BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik doned a completely different avatar on Tuesday. The occasion was State-level Children’s Day celebration at Capital High School ground. He sat with school children, laughed with them, shared his memories and gave tips on excelling in life.
“Though I have watched him on TV while addressing gatherings several times, I had never seen him like this beforeg,” said Abhilipsa Sarangi, a Class X student of Unit-VI Government Girls’ High School.
Abhilipsa was one among 18 students who shared the front row with the Chief Minister. For her, it was a dream come true. She had never thought of sitting with the CM that too on such a big occasion and in front of a huge crowd.
The front rows were reserved for students while ministers and bureaucrats sat behind them. Students were the first priority. “I congratulated him. He asked me - why? I said because you have won the best administrator award and made us proud. He smiled and thanked me,” said Abhilipsa.
Sitting next to her was Priyanka Soren, a Class VII student of Siripur Ashram School. “I shook hands with him and expressed my gratitude for giving students priority and launching schemes for us. It was really a great feeling to share some moment with the Chief Minister,” she said.
The CM told her: ‘Bahut bhala lagila tuma mananka sange katha hoi’ (I felt good interacting with you). Thank you.’
Manish Das, a Class X student of Capital High School echoed similar feelings. “I shook hand with him and wanted to know about his school. The CM said he studied in a private school and asked my aim of life. He advised me to study hard when I said I want to become a singer. He said: ‘Jo bhi kar na he karo, but padhai jaruri hai’ (do whatever you want, but academics are important),” Manish said.
Not all were lucky like the trio. Bhagyashree Solanki and Sarmilee Chatterjee of Sathyasai High School, though sat next to Abhilipsa, were left disheartened as they did not get the opportunity to talk to the CM.
After the CM’s address, nearly 4,500 students present at the event took oath to study well, do good things and maintain the pride and integrity of Odias. Prince Dance Group and young musical sensation Ananya Sritam Nanda and Satyajit Jena performed on this occasion.