New Delhi: As he completed one year in office, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said efforts should be made to increase the accessibility of the common man to Rashtrapati Bhavan.
"The common citizens of our country always have the desire and curiosity to know more about the highest constitutional office in the land," he said.
Mukherjee said he was happy to note that a substantial portion of Rashtrapati Bhavan has been opened for public viewing by giving reasonable access to visitors who want to explore its rich history and architectural heritage.
To mark his first year in office, Mukherjee inaugurated a public library for residents of the President's Estate. He distributed the first library membership cards to select families of the estate. He also distributed specially designed bookmarks.
Addressing the gathering, the President said it was extremely essential to inculcate reading habits in children from an early age.
He was happy to note that a dilapidated building in the President's Estate which was scheduled for demolition has been renovated and converted into a library with a rich collection of books, newspapers and magazines along with the facility of reading rooms.
Mukherjee emphasised on the need to revive standards of education in the country to the days of old glory when Takshashila and Nalanda universities flourished as global centres of learning.
He also opened the Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya within the President's Estate and planted a sapling.
Mukherjee also met members of five cricket teams at the venue and knocked a ball with a bat.
Besides, a bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi outside the Ashoka Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan was unveiled by him. The sculptor of the statue, Ram Sutar of Maharashtra whose many sculpted works dot the capital, was also present.
Mukherjee also launched a series of digital initiatives to mark his first anniversary in office.