Students find ‘Xi’llion reasons to cheer

Braving the hot and humid weather, thousands of school students from Chennai and its suburbs welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping, who arrived here on a two-day visit.
Students waiting for Xi Jinping outside ITC Grand Chola
Students waiting for Xi Jinping outside ITC Grand Chola


Students from more than 20 schools, holding both Indian and Chinese national flags, enthusiastically assembled near the airport and ITC Grand Chola since 10 am to greet and welcome Xi Jinping.

“Though it is hot here, I feel really happy and lucky to be seeing President Xi Jinping today. As there is no rush because of the elaborate security arrangements, we were able to assemble at a safe place,” G Danush, a Class 9 student of Gurunanak School, Velachery, said.

“We ensured students’ comfort by providing basic requirements like drinking water and safe transportation,” V Savithiri, a teacher from Alpha Matriculation school, said. She added that the students did not have to wait for long to welcome the President as they assembled at the venue only two hours before his arrival.

S Selvakumar, who was in charge of organising the students, said that the Directorate of School Education Department had issued strict orders that they should not be made to suffer without proper shelter or drinking water. “The officials have also asked us to ensure that the students are not made to stand for a long time. Also, security personnel cooperated with us to ensure the safety of students,” he said. V Mona, a housewife who sent her child to welcome Xi Jinping, said, “Though we were not allowed to travel with our children, teachers have ensured the safety of all students.”

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