Noted classical singer of the Benaras Gharana Girija Devi, who was invited to perform at Rashtrapati Bhavan recently, became the first guest to be hosted at the newly-refurbished Vivekananda Suite in the guest wing of the President’s House.

President Pranab Mukherjee was on Tuesday given a tour of the redone Vivekananda and Tagore Suites – the guest wing of Rashtrapati Bhavan that has been thrown open after decades of being shuttered up.

“These suites, which are meant for use by guests of the President, have been newly-renovated, refurbished and decorated with paintings, artefacts and pieces of classical furniture collected from different parts of Rashtrapati Bhavan,” said Press Secretary to President Venu Rajamony.

Among those who have been hosted at the guest wing in the recent past include the former King of Bhutan and President of Guyana. The wing has not had many guests over the years because space constraint made it difficult to accommodate large visiting contingents.

A new room has also been created for video conferencing from where it is expected that the President will interact with vice-chancellors, faculty and students of Universities for which he is the Visitor.

“A new Research and Reference Centre has been opened by converting a set of rooms, which were lying unused, into a Study Lounge. It is for the use of the President as well as officers of Rashtrapati Bhavan. A new meeting room for the use of officers has also been created,” said Mr. Rajamony.

Newly-refurbished guest wing opens after decades