Washington: Over 45,000 people have signed up to listen to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to Indian-Americans in Silicon Valley on September 27, organisers have said.
"The final list of the 18,500 people who will get a chance to hear Prime Minister Modi speak live at the SAP Arena in San Jose on September 27 is yet to be decided," Indo-American Community of West Coast said in a statement yesterday.
For this, in coming days organisers would put all the 45,000 names for a computerised draw of lots, which would ensure the 18,500 strong audience at the SAP Arena in San Jose has representations from every section and segment of the society, state, age groups and gender.
"The current list of registrants spans the gamut of social, religious, and professional spheres. From taxi drivers and farmers to professionals and CEOs of large companies, the excitement being felt in the Silicon Valley is unprecedented," said Naren Gupta, a venture-capitalist and entrepreneur, who serves as the co-chairman of the Indo American Community of West Coast (IACWC).
"With Silicon Valley as the center of innovation, we are all very excited about the possibilities that exist for India under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi. He has outlined several key initiatives, including digital cities, alternate power and cleanliness that requite innovative approaches," he said.
"We want to give back to our homeland, we will give back to our homeland, and we plan to engage in thoughtful dialogue with the Prime Minister about best ways to make a difference," he added.
Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit California after Morarji Desai in 1978.
Jawahar Lal Nehru was the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the West Coast.
Given his push for clean energy, his drive to digitise India, and his plans to empower the people of his country, Modi's presence in the Silicon Valley, the hub of technology and innovation, is considered by many to be a natural step towards taking India on the path to overall development, a media statement said.
Leading up to and after the reception, high impact programs and meetings are being scheduled to promote the shared ideals of innovation and entrepreneurship between Silicon Valley and India, the statement said.
The event, free to the general public, is being totally funded by the Indian-American community.
"This is a free event. The attendees are expected not to pay directly or indirectly to any organisation. The expenses are taken cared by sponsorship from corporations, businesses and high net worth individuals," said Thakor Desai, a businessman and finance co-chair of IACWC. PTI