After Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States, who along with his wife, Rosalynn, spent some time in the village during the couple’s visit to India in 1978, Gurgaon’s Chuma Kheragaon was then named Carterpuri after him. Now, decades down the line, residents of the village in Gurgaon’s Sector 23A look at the newly-elected US President Donald Trump with hope and believe that he will help them with development work in their area. What gives them confidence that this will happen? According to a resident, Trump mentioned PM Narendra Modi a number of times and they attribute that factor to the Indian American community voting for him. They believe Trump will connect the dots and the road will eventually lead him to Carterpuri.
Whether that happens or not is still very much unclear, but here’s a bit of hitsory. According to villagers, the entire area underwent a transformation in anticipation of the President Carter’s visit. Ramesh Chand, an older resident of Carterpuri told that the roads were repaired, streets were cleaned up and they cordoned off the area for 24 hours before the President’s visit. Attar Singh, a cloth store owner who was 24, burst into laughter as he recalled how Rosalynn Carter was given a traditional Haryanvi dress to wear. “They covered her face with the dupatta, as women would traditionally do, and the President kept lifting it up to look at her face. Each time she put it down, he would lift it up.” recalls Singh. Residents of the village also recall Carter’s fascination with bajre ki roti and channe ka saag, after he spontaneously ventured into the kitchen of a village resident, as quoted by Indian Express.
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According to the residents the decision to change the name of the village was taken up at the suggestion of then Prime Minister Desai, at a panchayat held during Carter’s visit. Also, Jimmy Carter showed interest in ‘adopting’ the village and working towards its development. However, residence also believed Morarji Desai rejected the offer and said the government, instead would help in developing the village, but he never kept his promise. Kartar Singh, who was a post office master at the time added, “If he (Desai) had only remained silent, we would be in an entirely different state today.”