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India’s Consul-General visits Atlanta

January 2009
India’s Consul-General visits Atlanta

Sanjiv Arora, India’s new Consul General in Houston, was in Atlanta on Saturday, December 13, to attend an informal reception hosted for him by the Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce and the Atlanta World Trade Center.

The event, attended by about 30 people, was held at the World Trade Center (WTC). The Consul-General addressed questions and said he would be responsive to suggestions and requests from Indians in Atlanta. He expressed satisfaction at the support the Indian embassies around the world had received in the wake of the recent Mumbai attacks.

Lilia Postolachi, WTC Director of Membership and International Services, said the increasing partnership between WTC Atlanta and WTC Mumbai, along with initiatives like the proposed opening of an Indian consulate in Atlanta, would support and strengthen the growth of Indo-American business relations in Georgia.

NetIP (Network of Indian Professionals) members and GIACC President Narsi Narasimhan were present.

-- Viren Mayani

GFUSA and AAHOA fete

Consul General Arora with GFUSA & AAHOA office holders

On the same day, the Consul General was also honored at a reception jointly hosted by the Gandhi Foundation of USA (GFUSA) and the Asian American Hotel Owners’ Association (AAHOA) at the Palace Restaurant in Norcross.

Mr. Arora, who said he was happy to be visiting Atlanta, reiterated that the opening of a consulate in Atlanta with a staff of over 20 people was a matter of priority for the Indian Government. He acknowledged the increasingly strong ties between India and the United States, reflected in the signing of the Indo-U.S. Civil Nuclear Deal and also the mutually beneficial ties between India and Georgia, recognized by the passage of Georgia Senate Resolution 1248.

The Consul General began his address by calling for the observance of a minute’s silence to mourn the victims of the Mumbai attacks.

AAHOA Secretary C. K. Patel presented to the gathering Mr. Arora’s credentials. Consul General Arora, who joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1984, has served in various capacities in India as well as in diplomatic missions in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Sri Lanka and Czechoslovakia. Arora is a graduate and MBA from Punjab University and briefly worked in the corporate sector and India’s Central Bank before joining the Foreign Service.

GFUSA Chairman Subash Razdan emceed the event. He recognized the services of many prominent Indian-Americans to the cause of the community in Atlanta. Among these were Dr. Pravin Patel, President, Georgia Association of Physicians from India (GAPI), AAHOA Secretary C. K. Patel and Shiv Agarwal, philanthropist and owner of the Global Mall in Norcross.

Razdan recognized and thanked volunteers Mrs. Sneha and Vasav Mehta, Organizing Secretary, and Asst. Treasurer respectively of Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, S.E. region, for their help in organizing the event.

- Mahadev Desai

Prayers held for Mumbai terror attack victims

Martin Rickerd, Consul General of Great Britain to Atlanta speaking at the prayer meeting

An overwhelming sadness crept over the hall at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Lilburn as hundreds of Indian-Americans paid tribute to the innocent lives that were lost during the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November. Indian-Americans from across Atlanta gathered at the Mandir on Sunday, November 30, for a special prayer assembly for the victims.

BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha recognizes that such attacks shake the very stability of a nation and its people. Prayer assemblies for the Mumbai victims have been organized at over 650 BAPS Mandirs worldwide, where followers have come together to pray for peace, strength and stability.

At the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Lilburn, the assembly began with Vedic prayers seeking global peace and was followed by bhajans, or devotional songs. Present at the assembly were Consul General of Great Britain to Atlanta Martin Rickerd, Consul General of Israel to the Southeastern United States Reda Mansour, and Honorary Consul General for India to the United States in Georgia Kenneth Cutshaw.

“We are here today, first and foremost, to pray for the victims,” said Consul General Rickerd. “Whoever they are and wherever they come from, their loss is incalculable to the family and friends they leave behind.”

Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of the Sanstha, also offered his prayers and condolences to the victims and their loved ones across the world. BAPS urges everyone, especially those in Mumbai, to stay calm and maintain peace, and continues to pray and offer support to those who have endured this calamitous time.

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