NFIA, Other Organizations Hold Virtual Meeting with Consulate Officials in Chicago
The National Federation of Indian American Associations, the Federation of Indian Associations-Chicago, the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin and Indian American community organizations in the Chicago region came together and organized a virtual interactive meeting. (photo provided)
India-West Staff Reporter
The National Federation of Indian American Associations, the Federation of Indian Associations-Chicago, the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin and Indian American community organizations in the Chicago region came together and organized a virtual interactive meeting recently.
The meeting – attended by nearly 100 people – included Amit Kumar, India’s consul general of India in Chicago, providing a forum for the Indian American community leaders to clarify several issues, mostly pertaining to consular services, of importance to the community.
Kumar was joined by l. Pramod K. Misra, consul head of chancery, OCI and community affairs; and Gopal Kumar Bhagat, consul passport and consular matters.
In his address, Kumar pointed to how the COVID-19 pandemic continues to remain uncertain with the emergence of new variants.
“We see a surge in India,” he said and urged the community “to follow the guidelines set by CDC and stay cautious.”
In his opening remarks, NFIA president Ajoy Kumar Dube said that the “NFIA along with its member organizations provide, direct, develop or secure means from among the member associations, and other resources for educational and humanitarian causes for needy, disadvantaged and deserving groups and individuals.”
Added Dr. Thomas Abraham, current chairman of GOPIO International and the founder president of FIA and NFIA: “GOPIO, NFIA and other Indian community organizations have common interest of achieving better U.S.-India relations. GOPIO has had interactive sessions with Indian Consulate and Embassy officials in the past and have discussed contemporary issues which are of concern to Indian American community and the Indian diaspora at large.”
Reflecting on the trajectory of emerging U.S.-India relations, Kumar said, “The partnership between India and the United States is built on people-to-people connection. Indian Americans work in almost all areas, especially in healthcare, clean energy, digital tech, higher education, and economic cooperation. NRIs play a critical role in enhancing the relationship.”
On the recent announcement by the Government of India on Overseas Citizen of India related issues, Kumar noted that “We have taken these steps to simplify measures with your participation and collaboration,” he said, adding: “Government of India continues to simply the procedures and we are open to your suggestions.”
The Government of India April 15 announced that OCI cardholders will now be required to get their document re-issued only once at the age of 20 instead of multiple times needed currently.
Kumar noted that with a view to update the data regarding new passports obtained by the OCI cardholder, it has been decided that he/she shall upload a copy of the new passport containing his/her photo and also a latest photo on the online OCI portal, each time a new passport is issued up to 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age.