Bill Clinton Arrives in India
NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ Former President Clinton came to India on Tuesday for a weeklong visit to raise aid for victims of a devastating earthquake.
Clinton arrived in New Delhi late Tuesday on a commercial flight, a change from the pomp that surrounded him during his visit last year, the first to India by a U.S. president in 22 years.
On Jan. 26, the western Indian state of Gujarat was rocked by a 7.7 magnitude earthquake that killed more than 20,000 people. About 1 million were left homeless.
On Wednesday, Clinton will fly to Gujarat, where he plans to talk to survivors and visit several hard-hit villages.
``As news of the tragedy fades from the world headlines, the urgency of the work still to be done must not,″ Clinton was quoted as saying in an article printed Tuesday in The Times of India.
Clinton’s March 2000 visit to India warmed the countries’ relations after decades of mistrust. Since leaving the presidency in January, Clinton has appeared at several fund-raisers for the American India Foundation, sponsors of his visit.
The foundation hopes to raise $20 million to rebuild 40 villages, said Suvas Desai, a foundation trustee.
``Clinton’s presence in Gujarat will be a great boost to our fund-raising efforts for the earthquake victims,″ said Mike Patel, an organizer of the trip. ``If some family plans to give us $5,000, I am sure they will now be giving us $15,000 instead.″