Village schoolmaster Gin Gangte is a happy man and so are the tribal people in this small Manipur village as they wait to welcome President APJ Abdul Kalam in Bunglon on Monday.
It was a dream come true for 30-year-old Gangte when in April this year he was granted an audience with the president after he sought a formal appointment to meet him.
"I told the president during our meeting that many students in my school were unable to even buy books and that nearly 90 per cent of them have never seen a computer," Gangte said.
The president, he said, heard him with rapt attention. "I then handed him a letter on behalf of Bunglon village inviting him to visit our school," the headmaster said.
And about a fortnight ago when some state government officials visited Gangte in the isolated village of just about 50 to 60 odd tribal families and told them the president would visit them, their joy knew no bounds.
"It was like a dream when we were told the president would come here," an overjoyed Gangte said.
Today the village in Churachandpur district that did not have even an approach road until two weeks ago is decked up. The state public works department has constructed a pitched road and even made a makeshift helipad for Kalam's helicopter to land.
"At least the president's visit has led to some development work taking place in our village," Gangte said.
"I think the president's visit would bring a new ray of hope and inspiration for our children."
Kalam is scheduled to interact with students and locals of Bunglon before leaving for Mao in Senapati district where he is to see a private farm. He leaves for Mizoram later in the day.