New Delhi, July 22:
President Pranab Mukherjee completes two years in office on July 25, having brought about changes and reforms at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential mansion, that few of his predecessors had done before. A number of activities are being organized to mark this special occasion, the highlight of which is the dedication to the nation of the new Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his council of ministers.
This museum is being established in the erstwhile stables of the Rashtrapati Bhavan which housed horses and ceremonial coaches. It is a story-telling museum that will narrate the story of the Rashtrapati Bhavan using sound-light-video animation, laser and holographic projections and augmented reality, among others.
It has a simulated battlefield with arms mounted on warriors, examples of furniture designed by Edwin Lutyens for the Viceroy’s residence, ceremonial coaches, photographs and memorabilia of the President’s Bodyguard, paintings from the 19th century, sketches and gifts received by successive presidents from national and foreign dignitaries, among others.
The president will dedicate the museum to the nation at a ceremony presided over by Modi and attended by ministers and senior officers of the government on the morning of July 25.
Other activities spread over July 24 and 25 include:
* Inauguration of 16 serviced apartments that will enable an expansion of Rashtrapati Bhavan’s in-residence programme for innovators, artists and
* Release of three books: “Thoughts and Reflections”, a compilation of presidential quotes; “Winged Wonders of Rashtrapati Bhavan” on the birds of the President’s Estate and “Indradhanush” on the cultural events organized in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
* Inauguration of a Bank and Post Office in their new locations.
* Inauguration of a Fitness Centre for the Staff Recreation Club.
* Inauguration of a Knowledge Hub and other facilities in the Dr. Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya within Rashtrapati Bhavan.
* Launch of a new design for the President of India website and a video film on the important events of the second year of the presidency.
* A cultural programme for select invitees.
The president will also host a banquet for the prime minister, his council of ministers and senior officials on July 25.