The Delhi government’s tableau at the Republic Day parade featured a newly renovated “model school”. By its side was the Ludlow Castle building.
Many were left wondering what Ludlow Castle, a heritage building constructed by a British surgeon in the early 19th century, stood for in the tableau. According to some accounts, the building has been home to a British resident to the Mughal court in Delhi. After independence, it was turned into a high school. It was later expanded to make room for a bigger school in the 1960s.
At present, Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya, Ludlow Castle, Rajniwas Marg, is running from the original building. The school is among the earliest government schools to be started in Delhi.
Bibhuti Adhikary, the designer who put Ludlow Castle on Delhi’s float, said it the building was put there to draw a comparison between “an old model school and today’s model schools”.
“Ludlow Castle was the first school, which the then government had decided to turn into a model school. That’s how it also got its name – Government Model School, Ludlow Castle. Today, the AAP government is also building model schools. So, it depicted changes over the years,” he said.
Atishi Malena, advisor to education minister Manish Sisodia, said Government Model School, Ludlow Castle was one of the most sought after in Delhi. “It represents what we want to make all our government schools into and that’s why we put it in the tableau,” she said.
Pundrikash Kaundinya, principal of the school, said his school has recorded a 100% result for the last three years.
“Many of our students get admission in prominent colleges. We provide the best academic and sports facilities to our students. It was a moment of pride to feature in the Delhi tableau at the Republic Day parade,” he said.
Besides, the school was also chosen because of its architecture and history. “The tableau selection committee recommended that we depict an old school which has historical importance. It was to break the monotony of usual school buildings,” designer Adhikary added.
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Many people in the audience also wondered what relation Jantar Mantar could have with Delhi’s education theme.
Delhi tourism minister Kapil Mishra explained: “It was for two reasons. First, we had to put in one striking landmark which made people instantly recognize the float as Delhi’s tableau. Second, Jantar Mantar fits the bill as all schools across the capital ensure that students are taken to the monument for educational tours. If you see carefully, the replica had students and teachers visiting Jantar Mantar.”