SRINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Ladakh has changed and moved ahead despite hardships. He said Jammu and Kashmir regions should follow Ladakh and learn from the belt.
“Ladakh today was a far cry from its past when it was known just for three things totu (pony) sottu (powdered corn) and patu (local tweed),” Modi said. “Your self-confidence has taken Ladakh to great heights from those days of backwardness. I am told today that the entrepreneurship of the women of Ladakh is an example for the rest of the country.
Modi told the gathering that despite hardships and inaccessibility, Ladakhis have set up an example in endeavouring hardships and yet continuing their march of progress and development. “This example will have to be followed by the people of the valley and the Jammu region,” he said. “With a population of just a lakh and a quarter, the people of Ladakh host two lakh tourists each year.”
Modi was speaking at the closing ceremony of centenary birth celebrations of Kashuk Bakula, the Buddhist spiritual leader.
Modi reiterated his connection with the arid desert. “The region is not new to me. I have come here many times. When I worked for the party and visited Ladakh, my friends would ask me to bring some vegetables for them from Ladakh for the taste and purity of the local produce,” he repeated.
The prime minister is inaugurating the Rs 7809 crore Zojila tunnel that will connect Srinagar with Kargil. “Zojila is not just an infrastructure project. It is going to be a technological marvel,” Modi said. He said the project will be ready in record time.
Modi promised Ladakh that he will seriously think over setting up a medical college in Ladakh.
“People want a medical college here. I have taken the demand seriously and I will ask the state and the central government to explore this possibility and furnish a report on setting up a medical college.