Sunita Williams accorded warm welcome by Jhulsan village

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Jhulsan, Gujarat, Sep 21 (UNI) A traditional warm welcome was accorded to Indian American astronaut Sunita Williams when she arrived at her ancestral home in Jhulsan, a tiny village in Mehsana district, about 50 km away from Ahmedabad, this morning.

The village itself had a rosy fragrance as scented water was sprinkled at all the important places. However, the enthusiasm that had mounted high since last couple of the days melted as the cavalcade reached the dusty village.

A large number of villagers assembled to have a glimpse of the astronaut. People were visibly overjoyed as Ms Williams smiled and kept waving to them.

After reaching the village Jhulsan, Sunita and her family members drove straight to the village temple. Security personnel had a tough time controlling the large crowd that had assembled near the temple.

Dressed in colourful costumes, village girls presented a traditional 'Garbha' to welcome the astronaut. For many of the villagers, Sunita is an inspiration as she created a new record with her 195-day stay in space this year.

The village has been decorated with arches, flags, festoons and large hoardings with flowery garlands along with writings like 'Long Live Sunita'.

Students of CP Gajjar High School gave her a warm reception this morning and she was taken around the village in a procession.

Addressing a large gathering in the decorated Primary School, Ms Williams said she felt immense pleasure to be in the village of her father and her ancestral home.

She said ''One cannot forget their land of origin, hence she is in her ancestral village.'' Since Sunita Williams is a state guest, she was given a state honour by the district officers on her arrival.

A village elder, Pratapbhai Patel, commented that ''She came here like a storm and went like a wild wind.'' Later, she was taken under tight security to Nardipur, a village some 15 km from Jhulsan.

Sunita, who arrived in Ahmedabad yesterday, will also attend the 58th International Astronautical Congress to be held at Hyderabad where she will interact with Indian scientists.

UNI

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