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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

Children cheered PM Modi the loudest, jostled to shake his hand after I-Day address at Red Fort

Over 8,000 children, who attended I-Day celebrations at the Red Fort, were overjoyed as the PM walked up to meet them.

india Updated: Aug 16, 2019 08:50 IST
Adrija Roychowdhury
Adrija Roychowdhury
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets school children after addressing the nation from the rampart of Red Fort during the 73rd Independence Day, in New Delhi, on Thursday, August 15, 2019.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets school children after addressing the nation from the rampart of Red Fort during the 73rd Independence Day, in New Delhi, on Thursday, August 15, 2019. (Mohd Zakir / HT Photo )
         

Thirteen-year- old Maheen Ahmed couldn’t contain her thrill as she said, “Modiji placed his hand on my head and asked me to study well. That was my most favourite moment in today’s programme.” The class 8 student attended the Independence Day celebration at Red Fort for the first time on Thursday.

“I just wanted to meet the Prime Minister and hear his speech,” said Ahmed, a resident of Churiwalan at Jama Masjid, with a wide smile.

For the over 8,000 children who attended the function at Red Fort, PM Narendra Modi’s presence was the sole and most important attraction of the event.

For Yogita Shah, a class 9 student,this was her third consecutive visit to the Independence Day celebration at the Red Fort. “I am happy I shook hands with him. I wanted to speak to him as well, but could not,” she said with a hint of disappointment. She is confident though, that she will come back next year and get an opportunity to chat with the prime minister.

The excitement of the children at Modi’s presence was palpable in the loud cheers as the Prime Minister alighted from his car in front of the Red Fort’s ramparts.

During his speech, Modi made special mention about ensuring that children are provided with necessities of life. Referring to the population explosion in the country, Modi said, “We should ask ourselves before any child is born at our homes, if we are in a position to protect them and take care of their needs,” he said. At the end of his 92-minute speech, the PM walked in among the children, who enthusiastically crowded around him with the hope of being able to shake hands with him or speak to him.

When asked what they found most appealing in the Independence day programme, Shah said, “I liked the speech a lot and what he said about article 370.” The Prime Minister spoke about the Parliament effectively scrapping Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. “This government managed to revoke article 370 and 35A, something that previous governments have not been able to do in 70 years,” Modi said in his speech.

Mihir Singh, a class 10 student and resident of Shahdra said,“I was most happy to hear the PM’s remarks on 370.” When asked if he knew what the article was, he looked around nervously at his friends and said “something about Jammu and Kashmir”.

Modi’s comments on water conservation as well as on discouraging use of plastic also appealed to the children.

As the PM took his leave and the children were being guided out by their teachers, Singh remarked with grave disappointment, “I just have one complaint. Modiji should have come to this side of the ground also and met us.”

First Published: Aug 16, 2019 08:50 IST

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