Riyadh: Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his state tour to Saudi Arabia stated that he has not learnt about poverty from the books but had seen and lived through it. Emphasising that it was not easy for him to be where he is now, Modi stressed on his journey which he started out by selling tea at the railway platform.

“My background is not that of any big political family. I have not learnt about poverty from the books but I have lived it. I have reached here by selling tea on the railway platform,” PM Modi said at the Future Investment Initiative 2019 in Riyadh.

Modi said that he believes in providing dignity to the poor, as then only they could be empowered to rise above poverty. “My fight against poverty is by empowering poor. Poor need dignity. When a poor person says that he will himself end his poverty, then there is no greater satisfaction. All we need is to provide him with dignity and empower him,” Modi asserted.

PM Modi concluded his visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday morning. During his visit, he held extensive talks with the top Saudi leadership and addressed a key financial forum. India and Saudi Arabia both reiterated their categorical rejection of all forms of interference in the internal affairs of other countries and called upon the international community to fulfil its responsibilities towards preventing any attacks on the sovereignty of nations.

Further, PM Modi held wide-ranging talks with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, during which a Strategic Partnership Council was established to coordinate on important issues.

Notably, this was PM Modi’s second visit to the country. Earlier, he met King Salman who conferred Saudi’s highest civilian award on him. The Crown Prince visited India in February 2019, giving a further fillip to the bilateral ties.