• Thursday, July 25, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Modi in Russia: Indians to seek PM’s support to build Hindu temple, more flights

Modi will be in Moscow on July 8 and 9 at the invitation of president Putin for the 22nd India-Russia Annual Summit. This is first visit to that country in five years.

In this handout image supplied by Host Photo Agency / RIA Novosti, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi arrives in Ufa, Russia, for international summits. (Photo by Alexei Danichev/Host Photo Agency/Ria Novosti via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE Indian diaspora in Russia are eagerly waiting for prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow and will be seeking his support to build a Hindu temple in the country, a new Indian school building and the availability of more direct flights to India.

Modi will be in Moscow on Monday (8) and Tuesday (9) at the invitation of president Putin for the 22nd India-Russia Annual Summit to be held on Tuesday.

Indian diaspora members in Russia expressed excitement over the Indian leader’s visit to Russia while talking to PTI Videos in the Russian capital.

Read: Key regional, global issues to figure in Modi-Putin talks in Russia

The diaspora members also expressed their wish for a Hindu temple, a new Indian school building and the availability of more flights to India.

“There are few things which remain missing in the society. For example, we would demand a Hindu temple through Prime Minister Modi. There are a few troubles with airlines as only Aeroflot works. If any other airline like Air India operates flights to Russia, then the frequency will increase along with the availability of seats,” Rakesh Kumar Srivastava, an Indian from the city of Patna living in Russia said.

Read: Preparations on for next Russia summit, says India’s MEA

With Hinduism spreading in Russia in recent years and the number of Indians growing, the community is feeling the necessity of having a Hindu temple in the country to meet their spiritual needs.

Modi tweeted ahead of his visit to Russia and Austria, which he will go to as the first Indian premier in more than four decades, saying the twin tour will be “wonderful opportunity” to deepen ties with the two countries. He said he also looked ahead to engaging with the Indian community living there.

“We have only one hope from prime minister Modi that something should be done for the Indian diaspora so that the diaspora students receive good education, and the schools should be strengthened. And the Indian diaspora which is importing goods from India is facing few troubles, they should also be looked into so that the India-Russia relations are strengthened further,” Dilip Kumar Minglani, another Indian living in Russia said.

“Because I am a mother, I wish for a new building for the Indian school. The current building is quite old and if we get a new building then the future of the students will be secure,” Pojja Chandra, an Indian hailing from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and living in Russia said.

An Indian doctor in Russia has urged Modi to seek recognition for Ayurvedic medicines in Russia.

M Mathew, an Ayurvedic doctor in Moscow said that Ayurveda is not recognised as an approved medicinal system in Russia and urged Modi to raise this issue with Russian authorities during his visit.

“Even though it’s a huge market, we are handicapped in one way because Ayurveda is not recognised as an approved medicinal system in Russia. So, I humbly request our prime minister, when he is visiting Moscow, to raise this issue with Russian authorities and obtain approval from the Health Department of the Russian Federation for Ayurveda as an alternative medicine,” he said. Dr Matthew said that if approved, it will boost the Ayurvedic pharmacy sector in India.

“This will enable us to sell many products and enhance our business volume as well,” the doctor from the southern state of Kerala said.

Also, many Russian women dressed in Punjabi attire were seen performing Bhangra in front of the iconic Red Square in Moscow ahead of Modi’s visit.

Pramod Kumar, an Indian living in Russia said, “Every year we organise events during Baisakhi. Teams of Bhangra and Gidda come here and we have also taught the same to Russian boys and girls. We want to strengthen India-Russia relations, we want to strengthen the same and we are working day in day out on this.”

A Russian woman participating in performing Bhangra said Modi’s visit will further strengthen India-Russia ties.

“Our main aim is that we are trying to strengthen cultural ties between India and Russia, we are promoting Indian culture and festivals. Sometimes we also travel to India to exchange culture between us and India. We are happy that Prime Minister Modi is coming, our relations will become stronger. It is a great occasion and it makes us happy,” Milana, one of the dance performers said.

“It is a very big event that he (prime minister Modi) is coming here. We have been preparing for this event for many days, we will be happy to see him here. I learnt a little bit of Hindi so I can tell that I will be happy to meet PM Modi,” Natalia, said another dance performer.

(With PTI inputs)

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