After many meetings with her principal and submitting information for security check, Riddhi Shah, 21, from Jai Hind College is all set to meet US president Barack Obama on Sunday at St Xavier’s College.
In all, 15 students from Jai Hind, doing a variety of courses, have been chosen to meet Obama, based on their political know-how and participation in college activities.
Like Shah, 300 students across city colleges are getting ready for the interaction, whose details remain a secret.
The students don’t find this air of secrecy daunting; in fact it’s adding to the excitement as students discuss everything, from their clothes to the questions they hope they can get Obama to answer.
“Many of my friends applied but only I got through from my group. I feel honoured to meet him [Obama] and my father he is on the top of the world,” said Shrushti Iyer, 19, from Sophia College.
On Sunday, students have been asked to assemble at St Xavier’s College by 8 am, two hours before the event, for security reasons.
“To be on the safe side, we are going to reach by 7.30 am as the roads will be blocked later,” said Pooja Krishnan, 20, a second-year Arts student from SIES College in Nerul.
Many hope to capture photographs of the US president. “We were not sure if we could carry mobile phones and cameras so we sent a student to Xavier’s to confirm. We have been told that we can carry basic cameras and mobile phones,” said Shah, a final-year Arts student.
Colleges, too, are ensuring that their students shine at the session. A panel discussion was organised by the Indian Council of Global Relations in HR College on October 26. The topic of discussion: Building a youth agenda for the future of India-US relations. “We learnt a lot from the discussion,” said Jyotirmoy Chatterji, 22, a first-year M.Com student from HR.
Some students are in awe that they will get to meet the US president. “I can’t believe that I have been selected to meet Obama,” said Rushwa Parihar, 19, from Jai Hind. “I am excited to have gotten this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be in the presence of the most powerful man in the world,” said Megha Dharnidharka of St Xavier’s.