New Delhi: US First Lady Melania Trump on Tuesday attended a ‘Happiness Class’ at a south Delhi government school and said she was inspired by the curriculum, noting it has set a “healthy and positive” example for educators.
Excited students dressed in traditional attire welcomed Melania as she arrived at the Sarvodaya Co-Educational Senior Secondary School in Moti Bagh.
The school was decked up with floral garlands and motifs to welcome the US First Lady. Floral rangolis were also drawn at multiple places in the school. A student band welcomed the First Lady by playing bagpipes.
She took a tour of the school and visited a reading room as well as an activity room for kintergarden students. She also saw a yoga session and interacted with students.
Addressing the students, Melania thanked the administration for welcoming her.
“Thank you for welcoming me. This is my first visit to India. People here are so welcoming and kind,” she said.
She said it is “very inspiring” that students begin their day by practising mindfulness and connecting with nature”.
“A healthy, positive example has been set for educators to ensure a promising future,” she said.
She was cheered by students who waved Indian and American flags and was presented a handmade gift and Madhubani paintings before she left.
Earlier, when she arrived at the school, lensmen scurried to get a perfect shot. The children welcomed the First Lady by applying ‘teeka’ on her forehead. She was also handed over a bouquet after which she lit the ceremonial lamp.
Before her arrival, children were seen rehearsing outside the gate of the institution. Massive security was also put in place for her visit.
Ahead of her arrival, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted to welcome her.
“@FLOTUS will attend happiness class in our school today. Great day for our teachers, students and Delhiites. For centuries, India has taught spirituality to the world. Am happy that she will take back the msg of happiness from our school,” Kejriwal said.
The children were dressed in bright-coloured sarees and traditional attire like ‘ghagra-choli’ to welcome Melania Trump. Some of them were carrying bagpipes and other musical instruments.
“Welcome to our school @FLOTUS! We hope you would have a great time here in #HappinessClass It’s just 18 months old initiative but early results have made us confident that @HappinessDelhi is the ultimate solution to all violence & hate in mindsets that we are facing worldwide,” tweeted Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio.
In another tweet, he said, “Its a proud moment for my Team Education of Delhi today. All are excited to see @FLOTUS in one of our school. She just visited ‘room to read’ now she would move for #HappinessClass and then address the kids in assembly.”
Kejriwal and Sisodia were to welcome Melania at the school and brief her about rationale behind introduction of the ‘Happiness Classes’ as well as the Delhi government’s overall reform initiatives in the education sector but the US embassy had later communicated to the city administration that their names do not figure in the list of invitees for the event.
The ‘Happiness Class’ was started by the Aam Aadmi Party in 2018. As part of the programme, students are taught various activities, including meditation, street plays, basic obedience and aims to reduce anxiety and stress levels among children.