No politics, Sonia sticks to a cause | india | Hindustan Times
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No politics, Sonia sticks to a cause

india Updated: Oct 18, 2006 01:25 IST

CONGRESS PRESIDENT Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday preferred to stay away from politics —- no virulent attack against the Mulayam government, no blame game.

Not a word on the politics of the land. Instead, she called upon social organisations to come forward and serve the poor.

There were problems galore and the government alone could not solve all the problems of country having such a large population, said Sonia.

She was speaking on the occasion of the concluding ceremony of the 30-day medical camp at the Lifeline Express that comes to the VVIP constituencies of Rae Bareli and Amethi every year.

Sonia paid a visit to the Lifeline Express, met patients and interacted with the doctors and the staff to review the progress of those being treated there.

Service with devotion was the real work that the people needed, she said. As people in the remote areas were not able to get medical treatment, this hospital came to them, said Sonia adding all those who visited the hospital were given free treatment.

A well-equipped hospital on wheels, the four-coach train has an operation theatre, Internet facility, a conference room, office rooms and kitchens and power backup etc.

About 20 per cent of the patients turning up at the OPD here have cataract, said Dr Aloy Majumdar adding as 80 per cent cases of blindness had cataract as the root cause, Indira Gandhi Hospital had put this on top of its agenda.

Gorakhpur is the only other city in Uttar Pradesh where a Lifeline Express medical camp had been organised. Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Trust had organised the camp there in 1998, said chief executive, Lifeline Express, Lt. Col. Randhir Singh Vishwen in reply to a question.             

Sonia on her part also listed achievements of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. Besides providing medical and health facilities, the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation was also working for women empowerment, she said adding the foundation was also helping nearly 1400 children who had been victims of terrorism. About 1300 libraries had been set up for children in rural areas in 21 states, said Sonia. At 200 places the foundation has worked in cooperation with local people to solve water crisis in remote areas of Rajasthan and other places, she said.

Sonia referred to the vision of her late husband Rajiv Gandhi and said he always wanted to strengthen country and took care of the poor. It was important to take care of all sections of society, said Sonia while lauding the contribution being made by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in the development of even far-flung areas.

Significantly, so far the Lifeline Express has paid nine visits to the twin constituencies, directly benefiting over 50,000 patients over the years. About 7200 persons have availed medical facilities this year at the medical camp that Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in collaboration with the Impact India Foundation organised at Unchahar, about 30 kms from here. These included 1000 cases of cataract operations, 127 plastic surgeries and polio correction surgeries etc.
According to Lt Col Vishwen, a sum of Rs 18 lakh to Rs 20 lakh was spent on the train’s each visit. The RGF was meeting all the expenses of the camp, he said adding doctors from leading hospitals of the country were proving voluntary services at the camp.