By Seema Hakhu Kachru:
AROUND 40,000 people have registered themselves for Indian-American community summit “Howdy, Modi!” here, which will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 22 during his visit to the US for the UN General Assembly session, organisers of the event said. “Howdy”, short for ‘How do you do?’, is a friendly greeting commonly used in south-western United States. Attendance to the summit is free, but passes have to be obtained which is now open for public, said the host Texas India Forum, a Houston-based non-profit body.
The organisers expect around 50,000 people to attend the prime minister’s address to the Indian diaspora at the sprawling NRG football stadium in the US’ fourth most populous city. Houston, which has one of the largest concentration of over 5,00,000 Indian-American community in the US, is the energy capital of the world. Energy security is a priority area for the Prime Minister. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said, “I look forward to welcoming PM Modi to Houston, home to one of the biggest and most vibrant Indian communities in the US.”
“This historic visit will strengthen the already robust bonds between Houston and India on trade, culture and tourism -- all of which benefit every Houstonian.” Over 39,000 people have signed up in the first two weeks. There are more than 1,000 volunteers and 650 Welcome Partner organisations for the event, the Texas India Forum said. According to convener of the organising committee Jugal Malani, before the Prime Minister’s address, the event, with the tagline ‘Shared Dreams, Bright Futures’, will include a cultural programme that puts a spotlight on Indian-American contributions to the United States.