Vijayan and Metro Man Dr E Sreedharan for their work. “Kochi has seen a rapid increase, expected to reach 23 lakhs by 2021. Therefore a mass rapid transport system is essential to address the increasing pressure on urban infrastructure,” PM Modi said at the event.