My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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ALLAHABAD, India, Sunday—Before we left Government House Tuesday evening, we attended a garden party given by Vianizam Nizam in Hyderabad. The gentleman came to New Delhi for the governor's meeting and it was his first visit in 16 years. I am told this was the first time he had seen the palace here, which was built for his family. The garden where the party was held is very beautiful. All our friends were there, so we had a chance to say goodbye to many of the guests who had attended the governor's conference.

Nizam, himself, is a rather fabulous character, I gather. He looked somewhat inconspicuous except for a very high and gorgeous headdress. He took me at once to meet his daughter, who was sitting all alone on a sofa. We talked for a while and then separated as others came up. I am told Nizam is probably one of the richest men in the world due to the fact that he takes every opportunity to save even a penny; but his tea was certainly a lavish and pleasant party.

After the Prime Minister and President left, the rest of us started back for Government House, where we had an early dinner and went to the train. The government provided us with a private car attached to Governor Mady's car, since my visit to Etawah coincided with the governor's, though his date had been set many weeks earlier. In the morning a little before 8:30, I saw pipers marching past. A guard of honor was standing at attention and a red carpet was rolled out, and soon the governor and his wife arrived to call for us. We started out at 8:30 and drove for about 40 minutes before we came to our first stop, where they had prepared to show the governor and myself some charts illustrating the work done in the villages covering this area. The young man who explained these charts to us was a worker in the villages. Watching his face was a joy, for he was so obviously proud of their achievements. The people themselves have succeeded, with guidance and very little outside help.

On the train the evening before, Horace Holmes, the Point Four agricultural expert who started this work and who got his training at Cornell University, came in to talk with me about what they were doing, so I had a little background to help me observe. This project is of vast importance. If they can succeed, in four years time they will reach one hundred million in the rural areas of India. It is not an easy way they have set themselves to work. They are trying to make the people do most of the work themselves, since they know that only in that way can they be brought to feel that what they have accomplished is their own; and only if they feel that will they fight to spread this better way of life throughout India. Very little is given them, even when the government subsidizes a small part of the undertaking, perhaps on the basis of a loan. If it is an experiment, the subsidy comes to an end once the experiment has proved successful.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Allahabad (India) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 24, 1952

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.