Children made to march shirtless in R-Day parade

VIPs in woollens give no thought to kids in shorts on a cold day

The distinguished guests, including a senior Uttar Pradesh, were covered in woollens to fight the biting cold as they witnessed the Republic Day parade.

It, however, did not bother any of them that the a large number of schoolchildren participating in the parade wore nothing above their waist as they marched carrying the tricolor.

This was the spectacle during the Republic Day parade at the police lines in Ghazipur district, about 325 kilometers from here.

The scene was captured also by the local TV channels. UP tourism minister Om Prakash Singh hoisted the tricolor and inspected the parade. A large number of senior district officials were present.

Many spectators were shocked when they saw children marching in the parade wearing only shorts in severe cold wave conditions. The temperature in the state has witnessed a sharp dip since Saturday night because of fresh snowfall in the hills in neighboring Uttarakhand.

It was not immediately known if any of the children reported sick after the parade.

Indifference

Earlier also, the feudal mindset of the ministers and officials has come to the fore at public functions. Union minister of state for home affairs R P N.Singh was recently seen `ignoring' a middle-aged man, who had literally prostrated himself, seeking his intervention to bring back his son's body from abroad.

A few months back, senior UP officials had, in a bid to beat the heat, made children cool them off with hand fans at an official function in Shamli district.

Instead of expressing regret, the officials feigned ignorance about the incident. “I had no idea if someone stood behind me with a hand fan. I could not have seen backwards,” the district magistrate had said when queried.

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