Scotland diaspora welcomes Indian PM Modi

Scotland diaspora welcomes Indian PM Modi
Courtesy: Pool / Pool | Getty Images News via Getty Images

Members of the Scottish Indian diaspora gathered in Glasgow to felicitate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and present him with a bust created in his honour.

Modi, who arrived in Glasgow over the weekend to cheers from a group of diaspora delegates, had a special interaction with members of the Indian community based in Scotland before he left for the opening ceremony of the COP26 climate summit. A UK-based medic presented the Indian Prime Minister with a bust, which was formally unveiled during the interaction.

“I have done this sculpture because I really liked his features and I am thrilled by his reaction. I hope everyone from India likes it too,” said Dr Nadey Hakim, a British Lebanese surgeon who created the sculpture as a gift for the Indian PM.

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Modi's interaction with community leaders involved a meet and greet with around 45 prominent Scottish leaders and Indian diaspora representatives from Glasgow and Edinburgh, including medics, politicians, academics and business people.

“I think it’s fantastic to see the Prime Minister here in Glasgow at COP26 amongst all the world leaders. It’s very important that they all come together and make sure that we have some kind of resolution to take this world forward much more environmentally,” said Pam Gosal, the first Sikh female politician in the Scottish Parliament.

“We may not live in India but we have hopes, aspirations and dreams for the country and in Modi, we see a leader who will take us there,” added Dr Vipin, following his meeting with the PM.

The group also included Yoga teacher and President of the Scottish Indian cultural Festival Committee Chair Ethnic minority Forum (SCIFC), Manjulika Singh, who highlighted the Prime Minister’s role in popularising Yoga around the world.

“Yoga has been around for centuries, but the popularity he has created for it around the world has been immense. He’s an amazing leader who has really put India top of the list,” she said.

The PM's interaction was scheduled just ahead of the opening ceremony of day one of the World Leaders’ Summit of the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), being hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow.

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“Strengthening our people-to-people bonds,” the ministry of external affairs (MEA) spokesperson said on Twitter soon after the meeting.

“Indian community members and Indologists gather in Glasgow to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.

The PM also met the Indian winner of Prince William's Earthshot Prize, Delhi-based recycling firm Takachar founder Vidyut Mohan, and 14-year-old prize finalist from Tamil Nadu Vinisha Umashankar, inventor of a solar-powered ironing cart.

During the World Leaders’ Summit, attended by around 120 world leaders as well as members of the royal family including Prince Charles, the Indian PM laid out the country’s ambitious climate action target of achieving net zero by 2070.

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