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The mood in Jabrauli is jubilant. Located 15 km from state capital Lucknow, the people of this village are preparing themselves for July 17, when former US president Bill Clinton will come to visit them.
While many are buying new clothes, some are learning English to impress the former American president. Some are just happy with the attention the village is getting. “Roads are getting repaired, drains are being constructed and the panchayat bhavan and primary school are getting a whitewash,” says village head Raj Kapoor Sahu. “Thanks to Clinton, we are getting power supply for 20 hours for a change,” says Rajendra Kumar, another resident. “Garbage around the school has also cleared.”
Sahu is also polishing his English with the help of his college-going son, so that he can talk to Clinton about the harsh life in Indian villages. However, he says that he will not ask Clinton for any aid or assistance, as the Indian government is capable to address all sorts of issues.
Pushpendra Sahu, his son, too is upbeat about meeting Clinton. “I want to show him that boys and girls of Indian villages are pursuing their studies aggressively against all odds,” he said. “I also want to thank him for his Clinton Foundation awareness campaign in our village.”
Clinton will go to Jabrauli on July 17 to monitor the progress of the campaign launched by the Clinton Foundation to raise awareness about diarrhoea, immunisation and cleanliness in rural areas. The former US president is on a week-long visit to Asia Pacific countries, including India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia.