NEW DELHI: No child is ‘any less important for me than my own son,’ said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during an event organised on the occasion of Teacher’s Day to celebrate the contribution of 87 of Delhi’s teachers and principals here at the Thyagaraj Stadium on Thursday. CM Kejriwal and his deputy, Manish Sisodia felicitated and awarded 87 teachers in various categories for their selfless service and rigorous efforts to make qualitative changes in the education system in Delhi and for shaping the future. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe CM said, “Every Delhi child is like my own son. No child is any less important for me than my own son. It is my duty to provide for all of Delhi’s people because I consider them as a part of my family.” “The biggest mission for us was to fix government schools. We were anxious whether we will succeed in doing that. In just 4 years, with solid support from teachers and principals, we have reached a point where government schools are just as good as if not better than private schools. We have transformed the entire environment of government schools,” he said. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings”However for the last year and a half, we felt there continued to be one major issue. I realised that coaching for competitive exams today costs Rs. 1 lakh to 1.5 lakh. So despite Government schools becoming better, when it comes to competing with children from rich families with money to pay for expensive coaching institutes, poor children often lag behind. To change this, we launched the free coaching scheme,” Kejriwal added. Talking about ‘Jai Bhim Mukhymantri Pratibha Vikas Yojana’, he said, “In the past year, the scheme has been so successful in bridging the gap between rich and poor that today we have expanded it to General and OBCs categories as well and have also increased the amount from Rs 40,000 to Rs 1,00,000 for availing good coaching. In fact, if any child’s family income is less than Rs 8 lakh per annum and the child wishes to enroll into a coaching institute for competitive exams, the Delhi government will pay for it. You must have seen Vijay’s case. His mother is a domestic help and father is a tailor. Through this scheme, today he is studying Chemical Engineering at IIT Delhi.” “I am especially thrilled by Vijay’s success because my son has also enrolled this year at the same IIT, in fact with a lower rank. This scheme is actually changing the lives of the poor,” he said. “It is incredible just how much influence a school teacher has on a child’s life. In 1985, I joined IIT and in 20 years in 2015, the people of Delhi gave us the responsibility for Delhi. We were such ordinary people but people gave us such a big responsibility. I often used to think that now that I have got this opportunity despite coming from a very ordinary background, what is it that I should do? I decided that I will work towards just one goal — if any child in Delhi wants to go to an IIT, then the lack of resources should never come in the way of them seizing that opportunity,” Kejriwal asserted. Meanwhile, the Deputy CM and the Education Minister Sisodia recalled the changes that the Delhi government brought in the education sector in the last four years.