Pure Thakurain (Amethi), Aug 24: It was an emotional return of the native today for Guyanese President Bharat Jagdeo who visited his ancestral village and met his 90-year-old aunt and other relatives wallowing in abject poverty in this non-descript village of Uttar Pradesh.
"It is like home coming. It is an experience," 39-year Jagdeo said after spending nearly 40 minutes in the village, spruced up after his visit was finalised.
Accompanied by a 13-member Guyanese delegation, which included six persons of Indian origin, he arrived here to a red carpet reception. Rose petals were showered on him as members of his extended family lined up to receive the grandson of Ram Jiyavan who had left home for greener pastures as an indentured labourer way back in 1912.
He visited a small piece of land, which the villagers claimed belonged to his grandfather as part of his share in the family property, and lightened an earthen lamp there.
Though Jagdeo conversed in English, the language did not act as a barrier between him and the villagers, who stood outside their small thatched houses to welcome the president, who drove down to the village from Fursatganj airport.
His aunt, 90-year old Ram Dulari was carried to meet her nephew, who was overwhelmed to find himself among those about whom he had only heard from his forefathers.
Tight security arrangements were made for his visit and barricades erected in the village. A brick road was laid overnight and uninterrupted power supply ensured. Minister of State for External Affairs Digvijai Singh and Congress MP from Raebareilly Satish Sharma accompanied him.