Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday unveiled the Phase 1 of the India International Convention and Expo Centre (IICC), known as Yashobhoomi, in Dwarka on the occasion of his 73rd birthday .
He also launched the PM Vishwakarma scheme, aimed at uplifting traditional craftsmen and artisans in the country.
Earlier, he had inaugurated the extension of the Delhi Airport Metro Express line, which will now connect Dwarka Sector 21 to a newly established metro station called Yashobhoomi Dwarka Sector 25. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was not invited to the inauguration.
Before the inauguration, Modi took a metro ride from the Dhaula Kuan station to the newly-built Yashobhoomi Dwarka Sector 25 metro station. During the ride, many passengers interacted with the Prime Minister and took selfies with him.
The Prime Minister, who turned 73 on Sunday, interacted with the passengers inside the metro as they wished him. The passengers were seen clapping and singing “Happy birthday Modi”. The Prime Minister gave chocolates to the children who greeted him.
A video of Modi’s metro ride shared on social media showed the Prime Minister exchanging smiles with commuters, playing with children, talking with a school student and passengers taking selfies with him.
One of the passengers took this opportunity to wish Modi on the occasion of his 73rd birthday. The passenger wished him in Sanskrit language. “Janma-dinam-idham ayi priya sakhe | shantanotu te sarvada mudam || prarthayamahe bhava shatayushi | ishvaras-sada tvam cha rakshatu || punya karmana kirtimarjaya | jivanam tava bhavatu sarthakam (Happy birthday to the dear one.
“May this birthday bring joy and prosperity to you. Praying to god for your long life. May god always protect you. May you walk on the path of noble deeds and your life be fulfilled),” she sang to Modi.
This was Prime Minister’s first birthday anniversary without his mother, who passed away last year. Earlier, Modi used to celebrate his birthday with his mother.
In 2022, Modi had released eight imported cheetahs in the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh. In 2021, India administered 2.26 crore Covid vaccinations as part of a special drive to celebrate his birthday. In 2019, Modi first took the blessing of his mother Heeraben and then he attended the ‘Namami Narmada’ festival at Kevadiya Gujarat.
Upon arriving at the venue, the Prime Minister took a walk-through of the exhibition — Guru-Shishya Parampara and New Technology. He also inspected the 3D Model of Yashobhoomi.
“Today I dedicate ‘Yashobhoomi’ to every worker of the country, to every Vishwakarma”, he said.
Modi said ‘Yashobhoomi’ is going to be a vibrant center connecting their creations with the world and global markets. Highlighting the increasing opportunity for India in conference tourism, Modi said Bharat Mandapam and Yashobhoomi will make Delhi one of world’s best conference hub.
He invited film and television industry as well as global event management companies to organise events at Bharat Mandapam and the newly-constructed Yashobhoomi, the state-of-the-art convention centre . “You hold your award ceremonies, film festivals here. Hold first film shows here. I invite people associated with international event companies, exhibition sector to join Bharat Mandapam and Yashobhoomi,” the Prime Minister said.
Modi said conference tourism, estimated at `25 lakh crore, presents a huge opportunity for India.
He highlighted that more than 32,000 big exhibitions and expos are organised in the world every year, where people coming for conference tourism spend more money than an ordinary tourist.
India’s share in such a big industry is only around one per cent and many big companies in India go to foreign lands every year to organise their events.
He further emphasised that India is also preparing itself for conference tourism now.