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Respond to needs of poor: Tharoor

Staff Reporter

‘Proposal for funds to rehabilitate NRI returnees made’

—Photo: By Special Arrangement

In prayer: Union Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor offers prayers at the Guruvayur Sreekrishna Temple on Sunday.

Thrissur: Union Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor has said the principal objectives of politics and democracy are to respond to the needs of the poor.

He was delivering a lecture on ‘Beyond syllabus: what life has taught me’ at the Jubilee Mission Medical College and Research Institute here on Sunday. “About 70 per cent of Indians are poor. In rural areas, the poverty line has been drawn just this side of the funeral pyre. A person earns just Rs.360 a month. It is a condition nobody should have to endure. We have a huge challenge to take the poor beyond this awkward situation, to make a difference in their lives. People’s representatives should remember this,” he said.

He observed that the responses to problems of human rights violations, drug trafficking, spread of epidemic diseases and terrorism should be global. “We have to move beyond narrow concerns of national security to concerns of human security. And create a world where everyone has food, clothing and shelter; where democracy prevails; where people’s creative and entrepreneurial energies are free, and where human rights are upheld.”

Responding to a question, he said he was finding little time now for his literary pursuits. “My work as a Minister and MP does not give me the mental space for creative literary thinking. Had I failed in the elections, I would have written a novel about the experiences of plunging into politics.” Later, at a reception given to him at the District Congress Committee office, he said he had submitted a proposal to Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to earmark funds in the budget for rehabilitation of NRI returnees.

In Guruvayur

Mr. Tharoor also visited the Guruvayur Sreekrishna Temple on Sunday. His mother Lily Tharoor, sister Smitha Tharoor, and cousins Sobhana and Renuka accompanied him. The Minister offered ‘thulabharam’ with 75 kg of ‘Poovambhazham’ (plantain) and received ‘prasadam’ from Melsanti Ezhikode Krishnadas Namboodiri.

Devaswom administrator V. Ratheesan welcomed Tharoor who reached the Sreevalsam Guest House around 10:30 a.m. The Guruvayur Devaswom Employees’ Congress accorded the Minister a reception at the Guest House Hall.

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