Ambassador (Mrs.) Riva Ganguly Das, Consul General of India in New York was accorded a warm welcome at the Indian Consulate in New York on Saturday, March 12, 2016 at a solemn event attended by the leaders of the Indian American community and diplomats.
Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, a senior Indian diplomat with considerable multilateral experience, and currently serving as the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, recounted his experiences working with Ambassador Das in the past decades and said, “All of your talents will be best deployed while serving the community, which will expect much and you will be able to help bring the community to a new level.” He lauded the Indian American community as called them “standard bearers” and said, “What you do in New York has been recognized around the world.” He appealed to the Indian community in the region to work with the new Ambassador, he called them “the unofficial Ambassadors of India to the world,” and added, “We carry the title and you carry the clout.”
Ambassador Vijay Nambiar, who is the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Myanmar, a role he has held since 2010, recalled his association with Ambassador das, especially when she served at the UN Mission in New York in the past, praised her abilities and broader vision. Nambiar, who has also served as Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary-General at the rank of Under-Secretary-General from 2007-2012, while congratulating Ambassador Das for her assignment, said, “You have a bigger challenge in New York.” Stating that she will bring in her personal and professional experiences to her new rols, Nambiar said, “You are representing the new brand of diplomacy to the office with your youthfulness. You will bring in fresh breath of life in the Consulate and to the Mission at the United Nations.”
In his opening remarks, Dr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, Deputy Consul General of India, New York, praised Ambassador Das for her hard work, skills, and dedication. “Ambassador Das arrived here Monday and started working the same day. Since then, she has been working almost 10 hours daily, showing us the way,” he said. Quoting members of the Indian community,with whom Ambassador Das had chances to interact with, Mohapatra said, “She is very sweet and she listens to us.” He also praised her multilateral and bilateral experiences before she came to New York and these experiences are going to be of great help in leading the Consul Affairs, he said.
Among others who had felicitated the Consul General included H R Shah, Chairman of TV Asia, Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Chairman of Parikh media, Dr. Thomas Abraham of GOPIO, Yaspal Soi of Federation of Indian Americans, Dr. Indirajit Saluja, Publisher and Editor of the Indian Panorama, and Dr. Seems Jain, President of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin.
In her acceptance speech, she praised her administrative staff for having made numerous initiatives to address the concerns, and promised to work with an open mind in meeting the needs of the community. Das lauded the contributions of the Indian American community in shaping the fast growing relationship between India and the United States. You have played a significant role in shaping this relationship.” As been suggested in his remarks by Dr. Thomas Abraham, Founder of GOPIO, she promised to reaching out to local Congressmen and Senators in the states that come under her jurisdiction. Das was hopeful of bearing fruit in her efforts to reach out to the younger and second generation of people of Indian origin. Ambassador Das said, “With your support we will be able to address the concerns of the Indian American community.”