HOUSTON (TIP): Consul General Harish Parvathaneni and Mrs. Nandita Parvathaneni hosted, January 31, a reception at Hilton Houston Post Oak in celebration of India’s 67th Republic Day.
A number of Elected Officials and their representatives attended the event which included Hon. Mayor Sylvester Turner, City of Houston; Hon. Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX 2nd District); Hon. Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX 22nd District); Hon. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett; Hon. Council Member Mike Laster; Hon. Council Member Jack Christie; Hon. Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis; Mr. Jay Guerrero (Office of Senator John Cornyn); Mr. Booker Morris III (Office of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee D-TX 18th District); Mr. Sam Merchant (Office of Congressman Al Green D-TX 9th District); Dr. Elwyn C. Lee (spouse of Hon. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee). The event was attended by over 450 invited guests from diverse walks of life, including members of the Consular Corps; Law Enforcement Officers; Padma Shri Awardee and founding Chairman of the US India Chamber of Commerce Dallas/Fort Worth, Mr. Ashok Mago; Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awardee and Chancellor & President, University of Houston, Dr. Renu Khator; representatives of business, universities, think-tanks, arts & culture, media etc; international students from India studying at various universities; and representatives of several Indian-American community fora. The invitees came from all over Texas and some of them were from outside Texas from the remaining seven states in the Consular jurisdiction of Consulate General of India, Houston as well.
The program comprised playing of National Anthems of India and the United States by students of Krishna Gaana Sudha Music Academy; Consul General’s welcome remarks; Reading of The Honorable Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Republic Day greetings by Consul General; Remarks by Elected Officials; Proclamations from Representatives of Elected Officials; honoring of Elected Officials and their representatives by Consul General in recognition of their efforts for promoting Indo-US economic engagement and friendship; cultural performance by students of Anjali Center for Performing Arts, Houston; felicitation of gurus Ms. Rathna Kumar and Vidushi Rajarajeswary Bhat; certificates of appreciation to performers in the cultural program and serving of refreshments. Publications on India including India Perspectives, Make in India brochures and tourism material were distributed.
In his remarks, Consul General highlighted the common bonds of India and the US – being the oldest and the largest democracies in the world – and how the two Constitutions begin with three words – “WE THE PEOPLE”. Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and The Honorable President Mr. Barack Obama in their numerous personal interactions in the last one and a half years have highlighted how India and the US are natural and strategic allies and how our destinies are inter-linked. He said that the Prime Minister’s emphasis on improving infrastructure in India and facilitating an Indian manufacturing revolution will find expression at the Make in India Week scheduled to be held in Mumbai during 13-18 February 2016. Consul General recognized the important role played by the Indian American community in the US, and their contributions to strengthening the bilateral relationship and pointed to the exhortation of Honorable External Affairs Minister of India, Mrs. Sushma Swaraj to the Overseas Indian community to play a vital role in bringing about change and development in India through support to the flagship programs of the Government on Make in India, Digital India, Start up India, Namami Gange [Ganga Rejuvenation] and Swachh Bharat [Clean India] campaigns.
Honorable Mayor Sylvester Turner congratulated the Consul General on this auspicious occasion and extended his best wishes to all for a successful and rewarding event. He presented a Proclamation to the Consulate on the 67th Republic Day of India. Hon. Mayor Turner showed great enthusiasm and interest in response to the Consul General’s invitation to lead a high level trade delegation to India in 2016-17, in continuation with the successful trade delegation led by the then Hon. Mayor Annise Parker, City of Houston in April 2015.
Honorable Congressman Ted Poe complimented Consul General for his friendship and pro-active contribution to promoting collaboration between the two countries in different areas.
Honorable Congressman Pete Olson highlighted the strong bonds of friendship and growing cooperation between the two largest democracies, India and the United States. He warmly recalled his visit to India and meeting with Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi.