15 May 2010

On recent visit of Microsoft chairman Bill Gates with Rahul Gandhi to rural areas -- How did Mr. Gandhi gave a surprise visit with world richest man Mr. Bill gates without the party knowledge,& how the richest men stood under the Neem tree to reduce

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, regarded as one of the biggest charitable trusts in the world, is expected to collaborate with the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust for running various welfare programmes at several places in India

The memorandum was signed in the presence of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. "The Gates Foundation has its biggest focus on improving health. So, as we watched over the last few years, Bihar really makes a priority to improve health, including things like immunisation. We have been very impressed. So, during my last visit, the Chief Minister and I had a conversation that kicked off the discussions that led to today's Memorandum of Co-operation," said Bill Gates. 

The memorandum aims to improve and increase the availability, quality and utilisation of health-care facilities and services. 

This is an initiative to reduce maternal mortality rate (MMR) and infant mortality rate in Bihar. 

Various health-related projects including eradication of tuberculosis, pneumonia, diarrhoea using will see support of the Gates Foundation. 

It was a day out for Bill Gates in the remotely located rural hinterland of Bihar. The first stoppage for him was the Gularia village where he remained for more than two hours, mixing with the residents and making enquiries from them through an interlocutor. Immediately after that, he got back by the river route to board the waiting chopper which flew him to a tribaldominated Tetariya village in Banka district. 

At Tetariya village in Banka district, Microsoft chief headed straight to to see the programmes undertaken by the Bill and Mellinda Gates Foundation. The foundation is working for the welfare of people in the remote village of Banka in association with India-based voluntary organisation Pradaan. 

The foundation, in collaboration with Pradaan, has been working on two projects at Tetariya village — the first being the rainwater harvesting project and the .second related to sericulture and silk-cocoon production. 

"I did not make any promise in the IT sector in Amethi... In fact, I have not spoken anything on the IT during the past one week", Gates told mediapersons after the Foundation and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar government initialled a Memorandum of Cooperation on the work to fight infectious diseases in Bihar

The world's richest man, who was on a two-day tour to high-profile constituency, held a "chaupal" (community meeting) at night with the residents of Gurtholia village, sitting under a neem tree. 

After a hectic day, which included long meetings with members of the women self-help groups and visit to hospital and health camps, Gates along with Rahul sneaked out of their guest house in Mushiganj and reached Gurtholia village in Shahgarh block. 

The interactive session, which went on for nearly two hours, began with the Congress leader and the Microsoft Chairman taking their "seat" on a mud platform. 

During the interaction, Gates and Rahul asked the menfolk how they felt as their women counterparts had started saving money through groups. 

At times Rahul doubled up as a translator for Gates. Though a community dinner was organised by the group, the duo left the place after the meeting. 

"It was an exhilarating experience for us. We told them about our self-help group and in turn they asked us to maintain our unity. They also talked about NREGA, the flagship rural job guarantee programme," Savitri Devi said. 

"We are thankful to Rahul that he brought Gates to us. We offered him whatever we had to eat," another villager, Bindra Prasad Pathak, said. Many of the villagers did not know the name of the "gora saheb", but they knew that their guest from abroad was "the richest man" from America

After suggesting rural folks to adopt computers and giving an assurance to them to try his best to develop the area as an IT hub, Gates left Amethi this morning. 

Miliband had spent a night along with Rahul in a ramshackle hut belonging to Shivkumari Kori, a poor Dalit,

at Simara village in Amethi during his visit. 

Prior to Gates, his wife Melinda, co-founder of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, had visited Rae Bareli, the Lok Sabha constituency represented by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, in March. 

Before leaving for Delhi, Rahul visited the village of Vinod Yadav, one of the CRPF jawans killed in the deadliest Maoist attack in Dantewada last monthExplaining them the importance of computer education, Mr Gates promised the villagers to try and develop Amethi and Rae Bareli (Congress president Sonia Gandhi's constituency) as an IT hub. About a month ago, Ms Melinda Gates had also visited some villages in the Amethi-Rae Bareli region. On her visit she had committed Rs 250-crore for various health programmes in Uttar Pradesh

Mr Gates visit to the area was kept a closely guarded secret with even Congress party leaders were unaware of the programmeSources said that Mr Gates is also expected to spend the night at the Simara village to take a closer look at the village life. He will leave for New Delhi on Wednesday morning, while Mr Gandhi is expected to stay back in Ameth

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