Colaba school gears up for Obama, plans dances, exhibition | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Colaba school gears up for Obama, plans dances, exhibition

At Holy Name School in Colaba, teachers and students alike are looking forward to next Sunday. Collin Rodrigues reports.

mumbai Updated: Oct 31, 2010 01:43 IST
Collin Rodrigues

At Holy Name School in Colaba, teachers and students alike are looking forward to next Sunday.

US President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the school on November 7, making it one of only a handful of items on his itinerary during his two days in Mumbai.

The school was picked, said Principal Father Michael Pinto, because of its many cultural programmes and the parental involvement in these.

“There have been officials visiting the school thrice a day for the past few days, with major security preparations afoot,” said a teacher at the school. “Even the students will begin preparing now, since the President will be asking them questions and interacting with them.” Next Sunday, eight students will perform two traditional dances for the President in the school’s ground-floor auditorium.

“There will be one dance with the children holding diyas (earthenware lamps), and another with the students dancing to a traditional Maharashtrian Koli song,” said teacher Jerome D’Silva, in charge of the show.

Due to security concerns, the open area near the hall will be covered with a canopy, to block the view from surrounding buildings. “The space next to the hall will be used for Obama’s motorcade,” said Father Pinto.

During the performances, only the eight students’ parents, the principal and the two teachers who have trained the students will be allowed into the auditorium. The rest of the space has been reserved for the international press and the President’s security staff.

The President will also visit an ongoing science exhibition at the school, titled Care for Creation and featuring project by students from all classes.

“We have been told to put all the exhibits in a classroom on the first floor,” said Father Pinto.

While Obama will interact with students, the President will not field questions at the school.