Bill Gates has “adopted” one of the poorest communities of “untouchables” of the northern state of Bihar, one of the most backward in India. The village called Gularia is known to be inhabited by a caste of “rat eaters” because of frequent famines and devastating floods, the inhabitants of this remote place are in fact often forced to feed on rodents. As part of a mission in India, the American philanthropist yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the charitable foundation and who chairs the Local Government of Bihar for health care in some areas over the next five years.
According to media reports in India, Gates is concerned, in particular the eradication of polio, a disease that still exists only in a few regions in the world, including Bihar and neighboring Uttar Pradesh. The Microsoft founder has visited aboard a makeshift boat Gularia village in Khagaria district, hit by devastating floods two years ago. The site, which lies 180 km from state capital Patna and is accessible only by river, is inhabited by a community of “Mahadalit muhasar” that are “untouchable”, but of a particular lineage of “rat eaters”. On his return to Patna, Gates held a press conference to announce the agreement with the Government of Bihar for fighting polio, tuberculosis and other vaccine preventable diseases through vaccination. He also announced other steps, beyond those already under way to reduce the rate of maternal and infant mortality.
He however denied the news reported in the Indian press on the processing in the computer hub “cities of Amethyst and Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh, who visited on Monday with the Secretary General of the Congress Rahul Gandhi. As stated, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – which so far has promoted projects in India for a billion dollars – for the moment is focused only on health and socio-economic development.