Indian-American community meets Minister at official reception

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India’s Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi, lights the lamp with India’s Consul General in New York Randhir Jaiswal, at a Sept. 8, 2021, meeting in the with the Indian-American community in New York Consulate. Photo: ITV Gold.

The Consulate General of India in New York held a reception for visiting Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi Sept. 8, 2021, to provide an opportunity for the Indian-American community to meet her.

A lamp-lighting ceremony was held for an auspicious beginning to the meeting in which Minister Lekhi and Consul General Randhir Jaiswal participated.

India’s Consul General in New York speaking at the Sept. 8, 2021 meeting of India’s Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture with the Indian-American community, at the Consulate. Photo: ITV Gold
India’s Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi speaking at Sept. 8, 2021 event in New York Consulate. Photo: ITV Gold

Minister Lekhi was in New York after a diplomatic visit to Colombia in Latin America. While in New York City, she attended the United Nations to speak on the issue of peace and peace-keeping. India provides the largest contingent of peacekeeping forces to the international body.

Speaking to those gathered at the reception, Minister Lekhi stressed the need for the United Nations to change with the times and thanked the Indian-American community for its commitment to the betterment of their ancestral home.

Minister Lekhi also spoke of the economic strides made in India for betterment of women, education, housing, infrastructure and sanitation. She called those in the diaspora, “Ambassadors of India” who could reach beyond the official Ambassador, to other Americans.

Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, 2nd from left, with teen Chess Grandmaster Abhimanyu Mishra, India’s Minister of State Meenakshi Lekhi, India’s Consul General in New York Randhir Jaiswal, and others, at a Sept. 8, 2021 event in the Consulate. Photo: ITV Gold

Other speakers included India’s Consul General Jaiswal and the new Deputy Consul General of India Varun Jeph. Other attendees included Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold, actor Anupam Kher, Srujal Parikh, joint secretary of the Federation of Indian Associations, Dr. Avinash Gupta, president of the Bihar Jharkhand Association of North America, and Chess Grandmaster Abhimanyu Mishra, who was presented a plaque during the event.

Chess Grandmaster Abhimanyu Mishra speaking at the Sept. 8, 2021 event at Indian Consulate in New York, with his father to his right at back, and Srujal Parikh, joint secretary of Federation of Indian Associations, right, holding the microphone. Photo: ITV Gold

Deputy Consul General Jeph thanked Minister Lekhi for an inspiring speech that spoke of a ‘New India’ and her words of encouragement for the Indian-American community.

He also thanked the leaders and representatives of the community for participating in the in-person event as well as coming on line virtually. He said he looked forward to getting to know Indian-Americans during his tenure in New York.

From left, India’s Consul General in New York Randhir Jaiswal, India’s Minister of State Meenakshi Lekhi, and actor Anupam Kher pose for photo outside Indian Consulate in New York Sept. 8, 2021.

In an ITV Gold interview at the venue, Dr. Sudhir Parikh said Indian-Americans were ready to help the ‘Motherland’ in whichever way they could and as needed by the Government of India and the Ministry of External Affairs, as well to strengthen U.S.-India relations.

Dr. Avinash Gupta said BJANA was interested in knowing from the Minister how the organization could help in the growth and development of India.

A plaque was presented to the teen Chess Grandmaster Mishra who thanked the Minister and the Consulate for inviting him.

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