Delivering his 33rd 'Mann ki Baat' radio address to the nation, Prime Minister Modi said, "One can also use a 'Khadi' handkerchief to welcome people, and be a support to the innumerable underprivileged people."
"When I was in Gujarat, I had set a tradition of welcoming by not giving bouquets, but books or handkerchiefs instead," he added.
The Prime Minister said that everyone should stop gifting bouquets to each other and instead gift books. He also highlighted the fact that even khadi objects can be great gifts as this would provide employment to a number of people.
A person named Dr. Anil Sonara from Ahmedabad asked Prime Minister Modi about his recent practice where he asked people to replace bouquets as gifts with good books as mementos.
To which the Prime Minister said, "The lifespan of a bouquet is very short. You receive it in your hand for a moment and then abandon it. But when you present a book, it becomes a part of the household, a part of the family."
"One can also use a 'Khadi' handkerchief to welcome people, and be a support to the innumerable underprivileged. The expenses are reduced as well, and the gift is well utilised too. I say this thinking of the historical value of such gifts," he added.
The Prime Minister also recalled his last visit to London, where Queen Elizabeth had invited him to lunch with her.
"The atmosphere was imbued with maternal warmth, and I was served with great affection. Afterwards, when she showed me a small thread-spun khadi handkerchief, her eyes lit up. With great respect, and in an emotion-filled voice, she said, that Mahatma Gandhi had sent this handkerchief to her as a wedding gift," he said.
"So many years have passed, and yet, Queen Elizabeth has treasured the handkerchief gifted by Mahatma Gandhi. And she was happy to show it to me, when I went there. As I gazed at it, the Queen encouraged me to touch it. A small gift by Mahatma Gandhi has become a part of her life and a part of history," he added.