FIA organizes reception for outgoing DCG of India-New York Shri Shatrughna Sinha as he heads back to India, leaving behind a legacy of strong administration and service to the community.

Warm, heartfelt words filled the air on Friday evening when the Indian-American community of the Tri-state areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut got together to host a grand farewell reception for outgoing Deputy Counsel General of India-New York Shri Shatrughna Sinha. The event was organized at Akbar Restaurant in Edison, NJ.

“It’s an honour to call you a friend, a fraternity brother of FIA. The interactions we have had in the numerous states in the north-east are the memories that FIA will cherish for a long time,” said Ankur Vaidya, Chairman of the Federation of Indian Associations. Highlighting DCG Sinha’s promptness in helping community members, Vaidya recalled the time when the Yogi Divine Society members had reached out to FIA after the passing of YDS founder Shri Hariprasad Swamiji in India. “The DCG said they would open the consulate and process the visas. About 164 people got the visa then. Some 12 of them even got went to get the US passport then. That is how we felt about the warm hospitality of the DCG,” he said.

Expressing pride at having known DCG Sinha, FIA President Anil Bansal said, “Life is a journey. Among those you meet, there are a few who leave a lasting impression on you. DCG Sinha has been one such person who has always been ready to help everyone with a smile. I am sure India is proud of him.” DCG Sinha thanked the Indian-American community for being “a great pillar of support” without whom “we (the consulate) would not have been able to achieve what we could”. Complimenting FIA for completing 50 years, he said, “Not many organizations can last that long. This speaks volumes of the values FIA carries and the support it enjoys.”

The Pravasi Bharatiya Sanman, the highest honour bestowed by the Government of India on an individual or organization, was awarded to FIA for its contributions to the community and strengthening bilateral relations between India and the US, Sinha said. He also spoke about FIA’s assistance with shipping a large consignment of medical supplies, donated by the New York City Council to India to tide over the health crisis because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Reiterating the role of the Indian-American community in the bilateral relationship of the two countries, he said, “We have shared interests, but more than that we have shared values those of democracy, free speech, diversity…” On the occasion, he presented a cheque of $5,000 to Abhimanyu Mishra, the youngest Grandmaster in the history of chess, on behalf of FIA as a token of appreciation.

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