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Remarks in a Discussion With Members of a Dairy Cooperative in Naila Village, India

March 23, 2000

The President. But one thing I think is important to mention, though. You talked about with the dairy cooperatives, how you've now computerized all your transactions. Well, the computer can be anywhere. And that means that all kinds of jobs can now be in small rural villages everywhere in the world which before could only be in cities. But in order to have them, people have to have a certain level of education and a certain level of credit.

And I think that people should think more about what other kinds of jobs computers make possible, as well as the successful dairy cooperative.

[At this point, a young woman participant commented through an interpreter that learning computer skills could help village children get better jobs, but that greater opportunities would have to be provided there for them.]

The President. Since I have been the President of the United States, I have traveled around the world and met in villages like this in Africa and Latin America, China, and now here in India. And my wife has done even more than I have. And we try to invest money in the education of girls to make sure that girls and boys both have the same chance to get an education. And this year we will finance around the world about 2 million of the kind of small loans you have been talking about.

But we are looking more and more at trying to make sure that every village has at least one computer hookup like this, and you have given me a lot of ideas. And I just want to congratulate you for your courage and your persistence. And I hope my coming here will cause everyone in India to know about what you are doing, and maybe more women will follow your lead.

Q. My name is Chitra, and I wanted to convey to you that, through the Women's Development Project, we are trying to create awareness among young girls so that when they grow older and they become women, they do not have to face many of the problems that we, as children, had to face, especially related to our bodies, our sexuality, and our non-economic empowerment.

I think it is time to wind up. I will now request Kanta Guswami to give you a smart card, so that you can become a member of the dairy cooperative here. [Laughter]

[At this point, Kanta Guswami presented the smart card to the President.]

The President. I grew up in a place with many dairy cows. And I know what hard work it is. And I will always treasure this. And I will put this up in the White House so that people from all over the world will know I have come here, and I can tell them the story of what you are doing.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:55 a.m. in a meeting room in Naila Village, near Jaipur. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

William J. Clinton, Remarks in a Discussion With Members of a Dairy Cooperative in Naila Village, India Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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