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Perth’s Indian community: We want to be part of the Modi reception

The Perth contingent travelling to Sydney for the Indian PM’s community reception is 80-strong and counting

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While there is much chatter in the Indian communities of Sydney and Melbourne about the impending visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Perth is not far behind either.

A contingent of no less than 80 people is expected to be part of the community reception in Sydney on 23 May.

They are all coordinated by the Indian Society of Western Australia (ISWA).

The Perth-based society ISWA has been at the forefront of cultural and community expressions for the Indian diaspora in Western Australia since 1972.

ISWA Secretary Deepak Sharma spoke to Indian Link, elaborating on the details of their efforts for the Sydney event in honour of the visiting Prime Minister. “The Indian Australian Diaspora Foundation (IADF), the organisation responsible for hosting the event, sought us out to garner interest from WA about possible attendees. Members of the society have stepped up and 80 people so far have put their hand up to attend the event.“  

Indicating successful coordination efforts by the Society, he added, “We tapped into the Indian communities across Western Australia, contacting 110 Indian associations and other organisations in their region and encouraging members to attend the event.”

Perth’s Indian community
Core members of Indian Society of Western Australia (Source: ISWA)

With 2600 member families at its helm, the Society has rallied support to get the Indian community excited about the visit.

Given the distance to travel and accommodation expense etc, the commitment by the ‘Perth Contingent’ is being seen as commendable. 

Regarding travel, are there plans for a possible Modi Airways, or similar?

“No, our members will be happy to assemble in Sydney,” Sharma revealed. “We’ve come together via a WhatsApp group, where we share our travel and hotel arrangements and other plans. Given different timeframes for leaving, it isn’t possible to have a single plan for everyone.”

The participants are from various backgrounds and communities. Members of the local Sikh, Marathi, Gujarati, Sindhi, Punjabi communities, and language associations, among others, will be in attendance, Sharma emphasised, ensuring representation of all Indian associations affiliated with ISWA. It is a loose guiding principle the IADF appears to have adopted.

When asked about the significance of the event for the Indian community in WA, Sharma mentioned that the event was a huge opportunity for Indian expats to witness Prime Minister Modi live in Australia. “India has made significant progress in recent years, and the Prime Minister has had a tremendous impact on the country’s profile,”  he said. “Seeing him speak in person would provide a chance to understand his vision and increase our connection to India. The event would further cement the goodwill and camaraderie between the two nations.”

Given an opportunity, Sharma quipped, the Indian community of WA who would like to invite Prime Minister Modi to visit Perth. “We share the Indian Ocean, and Perth is the closest Australian city to India, with a very close-knit yet thriving Indian community. It will be an honour if he visits us in the future.”

Read More: Sydney reception for PM Modi: The excitement among diaspora is palpable

Torsha Sen
Torsha Sen
A seasoned journalist who observes passage of time and uses tenses that contain simple past, continuous present, and a future perfect to weave stories.

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