Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted a welcome post for US First Lady Melania Trump this morning, hours before she was to visit a government school to attend a "happiness class". Launched in July 2018, the Kejriwal government's brainchild "happiness class" is a 45-minute break during which an activity-based curriculum is followed, such as meditation and mental exercises.
"@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.
.@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— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 25, 2020
Melania Trump, in a white dress, later turned up at a government school in south Delhi's Moti Bagh. She sat near a blackboard, while teachers read out some lines from a playbook to the children.
"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 had told NDTV.
Mr Kejriwal's deputy Manish Sisodia tweeted, "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 r facing worldwide."
US President Donald Trump, Melania Trump and their family landed in Delhi on Monday night after a packed day addressing people in Ahmedabad and seeing the Taj Mahal in Agra.
Last week, the US embassy indicated that Mr Kejriwal and his Deputy Manish Sisodia were dropped from the Delhi government school event where Melania Trump will attend as they did not wish to politicise the visit.
"While the US embassy had no objection to the presence of the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister, we appreciate their recognition that this is not a political event and that it is best to ensure that the focus is on education, the school, and the students," a US Embassy spokesperson had said.
Mr Sisodia later issued a statement, saying he respects the concerns expressed by the US. The Delhi government has been highlighting the work it has done for its schools, including improving infrastructure and pedagogy.