Think of me not as PM but as friend, PM Modi tells students at 'Pariksha pe Charcha'

A good part of his talk was dedicated on advising parents not to put unnecessary pressure on the children.

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Students watch PM Modi’s ‘Pariksha pe Charcha’ at a school in New Delhi on Friday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who wooed voters with his 'Chai pe Charcha' in 2014, turned his focus towards the younger generation this year when he addressed students through 'Pariksha pe Charcha', giving them tips on beating exam stress. In Delhi's Talkatora stadium, which was packed to capacity, the PM on Friday spoke to students for close to 90 minutes.

"Do not think that I am the Prime Minister of the country? Think of me as your friend," Modi said before beginning his talk. His words received a loud applause from the audience which had over 2,500 students from different schools of the national capital. In a live session, the PM took questions from students sitting in the audience and from those who sent him questions through video messages. Before taking questions, he said "it was his exam" today and thanked his teachers for whom he is still a student. "They inspired me to keep the student in me alive," Modi said.

From Ladakh to Varanasi, students from various parts of the country had sent in their questions for the PM. When a student asked him how to beat stress even after they have prepared well for exams, he asked them to keep faith in their abilities. "Self-confidence is very important. It's not a pill or herb. There is no tablet that can be consumed for instant confidence. We have to build it every day," he said.

PM Modi recalled when he was student, he read Swami Vivekananda's writings who said you may have the blessings of all the gods and goddesses, but if you don't believe in yourself, then all those blessings are futile. He also suggested students to practice Yoga for better concentration.

He asked the students not to compete with their friends and instead discover their own strength. "Everyone has a different environment," he told students.

A good part of his talk was dedicated on advising parents not to put unnecessary pressure on the children. Some children had also asked questions regarding dealing with pressure from their parents. "Sometimes parents force the 'ghosts' of their desires on their children, it is better for children to have an open dialogue with their parents," Modi said.

Advising parents not to put undue pressure on their children, the PM said, "Every child is different. Try to find out what they are good at and don't force your dreams on them. Try to be friends with your children."

As far as children of India are concerned, he said, they are "born politicians".

Towards the end, when he was asked by a student if he was prepared for the Lok Sabha elections, he said he was confident of passing his "exam next year". "I have the wishes of 125 crore Indians with me," the PM said.

The interactive session was organised days after the PM launched his book 'Exam Warriors', which is a collection of anecdotes from his growing up years. The PM has often spoken about exam stress and tackled the subject in his radio talk, 'Mann Ki Baat'.

Last week, PM Modi had requested students to share their thoughts on pressure, anxiety related to examination, and suggest ways to de-stress on the Narendra Modi and MyGov app. The students were also encouraged to ask questions on Twitter using the hashtag #ExamWarriors. The Ministry of Human Resource Development, which coordinated the programme, had also asked students to share their questions with the PM through MyGov. The programme was also aired through virtual mediums of TV, radio and internet and students were asked to listen to it in over 2 lakh schools and 35,000 colleges.

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