For 13-year-old Ilma Khan, shaking hands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi was nothing less than a dream. Khan, a Class VII student at Khalsa School in the national capital, was among the few lucky children who received greetings from Modi in person on the occasion of Independence Day.
Modi, sporting a traditional Rajasthani safa (headgear), got down from his car while leaving the venue of the Independence Day function at Red Fort and broke away from the SPG security cover to meet a group of school children, who had assembled at the venue.
It was almost like a dream come true for me: A student after meeting Modi
"I could not believe that the Prime Minister of India himself would shake hands with me and greet 'Happy Independence Day'. I really liked his speech and we never thought that on his way back, he would stop by at us," Khan said. Sushma, a Class VIII student, was equally ecstatic to meet the Prime Minister.
"It was almost like a dream come true for me and I am absolutely delighted at the thought of it. It was nice to hear him (Modi) speak about women and youth and his speech was stirring. I am going back home feeling very lucky," Sushma said with a smile on her face.
And while the Prime Minister had little time to interact with the students, who had come since early morning to perform at the venue, those who couldn't shake hands with him were equally happy just to see from close distance.
Sanskar, 14, a student from a government school in Ramesh Nagar here, and a NCC cadet, said, "Though I couldn't shake hands with the PM, we were very happy and surprised to see him walk right into our group." Vandana (13), a Class VIII student, who wants to become a doctor, heard Modi's speech with rapt attention.
"Yes, I heard his speech talking about the country and it did leave a lasting impression on me. The experience of knowing about Independence Day from school books and the joy of feeling it first hand is completely different," said Vandana.
(With agency inputs)