New Delhi: The slogan of "Swachh Bharat" on Friday echoed in Rashtrapati Bhavan where President Pranab Mukherjee urged students, who came to meet him on the occasion of Children's Day, to keep their schools and surroundings clean.
Mukherjee asked the students of over 110 schools, who converged on the East Lawn of Rashtrapati Bhavan on the 125th birth anniversary of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, to make the Clean India campaign of the Centre a success.
The President said, "Make your school, make your classroom clean. Swachh Bharat, clean India. If all of us try. If 125 crore of us try, then surely India will be clean. Swachh Bharat bilkul ban jaega (India will be clean)."
"Keep yourself clean, your school clean, clean your home and surroundings. If needed ask your parents to remain clean," he said.
The President invited the students to visit Mughal Gardens during February-March when roses and all other flowers will be in full bloom so that they can enjoy the beautiful lawns of Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Describing Nehru as the architect of modern India, Mukherjee told the students that one day one of them could be the occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan because it is a democracy.
With the Naval Band playing popular melodies in the background, students from kindergartens to high schools from across the country sat patiently enjoying the warmth of the autumn sun as Mukherjee told them about his struggles as a child in a distant village to the Head of State of world's largest democracy.
"I was just like you. In a small village I used to stay. For my schooling, high schooling I had to walk everyday five kilometres going and coming and during the rainy season wading through water because there was no road... But I always remembered this is my task. My mother told me you have to do this. If you have to go to school you have to walk as there is no other school with boarding where I can keep you," he said.
The President told the students if they have to do something it has to be done with courage, determination and pleasure.
For some students like Aradhya, a Class VII student of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Amritsar this was the first opportunity to visit Rashtrapati Bhavan and meet the first citizen of the country. "This is my first opportunity to visit Rashtrapati Bhavan. This is so big. I liked the gardens," he said.
Niharika, a Class V student from KS convent of East Vinod Nagar here, wanted to see the President. "I want to see him personally. I have always seen him on TV," she said.
Their wishes were fulfilled as the President gave everyone a chance to get their photographs clicked with him.
Sitting patiently, the President shook hands, interacted and listened to children as they came one by one with their teachers to get their photos clicked with the President.
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Updated Date: Nov 14, 2014 16:25:10 IST