Offer of stay to artists at Rashtrapati Bhavan

Thirty-day ‘in-residence’ programme will allow artists, writers to stay for a month in the Estate

Published - December 13, 2013 12:23 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The Mughal Garden on the Rashtrapati Bhavan premises. File photo; R.V. Moorthy

The Mughal Garden on the Rashtrapati Bhavan premises. File photo; R.V. Moorthy

Taking forward his initiative to “open the Rashtrapati Bhavan” to the people, President Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of his birthday on Wednesday announced a 30-day ‘in-residence’ programme for artists, writers and innovation scholars, the first of its kind.

The programme will allow artists and writers with an “established track record in the field of art and literature” to stay for a month and be a part of the life of the Estate.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said the historical building has always been a subject of curiosity for the public. According to a statement issued by the President’s Secretariat, Mr. Mukherjee said his predecessors like Rajaji and President Rajendra Prasad had taken steps to open the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the people of India, a tradition that he wants continued.

‘Conducive atmosphere’

The ‘in-residence’ programme will help provide a conducive atmosphere for creative minds to reflect and think and help upcoming writers and artists expand their creative talents, the President is learnt to have said.

Mr. Mukherjee also expressed hope that the programme would contribute to aesthetic as well as social benefits through art and literature that will be created by the artists, while in residence. It would also help provide innovators necessary linkages to institutions so as to nurture and support their ideas, the President said.

“The ‘in-residence’ programme is an attempt to encourage young and upcoming writers and artists by facilitating them to stay close to nature in the picturesque and serene surroundings of Rashtrapati Bhavan,” said Venu Rajamony, Press Secretary to the President.

Mr. Rajamony said the programme seeks to provide an environment which will inspire creative thinking. “Various activities like reading sessions, exhibitions of works of art and interaction with the residents of Rashtrapati Bhavan are also to be organised in consultation with the selected writers and artists under the scheme.”

The artists, writers and innovators will stay in the recently refurbished Guest House in the Estate.

For ‘innovation scholars’

The programme for ‘Innovation Scholars’ in residence aims to provide further impetus to grassroots innovation.

“The Rashtrapati Bhavan organises an exhibition of grassroots innovation every year during the time of opening of the Mughal Gardens. The President gives awards for grassroots innovations biennially. He has also been asking Central Universities and IITs/NITs to set up Innovation Clubs. Under this new scheme, four ‘Innovation Scholars’ would be invited to stay in Rashtrapati Bhavan for a month.

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