President Patil’s Shimla holiday ends

June 1st, 2008 - 2:27 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

Shimla, June 1 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil left for New Delhi Sunday after a six-day sojourn here. Accompanied by 10 family members, including her husband Devi Singh Shekhawat, she flew to New Delhi in an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter from the Kalyani helipad near Chharabra village, 15 km from here.

She was seen off at the helipad by Himachal Pradesh Governor V.S. Kokje, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, his cabinet colleagues and top army and civil officials.

During her holiday here, Patil stayed at ‘The Retreat’, which is the Rashtrapati Niwas, in Chharabra. Erstwhile president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had stayed there for a day during his tenure.

Patil spent most of her time in the sprawling Rashtrapati Niwas even as rains almost everyday lashed this hill station.

Her movement to Shimla was restricted to bare minimum so that tourists were not harassed during the peak summer season.

Addressing a function on the Ridge Maidan, Patil called for rooting out social evils, especially female foeticide, from the society. She identified dowry, child marriage, female foeticide and growing use of intoxicants as social evils gripping the country.

“There is need to deal with these evils,” she said.

The president cancelled her one-day holiday trip to Manali.

Her family members visited the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS) here which is housed in the stately Viceregal house of British era.

Institute director Peter Ronald de Souza had shown keen interest in documentation of relics shifted from IIAS to the Rashtrapati Niwas in 1964. However, the IIAS does not have details about the artefacts.

They also visited the ‘Kali Bari’ temple.

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