KOLLAM: President Ram Nath Kovind on his first official visit to Kerala has lauded the state’s rich tradition of religious harmony and secular perspectives. “It was in Kerala that the Christian community in the country landed first and also has the first mosque. The Jews and Romans also settled here while all of them co-existed respecting each other’s beliefs. Each community has given space to another, and it is an honoured legacy,” the President said. He showered praises on the state while inaugurating humanitarian initiatives as part of the 64th birthday of spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi at Amritapuri in Kollam on Sunday. Describing Kerala as a melting pot of spirituality and science, Mr Kovind pointed out that Sankaracharya, Sree Narayana Guru and Ayyankali brought about social reformation alongside spirituality.
“The spiritual consciousness beyond religion is evidently reflected in the spiritual heritage and social reformation of the state. It is inevitable in any such state to give equal opportunities for good education, good health and affection towards fellow beings,” he added. The President inaugurated the Math’s Rs 100-crore ‘Jeevamrutham’ drinking water filtration project envisaged to supply clean drinking water to over 5,000 villages across the country.
He also distributed certificates to 12 villages which became open defecation-free under ‘Amrita Serv’ project for the integral development of communities. The President also distributed certificates for nearly 2,000 free surgeries to be held at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences. The operations that cost Rs 53 crore includes 200 heart surgeries, 70 brain surgeries and 20 kidney transplants.Governor P. Sathasivam, Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran, K.C. Venugopal MP and R. Ramachandran MLA were among other dignitaries present.