Agra: It was a memorable day for the slum dwellers of Kachchpura near the Taj Mahal here as they had a VIP visitor -- US second lady Jill Biden who spent nearly an hour with them.
Known for her interest in education and healthcare issues, Jill braved the sultry weather and walked the half-a- kilometre unpaved mud road to reach the place. She was accompanied by her daughter Ashley Biden and son-in-law Howard David Krein.
Her visit to Kachhpura was to take stock about the Health for the Urban Poor programme, funded by US-AID which is aimed at providing basic healthcare to urban poor focusing on maternal health and community participation.
She was greeted by Machla Devi, president of Adarsh Mahila Arogra Samity, its secretary Manju and other members. Adarsh Mahila Arogra Samity is a group of local women who are working to raise awareness among the women and children about basic health related issues.
After interacting with the members she visited the pre-school cum anganwadi centre and met children there.
Jill, a PhD in education who has been an educator for over two decades, had her special gift for the children there -- a basket full of books ranging from colour books to story books and book on the White House.
She interacted with the workers there about the work on community centre and various maternal and healthcare programmes run by the centre. She also gave two drops of Pulse polio vaccine to a small girl child of one-and-a-half months.
Her son-in-law Howard asked about vaccination program run in India.
Jill also inquired about the nearest delivery centre for pregnant women in the area.
Kachhpura is one of the 46 slums of Agra where the Health for Urban Poor programme is running. A settlement from Mughal empire days, it was notified as a slum in 1998. Half of over 3200 people are involved in the shoe making while rest are engaged in other occupation such as farming and dairy.