02 August 2008, Dhaka. Visiting Indian politician and member of the Indian Parliament Rahul Gandhi, along with his 8-member delegation, visited several BRAC programmes in Gazipur district on Saturday. He was accompanied by BRAC Executive Director Dr Mahabub Hossain and other senior officials.
Gandhi began his day by visiting a microfinance group in Lahuri village of Kapasia sub-district and observed microfinance activities. He enquired about the range of loan sizes, how they are used by the women and the means of repayment. He interacted with the women and enquired about their economic condition after obtaining loans from BRAC. He learnt about various other income generating activities by the borrowers and paid a visit to a borrower’s household to see her cattle-rearing enterprise.
He then visited a BRAC pre-primary as well as a BRAC primary school. He observed classes in progress and watched the students engage in various extra-curricular activities. He also visited a BRAC community library and a BRAC Kishori Kendra (Adolescent Development Centre).
Gandhi then visited BRAC health programmes in Kapasia sadar and discussed health issues with BRAC Shastho Shebikas (health volunteers). He observed first-hand the role played by BRAC health volunteers in providing health education and treating basic ailments. He also visited an Ante-Natal Clinic conducted for pregnant women.
In the afternoon, Gandhi saw a BRAC’s human rights classes for rural women in progress. He also visited a BRAC training centre.
On his return to Dhaka, Gandhi and his team sat for exclusive talks with BRAC chairperson Fazle Hasan Abed for an hour and a half at the BRAC Centre. He was later expected to attend a dinner hosted in his honour by the BRAC chairperson.