`Rajiv Gandhi was an extraordinary statesman'

NEW DELHI : Recalling his association with former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Mani Shanker Aiyar on Thursday said that the late leader was a private person but after joining politics he proved to be an extraordinary statesman in extraordinary circumstances, devoting all his time to the service of the common man.

Speaking at a symposium organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs here, Mr. Aiyar said Rajiv Gandhi championed the cause of women in a big way.

Indian Council of World Affairs president Harcharan Singh presided over the symposium in which the chairman of Sangeet Natak Akademi, Ram Niwas Mirdha, and the editor of the Voice of Millions, Bhim Singh, also took part.

Fruits distributed among poor patients

NEW DELHI: On the eve of the 61st birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, fruits were distributed among poor patients in various hospitals across the Capital on Friday by the secretary of the All-India Congress Committee, Jai Kishan.

Mr. Kishan -- who is also an MLA from the Sultanpuri constituency here -- also distributed sewing machines to poor widows and clothes to leprosy patients.

Blood donation camp to mark anniversary

NEW DELHI: The National Medical Forum will organise a blood donation camp at the Hanuman Mandir complex near Connaught Place on Saturday to mark the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The camp will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the blood collected here will be provided, without replacement, to patients suffering from dialysis and cancer, besides victims of accidents and other emergency situations. The Forum's blood bank is located on Ansari Road in Darya Ganj.

Russian honour for Satish Gujral, Sharma

NEW DELHI: Eminent artist Satish Gujral and former Principal of the Delhi College of Art, Om Prakash Sharma, were conferred honorary membership of the prestigious Russian Academy of Arts at a function here on Monday. The event was jointly organised by the Indo-Russian Friendship Society and the International Federation of Indo-Russian Youth Clubs at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSE).

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who was the chief guest on the occasion, presented Mr. Gujral and Prof. Sharma the diplomas of honorary membership. Russian Minister Counsellor Andrei Sorokin was the guest of honour.

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