Gandhi gave us freedom, the least we can give him is clean India: PM Modi in Sydney


World, Asia

Cleaning garbage of your own country is not below anyone's dignity: Modi

PM Narendra Modi addresses Indian diaspora in Sydney (Photo: Twitter)

Sydney: Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his way to the stage amid a rockstar reception with wild applause and chants of ‘Modi, Modi’ at the Allphones Arena in Sydney's Olympic Park on Monday. Reverberating with ‘Modi chants’, the entire had over 16,000 people listening to their leader.

Big screens were installed both inside and outside the venue. Some of Modi's fans had travelled from as far as the United States, Singapore and New Zealand for the event.

Modi began his address by dedicating the welcome and respect to the people of India. He also said that he was lucky to be born in independent India and witness changes that the country has seen over the years.

Amid thunderous applause, the PM said that as Indians it is our duty to be part of the ‘Team India’ and contribute to its growth. Praising Australia, Modi said that both nations go back a long way and have had friendly relations.

“Cricket binds both countries. I think Sydney is a beautiful, Australia is a beautiful sountry.” 

This was an Indian PM’s first visit to Australia after a gap of 28 years. “Leave at night and you'll reach Australia in the morning. But it took 28 years for the PM of India to come here,” he said.

Indians living in Australia have the country Australia in various games and brought glory to the nation, Modi added.

Stressing on the need for taking forward India’s growth story, Modi said that India shouldn’t stay behind.

“India is a nation of youth and has the courage to face any challenges and fulfil dreams Mother India has 250 crore arms, 200 crore arms are below 35 years of age. It's the youth who hold capacity to fulfil dreams".

Modi thanked everyone for being of this cleanliness campaign. “I understand that it is a tough job, however, let us all aim that by 2019 we clean the entire country. A clean India will also boost our tourism. We need to get together and work towards our goal”.

He also said that 2019 marks Mahatma Gandhi's 150th bith anniversary and all Indians should work towards making the country clean. "We call the man who picks up our garbage as 'kachrewala', he is safaiwala. We have to change that mindset."

Campaigning for ‘Make in India’, Modi said that his aim is to generate jobs for youth in India. Stressing on skill development, Modi said that the world would need a lot of work force soon and India can be crucial in part of the global growth story.

“The world needs teachers and doctors, can we not help the world by training Indians in these fields?”

Taking a dig at previous governments, Modi said that he enjoys putting an end to age-old laws and need to let people in peace.

“I think a government does not define a country, people living it define and develop it by tapping their potential. If we need to make a place in the world we need to focus on training of youth".

Gesturing a thumbs up to the audience, Modi said that another significant thing for Australians coming to India, visa on arrival, would be made available as soon as possible. He also said that a cultural centre, dedicated for overseas Indians would be funcitonal by February, 2015. 

"Earlier, you needed to go for police verification when you came to India. We have done away with that. Those who have PIO card, they will get visa for life".

He also said that India has the courage was opted for 100 per cent FDI in railways in India. " We have such a huge market and window for improvement. Whenever someone wants to invest in a country the investors need to be given high quality of life".

  Modi meets cartoonist Ramesh Chandra at the Allphones Arena  PM Modi arrives at the Allphones Arena

Watch: Narendra Modi addressing Indian diaspora in Sydney

Earlier, on Monday, soon after his arrival in Sydney, PM Modi appreciated the warm and traditional welcome given to him by Australian Aboriginal artists.

"Amazing welcome in Sydney. Glad to be here," he tweeted.

The artists also gifted him a boomerang.

Read: PM Modi receives traditional aboriginal welcome in Sydney

Read: Good governance is starting point of change, Modi tells business leaders in Brisbane

Modi's trip Down Under -- for the G20 leaders' summit in Brisbane and a state visit -- comes just two months after Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's tour of India, during which the two countries sealed a long-awaited nuclear energy deal.

Read: PM Narendra Modi stash fight gets a G20 salute in Brisbane

India's foreign ministry described Modi's visit to Australia as part of its efforts to "re-engage" Australia and its businesses, and he will address parliament in Canberra on Tuesday.

The Indian leader is also set to meet with industry leaders and sign several agreements on narcotics control, social security, tourism and cultural cooperation. There are around 450,000 people of Indian origin in Australia, including many from the student community.