NEW YORK (TIP): Rajasthan government Minister for Urban Development and Housing Shanti Dhariwal inaugurated on May 25 Rajasthan chapter of Indian National Overseas Congress (I) at Mint Restaurant in Long Island, New York. Inaugurating the chapter, the Minister said Rajasthan has been making all-round progress in many fields under the able leadership of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

He said the party is sure to return to power in view of numerous welfare measures undertaken by the Congress government. He took pains to describe various schemes undertaken for the weaker sections and the middle classes. Tom Suozzi, former Executive of Nassau County, in his remarks praised the role of Indian-Americans for their hard work and dedication in making Nassau County a better place to live.

He introduced four of his running mates of which three are Indian-Americans and the other – an American with an Indian connection and who had worked with Mother Teresa in Kolkata. George Abraham, president of Indian National Overseas Congress (I) who presided over the function said that Rajasthan was the 12th chapter to be formed since the inception of INOC in 2000 and the INOC has become the voice of the Indian Diaspora. He said following the story of the massive victory in Karnataka will surely be repeated in the state elections to be held soon.

The INOC-I will be playing its part to ensure the success, he said. Shudh Parkash Singh, senior vice president of INOC-I, said the Diaspora Indians will work hard to bring back the Congress to power in federal and state level elections. The Minister honored five prominent personalities – Jagdish Chandra, head of ETV Hindi and Urdu TV channels; Padam Mehta, chief editor and publisher of Manak; Capt. Stanley George of New York Police Department; Kanak Golia, a prominent businessman and Naveen C Shah, CEO of Navika Group of Companies.

Stanley George was promoted to Captain of New York Police Department (NYPD) in 2007, the largest police department in the world. He is the first Indian Malayalee to reach the position and is currently the only captain of NYPD. After his graduation in Kerala, he migrated to the US and began his career as a civilian accountant in NYPD in 1989. He joined the Police Academy and graduated as police officer – he became Sergeant in 2000, Lieutenant in 2003 and Captain in 2007.

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He had worked in various units such as counterterrorism, criminal justice and patrol service bureau. He was recognized by President APJ Abdul Kalam in New York for his rescue and recovery service during the 9/11 tragedy. Kanak Golia is the president and CEO of Perfume Center of America, a multinational global company he founded in 1993. A wholesale distributor that prides itself on service, its clientele is worldwide.

The company stocks over 4,000 major designer brands from France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the US. He has been distinguished as a recipient of the Top 10 Asian American Business Awards. Golia grew up in Johdpur, Rajasthan with his brother and three sisters. While managing his father’s business, he continued his academic career in accounting and law and served as Vice President of the Department of Law at the University of Rajasthan.

Golia also serves as a Board of Trustee of New York Hospital for Queens; he and his wife Prabha Golia are instrumental in developing new cancer center and they were bestowed with Pacesetter Award, New York Hospital’s highest honor. They had established Kanak and Prabha Golia Foundation focused on women’s education, medical care for the disabled and orphanages. Naveen C. Shah is a prominent CPA and President and CEO of Navika Group of Companies, a premier commercial, real estate and hospitality enterprise in the US.

He is also a partner of accounting and tax associates. Shah migrated to the US in 1982 and became a CPA in 1984. He has served as Board of Director of many professional and banking institutions and had been on the business banking advisory board of Wells Fargo and South Asian Business Advisory Board of Merrill Lynch. He is the founding member and past president of Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA); Indian Association of Long Island (IALI), Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation to name a few.

Shah founded Navika Capital Group LLC in 2005 with an objective to invest capital in commercial real estate and branded hotels in the US. Under his stellar leadership, the Navika Group has excelled in its performance and currently has substantial real estate and hospitality asset base under its ownership. It has an ownership stake in 43 prime real estate properties including 35 branded hotels in high value markets and is the direct result of Shah’s business acumen. Chandra Prakash Sukhwal, vice president of Rajasthan chapter, said Congress Party had made India a super power in the comity of nations and provided a strong and stable government in the center.

He said a new slogan “Chalo Rajasthan, Jeeto Rajasthan” has been coined by Rajasthani non- residents to ensure the victory of Congress Party in Rajasthan. Sukhwal was a senior Congress leader who had worked with Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi before migrating to the US. Minister was presented Proclamations from Nassau County Chief Executive Edward Mangano and another from New York State Senate by Dilip Chauhan on behalf of the New York State Senator Toby Stavisky. Sushil Goyal, President of Rajasthan chapter of INOC-I welcomed the gathering. Sushma Kotahwala, Secretary, acted ably as emcee of the event.

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