Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way!!

When I First met PM Narendra Modi ji, PM of India in Scotland!


Rashmi Rai Mantha
Rashmi Rai Mantha

  *Rashmi Rai Mantha from Glasgow, Scotland.

I don’t know where and how do I start writing and expressing my feelings which is one of my achievements in this life! As I feel it, I mean it for me & for my birth place Bharat with Unique political leader of this world who is Mr. Narendra Modi.

Born and brought up in a small town I never dreamt of meeting PM of India who was only a TV icon for me for ages. We are a small family with basic roots from a countryside village near Gorakhpur (UP) and education from Chandrapur (Maharashtra) as my father was a Central Govt. employee working in Coal mines who retired as a General Manager. We are 3 siblings – myself and 2 younger brothers well settled in USA now.

Life has always been a roller coaster ride for me. I have seen and learnt everything through my experiences and no fairy tales although I was treated like a Princess at home. My school life – I had always been Class Leader eventually leading me to become the School Captain in Under graduation. In my Engineering too, I was very active exploring different aspects of life. My MBA made me set my goals based on 3 principles – Discipline, Dedication & Commitment. So, yes I was Discipline Coordinator leading the entire college hostel under my leadership and directly reporting to Dean.

Got job, set my career in Information Technology working with big multi-national companies and explored different parts of India like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune etc. Gathered a lot of knowledge on different cultures. Thanks to wonderful exposure which made me realize the diversified culture of India. I got married and settled in Scotland, UK with my wonderful and supporting husband and a sweet little daughter.

My dream achievement, my passion was igniting me to pick new challenges of my life – So this made me bagged the title of Mrs. Scotland Universe 2019 through a beauty pageant and I represented Scotland (being Indian origin) in Mrs. Universe 2019 held in Guangzhou, China participating with 90 other countries. This passion continued further with the community works. I started leading many International Organizations in Scotland with lot of media coverage like newspapers, magazines, TV, social media channels etc.

Never realized this was a preparation for achieving something bigger in life. Yes, a vision and mission to lead life in the right direction with right people and leadership. This was a preparation for my destiny to meet someone big and iconic personality in my life.

Modi in Scotland – Around a month back, I got to know about PM Modi’s arrival preparations for COP26 happening in Scotland. I was actively participating in it with different community leads here. I never realized that I would also be getting a chance to be organizing for PM Modi…I mean a WOW moment to gain experience how security and logistics are prime focus when a Prime Minister travels to any country along with his Council of Ministers in AIR INDIA flights with an agenda to address in International Summits and Conferences. The dates of his travel were confirmed finally being the 31st Oct – 02nd Nov’21. There were also preparations going on from High Commission in London, with Consulate General of India in Edinburgh and Overseas BJP in UK.  I was also involved with coordination with one of the Organizations. My Passports and Council documents were submitted in High Commission for verifications and security clearance.

As I was one of the first known persons in Edinburgh among non-Govt bodies working, was very excited to gain this wonderful experience. I started following him more closely on his G20 summit tour. I started gathering all information on kind of conferences he is into, the messages that he is delivering, his meeting with Pope, Joe Biden (US President), Angela Markel, Boris Johnson (PM UK), people of Rome, Italy welcoming him and his meet up with Indian diaspora and the Indians residing in Italy and much more.

Modi’s Arrival – 31st Oct PM Modi ji arrived in Glasgow to talk in COP26 which was primarily focused on climate change. Indian High commission along with PMO India, few dignitaries from Scotland received PM Modi at the Glasgow International Airport. A grand welcome in a very beautiful Hotel & Spa Resort – Mar Hall in Paisley, situated in outskirts of Glasgow was the place were entire Govt. of India officials involved in PM’s visit were staying and working. PM Modi stay arrangements were in the same Hotel surrounded with picturesque beauty of hills and river by the side in between the lap of nature. There was a grand welcome by Glasgow Indians and some members of Indian Diaspora. I was to be part of 31st program but due to some reasons was accommodated to meet him on 02nd Nov’21 staging that the departure meet up will be very exciting. I got more curious and convinced myself for the departing visit. We were informed that a negative RT-PCR test was compulsory security measure before meeting PM.

Second day – 1st Oct – Modi ji met some dignitaries and there was a photograph session with these people who contributed towards the community growth on larger scale. I took my RT-PCR test in Edinburgh and fully prepared for the meet up.

On the same day evening, PM Modi delivered a very powerful climate change speech on how India would contribute towards the goal of COP26 which was appreciated by all analysts. India would one of the first 3rd world countries with ambitious plans of net zero carbon by 2070. I was still following up and my patience and curiosity and zest to meet him piled up. Meanwhile I got to know that my name was missing from the meet up list, which I sorted out and this took away my evening to make necessary arrangements. My logistics wasn’t confirmed as one of the Organizers was busy in couple of events and it was missed out. So, I booked a train for myself from Edinburgh to Glasgow early morning 9.36am. Finally, I slept in night with excitement, but couldn’t really sleep and got up at 4am to meet the PM.

