New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee has opted out of the World Culture Festival to be held on the banks of River Yamuna in New Delhi. Media reports say that the President has expressed his inability to attend the event.
Organised by The Art of Living , a UN-accredited global NGO headed by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, WCF aims to be the first such historic gathering to celebrate peaceful co-existence and unity in diversity as it brings together people from different cultures, nations, and faiths as a one-world family in a resounding message of peace.
The WCF, which is being hosted from March 11-13, will feature a diverse program of cultural performances, addresses by dignitaries, an interfaith meet and platforms for leadership discussions.
Through the presentation of traditional and country- specific dance, music, art and costumes from around the world, the festival aims to foster a deeper mutual understanding between people of different faiths, nationalities and backgrounds, an important concern of the Art of Living.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend the event.
The WCF was hit by a controversy after a committee appointed by NGT recommended fining the Art of Living Foundation Rs 120 crore for damage to Yamuna floodplains while making preparations for the event.
The Delhi Development Authority has claimed that they were not informed of the scale of the event.
However the The Art of Living founder has said that the event will take place as planned on the venue.