‘I can relate to the country as there still are familiar sights around’
“India is still the same,” said Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel peace laureate on her visit to Anantapur district on Saturday. Responding to a question if she noticed any difference from her school days in India, she said the sights were familiar and that she could still relate to the country.
Considerable progress is visible all round, she said and added that people’s empowerment should become the strength of the nation. During a brief interaction with women members of a self-help group (SHG), near Papasanipalli village in Madakasira mandal, she wished the women success in their endeavours, just like the meaning of her name which denotes a ‘bright collection of strange victories’.
Clad in a pale-green printed sarong, she arrived in a helicopter from Bangalore with Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh and Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, to a warm reception. She evinced keen interest on the presentation of Government’s programmes. She went around stalls that depicted success stories and also interacted with the locals. When she asked a farmer near a dryland horticulture project as to why he chose mango for cultivation, he replied that mango can withstand drought condition for longer period than others. Later meeting an SHG member Muddakka at her home, Ms. Suu Kyi asked her what she had done with the loan of Rs. 30,000 she got. The woman replied that she bought a cow five years ago and was selling milk and was repaying her loan. Muddakka said she had a vermicompost pit on her leased one-acre farm where she grows paddy. Revenue Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy was also present.