Dhumal urges Russian envoy to be ''ambassador for HP''

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Shimla, Mar 30 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said that 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.

He was delivering the presidential address on the occasion of Birth Centenary Celebration of yesteryear 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.

Chief Minister said the State Government would be providing all help to renowned film star and known dansuse Hema Malini who had approached him with the proposal to set up a Dance Training School in Himachal Pradesh.

He 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 said 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.

The Chief Minister said that 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.

Prof Dhumal said that state 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 said that the place achieved international recognition with the opening of art gallery in the village. He said that the real tribute to the eminent couple would be that both the countries encourged bilateral relations.

UNI XC JN BP1823

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