St Petersburg (Russia): A Russian school that
teaches Hindi and also has the Indian classical dance and
music as part of its curriculum has come in for praise by
President Pratibha Patil, who described it as a symbol of the
friendship between the two countries.
Patil was pleasantly surprised to witness the children of
the school no 653 here present a colourful cultural programme
in Hindi to coincide with the Teachers` Day Saturday night.
Beginning the programme with a Bharatnatyam performance,
the Russian children also presented a Hindi song `Ek Tu Hi
Bharosa, Ek Tu Hi Sahara` (You are the only hope, you are the
only support) and a Rajasthani folk dance.
This institute "is a tribute to our great leaders who
decided to establish this school which till today continues to
be a symbol of the India-Russia friendship," the President,
who was here as part of her five-day visit to Russia, said.
She said India always considered the people of Russia
as its true friends.
As a token of appreciation, Patil also announced donation
of books, computer software and a digital projector to the
school, which was set up in 1957 on the 10th anniversary
of India`s Independence Day.
A decision to establish the school was taken after an
official visit by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to
the USSR and a return visit by General Secretary of USSR
Nikita Khrushchov to India.
This is the only school in the North-West region of
Russia where Hindi is taught to students from class two
onwards. Classical Indian music and dance are also part of the
During her day-long visit to St Petersburg yesterday,
Patil also visited the world-renowned Hermitage Museum, which
houses a collection of more than three million works of art.
Among them are paintings, graphics, sculptures and works of
applied art, archaeological finds and numismatic material.
The main architectural ensemble of the Hermitage consists
of the Winter Palace, the former state residence of the
Patil also had meetings with acting Governor Alexander
Vakhmistrov and President`s Representative to the North West
Region Ilya Klebanov.