Vipin Gupta, 24, a resident of Sector 9 JJ colony in Noida, added a dash of ginger and cardamom to his tea for the ‘big meeting’ at his ‘Babu bhai chai wala’ tea stall where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley arrived for a Chai pe Charcha on Tuesday.
The special Chai pe Charcha session, where the PM interacted with the common man, was one of the attractions at the launch of the ‘Stand Up India’ initiative and distribution of 5,100 e-rickshaws to the underprivileged from Delhi and NCR.
“I prepared nearly two dozen cups of tea for the Prime Minister, Finance minister Arun Jaitley and UP governor Ram Naik. Other dignitaries and ministers were also present at my tea stall apart from the scheme beneficiaries. The PM appreciated the tea and also wished me luck,” said Gupta.
Anita Biswas, one of those present at the tea stall, almost touched Modi’s feet to get his blessings, but he stopped her as she bent down.
“It was the first time I was face to face with the PM. His inspirational words touched me and I felt like paying my respect by touching his feet. But he did not let me and wished me instead,” she said.
The session lasted for more than 10 minutes amid a high-security zone created by the Special Protection Group.
“He (Modi) told us to continue our children’s education at any cost. He also told us about the importance of educating daughters. His words have a lasting impact on me. Having met him face to face, I will continue the education of my four children,” said Kanchan Devi, another woman who attended the session.
“He told me to drive the e-rickshaw carefully to avoid any accident and to give proper education to my daughters,” said Satish Kumar, one of the beneficiaries at the event.
For most of the session, the PM shared his experiences and gave advice to the nearly 18 persons, including women, who were present at the tea stall.
“There were times when people asked the PM certain questions. Apart from getting the e-rickshaws, the beneficiaries also asked him if they can get a house through micro-financing. The PM replied that if they continue with their initiative and earn honestly, they can get a house in the future,” said Hanumant Rawat, a volunteer from America India foundation.
According to other entrepreneurs present at the event, Modi assured them that banks would be helpful in financing their projects.
Prashant Gaur, an entrepreneur from Surajpur who had set up a stall adjacent to Gupta’s tea stall, will be opening five e-rickshaw battery charging stations in Noida where solar energy will be used for charging.
“The PM congratulated us for the enterprise and told me that it is a good step for protecting the environment,” he said.