PM's Wife Visits Gurudwara, School in Tehran

Snehesh Alex Philip/Tehran
PM's Wife Visits Gurudwara, School in Tehran
Bollywood songs, item numbers and folk music reverberated in the air as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's wife Gursharan Kaur was given a warm welcome at a Gurudwara and Kendriya Vidyalaya here which was extended a grant of Rs 2 crore by the Indian government.

The school children, including a Bangladeshi and an Iraqi girl, left the audience including Kaur mesmerised with their songs and dance sequences.

Prime Minister's wife was seen tapping her feet and clapping softly, enjoying every moment of her over one and half hour stay.

As they sang Punjabi songs, the audience of largely 190 students and their parents, came alive with many of them clapping their hands in rhythm.

The school was started by the Gurudwara Management Committee under the aegis of Late Makhan Singh, who people say collected donations from door to door.

"The Hinduja brothers also donated a big sum as donation for the construction of the school which was completed in the late 1960s," school principal Jugal Kishore said.

He added that during the second half of the 20th century till the 1979 revolution here, the school used to have more than 350 students on its roll and was affiliated to Punjab University and later with CBSE.

After the revolution, many Indian families left Tehran and from about 350 Indian families, only just 60-65 families were left.

Eventually, the school came under the control of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan in 2004. Though it was supposed to be a self-financing school, the Indian government had to step in with grants to keep the school floating since there were very less students.

The school which has produced 100 per cent results since last two years was also extended a grant of Rs 2 crore by Indian government which was announced during Kaur's visit.

There is another Indian school in Zahidan, a place which was named after the then Iranian Shah met some Sikhs.

As per the school principal Kishore, the place was earlier named after thugs and thieves. But when Shah came over one day, he saw some Sikhs in white robes near a well and asked his staff who those Zahids were.

Zahid is a term used for learned and respectable people. Since then, the place is known as Zahidan.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s wife also visited the gurudwara next door where she offered a rumala. She was also given a "saropa" by the Gurudwara. She participated in the prayers too.
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