Several prominent members of the Indian-American diaspora and community organisations were recognised by the Consulate General of India here on the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas for their contribution, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, towards strengthening the US-India ties.
In a virtual message, Consul General Randhir Jaiswal said that the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is an occasion to remember and honour achievements of the Indian diaspora and its strong connection with the homeland.
“It is a day when we take great pride in all that you have done for yourself and for India,” he said, lauding efforts of the Indian-American community for working with the Consulate to help and support those in need, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deputy Consul General Shatrughna Sinha said that during the last few years, the Consulate has used the occasion of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, commemorated to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s arrival in India from South Africa on January 9, 1915, to recognise members of the Indian-American diaspora for their work towards the community and their help in promoting India-US ties as well as supporting people in need.
Sinha said the challenging year of 2020, when people from the community came together and partnered with the Consulate to help those in need and struggling in the pandemic, has shown that “we need to stand together, stand with each other and that unity is our strength.” The lesson from the crisis and the pandemic is that “we need to stand by each other, stand together and only then will we succeed.” During the ceremony, a video clip of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message on the occasion of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was played.
Sinha presented citations and special plaques to the honorees in recognition of their contributions.
Consul (Community Affairs) A K Vijayakrishnan said that the Indian Consulate and the community organisations are working hand in hand and as a closely knit unit and because of this, the Consulate was able to mitigate the sufferings of a number of Indian nationals stranded in the US during the pandemic and reached out to all those in distress.
He also called on the community organisations to increase involvement of the younger generation, especially students, in community events “because they are future torchbearers of our country.” The honorees of the recognition by the Consulate included the Federation of Indian Associations of New York, New Jersey & Connecticut (FIA-Tristate) past president Alok Kumar, member of FIA Board of Trustees and past president Srujal Parikh, clinical trial administrator and Executive Director of Council of Heritage and Arts of India Sibu Nair, non-profit organisation Sewa International USA, member of Board of Trustees at Long Island Power Authority Ali Mohammed, New Jersey-based entrepreneur and community leader Atma Singh and Indian-American social worker Abhishek Singh.
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