Shimla, Mar 30 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said the state would welcome Russian participation in art, culture, tourism and hydro-power sectors and urged Russian Ambassador V I Trukinikov to be the ''Ambassador of Himachal'' for promotion of cultural and tourism activities.
Mr Dhumal was delivering the presidential address on the occasion of Birth Centenary Celebration of yester-year cinestar Devika Rani, who had married the renowned Russian artist N Roerich. The event is being celebrated by the International Roerich Trust at the Art Gallery at Naggar in Kullu valley today.
The Chief Minister said the State Government would be providing all help to the renowned film star and well-known danseuse Hema Malini, who had approached him with the proposal to set up a Dance Training School in Himachal Pradesh.
He further said that Hema Malini had suggested setting up the dance school in Kullu valley, which was bound to polish the talents of the young artistes of the State.
He also said that renowned Punjabi Sufi singer Hans Raj Hans had made a request to set up a Vocal Music Training School in Himachal Pradesh, which too, was welcomed by the State Government.
Mr Dhumal further asserted that former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had visited the Roerich Art Centre during his Prime Ministership and sanctioned a sum of Rs two crore for the improvement of the Centre.
Late Devika Rani, the great grand-daughter of Noble Laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore happened to be the first female actor of the Indian silver screen who not only broke the male dominance in the film industry but was also instrumental in promoting young talent like Ashok Kumar and Dilip Kumar, he said.
Prof Dhumal said the state has offered peaceful and most congenial atmosphere for the promotion of art and culture, and that was why late Roerich had settled at Naggar, in Kullu valley. He added that the place had achieved international recognition with the opening of an Art gallery in the village. He said the real tribute to the eminent couple would be that both the countries should encourage bilateral relations.
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