Occasions may be special, but when the actor-turned-politician and Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment D. Napoleon attends them as the chief guest they become nothing less than exhilarating.

As he waved his hand and sang, the children seated in galleries of Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation (IGMC) Stadium raked their memories only to realise that he had turned into Kulothunga Raja Cholan from the Kamalhassan superhit film ‘Dasavatharam' to inspire and entertain them. It was followed by a spontaneous ovation that brought the stadium to life. Mr. Napoleon was here to participate as chief guest in the Children's Day celebrations organised by the Rajagopal Foundation here on Sunday.

The stadium echoed with a big ‘Aaa' when he asked, ‘Andaru bagunnara, Pillalu baagunnaraa?” As he sang Tamil songs, the stadium was reverberated with thunderous claps. He sang a song about children in Tamil, prompting Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal to ask the children, “Do you want him to sing one more song?” The children replied in with a deafening ‘yes'. Cheerfully agreeing to it, Mr. Napoleon said: “I cannot sing Telugu songs,” and sang another Tamil song.

A host of cultural programmes followed the brief speeches by dignitaries, including that of Mr. Napoleon, Mr. Rajagopal, Vijayawada (Central) MLA Malladi Vishnu and former MLA Devineni Rajasekhar and others. A visibly pleased Mr. Napoleon smiled all through the cultural programmes and keenly watched the traditional dances.

Felicitated

The participants faces brightened with excitement as Mr. Napoleon posed for a photo with them.

Apart from felicitating archers Ritul Chatterjee and Jignas (his father took memento on his behalf), who won medals in commonwealth games, and Volga Archery Academy founder Ch. Satyanarayana, the Union Minister also enthusiastically felicitated 250 Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) schools' teachers.

Earlier, he said: “This place looks like heaven on earth. Definitely heaven is a place where there are angels. I wish you all a very happy Children's Day!” The children were the real assets and hope of this nation. You (children) were fortunate to be in schools compared to those not going to school. The children were future of this country, he said and urged the students to strive to make India super power by 2020.

Mr. Rajagopal, in his opening remarks, said that the success was inevitable if one was bold. Many sportspersons from the city brought laurels to the nation. The children gathered here should take interest in sports and excel in both sports and education, he added. Former mayors Jandhyala Sankar, Tadi Sakunthala, Mallika Begum, M.V. Ratna Bindu, Municipal Commissioner. G. Ravi Babu, city Congress president Pyla Somi Naidu and others were present.

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