11 Jul 2019
Kenya MP repays 30-year-old Rs. 200 debt to Aurangabad grocer
On Monday, Aurangabad-resident Kashinath Gawli (70) had an odd visitor: Kenya MP Richard Tong'i.
It took a while for Gawli to recall that three decades ago, Tong'i was a foreign student who shopped at his grocery store and once took a loan of Rs. 200 from him.
Now an MP from the Nyaribari Chache constituency in Kenya, Tong'i returned to repay his debt.
Tong'i studied at Maulana Azad College from 1985-89
From 1985-1989, as Tong'i recalls, he pursued a management course from the Maulana Azad College in Aurangabad.
Back then, he would live alone and often shopped at Gawli's ration store located in Wankhede Nagar.
During a financial crisis, he turned to Kashinath Kaka, who lent him Rs. 200.
Tong'i went on to become the deputy head of Kenya's Defense and External Affairs committee.
'I thought that someday, I'll come back and repay'
Notably, Tong'i visited India as part of a Kenyan delegation that met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after which, he headed to Aurangabad.
"As a student in Aurangabad, I was at my lowest, when these people (Gawlis) helped me. I thought that someday, I'll come back and repay. I want to say thank you. This is so emotional for me," Tong'i told reporters.
Tong'i offered Gawli Rs. 200, but he refused
After an emotional meeting, Tong'i offered to repay his debt to Gawli, but the latter refused.
The Kenya MP, however, gifted the children euros (worth Rs. 19,000).
"God bless the old man (Gawli) and his children. They were wonderful to me. They wanted to take me to a hotel for meal but I insisted that we should eat in their house," Tong'i said.
Richard had mentioned Gawlis; happy to meet them: MP's wife
Tong'i's wife Michelle told reporters, "Richard had mentioned the Gawli family many times and I'm happy to meet them now. There are many good people in this country."
The Gawli family, which now owns a four-storey home and a larger store, gifted the foreign visitors a traditional topi and a saree.
Tong'i left with an invitation for the family to visit his country Kenya.
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