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The burning down of schools in the Kashmir Valley was a matter of concern but the high participation of local students in the recent board exams reflected their resolve to strive for a better future through studies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today. Complimenting their parents, teachers and village heads for over 95 per cent participation in these examinations, he said that at a recent meeting he had with village panchayat heads from the Valley, he had discussed the spate of incidents of schools being burnt down on which the village heads had expressed the same concern as all other Indians. "I had then urged them to go back their areas and focus on the future of the students there.
Today, I am happy to say that they kept the word they had given me and created awareness among the people about it," Modi said in his 'Mann ki Baat' address. Very recently, the board examinations took place and 95 per cent of the students appeared in it. "Such a massive participation in the Board exams indicates that these students of Jammu and Kashmir are focussing on a bright future through studies and proceed on the path of development," he said. The Prime Minister said about 40-50 panchayat heads from the deep interiors of the Valley had met him them and discussed a range of issues, including the situation in the Valley, law and order and developmental issues. Modi also shared his experiences of this Diwali which he spent on the borders with army and ITBP jawans and said the people from across the country had this time sent messages of greetings to the forces serving along the borders. People had written letters, drawn cartoons and paintings, made videos and sent them to these jawans, one of whom told Modi that this year he did not miss home as these messages from various parts of the country made him feel at home. "When the people of the entire country stand with the security forces, the strength of the forces increases by 125 crore times", he said. Urging the people to keep sending such messages to the jawans standing guard on the borders throughout the year and not just on few occasions, the Prime Minister said these messages were being compiled into a coffee-table book.
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