For rousing welcome for PM Modi in New York, fans handcraft giant Tricolor floral garland

By Reena Bhardwaj

New Jersey [US], June 20 (ANI): Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much-awaited visit to the United States, the Indian diaspora New Jersey are preparing a colourful welcome for him.
At the Ved Mandir, the area’s oldest Hindu temple, a group of Modi followers have gathered to handcraft a 20 feet long floral garland. Choosing the Tricolor as the theme for the garland, the group is looking forward to welcoming Prime Minister Modi at the United Nations.

Chairman of the Federation of Indian Association, a diaspora organization, Ankur Vaidya, said: “As you heard from the ladies and the gentlemen that you see beside me working hard to put the mala together, they had gone to extended lengths to procure these organic flowers. The typical Indian mala flowers are not easy to get. So, we placed an effort and it’s a very humbling realization that the community is turning out in numbers, most of them US citizens who have been here for a couple of decades, showing their affection and love towards our motherland, towards the leader of our motherland by presenting this unique gesture of creating a handmade garland that will take hours to compile and put together through different volunteers.”

He said volunteers involved in preparing the garland include children and adults of all age groups.

“So it’s a very impressive, very divine, very auspicious environment in which the mala is being made as you can hear the mantras going in the background. It enables us and encourages us to do more of such things and it’s in a small way giving a big impact to prayers and blessings for the PM’s well-being, safety and may he continue to serve the motherland and continue to prosper the motherland,” Vaidya said.

Freshly picked flowers from nearby farms were sourced by the community. Each flower was then handpicked, trimmed and set in the garland.

Community member Smita Mikki Patel said: “We are trying to make this beautiful garland with the Tricolor theme to welcome our Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We wanted to make this garland so big and so unique that we collected so many different kinds of flowers. We tried different places to get the flowers and finally, we found them in one of the organic. We got these flowers from the organic farm.”

Patel added: “We also have a Mission of Life theme in our organization. So, we just felt that we should go for the more organic product here to help the farmers as well.”

The priests of the temple even chanted mantras and prayed for the PM for a successful trip.

Ved Mandir Priest said the organisation’s efforts will only be successful if PM Modi accepts the mala.

Kenny Desai, President of the Federation of Indian Association, said this is a very auspicious moment in the US.

“Our beloved Prime Minister, in our opinion, he’s a hero, he’s a rock star, he’s famous in the world, he’s a number one Prime Minister in the world. Today, we are gathering here to create a mala for the Prime Minister with all the mantras,” Desai said.

He said the community is excited about PM Modi’s visit to the US wherein he will perform yoga in the United Nations with 144 countries.

The PM “wants everybody to gather, to prosper in the world. And that is a message that India gives to the entire world, that we don’t look at ourselves but we bring everybody together to have peace, love, harmony and prosperity. And that’s the message we’re giving with this mala that we are preparing here.,” he said.

Desai further said the association wishes the mala goes to PM Modi.

Ahead of PM Modi’s arrival in the US, children were seen making the Indian flag to welcome him and women of the Indian diaspora danced and rehearsed in Richmond to prepare for their performance during the PM’s visit.

Meanwhile, the Indian diaspora in the US expressed pride in the fact that today, yoga is being recognised on the world stage.

PM Modi is visiting the United States at the invitation of President Joe Biden from June 20-24.

PM Modi will lead a 9th edition of International Yoga Day on June 21 at the United Nations headquarters in New York during his official state visit to the United States.

Ashish Bhatia, an Indian-origin man, who has resided in the US for the last 15 years said that it is very good that PM Modi is coming to the US.

“We have been living in the US for 15 years. It is very good. PM Modi, during his tenure, has put India on the world map and has also made ‘yoga’ famous,” Ashish Bhatia told ANI at Times Square.

Anu Bhatia, another Indian-origin lady said that the world has started to know about ‘yoga’ ever since PM Modi promoted it to the world stage.

“We follow yoga very deeply. Especially, after Modi ji became the Prime Minister of India, people in the US also started knowing about yoga. We wish that ‘Modi Sarkar’ comes every time,” she said.