The Indian Consulate organized the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Jan. 9 at the Consulate premises attended by a large number of Indian-Americans, representatives of major socio-cultural organizations and print and audio-visual media from Greater Chicago area.
During the event, an Indian diaspora initiative, urging the U.S. Postal Service to issue a commemorative stamp on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2019, was launched and a sample stamp was also unveiled.
The PBD program began with the screening of special thematic films sent by the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi to mark the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas 2017. Following this, the address of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, delivered on the 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in Bengaluru was screened. The actual video clipping of the conferment of PBSA 2017 to Dr. Bharat Haridas Barai, a prominent community leader from Indiana, by the President of India was also screened.
In his address, Consul General Ausaf Sayeed lauded the Indian-American diaspora for making significant contributions towards the socio-economic development of India. He invited them to participate in Indian government’s flagship programs like ‘Make in India’, ‘Skills India’, ‘Swatch Bharat Abiyan’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Green India’.
The consul general also encouraged the diaspora in the U.S. Midwest to actively engage in philanthropic activities to supplement the development efforts being undertaken through the India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians (IDF-O). Pamphlets on IDF-OI were distributed to the attendees.
Sayeed also made a power point presentation, recapping the major activities undertaken by the consulate during 2016. Some of the important events that were undertaken by the Consulate during 2016, included those in which the consulate collaborated
While sharing the various activities proposed to be undertaken by the consulate during 2017, the Consul General mentioned that the efforts of the consulate would be directed towards strengthening the political, economic, cultural, educational and people-to-people relationships between India and the U.S. Midwest.
As part of this process the consul general and other senior officers of the consulate have established a close working relationship with the offices of the governors, Lt. governors, elected representatives and mayors, besides senior officials of the economic departments of various states and leading chambers of commerce.
The celebration also featured the farewell address by the outgoing Consul General Sayeed in which he expressed his gratitude to the Indian-American diaspora for the unflinching support extended by them to the consulate and its activities during his tenure.
He acknowledged the efforts of the cities of Naperville, Aurora and Oakbrook in organizing the ‘India Day Parade’, Diwali celebrations, and the Indo-U.S Polo tournaments,
During the event, the Federation of Indian Association (FIA)– Schaumberg presented a plaque of appreciation to the outgoing Consul General.