New Delhi: Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi has done it again. He had surprised many on earlier occasions with his unscheduled, sudden visit to poor villages, spending nights at their huts and sharing their meals. And on last Thursday the young Congress leader paid a surprise visit to a workshop of women sanitary staff.
Rahul Gandhi was not among the participants at the day-long 'National Workshop on Awareness of Rights and Upliftment of Women Safai Karamchari', yet he chose to attend it to directly get a feeling of the participants. Some of the women attended, told Rahul Gandhi that he will not get 'Dalit' votes unless he works for them to which the Congress Vice President boldly said he did not care for votes but was interested in their welfare.
The Congress leader also assured the workers that the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre was committed to abolishing the "inhuman" practice of manual scavenging. "It was an impromptu interaction and some women did ask questions which had nothing to do with the workshop. But they were very happy to talk to him and it was all very pleasant," an official present there said.
The woman sanitary staff welcomed RahulGandhi’s assurance for abolishing manual scavenging and taking up their other concerns, which he said had brought him there to listen to them."We are very sensitive to your problems and need and will do our utmost to help you," Rahul Gandhi said. When quizzed about the presence of manual scavenging in different parts of the country, he said such practice could not be allowed in 21st century.
Officials said they had no knowledge of Rahul Gandhi's visit to the workshop and learnt about it in the afternoon when SPG officials arrived to put in place required security arrangements. The one-day workshop was inaugurated by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Kumari Selja.