2 Delhi students among PM’S Bal Puraskar winners
NEWDELHI: “The last six days from Rashtrapati Bhawan and Rajpath to the Prime Minister’s residence have been surreal,” 17-year-old Madhav Lavakare, one of two Delhi students who won the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2019, said.
“Being a part of the Republic Day parade and meeting the Prime Minister is beyond our expectations,” Lavakare, who was awarded under the Innovation category, for inventing “assistive glasses” which could help hearing-impaired people to read spoken words in text format, said. His long-term plans include building and testing more prototypes.
Out of the 783 applications received by the Union ministry for women and child development, 26 were selected for the award under the categories of innovation, social service, scholastic, art and culture, sports, and bravery. However, the winners were in for a surprise when they were told that they would be a part of the Republic Day celebra- tions this year. On January 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met and interacted with the 26 winners and encouraged them to pursue their goals.
The Class 12 student of Chanakyapuri’s Sanskrit School said a mentor gave him the idea of applying for this award.
Unlike Lavakare, 15-year-old Nishant Dhankar, the other Delhi recipient of this award, has attended the Republic Day parade ceremony thrice in the past. But this Saturday was special.
“Being a part of the parade was the best thing about winning this award,” Dhankar, who was awarded under the scholastic category, said. The Class 11 student has represented India at ISEF 2018—the world’s largest science fair, held in Pittsburgh last year— with his project on the analogue of Szemeredi’s theorem. “I was a bit nervous when I met the PM,” the DPS RK Puram student said sheepishly. “But it was very good. The PM gave us signed watches with our names engraved on them.” Asked if he would wear his, he said, “I will keep it safe.”
People gather in numbers to see the Republic Day parade in Daryaganj, New Delhi, on Saturday.