New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in Ahmadabad in the evening, paid rich tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary at Sabarmati Ashram. He also later penned his thoughts in the visitor’s book there.

“I am satisfied that on the occasion of Gandhi at 150, we are witnessing the fulfilment of his dream of ‘Swachh Bharat’. I feel lucky that on this occasion, when India has successfully stopped open defecation, I’m here at the ashram,” read the Prime Minister’s message in the visitor’s book at Sabarmati Ashram.

After paying floral tributes to the statue of Mahatma in the ashram, PM Modi visited the museum there, interacted with students and also went to Gandhi’s house called Hriday Kunj inside the Ashram. Accompanied by Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, PM Modi spent around 20 minutes at the Ashram.

Gandhi established the Ashram in 1917 after his return from South Africa and stayed there till 1930. He also embarked on the ‘Dandi Yatra’ from the venue in 1930 saying that he will return to the Ashram only after India gains independence.

Addressing people shortly after arriving at the Ahmedabad airport, PM Modi praised India’s rising stature across the globe and said respect for India is increasing all over.

“India’s stature is rising at the world stage. Respect for India is increasing all over. One can experience the change. The world can see that India is at the forefront of several positive changes taking place at the world stage,” PM Modi said.

Recalling Gandhi as a global leader, PM Modi said that Gandhi’s 150th anniversary has been marked at the United Nations with immense enthusiasm. “Take any problem the world faces, the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi offer solutions to those challenges,” he said.

Talking about his recent visit to the UN and his address at the UNGA, PM Modi said the country is celebrating Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary and his ‘favourite song – Vaishnav Jan Toh Tene Kahiye Je’ was sung in multiple languages ay several global forums.

Highlighting his mega event at Houston, PM Modi said that the respect for India was seen during the ‘Howdy, Modi’ programme in Houston.

“We saw a glimpse of the respect India has at the world stage during the #HowdyModi programme in Houston. At that programme, Republicans and Democrats spoke. Their coming was very special,” he added.

Later PM Modi went for the ‘Swachh Bharat Diwas’ programme at Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, accompanied by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and other BJP leaders.