Departing diplomat credits Indian-Americans for strength of U.S.-India relations

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NCAIA members presenting a plaque to Ambassador Dalela at the farewell reception on July 25, 2022, in Chantilly, Virginia. PHOTO: T. Vishnudatta Jayaraman, News India Times

Chantilly, Virginia: The Indian Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Sudhakar Dalela called the Indian-American community the real strength behind the U.S.-India relationship.

In his address to attendees at the farewell hosted by the  National Council of Asian Indian Associations (NCAIA) in collaboration with Indian American Community Organizations.

“A strong Indian diaspora is the real strength of the India-US partnership. I don’t think without your help, assistance, and partnership and cooperation we would have achieved what we have achieved today. So, I would like to salute and applaud all of you who have gathered here today,” Dalela said in his speech at the event held at Athidhi Indian Restaurant in Chantilly, Virginia, July 25, 2022.

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Dalela is leaving to take over as the next Ambassador of India to the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan.

Nayna Desai and Neelima Vemana presenting bouquets to Ambassador Dalela at the farewell reception on July 25, 2022, in Chantilly, Virginia. PHOTO: T. Vishnudatta Jayaraman, News India Times

President of NCAIA, Nayna Desai, who presented bouquets to Dalela, along with Neelima Vemana, said Dalela was always very helpful to the community and wished him luck in his new posting. Chairman of NCAIA, Sunil Singh said, “Ambassador Dalela has served three postings in the U.S. and we hope he will come back soon to serve here again.”

Dalela thanked NCAIA and other community leaders at the event, and credited his success to his boss, Ambassador Taranjit Sandhu, for his leadership and guidance, a “wonderful” team of colleagues and friends at the Embassy, interlocutors in the U.S. administration, Capitol Hill, and the Indian American community.

“It gives us a lot of motivation and inspiration that our community is doing so well in different sectors,” Dalela said.

According to Dalela, the India-US partnership today is very multi-dimensional with robust cooperation in energy, commerce and trade, technology, health, agriculture, science and technology, and space, to name a few. The trajectory of this partnership is very positive, upward looking, and has the potential to have a tremendous growth in the future, he predicted.

From Left, Dr. Ravi Kota, Shekhar Tiwari, Nayna Desai, Ambassador Sudhakar Dalela (addressing the community), Satish Vemana, Padma Gupta, and Alok Srivastava at the farewell reception on July 25th in Chantilly, Virginia. PHOTO: T. Vishnudatta Jayaraman, News India Times

Other speakers at the event included Minister (Economic) from the Indian Embassy, Dr. Ravi Kota, Dalela’s colleague of 30 years. Kota called Dalela a great human being and an outstanding officer. “I would definitely miss him because he’s my friend, batchmate, and also the deputy chief of mission at the Embassy.”

Kota said Dalela who was the Consul-General of India in Chicago, took over as the deputy chief of mission in Washington DC during the challenging times of COVID, and change of U.S. administration. He recounted Dalela’s 30 years of “unique” experience in the diplomatic world that ranged from serving at the Permanent Mission of India to the World Trade Organization, and as a Director in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Executive Director of the American Hindu Coalition (AHC), Alok Srivastava, who formally introduced Dalela at the event, said Dalela has always been humble, focused, and solution oriented. Satish Vemana, past president of the Telugu Association of North America, Benoy Thomas of the Kerala Association, and Rajaram Srinivasan of the Tamil Association also praised Dalela for always being ready to help the community.

Indian Embassy’s Consul (Education & Community Affairs), Anshul Sharma, Consul (Science & Technology) Dhananjay Tiwary, Consul (Personnel) Shachi Ghildyal, First Secretary (Political) Vasudev Ravi, and Second Secretary (Visa) Rajiv Ahuja, former Indian Ambassador to Chile, Pradeep Kapur, Chairman of AHC, Shekhar Tiwari, and other community leaders were also present at the event.

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