Daily Mail Reporter
05:07 GMT, 24 July 2013
06:35 GMT, 24 July 2013
Jill Biden took time to visit women and children living in an Indian slum on Tuesday as part of the Vice-President’s four-day official trip to the subcontinent.
Dr Biden was in the Kachchpura slum near the Taj Mahal for an hour along with her daughter Ashley and son-in-law Howard David Krein.
Her visit to the area was to view a program called Health for the Urban Poor, funded by U.S. Aid, which focuses on maternal health and community involvement in inner city areas.
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Special visit: Jill Biden visits a slum in Agra, India with her daughter and son-in-law during the Vice President’s four-day visit
Care: The U.S. funded project that the VP’s wife visited focuses on maternal medical aid
In the sweltering heat, Mrs Biden and her group climbed around half a kilometer along a mud track to reach the community. She also helped as a polio shot was administered to a baby.
The VP’s wife met with community leaders before she presented children with a basket of books including coloring books and one book about the White House.
Kachhpura is one of the 46 slums of Agra as identified by the local municipal government. Mrs Biden’s trip to Kachhpura followed her visit to the Taj Mahal where she posed at the iconic setting with her daughter and son-in-law.
She told the pool reporter: ‘It is quite amazing. It is so beautiful. We took a drive of three hours to come here and it is so worth it. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.’
Helping hand: Mrs Biden assisted in giving a child a polio shot during her visit on Tuesday
Welcome: Mrs Biden raises her hands in a respectful greeting as she visits the poor community
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in India on Monday on a trip to focus on boosting trade and regional security ties and strengthening a strategic partnership that has languished in recent years.
Biden’s four-day visit, which will include a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is viewed as a major step in promoting President Obama’s focus on forging strong partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region aimed at counterbalancing China’s power.
Biden and Indian leaders were expected to discuss hurdles to trade and restrictions on American companies doing business in the Indian marketplace.
Biden’s first stop after his arrival was a ceremonial visit to a museum dedicated to Indian independence hero Mohandas Gandhi.
It is Biden’s first trip to India as vice president. He visited New Delhi in 2008 as a senator.
During formal talks on Tuesday, Biden and Indian officials will focus on ways to expand bilateral trade that currently stands at $100 billion, officials said.
In a speech in Washington on Thursday, Biden noted that trade between the countries had increased five-fold over the past 13 years, but there was no reason it should not expand five times as much again.
Wonder: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s wife Jill Biden poses in front of the historic Taj Mahal in the northern Indian city of Agra on July 23
Despite the increasing trade, U.S.
business groups have complained about the slow pace of economic reform
in India and have urged New Delhi to open up its markets further. The
Indian government in recent months has loosened rules governing foreign
investment in some areas of the economy.
businesses have been pressuring the Obama administration to press India
for stronger intellectual property protection. New Delhi is expected to
raise concerns about proposals in the U.S. Congress that would curb
visas for high-tech Indian workers.
India and the United States will also discuss regional security, including efforts to end the conflict in Afghanistan.
U.S. increasingly views India as a partner in developing Afghanistan,
where New Delhi has provided $2 billion in assistance. Washington also
wants India to play a more active role in training Afghan security
forces as the U.S. and its NATO allies withdraw combat forces by 2014.
the Cold War, relations between India and the United States were
strained as America tilted toward India’s arch-enemy Pakistan and India
turned toward the Soviet Union. Relations have thawed since then, with
New Delhi and Washington signing a defense cooperation pact in 2005 and
ratifying a landmark civil nuclear agreement in 2008.
Family trip: Jill Biden poses in front of the Taj Mahal with her daughter Ashley Biden and son-in-law Howard David Krein
More recently, the Obama administration has reaffirmed India’s role in its Asia-Pacific policy.
goal is to help tie Asia-Pacific nations together — from India to the
Americas— through strong alliances, institutions and partnerships,’
Biden said in Washington last week.
However, Indian analysts said New Delhi would have its own questions over the new policy.
President Obama came up with his pivot to Asia policy, it was widely
welcomed in India. Because the pivot was seen as an effort to create a
balance against very aggressive Chinese policies,’ said Lalit Mansingh, a
former Indian ambassador to the United States.
the Americans moderated it by calling it a rebalance. And they have
further diluted it by saying it is not meant against China,’ he said.
would have liked a more vigorous stand on China where its security
interests will be protected. So, this will be one of the issues India
would like to discuss,’ Mansingh said.
Bidens will then head to Mumbai, where the vice president will meet
business leaders before heading for Singapore on Thursday.