On the eve of Teachers Day, President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday morning engaged in a candid interaction with the school students across the country. Both the top leaders gave tips on how to ignite their minds and improve oratory skills besides, acknowledging the role of the parents in their lives.
Speaking to the students at Dr Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya in President’s Estate in the capital, President Pranab Mukherjee credited his mother for all the success he has achieved.
“My best teacher was my mother. I was a trouble for my mother…after a day’s of mischief and other things, I used to receive a good deal of thrashing from her. And after that she used to come and fondle me with all love and care and ask me what I had done from the sunrise to sunset, which I had to tell in a chronological order,” President Mukherjee told students of class XI and XII.
Talking of the challenges he faced during his school life, the President added, “I had to walk five kilometers for my school and used to complain to my mother about the distance”.
President Pranab Mukherjee also remembered his college principal on the occasion, drawing the children’s attention on the principal’s excellent oratory skills, which led to the development of his interest in the subjects of history and English.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too held an event addressing school students at Manekshaw Centre in Delhi and engaging with several others across the cities live on Television.
Speaking highly about the role of the teachers in nation-building, the Prime Minister said, “Mother gives birth to a child, (guru) teacher gives life (jeevan)”.
“Sometimes people wonder why spend time with students on Teachers’ Day. It is because students are teachers’ identity,” PM Modi said. There was criticism last year that the Prime Minister had ignored the teachers when he interacted with students on Teachers’ Day last year.
Prime Minister Modi also launched two commemorative coins in the honour of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan – one of Rs 125 denomination and another of Rs 10 on the occasion.
“A teacher can never retire. Being a teacher is not like any other occupation,” PM Modi emphasised in his address.
The PM exchanged and responded to a range of questions including his school days and dress sense during his 105-minute interaction with 800 students and 60 teachers from schools in Delhi who participated in the event at the Manekshaw Centre, whereas the students from nine other states joined the programme through video conference. Union HRD minister Smriti Irani too was present at the event.
(With inputs from the PTI)