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Letter pat for school
- Union HRD minister wins young hearts

Her demure but doughty role as Tulsi Virani in the television series Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi had made her a household name in the decade gone by. Now, as Union HRD minister, Smriti Irani is continuing her winning streak through her little heart-warming gestures.

On June 2, the youngest minister in the Narendra Modi government sent bunches of letters congratulating achievers of CBSE Class XII examinations across the country. And, Ranchi got a special share of her cheers.

Jawahar Vidya Mandir in Shyamali, of which Mahendra Singh Dhoni is an alumnus, received 23 letters. On June 9, school principal A.K. Singh wrote a thank you note to which the lady — already famous for her etiquette in academic circles — promptly replied on June 16, seeking best wishes for the responsibility she had been entrusted with.

“I liked the way she thought about our young performers. Usually, the central board sends letters of appreciation to students who score above 99 percentile. This was perhaps the first time that a Union HRD minister personally did the honours. Her reply to my letter was equally unexpected and came as a very pleasant surprise,” principal Singh told The Telegraph.

An IAS officer in the Union ministry said Irani was pleased to know that a return letter had come from the Team India captain’s school. “She has expressed her interest to interact with schoolchildren at JVM-Shyamali if and when she visits Ranchi,” he added.

Asked whether he planned to invite the Union minister to their school, principal Singh was assertive. “Definitely. In fact, in 2015, we will be celebrating our golden jubilee. The celebrations were flagged off in December 2013. Next year, we will have the biggest show. We will be delighted to welcome her as our chief guest.”