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WHO chief is now India’s Tulsibhai, says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with WHO Chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was given a Gujarati name today by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he jokingly requested for an Indian name to mark his love for the country.

PM Modi said, “WHO Director-General Tedros is a good friend of mine. He told me whatever he is today, it is because of Indian teachers. He said he is proud to be associated with India. This morning he told me: 'I have become a pucca Gujarati. Have you decided a Gujarati name for me?'”

As the WHO chief and the audience laughed with PM Modi, he announced, “As a Gujarati, I will call him Tulsi bhai.”

“Tulsi is a plant that modern generations are forgetting, but it has been worshipped for generations in the country,” PM Modi explained. 

“You can also use the Tulsi plant in marriage. And a Gujarati name won’t do without ‘bhai. So now you are with us,” the PM remarked. 

Dr Tedros is in India to attend the Global Ayush & Innovation Summit in Gandhinagar.