Next on the itinerary was the visit to the Prime Minister. By 7:45am we were all gathered in the lobby ready to depart. Everyone was dressed so nice, some in their national outfits. There were about 5 to 6 buses parked at the front, ready to take us to the Prime Minister’s office. It didn’t take us long to get there, but when we did, that was an experience in patience.
There were 2 security checkpoints, which took about 3 hours, then another hour as they placed us for the official photo with the Prime Minister. The time was passed by sharing our experiences in India and with our fellow delegates.
Finally it was time to take the official picture. As is protocol, the room fell silent, Prime Minister Narendra Modi entered the room and took up his appointed position, many cameras flashed, as there was a large contingent of press in the room. The official photo moment went quite quickly and the Prime Minister then exited the room.
Chairs were then brought in and put out for us to prepare for the Prime Minister’s speech, we were given our translation receivers and headphones. The Prime Minister and the official delegation returned and went on the stage. A member of our delegation spoke on our behalf, thanking the Indian Government for hosting us.
Prime Minister Modi’s speech was inspiring. He spoke on the journey of his country and its people and thanked us for coming to share in India’s rich history during the Kumbh Mela. He asked us to share our experience with our people when we get back to our countries and extended with open arms an invitation to return soon to India.
|Tiffany Henriques- Antigua & Barbuda|
|Lytton Cheesman – Guatemala|
|Chief Jean-Yves EboumbouDouala-Bell – Republic of Cameroon|
|Momodou Lamin Manga surrounded by our liaison officers|
|Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi|