NEW YORK CITY, NY (TIP): GOPIO officers, chapter delegates and a selected group of GOPIO Life Members from the Tri-State New York area met India‘s new Consul General in New York Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das and other Consuls on March 30th at the Indian Consulate and had a fruitful interactive session on community issues and how the Indian American community can effectively be involved in India’s development.
Consul General Das welcomed the GOPIO delegation and said that GOPIO is an important organization to interact since GOPIO reaches out all sections of our community. Dr. Mohapatra explained on the current consular services provided from the Consulate and steps taken to improve and make it easier for the community.
The meeting was organized by GOPIO’s Tristate New York Coordinator Lal Motwani and was attended by the newly elected International Coordinator for North America Dr. Rajeev Mehta and delegates from GOPIO-New York, GOPIO-Upper New York, GOPIO-Connecticut and GOPIO-Central Jersey and many Life Members who have served in various capacities in the past. Dr. Thomas Abraham, GOPIO Founder President and Executive Trustee of GOPIO Foundation brought some of the community issues and many avenues where the community and the Consulate could cooperate for mutual benefits. These included the following:
Increased cooperation with the Consulate and Indian Community (Consulate celebrations of national events and festivals, consulate representation at Indian community meetings, participation in Consulate’s lecture/seminar series, Meeting with Indian delegation, etc.); Utilizing community contacts with elected officials for promoting Indian’s causes; Reaching out next generation Indian Americans and involving them for India’s causes; Issuance of Visa and Passport in emergencies; Improving consular services and shortening delay in OCI card issuance; Improving services by Cox and Kings and BLS International; Emergency help for Indian citizens in time of distress, death, etc.; Reaching out and interacting with the PIO communities in the New York area (large Indo-Caribbean community); and Promoting India to general American public.
Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das reinforced the importance of the community reaching out the elected officials and interacting with the new generations of Indian Americans. Dr. Mohapatra told that the passport services from BLS International will be taken over Cox and Kings and he would make sure the transition is smooth. He also suggested the community to write to [email protected] for any visa, passport and OCI issues.
Apart from Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das, other officials present from the Consulate at the meeting were Deputy Consul General Dr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, Consul Sandeep Kumar (Passport and Visa), Vice Consul Sandeep Grover (OCI) and Passport Officers Devvrat Chakravarthy and Suman Bala.
For more information on GOPIO, contact Lal K. Motwani, GOPIO Coordinator for New York Tri-State Area. Tel: Tel: 516-581-3332, [email protected]