Home Business PM gives WHO chief Tedros a Gujarati name – ‘Tulsi Bhai’

PM gives WHO chief Tedros a Gujarati name – ‘Tulsi Bhai’


What’s in a name? A healthy bond, if it is to be conferred on none other than the chief of the top global health body, the World Health Organization (WHO).

As a symbolic return gift for bringing the WHO’s Global Center for Traditional Medicines (GCTM) to Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conferred upon Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus the name “Tulsi Bhai”, inspired by the medicinal holy basil, native to India, which has rich healing properties.

From the dais of the Global Ayush Investment & Innovation Summit 2022 at Gandhinagar on Wednesday, Modi forged a ‘healthy’ bond with the WHO chief by giving him a Gujarati name with a medicinal plant connect.

Three-day tour

On the last day of his three-day tour to the Prime Minister’s home-state, Dr Tedros was seen enjoying the flavors of Gujarat.

On Wednesday, in his address to the Summit, Dr Tedros started with a Gujarati salutation to the audience by saying, “ Namaste. Hun Mahatma Gandhi ni aa bhoomi ma aavi ne khush chu (I’m glad to be here on the soil of Mahatma Gandhi). ”

The audience, which included students, academicians and Ayush practitioners from across the world, gave a huge applause to the leader with East African origins. The camaraderie between Modi and the WHO chief was visible when the former referred to the latter as a “good friend”. “When he met me this morning, he told me that (after three days in Gujarat) he has become a complete Gujarati now. He asked me to give him a Gujarati name, ”Modi said. “So today from this holy soil of Mahatma Gandhi, I give my dear friend the name of ‘Tulsi Bhai’ as a Gujarati,” he added.

Addressing Tedros, Modi said, “Given your affection for Gujarat, your attempts to speak in Gujarati each time and your fond memories of Indian teachers, I take immense pleasure in addressing you as Tulsi bhai.”

Notably, Tulsi (also called holy basil or Ocimum tenuiflorum) has had a traditional connect with India for generations. It’s a family tradition in most households to worship the Tulsi plant.

Published on

April 20, 2022

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