New Delhi: There is a lot to be done at Rashtrapati Bhavan, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said as he ushered in his fourth year in office dispelling notions that life in the President's Estate was in a "realm of boredom".
Mukherjee, who has launched many initiatives to bring Rashtrapati Bhavan closer to the masses, said it has been his idea to keep doing something which is "primarily concerned with the people" and that is the reason he chose to implement government schemes like 'Swachh Bharat' and 'Beti Bacaho, Beti Padhao' in the sprawling campus on Raisina Hill here.
"While filing my nomination (for Presidency) a colleague simply said after being so long in active politics what would I do there (Rashtrapati Bhavan). He clearly said you are entering into a realm of boredom...From such active life.
"But I found it is not exactly the same and there is lot that can be done as there is a large community living here (inside President's Estate) of about 7,000 people and their families," Mukherjee said after inaugurating an AYUSH wellness centre inside the Estate after the renovation of an old and abandoned building.
A lot of facilities can be created for them, Mukherjee, who was sworn-in as the President on July 25, 2012, said.
"Therefore, whatever programme is taken over by the government, I decided to immediately implement it (in Rashtrapati Bhavan)," he said, while mentioning the recently launched SMART City project.
Mukherjee said his idea is that government schemes can be put to experiment in the Bhavan and some "replicable" models could be evolved.
He said government ministries have always extended a "whole hearted" support to the activities launched in the Bhavan.
The President complimented his team at the Bhavan and those from the public works department for finishing public welfare projects in a "record time" and without disturbing the greenery and rich heritage of the estate.
Earlier, Mukherjee dedicated the first-of-its-kind Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) centre which has been raised after renovating a 1925 building which was in a dilapidated condition for a long time.
The President's Secretary Omita Paul said the centre will serve the families and others living in the Estate.
The new building was put in shape after 110 days of work and at a cost of Rs 52 lakh. Union AYUSH Minister Shripad Yesso Naik, Delhi LG Najeeb Jung, New Delhi Member of Parliament Meenakshi Lekhi and Addnl. Principal Secretary to Prime Minister P K Mishra were present during the event.
He also inaugurated a restored 'band house' clock tower which is housed atop a heritage structure which was earlier used by the President's Bodyguard.
To commemorate three years of his presidency, the President will host a dinner for the union council of ministers and other dignitaries.
Two volumes of his selected speeches and two books on Rashtrapati Bhavan will be released on the occasion by Vice President Hamid Ansari and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, it said.