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Political VVIPs celebrate Raksha Bandhan with kids


New Delhi : The president, the prime minister and top political leaders joined the Raksha Bandhan celebrations Tuesday as children, including differently abled children, tied rakhis on their wrists and in turn received gifts and sweets.

A number of children from Delhi, suburbs and Kolkata tied rakhis on President Pratibha Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan in the morning, an official release said.

The children, aged five to 10, recited songs and interacted with the president, the release added. The kids were from Delhi, Gurgaon, Bahadurgarh, Kolkata, Greater Noida and Bhiwadi.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh celebrated Raksha Bandhan with children at his residence, an official of the Prime Minister’ Office (PMO) told IANS. Children tied rakhis on the prime minister wrist and he gave sweets and gifts to them, the official said. Gursharan Kaur, wife of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was also present.

Both normal and differently abled children attended the function. Some of them belonged to the Bharatiya Netrahin Kalyan Parishad, the Society for Physically Handicapped and Mentally Challenged, the All India Valmiki Samaj, Brahmakumaris and the SOS Children’s Village of India.

In a message on the occasion, Manmohan Singh said: “Rakhi symbolises affection and reinforces family bonds.”

“On this auspicious occasion, let us make renewed efforts to ensure the dignity and wellbeing of women and to promote peace and harmony in society.”

Children also tied rakhis on Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s wrist at her 10, Janpath residence, in the morning, AICC media secretary Tom Vadakkan said. Gandhi distributed sweets and gifts to the kids, some of them special children.

Chairman of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) L.K. Advani celebrated Raksha Bandhan with children, a BJP spokesman said. Advani distributed sweets and gifts to the kids.

In a message on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan and Onam, BJP president Nitin Gadkari said “the spirit and message of these festivals will promote the feeling of brotherhood and oneness among all citizens of our country.”