Modi takes selfie with Kashmiri youth Nazim Nazeer, calls him ‘friend’

While lauding the efforts of the young boy from Pulwama district, Modi said he has brought a "sweet revolution" in the beekeeping sector.

Srinagar: It was a dream-come-true moment for Kashmiri youth Nazim Nazeer on Thursday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi not only took a selfie with him but also referred to him as a “friend”.

Nazeer, who has set up a successful beekeeping unit, was one of the few achievers selected to interact with Modi after his public rally at the Bakshi stadium here. During their interaction, he expressed his wish for taking a selfie with Modi.

The prime minister later posted a tweet along with the selfie with Nazeer.

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“A memorable selfie with my friend Nazim. I was impressed by the good work he’s doing. At the public meeting he requested a selfie and was happy to meet him. My best wishes for his future endeavours,” Modi wrote on X.

While lauding the efforts of the young boy from Pulwama district, Modi said he has brought a “sweet revolution” in the beekeeping sector.

“We have heard of green revolution and white revolution but you have brought about sweet revolution,” Modi said after listening to Nazeer’s story.

Nazeer said he started his beekeeping venture with two boxes as a hobby but soon availed a government scheme to increase the number of boxes to 25.

“The first extraction was 75 kg which earned me Rs 60,000. I took a PMEGP loan of Rs 5 lakh and added 200 boxes. The yield was good and through online marketing, we sold around 5000 kg of honey,” he said.

He said he has now increased the number of boxes to 2000 and added 100 more youths to his beekeeping venture.

“We got FPO membership in 2023. Now we earn Rs 1 lakh per stall at different exhibitions,” he added.

Modi suggested that Nazeer should use online resources to study how beekeepers in Central Asia were using different crops for rearing bees so that they get different flavours of honey.

Central Asia honey is different, study it online. They rear bees in different crops for different flavours, he told Nazeer.

Modi cited the example of Uttarakhand saying this was successful in the Himalayan state.

“You are giving direction to the youth of the country. You are becoming the strength of the country. I thank you,” Modi said.

He also interacted with an all-girls group who set up their own bakery after undergoing a course in food technology.

“We belong to lower middle class families. We were passionate about the bakery. When we got admitted in the food technology course, we got our opportunity,” Ehtisam Majeed Bhat, a Srinagar resident, said.

Asked about the challenges faced by the group in setting up their unit and how the government schemes helped them, Bhat said it was not easy for them to get all the clearances earlier.

“However, the single window clearance set up after 2019 helped us in getting NOCs in one go,” she said.

Modi lauded her for not only taking care of her sisters but linking her friends with her in her self employment venture.

“My best wishes to you and I assure you that the government will provide all possible support to your efforts,” he added.

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