'Maa… Isn’t Just A Word': When Modi recalled lessons from his mother as she turned 100


From water conservation to cleanliness, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mother Heeraben, lovingly called Hiraba, who died on Friday, inspired him through her “simple, yet extraordinary” ways. Modi had visited his mother in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar, as she entered her 100th year on 18 June. He had tweeted pictures and wrote a blog post detailing the inspiring life of Hiraba.

“My mother is as simple as she is extraordinary. Just like all mothers,” he wrote.

“Maa… this isn’t a mere word but it captures a range of emotions,” PM Modi said, further highlighting Hiraba’s sacrifices and the various aspects of her life which “shaped” his mind, personality, and self-confidence.

Came with him publicly only on 2 instances

The PM noted there were only two instances when his mother accompanied him publicly. One, at a public function in Ahmedabad when she applied tilak on his forehead after he had returned from Srinagar where he had hoisted the national flag at the Lal Chowk after completing the Ekta Yatra.

The second instance was when he first took oath as the Gujarat chief minister in 2001. Modi said a life lesson his mother taught him was that it was possible to be learned without being formally educated.

Harvesting rainwater, focus on cleanliness

Recalling his childhood, PM Modi shared how his mother’s small efforts taught him bigger concepts such as ‘water conservation’.

“During the rains, our roof would leak, and the house would flood. Mother would place buckets and utensils below the leaks to collect the rainwater. Even in this adverse situation, Mother would be a symbol of resilience. You will be surprised to know that she’d use this water for the next few days. What better example than this of water conservation! (sic)," he wrote in the blog post.

The PM’s push for the cleanliness drive too seems to have been inspired by the daily activities of his mother. PM Modi wrote, “…Her focus on cleanliness is evident even today. Whenever I go to Gandhinagar to visit her, she offers me sweets with her own hands. And just like a young child’s doting mother, she takes out a napkin and wipes my face once I finish eating. She always has a napkin or small towel tucked into her saree."

Road named after her

To mark her birthday, a road in Gandhinagar was named after PM Modi’s mother, “to keep her name alive forever and for future generations to learn lessons of service".

Gandhinagar Mayor Hitesh Makwana in an official release stated, “…Keeping in account the demand and feelings of the people of the state capital, it has been decided to name the 80 Mtr road from Raysan Petrol pump as “Pujya Hiraba Marg"

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'Maa… Isn’t Just A Word': When Modi recalled lessons from his mother as she turned 100
'Maa… Isn’t Just A Word': When Modi recalled lessons from his mother as she turned 100
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