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PM Modi greets people as Navratri begins, hopes for positive change in lives of the poor

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New Delhi, Oct 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday extended his wishes to people on the first day of the nine-day festival of Navratri, hoping for a safe, healthy and prosperous planet as the country and the world battles the novel coronavirus, which has affected and killed millions across the globe.

PM Modi

In a tweet, PM Modi said, "Many congratulations on the auspicious festival of Navratri. May jagat janani Ma Jagadamba bring happiness, peace and prosperity to all of you. Jai Mata Di!"

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The Prime Minister also invoked Goddess Shailaputri, meaning the daughter of the mountains and one of the nine manifestations of Durga, who is worshipped the first day of Navratri.

"Pranams to Maa Shailputri on Day 1 of Navratri. With her blessings, may our planet be safe, healthy and prosperous. May her blessings give us strength to bring a positive change in the lives of the poor and downtrodden," he added.

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Authorities and health experts have urged people to follow COVID-19 guidelines strictly during the upcoming festival season, saying flouting of norms could bring about a surge of cases in coming weeks as the country celebrates Navratri and Dussehra in October and Diwali and Chhatth in November.

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    "If we falter in following COVID-19 guidelines during the festivals then corona can again assume a dangerous shape and become a big trouble for us. This is the truth, in any religion, no dharmic leader will say that people's lives should be put at risk to celebrate festivals. No God has said that one needs to go to puja pandals to worship," Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

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