Obamas send gifts for underprivileged children

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Mumbai: Children at the Father Agnel Ashram in suburban Bandra here were in for a pleasant surprise when they received Christmas gifts sent by US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle.

Michelle had played with these kids and swayed to the tunes of a hit number from Aamir Khan-starrer`Rang De Basanti` at the Mumbai University campus here, after she interacted with them in a programme organised by NGO `Make A Difference` (MAD) on her visit to the city last year in November.

"The children are so happy with the gifts which include note books, magic pens, colour pencils and sketch books," said Tanmay Arora, President, MAD, which conducts English classes for poor and underprivileged children at the Ashram.

Gifts, numbering in 400, reached here last month during the Christmas week but could not be distributed as the schools were shut for the festival vacation.

Along with gifts, Tanmay recieved a personal letter from Michelle appreciating the efforts of his organisation in educating these underprivileged children.

"All the children regardless of their circumstances, deserve the same chance to get educated and build a successful life. By empowering and engaging our next generation through mentorship and educational programmes, organisations like yours inspire youth across India and around the world," Michelle said in the letter.

Tanmay, who was touched by the gesture, said MAD is also going to distribute the gifts at its Pune centre.

"I would soon write back to her thanking for what she has done for the children," he said.

The children fondly remember her and have also taken her advise to work hard, complete their studies and be courageous in life, he added.

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