New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee. PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee. PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist
In Ranchi to lay the foundation stone for Rabindra Bhawan, an auditorium complex, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Sunday that Rabindranath Tagore was an ambassador for India’s culture across the world. After laying the foundation stone online, Mukherjee said in Hindi, “Wherever he (Tagore) went, be it across Pacific, across Atlantic, anywhere, he was always the ambassador for India’s culture. He was a great artist.”
Mukherjee, who reached Ranchi on Saturday evening, recalled how on Tagore’s birth centenary in 1961, it was decided that each state capital will have a Rabindra Bhawan. At that time, Jharkhand did not exist, said Mukherjee, adding that after the state’s creation there was no Rabindra Bhawan in Ranchi. “Ek kamti tha…..wo kamti aaj khatam ho gaya (There was one gap….that gap has been plugged now),” he said.
The Rabindra Bhawan has been envisaged as a state-of-the-art auditorium with 1,500 seats, along with four mini-auditoriums, that would be used for various cultural programmes. The project cost is around Rs 155 crore and is supposed to be completed within two years.
Mukherjee also laid the foundation stone for a Haj House in the city. “As External Affairs Minister, I came to know that not Pakistan, not even Bangladesh, not any other country, it is India that sends maximum pilgrims for Haj,” said the President. During his visit, the President also laid foundation stone for a software technology park, a drivers’ training institute and skill development centres in Deoghar. He also offered prayers at the Shiva temple in Deoghar and inaugurated a 44-km solar street lighting project between Baba Baidyanath Dham and Basuki Dham Temple.
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