New Delhi: For the first time in his tenure as the Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh handed over the podium to a class 11 student, Barnali Sahu, to address the gathering on his behalf, a gesture that struck a chord with the students assembled for the event.
The MoD said that Barnali Sahu is the winner of ‘Project Veer Gatha 3.0’, and a student in Cuttack, Odisha.
Through the voice of Sahu, the Defence Minister stated that the country’s youth will play a key role in realising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of transforming India into ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047.
“Youth is the most important asset to shape the future of the country. They will shoulder the responsibility of a developed nation,” she said.
In this programe, Rajnath Singh felicitated ‘Super-100’ winners of Project Veer Gatha 3.0, in the presence of Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi on Thursday.
A cash prize of Rs 10,000, a medal and a certificate were given to each of the 100 winners. Voicing his views through Barnali, Rajnath Singh said, “Project Veer Gatha was an endeavour to introduce the Bravehearts of the nation to the youth and take the tales of valour to these young minds.”
He referred to the recent addition of a chapter on the National War Memorial and the brave heroes who made the supreme sacrifices in the NCERT curriculum of Class VII. He said “Our mission is to raise awareness among children about the bravery of our soldiers. We want them to imbibe valour and courage,” and added ‘*What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I understand*’, describing it as an accurate way of learning.
Singh said, “There was a time when as a nation we had limited resources and we were not able to pay proper attention to our youth. This scenario has now changed. Today, the youth who wish to fly high, have an open sky of aspirations. It is our duty to encourage these nation builders.”
The Defence Minister, while interacting with students, shared insights on ‘spiritual strength’. He described physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual strength as the three facets crucial to achieve victory or any desired result in life. Only a spiritual person attains bliss, he said, adding that only people with large hearts can be spiritually oriented.
Speaking on the occasion, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan termed ‘Veer Gatha’ as a unique programme which inspires the young generation with the sacrifices made by the Bravehearts. The event also witnessed Param Vir Chakra awardee Subedar Major (Honorary Captain) Yogendra Singh Yadav (Retd) narrating his real life story of the Kargil war where he overcame all odds and played a crucial role in India’s historic victory.
Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane were also present.