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A toast to pravasi Indians

It was a proud moment for all US-based NRIs when at a party hosted by the American Embassy, Robert O? Blake Jr.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2004 17:01 IST

It was a proud moment for all US-based NRIs when at a party hosted by the American Embassy, Robert O’ Blake Jr, charge d’affaires, said: “I’d like to remember people like the late Kalpana Chawla, Deepak Jain, dean, Kellogg School of Management, Narinder Singh, father of fibre optics and noted author Shashi Tharoor. All these prominent Indians were given the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman at the recently concluded Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and we at the Embassy are extremely proud of it.”

And this feeling of pride translated into one of joy for Satveer Choudhary, State Senator of Minnesota, and his wife Neelima, who visited his native village in Rohtak during this trip. “It was invigorating,” remembered Choudhary. Seema M. Singh, President, Asian Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey, on the other hand was full of praise for the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. “It was a great platform because we met S. M. Krishna, Chief Minister, Karnataka and other members of the cabinet and explored business opportunities.” Singh had come with a delegation of 11 members some of whom were Dr Ram Bangalore, a lung specialist, Amit Limaye, President, Logistic Solutions, Nita Bhasin, President, ASB Communications and Arvind K. Sood, Vice President, AXA Advisors. But not all participants were gung-ho about the meet. For example, Ashok Trivedi of Igate and his wife Anjana who returned after 25 years and now wants to set up BPOs in the country. “The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was a big party and I don’t think anything will come out of it. My experience tells me that 50 per cent of Indians in the US want to return because the market is opening. But most are reluctant due to the bureaucracy. I’m trying to buy a house here for the last three months but haven’t succeeded,” said Trivedi.

Americans have every reason to be proud of the Indians – five per cent doctors in the US are Indians while out of the 52,000 hotels, 22,000 are owned by Indian Americans. “It’s no exaggeration to say that you all are living the American Dream,” said Blake.

First Published: Jan 13, 2004 13:02 IST