New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that handloom was now playing an important role in the transformation of the country by bringing about a qualitative change in the lives of the poor.

“First khadi was ‘Khadi for nation,’ then we tried to make it ‘khadi for fashion,’ and now it has become ‘khadi for transformation.’ Handloom is changing the lives of poor people by empowering them. It is playing a major role in gram uday," Modi said during his monthly radio address, Mann ki Baat, on Sunday.

The prime minister, who celebrated Diwali this year with soldiers in Gurez valley in Bandipora in Jammu and Kashmir, acknowledged their acts of bravery for keeping the nation safe.

“Our soldiers are not only keeping the national borders safe, they are also playing a vital role in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions throughout the world. Our role is not just limited to peacekeeping but we are also training peacekeepers in 85 countries," he said.

Remembering Sardar Vallahbhai Patel on his birth anniversary which will be celebrated on 31 October, the PM said that he was the one who laid the foundation stone of modern and unified India.

“He ensured that millions of Indians were brought under the ambit of one nation and one constitution. He had an ideal that no division of caste or creed should be able to stop us. These lofty ideals of Sardar Sahab are relevant to our vision for a New India. This is also why his birthday is celebrated as National Unity Day," said Modi.

He also said that ‘Run For Unity’ will be organized on the occasion and urged people to participate in it.

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