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Despite chilly morning, Republic Day parade sees large turnout

Despite chilly morning, Republic Day parade sees large turnout

Despite the chilly Friday morning, hundreds of people were seen walking towards the venue as early as 6 a.m.

A packed Rajpath ushered in the Republic Day ceremony in New Delhi, with a loud cheer, as Prime Minster Narendra Modi welcomed the 10 leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Despite the chilly Friday morning, hundreds of people were seen walking towards the venue as early as 6 a.m.

The 64-year-old Radhika Babarao Waghmare, walked into the venue early in a group of 18 people, all from Maharashtra. The sexagerian explained that the group had been stationed at the capital for the last four days and decided to walk in early, so as to get the best view.

While some of them were the old timers, who diligently attend each year’s parade, for others, witnessing the spectacle live, was a first.

“It was my first time and it turned out to be a thrilling experience. The opportunity to see the armed forces at such close quarters turned out to be a learning experience. The highlights were definitely the flips that the sukhoi made apart from the Brahmos and other elite tanks which were on display. If given an opportunity, I will come back to witness the event again next year” said 18-year-old Prashant Tiwari, a student of Kanpur university.

“For all these years I had simply watched the parade on television. However, when I heard that the 10 leaders will be a part of this year’s celebrations, I decided to attend the parade. I am spellbound with the show which was presented and I don’t think there could be a better way to spend this patriotic day” said a visibly excited 24 year old Mahima Prasad, who was accompanied by her friends.

‘Seema Bhawani’, the Border Security Forces’ (BSF) women’s motor cycle team got the loudest cheers. With the 106 riders on 26 motorcycles, the team proved to be an inspiration to youngsters.

“The Seema Bhawani display was simply out of the world. It was the perfect example of women empowerment. I have always wanted to join the armed forces, and after today’s display of grit and determination by these women officers, I am even more convinced” said 17 year old Swati Raman, who had come from Ghaziabad with her family.

However, for Pune residents, 69 year old Malti Kadam and her husband the parade did not turn out to be as expected.

“We travelled all the way from Maharasthra just to attend the parade. However, I feel the arrangements could have been better as despite reaching by 8 am we could not enter the premises because of huge lines and slight chaos. If money is being spent, they might as well spend it judiciously” complained 70 year old Leeladhar Kadam.

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