It’s not every day that an ambassador from a foreign nation visits Fresno. But on Thursday the Indian ambassador to the United States paid a visit to Fresno State.
Indian Ambassador to the United States Nirupama Rao visited Fresno for several reasons: to strengthen U.S. – India ties.
"Trade, business and investment ties between economies such as ours..."
The large Indian population in the San Joaquin Valley:
“I see so many friends from the Punjab region of India sitting amongst us..."
And because Rep. Jim Costa asked her to.
In her speech at Fresno State she told the audience that India is looking to the U.S. as an example for better education practices and for economic insight.
"We would like to integrate with the outside world, not only when it comes to ideas, when it comes to new thoughts, new thinking, and strengthening the foundations of our own identity as a nation, but also in terms of embracing and protecting diversity," Rao says.
Rao says that positive U.S.-India relations are vital for the success of both countries. She also says the full potential for trade and investment between the two nations has yet to be realized.
After her speech to about fifty people, Fresno State President Joseph Castro led Rao to pay tribute to the Mahatma Gandhi memorial statue in the college’s peace garden.
Fresno State students like Kooshali Suresh Kumar, an undergraduate who is from India welcomed the opportunity to visit with the ambassador.
She says meeting an Indian woman in a post like this is rare.
"All these women have broken the prejudice that women have and they have stood up to make other women in India understand that women in India can do anything," Suresh Kumar says.
Although this is Rao’s first visit to Fresno, she says it will be the first of many.