Emotions flow as Trinidad’s ‘daughter PM’ visits Bihar villageJanuary 11th, 2012 - 4:58 pm ICT by IANS
Bhelupur (Bihar), Jan 11 (IANS) The entire village as well as hundreds from neighbouring areas gathered for a glimpse of the “daughter PM” when Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar set foot in the land of her ancestors for the first time Wednesday.
A helicopter carrying Kamla Persad Bissessar, the first woman prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, descended on a specially constructed helipad near the village in Itarhi block of Buxar district, about 125 km from state capital Patna, amid tight security.
Persad Bissessar’s ancestors migrated from Bihar to the Caribbean islands in the 19th century. She was in India to attend the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas or diaspora meet in Jaipur, but did not lose the opportunity to return to her roots in Bihar.
The moment she arrived here, there was a roar of applause and cheering from the waiting crowds for the ‘pradhanmantri beti’ or ‘daughter PM’, officials said.
“She was welcomed by villagers in traditional style, with women singing folk songs and conducting rituals to mark the visit of a daughter to her village,” district Official Bharat Bhusan said.
“An emotional Kamla Persad Bissessar, her eyes welling up and voice choked, told the jubilant crowd that she was lucky to visit the land of her roots and the village of her ancestors,” said Nishant Verma, another district official.
Persad Bessessar, accompanied by a 25-member delegation, paid homage to her ancestors.
According to an official record sent by the Trinidad and Tobago government to Bihar, Persad Bissessar’s great-grandfather Ram Lakhan Mishra had left Bhelupur in 1889.
“She thanked villagers and reminded them of the close relations she shared with them for generations. She recalled that other descendents were living in this village,” officials said.
According to officials, villagers gifted her a chunk of its soil and a silver crown. She also planted five trees — neem, pakad, pipal, ashok and barh — near Sipariya Kali Mandir where her ancestral home was once located.
She was offered traditional Bihari dishes — litti chokha, chura and tilwa.
A large number of people from Bihar had migrated to the Mauritius, Fiji, Trinidad, Suriname, South Africa and other places in the 19th century to serve as indentured labourers on sugarcane and rubber plantations.
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Tags: ashok, barh, beti, caribbean islands, close relations, helipad, kamla, member delegation, mishra, neighbouring areas, persad, pipal, pravasi bharatiya divas, prime minister of trinidad and tobago, ram lakhan, silver crown, tight security, trinidad and tobago, trinidad and tobago government, village officials