Bengaluru, Jan 23 (IANS) It was not only a dream come true for city girl Hridya S. Nair to anchor Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Pariksha pe Charcha’ programme in New Delhi on January 20 but also a great honour to meet and talk to him.
“It was a great honour and privilege to meet and interact with the Prime Minister. Anchoring the two-hour show at the Talkatora Stadium for about 3,000 school and college students from across the country with two other anchors was a dream come true,” the 16-year-old told IANS on Thursday, a day after returning from the national capital.
Apart from the 11th class student of the city’s Kendriya Vidyalaya, the two other anchors were Shreya from Raipur in Chhattisgarh and Sahil from Ranchi in Jharkhand.
“When I tried to touch sir’s (Modi) feet, he stopped me and said ‘kabhi kisi ke saamne jhukna nahin’ (you should not bow to anyone). That moment will be etched in my memory for ever,” a beaming Hridya said.
Daughter of defence scientist C.N. Satheesh employed with the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) of the state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation here, Hridya was selected for the event after three rounds of elocution competition at the cluster (local), regional and national levels wherein she topped throughout.
“As a moderator, Hridya stood first at all three levels on ‘Ek Bharat, Sresht Bharat’ (One India, Excellent India), a cultural and literary competition, conducted in all KVs (central schools) across the country last year,” recalled her schoolteacher Shivani Ranjan.
Hridya, who went to Delhi on January 14 along with her schoolteacher as guardian, rehearsed for D-Day daily and was confident of anchoring the show with aplomb.
Thanking her class teacher and her parents for their support and guidance, the teenager said she was grateful to school principal Venkateshwar Rao for the opportunity.
“Hridya’s selection to anchor the programme is an achievement for the school. I commend the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan in nurturing and motivating individual talent through multifarious activities,” Rao said in an email to IANS.
Hridya was a school topper in the 10th board exams last year.
Hridya’s father Satheesh said he was happy his daughter balanced her academics and co-curricular activities well. “She is goal-oriented. The school has moulded her personality well. I am thankful to her principal and teachers,” he added.
Hridya’s mother Smitha, a pharmacist in Manipal Hospital here, said: “Ever since the programme has been telecast live, we have been flooded with congratulatory messages and blessings. Hridya has done us all proud,” Smitha said.
Hridya’s English teacher Jinu Harikesh Pavithran said her favourite ward was an avid reader and a good orator. “It’s no surprise that Hridya anchored the show with such eloquence and grace. She is a willing learner and her sincerity and hard work reflect in all her endeavours.”