The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, welcomed the new Consul General, Sandeep Chakravorty, on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at Royal Albert’s Palace in Edison, NJ.
The evening was graced by many dignitaries of the Consulate in New York as well as the FIA Board and Committee members including the President, Ramesh Patel, who said he is hopeful that the ambassador will work with the FIA to solve the various ongoing problems regarding visa statuses, as well as Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh of Parikh Worldwide Media, who welcomed the Consul General to New Jersey and Padma Shri H.R. Shah of TV Asia.
“I have had an opportunity to interact with Ambassador Chakravorty several times since his arrival, of course we all know that he is a remarkable and brilliant young man. He has achieved high office early in his travel career. He has been a deputy high commissioner in Dhaka and before coming to New York, he was the ambassador in Peru and Bolivia. I’m sure the day is not too far that we will have to go to Washington D.C. to meet him as he will be the U.S. Ambassador of India,” he said.
Dr. Parikh also mentioned that Chakravorty has a “very down to earth person personality, humility, sense of humor and a welcoming nature which has made a great impact on me. He is very approachable and personable and at a time when the bilateral, U.S.-India relations and business is on path of steady growth it is important to have a dynamic Consul General like him to help.”
Shah told the audience that Chakravorty’s “job is a big job and he has so many difficulties” as Consul General of India in New York because he has to cover 11 states containing of 1.7 million people, which is not easy at all, “he has to work, we have to salute his work and keep high hopes that he will do a great job. Don’t ask him what you are going to do for us, ask him what we can do for you.”
Others who spoke on the occasion include Albert Jhasani, owner of Royal Albert’s Palace; Shobna Patel, former president of FIA; the Deputy Consul General of Israel Amir Sagie; Kenny Desai, chairman of tax group; Dhiren Amin, President of the Indian Business Association and Deepak Patel from Dunkin Donuts.
In his thank you speech, Chakravorty said that this is the best time for the U.S.-India bilateral relationship, “on October 18th, Secretary Tillerson gave a speech in Delhi, which plays out the roll path for the next 100 years in U.S.-India relations.”
“There are 4.2 million Indians here; I think that number will grow because Indians are very welcome in this country. Indians are contributing enormously to the development of this country and I think the responsibility of the consulate will increase in time. The consulate is here to service the U.S.-India relationship and to service the Indian Diaspora here and if we are not able to do that successfully then I think there is a problem with us,” he said.
Chakravorty also addressed the many issues that the Indian American diaspora face including the OCI problem of having to go back and forth with FedEx, “the consulate is working on the matter and we are thinking of sending text messages now instead of emails to notify that the service has been delivered” because sometimes those messages tend to go into the spam folder of one’s email account.
He stated that today, we don’t have the luxury of having one-on-one meetings anymore like back in the day, since the population of Indians in America have increased, but that should not stop us from finding a solution to the problems that already exist and said that in order to tackle these problems; the consulate has been and will be holding an open house every other Wednesday each month along with the consulate coming to you wherever you are.
“I’m here to serve you, I’m here to help you in your activities in your presence in the United States and through you I want to leverage you and your presence for the betterment on the U.S.-India relationship and the betterment of my country.”