Monthly Archives: January 2011

Rahul Gandhi A New Ray of Hope to 13 year old Rohit Dubey

The Gandhi scion spotted Rohit in a crowd of around 2,000 people on Sunday in Palghar, where he addressed a group of Youth Congress workers.

Upon learning that the boy dropped out of school two years back after his parents passed away within two months of each other, Rahul asked Minister of State for Tribal Development Rajendra Gavit to not only have the boy readmitted to a school, but also left instructions that he be kept updated on the boy’s annual progress.

For Rohit, it was a spur-of-the-moment decision to hop onto a Virar-Dahanu shuttle after he saw a poster announcing Rahul’s Palghar visit (Saturday isn’t a great day for business on Mumbai locals anyway).

That decision has changed the course of his life.

It was almost like the universe was conspiring to put Rohit in the right place at the right time. At Aryan School ground, where Rahul was meeting party workers, Rohit was denied entry because he was not carrying a pass. He was disappointed, but decided to wait hoping he would get a glimpse of Rahul or at least his chopper when he left. But fate had more in store for him.

After the meeting got over, Rahul was walking towards his chopper when he suddenly turned around, broke security cordon and walked straight up to Rohit in the crowd. Touching the boy’s face gently, Rahul asked him his name and whether he went to school.

When Rohit told him he can’t afford school because he is an orphan, Rahul told his security officer he would like to talk to the boy alone and that he should be escorted to the pandal inside.

Rahul spoke to Rohit one-on-one for a minute or so. That one minute could well turn out be a very significant moment of his life.


Rohit’s Struggles

His parents’ deaths were a big blow to Rohit. His father, a daily-wage construction worker, died of malaria in August 2009. There was no money to get him treatment.

His mom, who continued to fund Rohit’s education by working as a housemaid, succumbed to tuberculosis in October the same year. She too could not get any medical attention because the family had no money.

Though shattered by the turn of events, Rohit hardly had any time to mourn. Survival was the priority.

In November, he quit school and began looking for employment. Some friends told him that hair clips sell well on local trains. He checked with a trader in Dharavi, who asked for a deposit of Rs 500 before he could trust the boy with a few boxes of clips.

Rohit contacted one of his mother’s employers in Vasai. Since he would sometimes accompany his mother to the households where she worked, this particular Gujarati family knew him. They gave him Rs 500 and told him he need not bother repaying the sum.

Rohit began selling hair clips. He would do brisk business from morning to late noon the peak hours. On good days, he would make Rs 150. With four of his friends, Rohit shared a small room in a chawl in Nalla Sopara (east) for which they paid Rs 2,000 per month to the owner.

The cramped chawl room and sweaty ladies’ train compartments could now be in the past. Rohit is going back to school.

The minister has asked Rohit to meet him on February 2 with all school testimonials. “I hope to rejoin the Hindi-medium school I was studying in before my parents passed away,” he says, and then adds shyly, “If I make some money someday, I would like to visit my grandparents in Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh. They are poor farm labourers.

Changes in the set up of the Youth Congress.

Gadchiroli (Maharashtra), Jan 27 (ANI): Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on Thursday indicated major changes in the set up of the Youth Congress and party’s students organization National Students Union of India (NSUI), saying the office-bearers would now be elected directly by members of these organisations.

Addressing an Adiwasi Melawa (tribal youth meet) in this naxal-hit district, Gandhi said the practice of nominating heads of these two organisation will be done away with, and now onwards, the members will elect their own leader.
I will not select your leader But you will have to elect your own leader and we are not bothered about his family background but surely, will depend on his personality and capabilities, Gandhi told the tribal youths.
I want to bring changes in the lives of tribals in the country and want to see them play a bigger role on the national level in these two organisations, he added.
The Gandhi scion, who was present here amidst tight security arrangements called on youngsters to enroll themselves in large numbers in the National Students Union of India (NSUI) and Youth Congress to strengthen them.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Union Minister of Social Justice Mukul Vasnik accompanied Gandhi on the occasion.
Rahul Gandhi, who is presently on a three-day visit to Maharashtra to take stock of the Youth Congress membership drive in the state, also interacted with a couple of youth activists and took their queries.
During his visit, Rahul Gandhi will also visit Buldhana and Parbhani districts.
He will also attend an Other Backward Castes (OBC) convention in Buldhana and a minority meet in Parbhani.
He will attend a meeting of MPs, MLAs and block presidents in Aurangabad.
On Saturday, he will address media in Aurangabad before leaving for the coastal Konkan region.
This is Gandhis second visit to Vidarbha region within six months. Earlier, he had visited Dr Punjabrao Deshmukh Agriculture University in Akola and addressed agriculture students in a closed-door meet.

Reach out to villages: Rahul tells Tamil Nadu Youth Congress

Chennai, Dec 23 (IANS) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Thursday urged cadres of the Youth Congress to reach out to villages and strengthen the party at the grassroots level so that the Congress can come to power in Tamil Nadu at a future date. Gandhi, on a two-day Tamil Nadu tour, met officials of the state Youth Congress at Tirunelvelli and Tirupur.

On Thursday morning, he reached Tirunelvelli from Madurai where he had spent the previous night.

Addressing the youth wing officials at Tirunelvelli, he urged them to focus their energies at the panchayat level so that the party can grow in strength.

He said the party’s youth wing cadres should meet the rural people and take remedial measures to alleviate their sufferings and ask them to follow only the Congress party’s ideals and policies and not of any other party.

Gandhi later reached Tirupur and met the Youth Congress officials there.