Thanks to my amazing and supportive husband Mr. Ramesh Venkat Mantha who could realize my dreams and make all necessary arrangements by collecting my train tickets, dropping me station, taking care of my 4 years little daughter & also thanks to all support of our leader in UK -Mr. Kuldip Singh ji Shekhawat, President, Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP).UK & our well-wisher in Bharat-Sr Journalist Kumar Rakesh to see & meet our global leader Mr. Narendra Modi ji in Glasgow, Scotland with Local support Mr Punit.

Departing Day-2nd Nov-Dhanteras- I finally boarded the train -an hour-long journey, I had my breakfast which was brunch cooked by Ramesh early morning. Reached Glasgow and venue of Bus taking Taxi. Saw many known faces and it was so comforting and exciting to meet post pandemic. Republic Bharat was live with us. WE could see lot of enthusiasm and Modi supporters in crowd of 250 people. We finally reached the Venue – Mar Hall Hotel & Spa Resort. It was so much fun in bus.

We saw so many cars, SPGs commandos, Scotland Police, PMO India team, and many more whom I couldn’t recognize. It was giving goose bumps of the experience when and how Prime Minister travels following so many protocols. We were taken to a small tent with refreshments arranged. People were divided in 13 groups and security checked by SPGs with no mobile phones and jackets allowed even with chilling temperatures of 6-7 degrees outside hotel where we had to see PM. It was 3 hours long and we were getting impatient with excitement levels compromised for some time. At 5.30 PM we were finally informed to form groups and get into see PM Modi. More than half the crowd left the tent and rushed to the Hotel inside. We were stopped and then released in 2nd slot who had to stand outside the Hotel. I was standing outside in chilling cold but minds were ignited. There was band of Glasgow Indians started to beat drums, we saw Foreign Minister S Jaishankar waving all of us and guess what it was finally PM Narendra Modi – Prime Minister of India, arriving to meet Scottish Indians. He met all people starting with Pandit ji (Priest), Band – he also played drum with stick, finally meeting couple of them he reached me where a small girl made a painting and he wanted to give autograph to her. The PAs around tried to give him their pens but he put his hands in pocket and took out his own pen and gave autograph. I was spell bound by his divinity, grace and strong aura. There was a spiritual grace and charm on his face, lot of humbleness, appreciating and talking to all people. I was mumbled and speechless as if I am standing in front of some Guru. I saw almost everyone got emotional and had tears in eyes. He was watching everyone. With all due respect, I couldn’t stop my feelings and bowed my head to his feet twice. He also blessed me with his hand on my head which I realized only by watching the Video released in media later on. I watched him moving around and hearing all the people and supporters and everyone was amazed by his gesture carrying very similar feelings. He took kids in his arms and blessed almost all kids with his hands. Finally, I got chance to bid Goodbye when he was sitting in his cars. Once he left and all the cars and Police behind him, there was music with drum, band & Scottish piper playing in celebration, and we felt that we celebrated Diwali on the day of Dhanteras.

I was on cloud nine and I forgot all the pains that I took to meet him. It was all worth the effort. It is rightly – everything is destined to happen in the world. I remembered the lines who said – come on 2nd Nov, you will have more time with him and you will experience good memories. Indeed, I had! The glimpse captured was almost on all media channels DD News, Republic Bharat, ANI, TNN, Aaj Tak, ABP, ZEE News etc. and my father couldn’t believe I was on TV watching me on AAJ Tak news channel.  This was all the effort I took when I am expecting and in my 7th month of pregnancy.

A strong and determined will power can lead to anyone’s goals in life. My whole family thrilled to know it about my meeting with PM Mr Modi ji in Scotland. My Father-in-Law Mr Mahadev Shastri & Mother-in-Law Mrs Sundari Mantha living in Hyderabad were also very happy to know it.

My Both Brothers Mr Mayank Rai & Mr Prashant Rai with their wives Mrs Madhu Rai & Mrs Bhanu Rai living in USA were thrilled to see me on different TV channels with Mr Modi ji.

My belief – Where there’s a will there’s a way! This proves it all right for me with my discipline, dedication and determination.

This was my first experience meeting up with any  Prime Minister of India that is Mr Narendra Modi ji. I aspire for more good things and want to do good things in this life. Patience and perseverance pay! Be optimistic about life with NAMO mantra 😊

 About the Writer:-

*Rashmi Rai Mantha is a prestigious title holder of Mrs Scotland Universe 2019 in UK, Director-AL Virago Ltd, professionally with over 13 years of experience in Supply Chain Management & Project Management roles in UK & India. She is a Motivational Speaker, Philanthropist, Business Leader, Social Activist, and Model. She is passionate about Environment, Women & Youth Empowerment and Fashion.

Rashmi Rai Mantha is founder Director of AL Virago Ltd, Co-Founder Good People TV, Chairperson of Ladies of All Nations International(Scotland) focusing on empowering and inspiring each other & continue to build our positive growth in society, Country Director Scotland –International Youth Society focusing on UN SDG goals, Vice-President(Scotland) of UK-India Business Council of the Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WICCI) to strengthen women’s entrepreneurship and boosts businesses through greater engagement with government, institutions and global trade.

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