HOUSTON (TEXAS), Sept 22 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi was accorded a rousing welcome on Sunday when he arrived at the crowded NRG Stadium to address the Indian-American community along with US President Donald Trump.
Trump would join Modi as a �special gesture� by the US President to underscore the special bond between the two countries. It is for the first time that Trump and Modi would share a stage together and address a record crowd of 50,000 Indian-Americans.
Modi entered on the stage with folded hands. He bowed before the audience, thanking them for such an amazing welcome.
Welcoming Prime Minister Modi, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner highlighted the significance of the event and said that Indians have been a key figure in the development of his city.
A festival-like atmosphere pervaded the NRG stadium as thousands of members of the Indian diaspora gathered for the �Howdy, Modi!� event.
Indian men and women dressed in colourful traditional attire hailing from different parts of India, including Punjab, Maharashtra and Gujarat, are gathering for the three-hour event.
The beating of drums, cheering and shouts of �Modi, Modi� went up from among the crowd at the event for which tickets were sold out many weeks ago.
The event has been organised by the Texas India Forum (TIF), a non-profit organisation.
�The energy in the stadium is palpable as the crowd awaits Prime Minister Modi�s address,� TIF tweeted ahead of the event that has the theme �Shared Dreams Brighter Futures�.
It said the Indian-American community has turned out in full force for the event. �Community members have travelled from across the country to be a part of this historic event,� it said.
Pranav Desai, �Howdy, Modi!� organiser and founder of the Voice of Specially Abled People, said that thousands of volunteers are working for the event. �Proud of our PM�s commitment for making our country great again,� he said.
Many young Indian-Americans have painted Indian and US flags on their faces.
The Indian-American community has been busy preparing for the three-hour show that will see artistes present Indian classical and folk songs and dances, among other numbers.
More than a 1,000 Gujaratis from Houston are preparing for a mega �dandiya�, a traditional Gujarati dance, to welcome the Prime Minister for the event.
Several cultural programmes are on the anvil for the show, which has a theme �Woven�, signifying how the Indian-American community has become part of America.
Massive billboards have come up near the NRG Stadium and across Houston with messages of welcome for Modi, who arrived here on Saturday for a week-long visit to the US.
A car rally was also organised in Houston on Friday, ahead of the �Howdy, Modi!� event. � Agencies