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Nations succeed when women do well: Obama

Obama made the remark while lauding the role played by Indian women in various spheres of life in his address to a select audience of youngsters here, many of them females.

The President, who wound up this three-day visit to India with this speech, referred to the presence of women defence officers in India.

“One of the favourite things on this trip for me has been to see all these incredible Indian women in the Armed forces including the person who commanded the guard that greeted me when I arrived (at Rashtrapati Bhavan). It’s remarkable. It is a sign of great strength and progress,” he said amidst a thunderous applause from the crowd and his wife Michelle who accompanied him to the venue at Siri Fort auditorium here.

The defence forces, in a first, chose women officers to lead their marching contingents during the Republic Day parade here on January 26. Wing Commander Pooja Thakur of the Indian Air Force led the Guard of Honour at the Rashtrapati Bhavan when Obama was accorded a ceremonial welcome last Saturday.

“In India, women have shown that they can succeed in every field including government where many of your leaders are women. The young women, like present here, are playing their part in India’s progress.

“We know from experience that nations are successful when their women are successful. When girls go to school...this is one of the most direct measures of whether a nation is going to develop perfectly...and how it treats its women,” Obama said.

He urged men, in all forms of relation to a women, to ensure that the fairer sex are ensured their freedom and right.

“It is as husbands and fathers and brothers that we have to step up because every girl’s life matters and every daughter deserves the same chances as our sons and every woman should be able to go about her day, to walk the street and ride the bus and be safe and treated with respect and dignity she deserves,” he said.

‘Bade bade deshon mein, aisi choti choti baatein hoti rahti hain’
President Barack Obama charmed everyone by quoting Shah Rukh Khan’s famous line ‘Senorita, bade bade deshon mein...’ from blockbuster ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’.
He drew a loud cheer from the audience after he borrowed SRK’s famous dialogue ‘Bade bade deshon mein, aisi choti choti baatein hoti rahti hain’ from the movie. “Last celebration here we celebrated festival of lights in Mumbai. We danced with some children. Unfortunately, we were not able to schedule any dancing in this visit. Senorita, bade bade desho mein... you know what I mean,” Obama said with a smile while addressing a Town hall event on the third and final day of his visit to India.

The US President later picked Shah Rukh, sports icons like Milkha Singh and Mary Kom and Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi to make a point about humanitarian values.

“I would, by the way, not drive a motorcycle after watching those incredible acrobats” 
The bike-borne ‘Janbaaz’ daredevils of the BSF came in for praise the third time by US President Barack Obama who fondly called their stunts “impressive” while he interacted with youngsters on the last day of his visit here.

“It has been great honour to be the first American President to join you for Republic Day. Yesterday’s parade... we saw the pride and diversity of this nation including the dare-devils on the Royal Enfields which was very impressive,” he said.

He joked that the Secret Service squad, which guards him, “does not” let him ride motorcycle, “especially not on my heads.” 

“I would, by the way, not drive a motorcycle after watching those incredible acrobats,” he had said.
The bullet motorcycle riding ‘Janbaaz’ troops are record holders in various events on their 350cc Enfield bikes and they performed over a dozen acrobatic stunts to lap up the Republic Day parade where Obama was the chief guest.

Bahut dhanyawad’, ‘Jai Hind’
‘Bahut dhanyawad’ and ‘Jai Hind’ were among few words spoken in Hindi by US President Barack Obama in his address to connect with the audience.
“I bring the friendship and greetings of the American people. On behalf of myself and Michelle, thank you so much for welcoming us back to India, ‘bahut dhanyawad’,” Obama said in his opening remarks.

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