Minutes of Fourth Interaction-Community Organizations Community Affairs

Minutes of Fourth Interaction-Community Organizations

Consulate General of India

New York

Minutes of Fourth Interaction - Community Organizations

September 8, 2017, 6.30 - 9 PM

Consulate Ballroom

Consul General Mr. Sandeep Chakravorty, Dy. Consul General Ms. ParamitaTripathi, Consul (CA) Mr. K. Devadasan Nair and Consul (CPV) Mr. L. Krishnamurthy were present from the Consulate.

Around 34 organizations comprising 60 heads/representatives of Community Organizations participated. List is attached.

CG welcomed all and hoped that the work done by predecessors will be taken further. In his introductory remarks, CG touched upon the efforts to make the Consulate website more user friendly and also informed about the inclusion of new dropdown menu 'Community Affairs' in the Consulate's website. He also briefed the community members on various services rendered by the Community Affairs wing of the Consulate. Members were also briefed by CG on the 24/7 Emergency Consular Contact number being maintained by the Consulate and “Open Houses” on Consulate Issues being held in the Consulate every fortnight. The members were informed about the ‘Consulate at your doorstep’ initiative where Consulate Officials on invitation of community members visit a place under the jurisdiction of the Consulate and hold visa/passport camps there. In addition Special Consular camp will also be held from time to time in the Consulate on Saturday, from 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM to facilitate consular services to those who find it convenient to avail them on a holiday.

Clarifications were also given on Global Entry Program (GEP), issue of Aadhar Card and on NRI Accounts not being linked to Pan/Aadhar Card.

CG mentioned about an idea about a portal or Facebook page where each community organization can post and share their events, website and other information.

Consul (CA) Mr. K. Devadasan Nair requested the organizations to take forward the decisions reached in the earlier Interactive sessions like “Youth Wing/a single point of contact for organizations, etc.

The meeting then proceeded to Individual members who raised their concerns/issues which were addressed by CG.

CG agreed to have the Consulate facilitate the community organizations in hosting cultural events/art events/including sharing of information on events organized by the Community on Consulate’s website/Facebook etc.

Consulate will examine/take forward the suggestion of networking between community organizations and also standardizing the Consular requirement in a single page in the Consulate’s website.

Dr. Thomas Abraham, GOPIO mentioned the need for finding a way to bring the youth/young professionals of the Diaspora into the mainstream and get them to work in these community organizations.

The Consulate would try to connect the community with, more than 100 Indian companies in the U.S. who create around 100,000 jobs.

Mr. Ramaswamy Mohan, Hindu Temple Society of North America suggested that Consulate should convene periodical youth interactions and bring them together.

Mr. Mahender Reddy Musuku, Telangana American Telugu Association & Hindu American Temple & Cultural Centre raised the issue of services being provided by M/s CKGS and problems being faced by organizations who want to send money to India for a cause such as natural calamity but RBI has brought guidelines that we have to be registered with RBI for sending money.

Wrapping up the meeting, CG informed the gathering about India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians (IDF-OI), a not-for-profit trust registered under Government of India established to serve as a credible institutional avenue to enable Overseas Indians to engage in philanthropy to supplement India's social and development efforts and urged community organizations to support the project.

The attendees were also informed that the minute of the meeting will be circulated and hosted in the website for information of all.

* * * * * *