Pradeep Pattanayak

In a gesture of humility and respect, Prime Minister Narendra Modi bowed down to touch the feet of social activist Tula Behera and Padma Shri recipient tribal singer and social activist Purnamasi Jani at a public meeting in Phulbani on Saturday. 

As Tula came onto the stage and proceeded towards Prime Minister Modi to welcome him, the PM not only greeted her with a smile but also touched her feet, showing his respect for ‘Nari Shakti’. 

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Reciprocating her love and affection for him, PM Modi said Tula Behera begs and has donated Rs 1 lakh from what she saved to the Jagannath Temple (in Phulbani). “After coming to know this, I was deeply overwhelmed. Seeing this, it seems to me I have the blessings of entire Odisha,” he reiterated. 

On the same stage, he also felicitated Padma awardee Purnamasi Jani. He then bent down and touched the feet of Jani, bringing a lump to the throats of thousands of people gathered at the meeting venue. 

The gesture of Prime Minister Modi also signified his deep regard for India’s culture of touching the feet of elders. 

“When I asked him why he was touching my feet, he said I am a godlike person. He also wanted to know my generosity. I told him that I was saving money since COVID-19 times and when it crossed Rs 1 lakh, I donated it to the Lord Jagannath temple,” said a visibly delighted Behera. 

Jani also had similar feelings to share. “I feel proud of how the Prime Minister treated us. I blessed him. I wish he would rule our state and take care of us,” she said.

  • Reported by:
  • Trinath Sahoo