January 24, 2016


I met the former President of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa (b. 1938), at Dar es Salaam. I was invited there for the release of the book, ‘Transcendence’, and met Indian origin Tanzanian Mahesh Pateljihere for the first time. I was deeply moved when a big, young, Tanzanian man approached me to thank me. I was told that, as a boy, he was operated on at the Care Hospital, Hyderabad, thanks to the initiative of President Kalam and V. Thulasidas, former Chairman of Air India. The entire team of doctors and nurses who were trained at the Care Hospitals in 2005-2006 turned up for the event, including Madam Eva Lilian Nzaro, former High Commissioner of Tanzania to India, now in her eighties.

President Benjamin Mkapa was in office from 1995 to 2005. When the socialistic policies failed to bring good living conditions to the Tanzanian people, the charismatic, anti-colonial activist and first president of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere (1922-1999), identified Benjamin Mkapa as a harbinger of change. When I asked him for a message from him, he said that the need to set right the world order, was paramount. “When a jumbo jet crashes, we will rush in with assistance, but we forget that each day 30,000 children die unnecessarily from poverty-related preventable causes – equivalent to 100 jumbo jets crashing every day.”


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