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3-min read

Children Jostle to Shake Hands with PM Modi, Pick Up Trash After I-Day Event at Red Fort

Enthused children crowded around PM Modi, with many of them jostling to shake hands as he sidestepped his security cover to greet his young admirers after his Independence Day address from the Red Fort.

News18.com

Updated:August 16, 2019, 11:41 AM IST
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Children Jostle to Shake Hands with PM Modi, Pick Up Trash After I-Day Event at Red Fort
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets school children after addressing the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort on the occasion of 73rd Independence Day, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)
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New Delhi: A number of schoolchildren, who had come to the Red Fort to hear Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 73rd Independence Day speech, stayed back to collect the plastic waste, cups and banana peels strewn around the venue after the event. Many returned home with the prime minister's message on "Swachh Bharat" and cutting down on plastic use.

A teacher at Rajkiya Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, Raj Kumar Maurya, said his students volunteered to collect the waste and waited until after everybody left the venue. "We have been emphasising on reducing the use of single-use plastic in school. Children have a great influence on society. They are doing their bit at home, school and beyond," he added.

Deepanshi Tomar, 15, of Sarvodya Kanya Vidyalaya No. 1, Yamuna Vihar, said students had been asked to collect their used plastic water bottles in a paper bag.

"We made sure there was no littering. They were a few spots where plastic bottles and bags lay strewn around but we have collected and put it in the in the bins," she said.

Lakshmi Om Prakash of the school, however, said plastic water bottles could have been avoided. She said non-biodegradable plastic waste choke gutters and drains, pollutes the environment and water bodies, endangering the aquatic life.

Aaditya Baliyan, 15, of Rajkiya Sarvodaya Vidyalaya and his friends, who were seen collecting empty water bottles in a carton in the sultry weather, said, "The prime minister's words will serve as an inspiration to everyone. He is leading the cause and people need to do their bit. For it, it is important to make people aware about the devastating effects of plastic waste on the environment and their health."

"I really learnt a lot from the prime minister's speech. He taught us a lot of things and even advised us to do away with plastics and use cloth bags. I will avoid using polythene bags and would also ask my mother to use only cloth bags for her grocery shopping," said Komal, a Class 8 student.

Enthused children crowded around PM Modi, with many of them jostling to shake hands as he sidestepped his security cover to greet his young admirers after his Independence Day address from the Red Fort.

Dressed in a white kurta-pyjama and a colourful turban, Modi arrived at the Red Fort to a thunderous applause from the crowd. He spoke for over 90 minutes from the ramparts of the 17th century Mughal citadel and touched upon issues like triple talaq, sanitation, importance of water and population control.

Soon after finishing his speech, Modi waved at the crowd and walked to his motorcade to leave. On his way out, he halted and stepped out of his car, breaking from the security cordon to enter an enclosure where thousands of children, mostly girls, welcomed him with loud cheers.

Dressed in the colours of the national flag, the excited children jostled with each other to get a glimpse of the prime minister while those in the front rows got an opportunity to shake hands with him.

"I can't believe I got so close to the country's PM," said an ecstatic Mehvish Parveen (13), a Class 6 student of a government school in Daryaganj.

"The moment I saw him approaching us, I dashed towards him. I was only able to touch his hand as so many girls were jostling to shake hands with him. I feel very lucky," she said.

Al Madiha, a Class VII student of another government school, was over the moon having got a chance to shake hands with the prime minister.

Another student, Afreen Sharif (14) was a tad disappointed as she could not shake hands with the prime minister despite getting close to him.

"People pushed and shoved to get close to the PM, but our teacher had told us to maintain discipline and not run when he comes near us. I am sad that I could not shake hands with Modiji," she rued.

Last year, too, Modi had moved out of his security cordon to greet children on Independence Day.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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