India’s new Consul General welcomed by FIA-New England and community organizations

Foundation of India New England held a reception for India’s new Consul General in New York. Scenes from the event show Consul General Binaya Pradhan speaking, the audience, as well as other speakers. PHOTO: courtesy organizers

In an impressive display cultural diversity and unity, more than 50 New England community and cultural organizations united to extend a warm welcome to the newly appointed Consul General of India, Binaya Srikant Pradhan.

The reception, organized by the Foundation of Indian Associations (FIA) New England, took place in the heart of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, and was attended by more than 200 people, a press release from FIA-NE said.

Abhishek Singh, head of the FIA-NE and his team orchestrated the program which began with a cultural program featuring dance and music performances.

A number of special guests and Consul General Pradhan, spoke at the event, sharing insights and experiences. A lively question and answer session ensued with CG Pradhan, providing attendees with a unique opportunity to engage directly with the distinguished chief guest.

Each participating organization was honored on stage, and each interacted with the Consul General.

The event concluded with a lavish dinner, which again provided  attendees with the opportunity to network and forge new connections in an informal setting.

The program went smoothly under the guidance of hosts Jyoti Singh, Dr. Lakshmi Thalanki, and Amol Pensharwar.

Inspirational speeches were delivered by State Representative of RI, Robert Lancia, Harvard Alumni and IAS Officer, Mrinalini Darshwal, Deputy Consul General, Dr. Varun Jeph, and FIA-NE Board of Trustee, Sandeep Asija, and Professor Balram Singh. The speeches underscored the importance of fostering Indo-US partnerships and highlighted the collective responsibility of all stakeholders in advancing mutual cooperation and understanding.

During the Q & A, the questions reflected the wishes of the New England Indian diaspora to have a VFS Service Center in the Boston area as well as direct flights from Boston to India. Other questions touched upon clarifying the services provided by the consulate for emergency and crisis situations. Questions also pertained to contributions of the Indian diaspora and advancing partnership in technology sharing. All the questions were patiently noted down by the Consul General and addressed them with specific points and detailing the path forward.

Organizers and attendees at the March 2024 reception for India’s Consul General Binaya Pradhan hosted by Foundation of India New England. PHOTO: organizers

The Consul General noted that a substantial number of non-resident Indians lived in the New England area, and expressed his understanding of their needs, including for a VFS Service Center. He promised he would work on establishing that as one of his priorities. This assurance was received by the audience with jubilance and applause.

On the question of having a direct flight from Boston to India, the Consul General talked about his experience and the difficulties he faced while he was a CGI in Tanzania where he tried to get a direct flight to that country from India. Based on his previous experience, he assured that he certainly is more familiar now with the nuances of the government as well as the people in the airline private sector that he needs to approach to have this request heard.

Those present informed CG Pradhan of a survey conducted by FIA-NE in the New England area, which had over 10,000 responses requesting the direct flight and that talks were ongoing on this matter. Consul General Pradhan assured full cooperation in pursuing the matter.

During the event, CG Pradhan presented FIA-NE’s lifetime award to Giri Vardhan for his selfless community service in the field of education

The FIA-NE did a curtain raiser for the Third ‘International India Day Parade’ to be celebrated on 10th Aug 2024 in Boston Harbor, in the presence of Consul General. He was officially invited as the ‘Guest of Honor’ on the day.

The Consul General was visibly happy with the invitation and the FIA-NE team is eagerly looking forward to his formal acceptance.



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