Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations were held at the Consulate General of India in New York, on Saturday, January 12, where 14 people were recognized for their philanthropic contributions to the community.
Awardees included Ramesh Patel, Chairman of the Federation of Indian Associations of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut (FIA-NY/NJ/CT); Smriti Khanna, the former President of the Association of Indians in America, New York Chapter (AIA-NY); Manish Dhahdda and Rajendra Bafna, the Vice Chairman and Secretary of Jaipur Foot.
The Consul General of India in New York, Sandeep Chakravorty, told ITV Gold that the recognition is “like the Bharat Ratna for the Consulate” and wanted to “celebrate Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in a new way” this year by recognizing those who never get recognized.
“We are based in New York, our jurisdiction is 10 states and there are more than two million Indians. Even if we want, we cannot be present everywhere and we cannot serve everybody. Thus, we need friends and partners who can help others like we do,” Chakravorty said.
“I must congratulate our Consul General for having thought of this kind of initiative. This encourages the local organizations to work more for India. What we are today is because of Mother India and the government of India, thus we owe it to India,” Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, the Founder and Chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media, told ITV Gold.
Dr. Parikh gave away the awards to Manish Dhahdda and Rajendra Bafna, Vice Chairman and Secretary, of Jaipur Foot.
The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas has been strengthening ties between NRIs and India since 2003, to allow them to reconnect to their roots while celebrating their achievements and contributions.