Better times for Kalavati... and her village

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Yavatmal, Maharashtra, Jul 31 (UNI) After the metamorphosis in Kalavati's life, which began with Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi taking her name in Parliament as a metaphor of India's poor and downtrodden waiting for progress to touch their lives, today it was the turn of her village to receive a windfall.

Sulabh founder Bindeshwar Pathak announced employment for every youth of her village Jalka and a toilet in every home soon.

Announcing this while presenting the first instalment of Rs three lakh at her residence, following his declaration of adopting Kalavati and her family on July 28, Dr Pathak said every youth of the village who was willing to move out would be given a job.

''Anyone who is willing to shift out of this place will get a job. I assure everyone here. But they must not be rigid about place or region. Whereever Sulabh is, job would be available to them.'' Declaring that every home in Kalavati's village, Jalka, would also have a toilet within a year or so, the Sulabh founder said, ''I will take care of this village.'' Dr Pathak practically declared that he was 'adopting' the village.

''I am doing my humble bit.'' On why this vast sum for a poor, unknown lady, Dr Pathak said partial help would leave Kalavati susceptible to seeking help from various quarters for survival, but this amount would leave her a bit assured that she could now take good care of her nine children, educate them and change their lives for good.

''She would be given another Rs 30 lakh on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti (October 1), which would be deposited in the bank and from its interest she would receive Rs 25,000 every month - sufficient to do something decent in her life.'' Kalavati, whose farmer husband committed suicide in 2005 due to debt crisis and has nine children surviving barely on Rs 1,000 a month, on receiving the 'windfall' said that she would first of all see that her children received good education so that they may not face hardship as she had to.

''I will not make my children farmers. I would see that they get educated and get into service.'' Dr Pathak also announced that he would soon be visiting Shashikala, another woman whose name Rahul Gandhi took in his parliamentary speech, and help her substantially.

''I will soon visit Shashikala's home and see that she also is given enough so that she does not have to seek help from others to survive.'' UNI AN RP RN1905

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