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Modi helps Nepali man reunite with his family

By Xinhua in Kathmandu | China Daily | Updated: 2014-08-05 06:51

More than the political and economic significance of the two-day state visit to Nepal of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was his role in facilitating the reunion between a Nepali man and the family he has not seen in years.

And this was the very first thing that the Indian leader did, right after landing in Kathmandu on Sunday morning.

Jeet Bahadur Saru Magar, who was a poor boy from a rural village in Nepal, has finally been able to get together with his family after being separated for 15 years.


Modi helps Nepali man reunite with his family

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves to well-wishers as he leaves following his visit at the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu on Monday. Modi flew into Kathmandu for talks on strengthening trade ties including harnessing Nepal's vast hydropower resources in the first visit by an Indian prime minister to the neighbor in 17 years. Prakash Mathema / Agence France-Presse

The 26-year-old had established contact with Modi in Ahmedabad more than a decade ago and had been taken care of by Modi since then.

Modi's state visit to Nepal on Sunday and Monday was the first visit by an Indian prime minister in 17 years. The visit is in line with the Modi government's policy to improve relations with India's neighbors, especially Nepal, which it considers a fellow Hindu-majority state.

Modi said on Sunday that his government does not intend to intervene in Nepal's internal affairs but looks forward to assisting the country.

Addressing a special session at Nepal's parliament, Modi said: "We have believed that it is not our work to interfere in what you (Nepal) do but to support you in the path you decide to take."

On Saturday evening, the night before flying to Nepal, Modi had revealed his personal reason on Twitter for visiting Nepal apart from strengthening bilateral relations. "On a personal note, my Nepal visit is very special," Modi tweeted. "Years ago, I met a child from Nepal, Jeet Bahadur, who did not know where he was headed."

Magar's reunion with his family was held at about 11:30 am at Hotel Hyatt Regency, where Modi was staying.

Magar arrived with Modi in Kathmandu in the Indian leader's special jet.

Magar's family members, including his mother, brother, sister, sister-in-law and two cousins, were brought to Kathmandu a few days ago through the auspices of the Indian embassy in Kathmandu.

The family reunion has been received with huge applause from the Nepali community because it shows the human side of India's new prime minister.

Even though Modi did not reveal where and when exactly he met Magar, Kantipur, the daily Nepali newspaper based in Kathmandu, reported on Saturday that Magar has been living with Modi in recent years. Modi also supported Magar in his studies as well as his other personal needs, the paper said.

According to Nepali media, while the world knows Modi as the Indian prime minister, for Magar, he is a "bade bhai" (elder brother). Magar has also been quoted as saying that Modi had provided him with a good education and advised him to study well.

"I started showing concern for Jeet Bahadur. Gradually he took an interest in academics, sports and even learned Gujarati," Modi said in his tweet. "Thankfully, we were able to locate his parents."

Magar is currently a third-year student at Rai University in Gujarat, India, where he is pursuing a bachelor's degree in business administration.

Since Modi has shown interest in the Nepali boy, it is certain that he will continue to support Magar's education back in India.

Magar's picture has since gone viral on Nepal's social sites, including Facebook and news portals. His photo shows a glow on his face, obviously very happy that finally he has realized his dream of being reunited with his family, and with the Indian leader himself facilitating the occasion.


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