President Pratibha Patil turns 73

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New Delhi, Dec 19 (UNI) President Pratibha Devisingh Patil marked her 73rd birthday today by spending time with the destitute and mentally challenged in Delhi.

Ms Patil visited the Nirmal Hriday Home for the Dying Destitutes and met the persons staying there. The President spoke to a number of destitutes and enquired about their well-being as well as talked to the Sisters working there about their experiences and praised them for their selfless work.

She distributed blankets, sweaters and sweets to the persons at the Nirmal Hriday. The President said she had never celebrated her birthday but had instead worked and marked the day by spending time with those in need of care. She said that even as the Governor of Rajasthan she had spent this day with the destitute, the poor, the mentally challenged and those suffering from leprosy.

The President later went to the Asha Kiran Home for the Mentally Challenged. There, she presented two TV sets and individually gave away sweets to the mentally challenged persons, a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said.

She said helping the poor and the needy were a way of service to God. Birthdays were occasions when an individual could reflect on what he can do for society. She commended the work of the staff of Asha Kiran. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit and Health Minister Yoganand Shastri were also present.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife, Gursharan Kaur, Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and his wife, Madhya Pradesh Governor Balram Jakhar, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejender Khanna and other dignitaries greeted the President.

Ms Patil also planted a Jamoon saping in the Nakshatra Garden in the Rashtrapati Bhavan premises.

UNI

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