Rahul, who arrived in Amethi on a two-day visit on Tuesday, took Gates to the villages in his Parliamentary constituency, where he interacted with a cross-section of the people.
Rahul and Gates drove straight to Jais from the Fursatganj airport where they met the members of the women’s self help group at Rajiv Gandhi Womens’ Training centre. The members apprised the Microsoft Chairman on how the activities of the group were helping them.
The Gates Foundation is also associated with the programmes being run at the centre.
“Maine Bill Gates se kaha ki apke paas kewal paisa hi nahin hai, aap dil ke bhi bade hain” (I told Bill Gates that he was not only a very rich person but also has a big heart), Tara Devi, a member of the self help group, said after the meeting. “We have seen poverty and we know the problems faced by the poor people...we told Bill Gates that the activities of the group have empowered the women of the area in many ways,” said Rajani and Madhuri Devi, two other members. Rahul and Bill spent about two hours with the group members during which the Congress leader also showed Gates the items produced by the group. Gates, while talking to the members, said there was enough potential in Amethi.
The Microsoft chairman stressed the need for computer education and promised to develop the area as an Information Technology hub.
The Gates Foundation chief said the people of the area could also visit the United States and other foreign countries, if they wanted to learn computer and English language. Gates also visited the SBI branch in Gauriganj to see how the women were operating their accounts. The SBI branch manager, however, failed to recognise Gates.
The duo also visited an eye camp organised by the Indira Gandhi Eye Hospital at Shahgarh village and spent over an hour there. The Congress leader later took his distinguished guest to Chattarpur village in his constituency, where the latter interacted with the villagers.
The media was not allowed to cover the programmes of the duo and even senior UP Congress leaders had no idea about Gates’ visit. No Congress leader was in the entourage.
Tight security arrangements had been made during their visit. The Special Protection Group and the local police had heated exchanges over Rahul’s security during the duo’s visit to Sangrampur village.