About Us Contact Us Help




The Indian Consulate @Your Doorstep

Geetha Patil

Indo-American Community and Federation of Indian Associations (FIA), New England, in partnership with Indian Consul General’s Office, New York along with VFA (Visa Facilitation Services) Global organized Indian Consular VISA Camp 2021 program titled ‘The Indian Consulate @Your Doorstep’ at Double Tree Hotel, Milford, MA, on Saturday May 8, 2021. This was brought out in the light of COVID-19 outbreak and struggles of people to travel to India to meet their loved ones, in sickness and death during this pandemic. More than one thousand people attended the program that included more than 600 registered applicants and around 400 walk-ins from the entire New England Region: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont and took the advantage of the VISA services.

The VISA Camp volunteers categorized their services into 5 groups – 1) OCI, 2) Passport, 3) Consular, 4) Miscellaneous, 5) Reserved and provided drive-through services such as temperature checkup, sanitization, and examination of CDC COVID-19 screening doc, checklist of docs for different services and guided them to the parking lots per their category. One key person per family was allowed into the waiting room and given a numbered token for his/her respective service. This process started from 6:30am until 5:00Ppm. The actual review and approval of applications for New/renewal of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI), PIO to OCI Conversion, Indian Passport Renewal, Emergency Visa for India was held between 8:30am to 5:00pm by the Consulate and VSF officers and submitted on the spot for further processing.  They also rendered services regarding Power of Attorney, Attestation, Life Certificate etc. and addressed questions related to VISA.  

Simultaneously, the FIA started its program with a welcome and thank you note by Shova Sharma and observed a moment of silence for those who died all over the world due to Corona Virus. Robert Lancia, Republican Party member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, representing District 16 held a prayer in the name God to give strength to everyone to get through this challenging time. All the participants sang National Anthems of USA and India. Chief guests of the program were introduced to the audiences by Abhishek Singh. Randhir Jaiswal, Consul General of India, New York said that an effort to get as many Indians vaccinated as possible has been terribly outmatched by the speed of the virus devastating the country. Help is pouring in from different countries in the world and hope to get out of this situation soon. ‘Massachusetts is willing to extend all kinds of help to India. She requested all the community leaders to contact her in person for any help from healthcare equipments to logistics’ - stated by Carolyn Dykema, the Massachusetts State Representative from the Massachusetts House of Representatives' 8th Middlesex district made up of Holliston, Hopkinton, Southborough, and precinct 2 of Westborough. Ramesh Kapoor, Dr. Dinesh Patel, S. P Kothari, the Gordon Y. Billard Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Sabita Singh also promised their helping hand to the Indian government and other non-profit organizations. Sumita Gokhale sang a patriotic Hindi song.

In the presence of FIA Chairman Ankur Vaidya, all the new officers of FIA New England Chapter: Ankur Vaidya, Anil Bansal, Sujal Parik, Pravin Bansal, Sourin Parek, Abhishek Singh, Shova Khanal Sharma, Deepak Rathore, Rakesh Kavasari, Amol Penshanwar were sworn in by Randhir Jaiswal, Consul General of India, New York in the oath ceremony. This was followed by a brief speech by Anil Bansal, FIA President and Sujal Parik. FIA received citations from the Governor of Rhode Island and the Massachusetts President of State Senator.

FIA recognized several community leaders: Amit Singh, Girish Mehta, Shefali Kelyani, Raju Datla, Abhay Nair, Upendra Mishra, Prof SP Kothari for their passionate and yeoman services. Platinum Sponsor Recognitions were given to Jamsan Hotel Management: Ashok Patel, and PelMed: Bhupen Patel. Unsung Heroes Awards were conferred in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order to Geetha Patil, Mohan Nannapaneni & Rama Penumarthy, Anil Chawla, Dr. Saraswati Muppanna, Gauri Banerjee, Geena Vermani, Shova Khanal Sharma. Token of appreciations were also given to Randhir Jaiswal, Indian Consul General, Shatrughan Sinha, Deputy Consul General, and CG Office team & VFS Global US head Sonia Dhayagude and team. Sponsor Recognitions by Shova included Mark Freeman, EZ Tax, Godavari Restaurant of Rhode Island, Sumana Veera, Vijaya Yelchuru, Amr Jayam, Arpita Shah, Dr. Lakshmi P. Thalanki.

Abhishek Singh and Commissioner Meena Bharati of Asian American Commission of Massachusetts offered a vote of thanks to the organizer, sponsors, participants, volunteers and Double Tree Hotel staff. Namrata, Shova Sharma, Abhishek Singh, Jyoti Singh and Meena Bharath did wonderful work as emcees of the program.




Bookmark and Share |

You may also access this article through our web-site http://www.lokvani.com/

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Copyrights Help