Patil, while meeting at the Rashtrapati Bhavan a group of 158 militancy-affected students from Jammu and Kashmir who were on a tour of the country, told them that students being the next generation should work hard towards development of the nation.
The students were taken to places like Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Jaipur in smaller groups of 20 each under the "Watan ko Jano" programme conducted by the Home Ministry.
The programme which was flagged off by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on January 31 concluded today with the meeting with the President. After the tour of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the group comprising of 127 boys and 31 girls interacted with the President and told her about the development they saw across the country.
Some of the children felt that their state had lost out on the development chances because of the violence and militancy during the last two decades. President Pratibha Patil told them to study hard and work towards the development of the country.
She reminded them of Indian independence movement which was led by Mahatma Gandhi with the instruments of truth and non-violence which made it unique.
"The programme is aimed at exposing youths of Jammu and Kashmir to the vibrant development and vitality of culture of people residing in other parts of the country," an official release had said. The group interacted both at inter-state and intra-state level and participated in cultural activities at different places.