Modi's Jeet Bahadur a celebrity at home
Posted on Aug 05 2014 | IANS
By Anil Giri, Kathmandu, Aug 5 : His popularity has reached new heights, and now people are lining up outside his family's small house in a Nepal village to catch a glimpse of him.
He is none other than Jeet Bahadur Saru Magar, the 26-year-old Nepali youth Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken under his wing and who was reunited with his family Sunday during the Indian leader's visit to this Himlayan nation.
Jeet Bahadur, who hails from Lokaha village near Kawasoti town in western Nepal's Nawalparasi district, has become the centre of attraction after he reached his home Sunday night. He is now staying with his brother, Dasarath, and is busy meeting people from Lokaha and adjoining areas who came to know about him from newspapers and TV channels.
Once the news that Jeet Bahadur has returned to his house to be united with his family members went viral, hundreds of people lined up outside the village dwelling to meet him, Nepal's leading daily Kantipur reported Tuesday.
Security has been tightened in and around his house and a separate tent has been erected to host people who come to see him, the daily wrote. Security personnel in plain clothes have been deployed for Jeet Bahadur, who is now a star in his locality.
Senior government officials, including head of the district security agency, journalists, and local leaders visited his house Monday to interact with him.
"As soon as local people came to know that my brother has arrived with Modi, they came to my house to see him," his brother told the media.
Jeet Bahadur got held up in Kathmandu as the media queued up to interview him and his arrival at his brother's house was consequently delayed.
On Sunday, after meeting Modi, Jeet Bahadur left for his hometown with his relatives. He will be leaving for New Delhi after a week to travel on to Ahmedabad where he is pursuing business studies for a BBA degree.
He does not speak much, but prefers listening to others, nodding and shaking his head and smiling, said his elated brother, who is a carpenter by profession.
Interestingly, when asked questions in Nepali by the people, Jeet Bahadur replies in Hindi as he has almost forgotten how to speak the Nepali language.
Ganesh B.K., a resident of the area, said people were queuing up as if to see a new bride.
Jeet Bahadur's soft-spoken nature has also left people charmed, Ganesh B.K. added.
People of the area love to narrate old stories about Jeet Bahadur.
Modi had taken the young Jeet Bahadur, who was born in Nawalparasi district, under his wing when he was found wandering on the streets of Ahmedabad in India's Gujarat state.
He had run away from his employer in Rajasthan state but mistakenly boarded a train headed to Ahmedabad instead of one heading to Gorakhpur as he had decided to return to Nepal.
Modi sponsored Jeet Bahadur's education and has taken care of him over the years.
(Anil Giri can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)