Chicago, IL: The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS) coordinated a luncheon interactive session with the Consul General of India in Chicago, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed and his Consular officers on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at Viceroy of India Restaurant and Banquets in Lombard Illinois. Nearly 100 persons attended the luncheon, which was hosted by Mohina Ahluwalia, a well-known Chicago entrepreneur and past chairperson of PCS Chicago, who also welcomed the guests and the special guests of honor.
The purpose of this event was to provide a forum to Punjabi and Sikh community to receive information on the services provided by the Indian Consulate in Chicago, and provide an opportunity to the community members to ask questions directly to the staff in a cordial environment, and to introduce face to face the Consul General and his staff to the community they serve.
Prominent among the attendees were PCS officials, sponsors, supporters, community members and leaders of several Punjabi Sports and Cultural organizations, Sikh Religious Society and Illinois Sikh Community Center, Wheaton IL, Shiromani Akali Dal USA Midwest youth wing, and members of the Indian-American Diaspora representing different socio-cultural organizations.
Rajinder Singh Mago, the convener of the event briefed the audience on the mission statement of the PCS Chicago organization and its upcoming social and cultural programs like “Rangla Punjab 2016” on April 23, “Graduation& Scholarship Award Night” on June 12, “PCS Sports Festival” in July, “International Bhangra & Giddha Competition” in November, Thanksgiving Day parade also in late November and so on. Mago also introduced the Consul General Dr. Ausaf Sayeed to speak to the audience.
Dr. Sayeed addressed the gathering untiringly for nearly two hours to a pin drop silence audience and expounded on the various Consular services being provided by his office in Chicago. Dr. Sayeed introduced O.P. Meena, Consul (Community Welfare), Rajeshwari Chandrasekaran, Consul (CG Office), Anuradha Negi, Vice-Consul (Visa) and other members of the staff who participated in the event.
Dr. Sayeed spoke about the Passport & Visa processes, E-Visa, Passport Surrender certificate, P.I.O., O.C.I., and many other miscellaneous day-to-day consular services that his office provides to the Indian nationals, the Indian American community, and others in his jurisdiction in the Midwest of U.S.A. from his office in Chicago.
“I and my staff are delighted to make this outreach to the Punjabi and Sikh community to make them aware of the services our office provides, and assure them that our staff is available to help the community and they are an email or a phone call away,” said Dr. Ausaf Sayeed. He added that people can also contact the Consulate through Twitter and Facebook.
There was a Q&A session where several passports, visa and OCI related issues were discussed and some constructive suggestions were also given. He patiently listened to any grievances or suggestions, answered all questions and gave solutions where possible.
Amarpal Singh Matharu presented a book “Lost Heritage – The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan” by Amardeep Singh of Singapore to Dr. Ausaf Sayeed. The author of the book is scheduled to visit Chicago June 9 – 11, 2016, to promote the book, speak and create awareness about the issues of maintenance of Sikh historical sites and Gurudwaras in Pakistan.
The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago is an all-volunteer not-for-profit community service organization devoted to promoting Punjabi culture, language, performing arts, education, good citizenship, healthy life style, and sports in the metropolitan Chicago area.