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In Kashmir, PM Modi bats for Wed in India campaign to boost tourism

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Srinagar, March 7: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday advocated for ‘Wed in India’ campaign to encourage citizens to opt for domestic destinations for weddings to support local tourism and asked non-resident Indians to participate in the ‘Chalo India’ programme by sending their family members to explore the country.
Addressing a massive rally at Bakshi stadium here, the first after abrogation of special status of erstwhile state in 2019, the prime minister asked visitors to Jammu and Kashmir to allocate five to 10 per cent of their expenditures towards shopping to support the local economy and generate job prospects. This is for the first time that a prime minister has chosen Bakshi stadium as a venue to address a rally which otherwise used to be held at SKICC located on the banks of Dal Lake.
Emphasising the significance of contributing to the region’s economic growth, Modi highlighted the importance of not just touring but engaging in commerce during their visit. He stressed that bolstering local spending would not only strengthen the economy but also foster employment opportunities for residents.
“You cannot come, see and go back. You should spend five to 10 per cent on shopping. I have also purchased from here,” Modi said at the ‘Viksit Bharat, Viksit Jammu and Kashmir’ rally here.
The prime minister also advised against overseas destination weddings, advocating for ‘Wed in India’ instead, promoting domestic tourism and the beauty of Kashmir. “Jammu and Kashmir is not just a region but India’s head. A head held high is the symbol of development and honour. That is why a developed Jammu and Kashmir is the priority of a developed India,” he said.
He also asked the countrymen not to go abroad for destination weddings but choose a location within the country. “People should think about ‘Wed in India’. They should not go abroad to spend their money and instead visit Kashmir,” he added.
The prime minister underscored that the development of Jammu and Kashmir is integral to India’s progress, depicting the region as the crown jewel of the nation.
He emphasised that a flourishing Jammu and Kashmir is a key aspect of a thriving India, with tourism potential and agricultural empowerment being vital for its advancement. He also urged non-resident Indians to participate in the ‘Chalo India’ programme by sending at least five family members to explore the country. “We may not need their dollars and pounds…as much as visits by their family members to India,” he said.
During the rally, Modi inaugurated tourism-related projects exceeding Rs 1,400 crore under the ‘Swadesh Darshan’ and ‘PRASHAD’ schemes, including the ‘Integrated Development of Hazratbal Shrine’ project in Srinagar.
Additionally, he launched initiatives such as the ‘Dekho Apna Desh People’s Choice Tourist Destination Poll’ and the ‘Chalo India Global Diaspora Campaign’, along with announcing tourist destinations selected through the Challenge Based Destination Development Scheme. (PTI)

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