New York, Sep 16:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the Indian community at a grand public reception at Madison Square Garden Sep 28 will be beamed live on giant screens at New York’s iconic Times Square.
With no more tickets available for the event at the huge multi-purpose indoor arena in Midtown Manhattan with a capacity of over 20,000, New Yorkers would be able to watch it in the heart of the city at Times Square.
The Indian American Community Foundation (IACF), organisers of the mega event, has signed a memorandum of understanding for the live telecast with Times Square Alliance for this purpose.
Modi’s speech in Hindi would carry English subtitles. For the audio, people can either dial a toll free number to listen the speech live or download an app on their smart phones.
To be emceed by the first Indian-American Miss America, Nina Davuluri, and PBS Weekend Newshour’s Indian-American anchor, Hari Sreenivasan, the event will also be broadcast live on a number of TV channels as well as streamed online on pmvisit.org website.
Given “an overwhelming response for this historic event” and “the tremendous interest from the Indian American community”, general admission tickets have been distributed through a lottery.
Meanwhile ICAF, “a not-for-profit promoting cooperation between the United States and India and advancing the shared values of democracy, inclusive economic development, and mutual respect”, is reported to have raised $1.5 million for the mega event.
The costs of this event are to be covered by contributions from the general public, and the foundation is in the process of applying for tax exemption, ICAF said.
Money raised in excess would be donated to charitable and non-profit organisations.
IACF is also bringing out a glossy souvenir for the occasion celebrating the Indian diaspora and sponsors of the pages are being offered complimentary seats. Cost of advertisements in the souvenir range from $2,500 to $35,000.