US First Lady Melania Trump sat down with schoolchildren at state government-run school in Delhi this afternoon as she attended the flagship “Happiness Class”. Ms Trump was welcomed with a tilak by students and teachers of the Sarvodaya Co-Education Senior Secondary School in south Delhi’s Moti Bagh. The VVIP visit to the south Delhi school comes on a day several parts of northeast Delhi are seeing unprecedented violence after protesters for and against the controversial citizenship law clashed. Schools across northeast Delhi are closed today.
Launched in July 2018 by the Arvind Kejriwal government, the “Happiness Class” is a 45-minute break during which an activity-based curriculum is followed, such as meditation, story-telling and mental exercises.
“It’s very inspiring that students here begin each day with mindfulness and storytelling and connecting with nature. I cannot think of a better way for all of us to start our day than this,” Ms Trump said, addressing the students after spending over an hour at the school. She advised students to be “good to each other” through their life and thanked the teachers for inculcating good values in them.
The First Lady spent over an hour at the school, witnessed various activities conducted as part of the “Happiness Curriculum”, and interacted with students and teachers.
Melania Trump, 49, was seen sitting on a tiny green chair, along with little children in their classroom. The First Lady, wearing a white dress with multi-coloured prints, interacted with one group of children before walking up to another group where she sat on the floor before she was offered a stool by a teacher. There were 24 students in the class.
Two girls walked up to her and showed proudly showed one of their projects to the First Lady as she listened to them affectionately.
Ms Trump was then taken to another classroom of slightly older students, where she sat and watched them taking the “Happiness Class”.
“We are performing Rajasthani folk and Giddha, which is a Punjabi dance. We are very excited. We have been preparing for this for the last few days,” a student told NDTV.
Outside in the ground, another group of students performed Suryanamaskar.
Ms Trump, who was greeted with a marigold garland and a tilak, was presented with works of art done by the students.
As Melania Trump visited the school, her husband, US President Donald Trump held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House in the capital.
Chief Minister Kejriwal, who was earlier scheduled to welcome Ms Trump at the school, had put out a welcome post for her today. “@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,” Mr Kejriwal tweeted.
On Sunday, the US embassy indicated that Mr Kejriwal and his Deputy Manish Sisodia were dropped from Ms Trump’s Delhi government school event as they did not wish to politicise the visit.