2 Delhi stu­dents among PM’S Bal Puraskar win­ners

Hindustan Times (Noida) - - HTMETRO - Kainat Sar­faraz kainat.sar­faraz@htlive.com

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.”

SANCHIT KHANNA/HT PHOTO

Peo­ple gather in num­bers to see the Repub­lic Day pa­rade in Darya­ganj, New Delhi, on Sat­ur­day.

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