Valerie Trierweiler, who had been in a relationship with French President Francois Hollande for seven years, arrived in Mumbai on Sunday night, the day Hollande announced that they had split.
She took over the role of the country’s first lady following Hollande’s election in May 2012.
Trierweiler has come as part of ‘Action Contre la Faim’, the French group that works to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, to launch an NGO called Fight Hunger Foundation.
In Mumbai the French media, which quizzed Trierweiler about her new status of "former first lady", had to be restrained from asking too many "personal" questions. But Trierweiler fielded all questions about the relationship.
She spoke in French with the help of an interpreter.
"I do not know what I will do with my life yet. I have some more years to go. I will take it as it comes. Don’t worry for me," said Trierweiler when she was asked about her plans. This was the first time she spoke in public about the separation.
When asked how she saw her involvement with the project, considering that she had taken it as a mission, she said: "I have spent 19 months. I have discovered a lot and gained experience. I will continue to do the work I took up as first lady," she said.
Trierweiler delivered her keynote address at the launch in French, which was also translated into English.
Trierweiler said that this was her third visit to India. "The first time I came as a journalist, the second as the first lady."
Before the launch she visited the Sion Hospital and the Urban Health Centre, Dharavi.