PANAJI: Valene Rodrigues, a student of Std 12 of Loyola Higher Secondary School, Margao, was recently felicitated as part of the nation’s ‘Super 100’ in the Veer Gatha Project. Rodrigues was felicitated along with the other winners of the Veer Gatha Gallantry awards 3.0 at New Delhi. The Project Veer Gatha, instituted under the Gallantry Awards, is aimed at providing a platform for school children to do creative projects or activities based on the acts of bravery of the Gallantry Awardees.
Her essay titled, ‘Rani Laxmibai came in my Dreams-She wanted me to Serve My Nation by: Promoting Gender Equality’ was chosen as the best in South Goa district. The felicitation ceremony was held at the Kothari Auditorium at New Delhi. The winning students received their awards from Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
Rodrigues experienced the surreal honour of being special guests at the Republic Day Parade. Transitioning from Goa’s 27°C to Delhi’s 8°C was a surprise. The meticulously curated trip fostered bonds among students from different states, creating cherished memories. Expressing her feelings, Valene said, “Receiving an award from such distinguished ministers and being a part of something so prestigious is an experience that will be embedded in my mind and soul forever.”
“I got to see the President of France Emmanuel Macron and our very respected Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Now that was something I never saw coming. The joyous celebration, the pomp and patriotic energy that radiated through the entire place as the parade went live, has surely registered these precious moments in our memories and hearts!”
The valedictory function was streamed live at Loyola Higher Secondary School. Several of the students who watched the function expressed how amazed and inspired they felt when Valene walked up to receive her award.