The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA), in collaboration with the Indian American community of NY, NJ, and CT, organized an exquisite farewell reception to honor the esteemed Consul General of India in New York, Randhir Jaiswal, on November 20th, 2023. The magnificent banquet hall at Moghul Restaurant in Edison, New Jersey, buzzed with anticipation as distinguished guests gathered to bid a fond adieu to the Honourable Consul General. Ambassador Jaiswal, who will now serve as the new spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), has been a beloved figure in the diplomatic community and the vast Indian American diaspora in the Tri-State area. His diplomatic career, spanning over two decades, has seen him serve in various esteemed positions in Portugal, Cuba, South Africa, and New York.

The evening commenced with a grand entrance, accompanied by a resounding fanfare and regal processions for the Hon. Consul General Randhir Jaiswal while the FIA associates gallantly displayed flags crafted as a tribute while he gracefully traversed the aisle along with his wife, Abha Jaiswal, and other dignitaries, thus fashioning an indelible and extraordinary moment.

The gathering was graced by an exceptional lineup of speakers, starting with Vice Presidents, Saurin Parikh and Smita Miki Patel, who warmly extended their heartfelt welcome to all in attendance. Srujal Parikh, the Board Secretary of the FIA Board of Trustees, added a touch of reverence as he introduced the esteemed guests of honor, Sam Joshi Mayor of Edison, and Hemant Marathe, Mayor of West Windsor in NJ, and expressed gratitude for their presence. Both mayors expressed their admiration for the consulate's extraordinary efforts during the pandemic.

Edison's Mayor Sam Joshi, who worked closely with the consulate during the Vande Bharat mission, also regarded CG Jaiswal not only as a diplomat but also as a friend. He recalled a time when a fire destroyed a building in Edison, primarily affecting Indian-origin residents. The Mayor sought assistance from CG Jaiswal for their passports and other needs, and the help was graciously provided. "On behalf of all of Edison, thank you so much," the Mayor expressed as he read a special proclamation that acknowledged CG Jaiswal's time, dedication, and exceptional leadership in supporting the citizens of Edison.

The host committee, represented by Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parekh and Padma Shri HR Shah, expressed their admiration for the consulate's work under Consul General Randhir Jaiswal's leadership. According to Dr.Parikh, "Jaiswalji was an exceptional person for exceptional times", during the Covid crisis and India's 75th independence year. Having witnessed the last 23 Consuls General working in the region, he could attest to the fact that Mr.Jaiswal broke the record with events every other day and appreciated Jaiswalji's calm, cool demeanor and his ability to make people feel important. Deputy Consul General Varun Jeph praised the Consular team for their hard work under the leadership of the Consul General. He also mentioned that community engagement was the departing diplomat's top priority with respect to the consulate's accessibility and availability to the Indian community 24/7 for passport and visa assistance. He praised the Consular team for their hard work under the leadership of CG Jaiswal. He also mentioned that community engagement was the departing diplomat's top priority. An exciting highlight of the reception was the video presentation by Mr. Kenny Desai and Dr. Avinash Gupta.

The host committee was composed of prominent community figures such as Anil Bansal, Dr.Avinash Gupta, Kenny Desai, Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Padma Shri Dr. H.R. Shah, and Sunil Bagaria. Other supporters who attended the event included Dr. Mukul Raval, Mohamad Faroqui, Dinesh Goswami, Girish Soni, Deepak Shah, Mukul Thakar, Dr. Tejas Deliwala, Dr. Sanjay Kumar, and Paresh Suthar were briefly introduced and called upon the stage for photo opportunities. The esteemed Honorable Consul General was invited to the stage, where the host committee presented him with a well-deserved memento, symbolizing their gratitude for his exceptional leadership. Following this, the team of supporters included Dr. Mukul Raval, Mohamad Faroqui, Dinesh Goswami, Girish Soni, Deepak Shah, Mukul Thakar, Dr. Tejas Deliwala, Dr. Sanjay Kumar, and Paresh Suthar also expressed their gratitude by bestowing their appreciation upon him with flower bouquets

During his speech, Hon. Consul General Jaiswal expressed his gratitude to the Indian community for their support and assistance over the past three years. He described the relationship between the Consulate and the people it serves as "very healthy" and praised the achievements of the Indian American community and the second generation. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Consulate has been open every day of the week since May 2020, which is a unique feat compared to other consulates around the world. Shri Jaiswal shared some of the highlights during his tenure, such as the raising of the Indian flag at Times Square, people staying up until 2 am to listen to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's telecast speech and the 8,000 individuals who gathered at the White House to welcome PM Modi during his state visit to Washington. He believes that these accomplishments speak volumes about the community's achievements and recognition.

Ankur Vaidya, the chairman of FIA, shared an inspiring narrative of Mr.Jaiswal's journey, from his early days as an IFS officer to his appointment as the Consul General of India as he recognized his dedication and unwavering commitment to serving Mother India. Mr. Vaidya also praised the Consul General for championing the diaspora and acknowledged Abha Jaiswal for her unwavering support. He recalled how the Honorable CG had facilitated millions of dollars in aid sent by organizations from the US and also commended the Consul General and his team for their efforts to make the Consulate more accessible and inviting to the public. The Chairman concluded by wishing Mr. Jaiswal a bright future and success ahead by saying, “May your career shine to bring India and the US closer together"

The event was organized in collaboration with GANA, BJANA, Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce, ICS of NJ, World Vegan Vision, MOCAAPI, Siddhivinayak Temple, USA, United States Hindu Alliance, Vihar Foundation, Bhartiya Vidhya Bhavan U.S.A, and Mana American Telugu Association. Alok Kumar, representing the Bihar Foundation and BJANA, delivered a heartfelt speech on behalf of the supporters.

In an earnest conclusion, FIA Treasurer Priti Patel extended a vote of thanks to the entire Indian American community, along with the host committee, executive committee, and supporters. Her words of appreciation resonated with the audience, acknowledging their unwavering support and dedication to fostering a strong and vibrant Indian diaspora. The evening concluded on a high note with heartfelt speeches, music, and a celebration of Mr. Jaiswal's remarkable legacy. The Federation of Indian Associations NY-NJ-CT-NE extends its best wishes to Ambassador Jaiswal for his future endeavors and thanks him for his invaluable contributions to the Indian American community and his diligent efforts across his jurisdiction of ten states to showcase the best of India fostering stronger ties between the Indian diaspora and their motherland. His departure will be felt, but as the saying goes, every end is a new beginning.

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