Indian American Community Organizations Welcome The New Consul General

NEW YORK, NY (TIP): The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), in collaboration with several community organizations and groups in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut tri-state area, held a well attended and highly successful welcome reception and dinner in New York for incoming Indian Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay. The event was held on April 26, 2013 at the Asia Society in New York and provided a unique opportunity to welcome, meet and greet the new Consul General. The Indian Consul General in New York is a high profile position in the largest city in USA amongst the highest concentration of Non- Resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs), and host to numerous visits on a regular basis by prominent officials of the Government of India for meetings with US officials, the United Nations and the Indian- American community on issues of interest to NRIs and PIOs. The welcome reception and dinner was a combined community event, organized by GOPIO in partnership with GOPIO Chapters of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut; GOPIO Health, Cultural, Youth,Women’s & Business Councils; Life Members; GOPIO News Team. The event was co-sponsored by various prominent community organizations and companies, with support from media groups and others as co-sponsors. Sponsors include: Indian American Chamber of Commerce – USA, Tulsi Restaurant, Asia Society, Bharat Travel, Kingfisher, Parikh Media, HH-Resorts, Peter Advani, TV Asia, Society of Indian American Architects & Engineers of America (SIAEA); Media- Sponsors: Sahara, PIO TV, GloboSat, India Abroad; and participating organizations: Hyderbadi Cultural Assoc, Association of American Physicians of Indian origin (AAPI), Indian Dental Assoc, Indian Jewish Council IJC), National Federation of Indian Associations (NFIA), Association of Indians in America (SAIA); attending organizations: TelugU Association, Bengali Association, Gujarati Association, and several others. Also in attendance were Ambassador of Trinidad & Tobago to USA, Dr. Neil Parsan; Ambassador of Mauritius to United Nations Milan Meeterban; former Ambassador of Suriname to United Nations, Krishna Nandoe; Deputy Speaker of New Jersey Assembly Upendra Chivukula; New York City Councilwoman, Leticia James; John Bartlett, Jr, Freeholder of Passaic County in New Jersey. Event coordinator was J. Nami Kaur, Secretary of GOPIO International, ably assisted by Mridul Pathak, GOPIO’s Director of Diaspora Development. Other members of the organizing team included: Anita Bhat, Dr Asha Samant, Ashook Ramsaran, Jaswant Mody, Lal Motwani, Patsy Leopold, Quddus Mohammed, Dr. Renuka Misra, Sangeeta Ahuja, Dr. Thomas Abraham. Following a video biography highlighting Ambassador Mulay’s career and his impressive accomplishments, GOPIO International president Ashook Ramsaran made the formal welcome, stating that, “the Indian American community of the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area is a significant population of NRIs and PIOs, very progressive, quite supportive – and also very vocal on matters of interest and concern”. Ramsaran added that, “we bid you a warm welcome with open hearts and open arms, with confidence that you will achieve much success during your tenure as Consul General if India in New York”. Ambassador Mulay thanked GOPIO and the community organizations for the warm and overwhelming welcome. In his remarks, he stated that, “huge opportunities exist for the Indian Diaspora in connecting India and the USA. India requires massive investments, is looking for technologies, continuously expanding education sector and health services and looks forward to proactive contributions of Diaspora in its developmental aspirations”. He added that, “the Government of India has taken enormous measures for promoting the wellbeing of the diaspora and connecting them with India. Since the setting up of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry several special steps have been taken and a number of schemes introduced”. “Global Indian Diaspora – GOPIO Making an Impact” a comprehensive publication authorized by GOPIO, was presented to Amb Mulay as part of the New York release during the program. In addition, GOPIO’s founding life member and former secretary general Dr Jagat Motwani presented his latest book “India Reborn: Bharat Mahan, As Perceived by Westerners, Gandhi, Nehru, Tagore & Others” to Amb Mulay. GOPIO’s founding president, Dr. Thomas Abraham, spoke about GOPIO and its long history of serving the interests of the diaspora on a global scale. Prominent community leaders and supporters also welcomed Amb Mulay, extending good wishes and support: Dr. Sudhir Parikh (Parikh Media); H. R. Shah (TV Asia); Norman Solovay (Indian American Chamber of Commerce – USA); Upendra Chivukula (Deputy Speaker of New Jersey Assembly); and others. GOPIO presented to Ambassador Mulay a “Memorandum of critical issues and suggestions from the Indian American community of the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area”. These issues include recommendation for improved communication with the Indian-American community, including more responsiveness to telephone calls placed to consulate and staff for regularly needed consular services; recommendation to provide answers on a timely basis to more FAQs on current issues on website, email advisory. Examples: OCI card, Passport Surrender procedures and fees; recommendation to set up a community feedback system on matters of interest and concern via community and consulate meetings, interactive forum, interviews on television and print, outreach to Indian- American community and other ethnic groups; posting a “calendar of events” which can be readily viewed for advance planning purposes; holding or collaborating on seminars on current critical issues such as youth, health, inter-generation, inter-ethnic, etc. – as well notable events such as Gadar Centennial Commemoration in USA. Media, however, was not invited to the event. (Based on a press release issued by Dr. Thomas Abraham)

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