A strong votary of women's rights, Modi struck a chord with the people and won many hearts at Jayapur village, which he adopted under the Saansad Aadarsh Gram Yojana (MPs' Model Village Scheme) when he exhorted the people to "hold celebrations whenever a girl child is born".
"You must put an end to the scourge of female foeticide. What will happen to mankind in a world which has no women", Modi said evoking rapturous applause from rural womenfolk who had gathered in large numbers to listen to his speech.
Many eyes turned moist when the prime minister disclosed the reason behind choosing the "nondescript" village.
"During the Lok Sabha elections, a mishap took place in this village where a number of children were electrocuted. I was dying to do something for the grief-stricken village but was unable to do so as at that time I was neither the local MP nor was there our party's government in the state. I had, therefore, promised myself that I would do something for this village whenever an opportunity arises".
Modi also remarked that he felt that it was rather the village adopting him rather than he adopting the village, evoking peels of laughter from the crowds.
He also exhorted villagers to be "self-reliant" and "give up the habit of looking at the government for everything".
"Stop thinking that you are the beneficiary and the government is the doer. This mindset has to change. Therefore, I have come up with the scheme which empowers you but does not hand out any doles", he added.
Earlier, addressing a function where he laid the foundation stone of a Trade Facilitation Centre and Crafts Museum and inaugurated a power loom, Modi won over the crowds by insisting that the security personnel "do not worry much about safety concerns and allow some fresh air".
While underscoring the need for improving the lot of weavers of Varanasi, Modi remarked "there is hardly any woman in the country who may not have dreamt of presenting a Banarasi sari to her daughter on her wedding".
Paying glowing tributes to the city's ancient cultural heritage, the prime minister recounted an anecdote that in Boston he was taken to a place commonly referred to as "Benares Street" and told that this was because the American city known for its intellectual traditions held the ancient temple town in high esteem.

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