Wednesday, May 12, 2010

[ZESTCaste] With Gandhi as guide, Gates goes to a Dalit village

With Gandhi as guide, Gates goes to a Dalit village
May 12th, 2010 - 12:39 am ICT by IANS -

Kande Rao ka Purwa (Uttar Pradesh), May 11 (IANS) After showing Bill
Gates a glimpse of the development he had initiated in the social and
the health sectors in the Amethi and Rae Bareli constituencies
represented by him and his mother and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi,
Rahul Gandhi took the Microsoft chief to experience life in a Dalit
village in Pratapgarh district Tuesday evening.
It was here that Gates opened up to a closer interaction with the
locals - men, women and children - making inquiries about their
personal lives, their livelihood, education and the general quality of
life in this village.

Dodging the media, Rahul and Gates drove off to this village, some 25
km away from the Munshiganj guest house where they were spending the

They chose to halt at the Dalit dominated Chamrahi locality of the
village where they squatted on a charpoy and entered into a
free-wheeling interaction with the villagers, for whom it seemed like
a treat with Rahul acting as interpreter between them and Gates.

"We have never had the opportunity to see and talk to Rahul Gandhi
one-to-one manner. It was great," said 55-year-old Siya Ram, a local

Adding to their delight was Gates' introduction as the "world's
wealthiest man", who gave a new dimension to computers.

Excited with the brief interaction that she had with Gates,
14-year-old Asha told this scribe: "I could have never imagined myself
face to face with such a personality."

What had clearly impressed her most was the concern that Gates showed
on learning that she had dropped out of school in class VIII as her
family did not have enough money to support her studies.

Forty-year-old Rama Devi felt proud giving an account of how as a part
of a women self-help group she had succeeded in motivating a number of
women in her neighbourhood to create a decent kitty out of small

"The Gora sahib (referring to Gates) listened to me with rapt
attention as Rahul bhaiyya went about explaining things to him after
asking me different questions," she said.

AS word spread about the arrival of Rahul Gandhi with a foreigner
VVIP, men, women and children made a beeline for the corner where
Rahul and Gates were chatting away with the locals.

After spending about 45 minutes in Chamrahi, the two returned to the
guest house and then again ventured out to yet another village to
interact with more people.


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