World views Jayalalithaa as a leader: Clinton

July 21st, 2011 - 11:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, July 21 (IANS) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has hailed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa as a “wonderful woman who is viewed as a leader around the world”.

At a closed door interaction with the members of Working Women’s Forum (WWF) here Wednesday night, excerpts of which were released here Thursday, Clinton said: “I want to thank my friend and your friend, a wonderful woman who is viewed as a leader around the world, Jaya.”

Appreciating the self help group and panchayat members for their work in promoting democracy, Clinton said, referring to the chief minister: “This is a woman who has worked so hard. And all of you will have to decide how you can follow her model, so that you not only help yourselves and your families but you spread the word about microfinance, about bank accounts, about starting businesses, about getting health services, about empowering the women of this state, and giving everyone a chance to live up to your god-given potential.”

Clinton, who arrived in New Delhi Tuesday and flew down to Chennai for her maiden visit the next day, said she is honoured to celebrate the accomplishments of WWF in bringing micro-credit, healthcare and other services.

Stressing her belief in self help movement, Clinton said: “I have seen the results with my own eyes. From Bangladesh to India to South Africa to Chile and Nicaragua and Latin America, I have seen women’s lives change, as we heard from the wonderful story earlier. Every one of you has a story, and I applaud you for what you have done to help yourselves.”

She said Goldman Sachs, a global financial company, has decided to support a training programme through the Indian School of Business to help self-help groups bring even more knowledge and skills about how to take their businesses from the very local village level to the cities and the rest of the world.

Clinton said the US and the Indian government will establish a regional training programme at the Asia University of Women to spotlight the success of the panchayat programme, and train more women to be local leaders.

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