Special Correspondent

  • 52 authors attend the reception
  • Last "At Home" hosted by Kalam

    NEW DELHI: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Friday hosted the customary "At Home" reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on the occasion of 58th Republic Day.

    The President had invited the medal winners in last year Melbourne Commonwealth Games and the Doha Asian Games. They witnessed the Republic Day parade earlier in the day as State guests. About 75 to 80 of them attended the reception.

    As many as 52 authors of children's books were "special guests" at the last "At Home" hosted by Mr. Kalam at the end of his term.

    The President introduced his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to the medal winners.

    Mr. Kalam met the authors separately before they joined the "At Home" and asked them to contribute towards development of children, the country's national wealth and future. He also asked them to publish more works.

    At last year "At Home," Mr. Kalam invited about 200 constables from different parts of the country as special guests. In 2005, the special invitation had gone to postmen. In 2004, village councils sent their representatives.

    Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sat next to Mr. Putin at the reception on the sprawling Mughal Gardens.

    Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, the former Prime Minister, I.K. Gujral, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, several members of the Union Cabinet, top Government and police and officials, senior officers from the armed forces, Members of Parliament, personalities from different walks of life, and members of the diplomatic corps attended the reception.