Call it ‘karma’ or life coming to a full circle. Richard Nyagaka Tongi’s story will leave you misty-eyed. The lawmaker from Kenya travelled to India after 22 years to repay a debt. A debt, which in monetary terms may seem very miniscule, but the sentimental value of the debt is immense for Tongi. He travelled all the way to Maharashtra’s Aurangabad with his wife to repay just Rs 200 to a local shopkeeper, who had helped him in his student days. After the emotional reunion, the Kenyan MP penned a beautiful ‘thank you’ note.
Tongi was studying at Maulana Azad College between 1985 and 1989. He used to buy groceries from one Kashinath Gawli. “I had a debt from 22 years ago that I had not paid, they had given me food but I had not paid. So when I got married, I vowed to return to India and payback. Now, my heart is at peace,” Tongi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
"As a student in Aurangabad, I was at my lowest point, when these people (Gawlis) helped me. Then I thought that some day, I will come back and (re)pay. I want to say thank you. This is so emotional for me," Tongi said. "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," he added.
An emotional Gawli was seen wiping his tears as he hugged Tongi. Before leaving Aurangabad, the Kenyan MP invited Gawli Kaka (uncle) to visit his country. At present, Richard Nyagaka Tongi is the MP from Nyaribari Chache constituency in Kenya.