First Lady of the United States Melania Trump has landed in India for a brief visit with husband Donald Trump, Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner. From visiting the Taj Mahal to attending a happiness class at a government school in Delhi, the First Lady’s schedule is jam-packed, being closely followed by the media worldwide. Here’s taking a look at some of the highlights of Melania’s India visit so far and all the conversations that it has started.
That Green belt: Melania Trump stepped off Air Force One in India wearing a white jumpsuit that sparked a thousand memes on social media. But there was an Indian connect to her ensemble as she had teamed her crème crepe jumpsuit with a sash made of green silk and gold metallic thread. This symbolic ode to the Indian handloom somehow got buried under the flood of Karate Kid memes though.
To prep the monument for the Trumps’ visit, the Taj Mahal was given a mud pack in order to remove the yellow stains from air pollution that it has acquired.
Watching the birds fly away at Taj Mahal: Barely hours after landing in India the members of the first family of the US made their way to the Taj Mahal, which is an obvious must-stop for any foreign dignitary visiting India. A photograph of Donald and Melania Trump holding hands and watching the birds fly away, as they stand facing the monument of love has caught the attention of global media. Here, the first Lady inquired about mud packs, and no this wasn’t some inquiry about traditional Indian beauty treatment that many women use.
To prep the monument for the Trumps’ visit, the Taj Mahal was given a mud pack treatment in order to remove the yellow stains from air pollution that it has acquired. The treatment is said to help in restoring its natural glow and colour to some extent. According to a BBC report, the Taj Mahal got its last mud-pack in 2008. So if you have noticed how Taj Mahal has been glowing more than usual before the Trump-family visit, then you are not alone.
Meeting Savita Kovind: This morning Melania accompanied Donald Trump to the Rashtrapati Bhavan for their ceremonial welcome by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind and his wife Savita Kovind. Certainly, the two first ladies would have had the opportunity to interact with each other. One wonders what they would have talked about. Would the current environment of unrest in India have been a subject of discussion? Or would they have stuck with Melania’s cultural orientation?
Could Melania’s visit to a happiness class at a Delhi school finally spark awareness among Indians as to why mental health matters as much as physical health?
Happiness class in Delhi school: The FLOTUS attended a happiness class at a Delhi government school in Moti Bagh. She said,”It’s very inspiring that students here begin each day with mindfulness and storytelling and connecting with nature. I cannot think of a better way for all of us to start our day.” She spent an hour at the school.
The happiness classes, an initiative of the Delhi government, focus on mental-wellbeing of students with activities like meditation, street plays, and general obedience. The goal of these classes is to reduce stress and anxiety levels among children. This initiative by the Delhi Government is timely, considering that India stood at 140th spot in the 2019 World Happiness Index. When it comes to being happy we are lagging behind even our neighbours Pakistan and Bangladesh. Mental health issues among young students are especially of concern, as the 2018 NCRB date revealed that 10,159 students from our country ended their lives in the year 2018.
Could Melania’s visit finally spark awareness among Indians as to why mental health matters as much as physical health? Can it motivate other states across the country to implement similar programs that encourage mental well-being not just for students, but for adults as well? We will have to wait and watch.
Image Credit: PTI