Sounds of ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’ resonated in the air as animated children, mostly from slums and shelter homes, sang songs to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi on his 142nd birth anniversary here on Sunday. The central lawns of Gandhi Smriti were the venue of the celebrations. Covered with green carpets, the lawns were surrounded by security personnel and TV cameras. Vivid floral decorations embellished the venue.
PM Manmohan Singh with wife Gursharan Kaur, vice president Hamid Ansari and scores of other luminaries including Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit paid floral tribute at 'Martyr's Column', the spot where Gandhiji was gunned down Jan 30, 1948.
Around 300 children wearing white kurtas and Gandhi caps sang bhajans and devotional songs dedicated to the Father of the Nation.
Several youths today protested outside Gandhi Smriti here ahead of PM Manmohan Singh's visit, alleging that some of their Kashmiri colleagues were denied permission to attend the prayer session.
The incident took place at Gandhi Smriti when a group of youth volunteers came to the location, 90 minutes before Singh was to attend a function there.
Three volunteers were reported to have fallen unconscious in the melee.