Punjabi Community Welcomes Indian Consul General

Midwest Punjabi Community Leaders Meet with Indian Consulate General to Address Diaspora Concerns

Chicago, IL: More than 300 pre-eminent members of the Punjabi Community in the Midwest attended an event honoring Consul General of India Chicago Sri Sudhakar Dalela on Aug 23, 2019 at Atlantis Banquets, 1273 N Rand Rd Arlington Heights, IL. Representatives from Various Sikh Temples traveled from across the Midwest to attend the event including Oak Creek Wisconsin, South Bend and Crown Point Indiana, Michigan and Wheaton Illinois.

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The purpose of the event hosted by renowned businessman Darshan Singh Dhaliwal and members of the Punjabi community was to welcome and nurture the relationship between the newly appointed Indian Consul General and the Sikh and Punjabi community.

Dhaliwal has been serving the Indo- American community through contributions to community groups and religious organizations for decades.

Representatives from All major Social, Sports, Cultural and Religious Societies and Associations from Midwest attended this event.

Religious and community leaders unanimously commended Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to honor the Sikh spiritual leader Shree Guru Nanak's Dev ji birthday in consular offices and Religious places across the world.

"The consulate will celebrate 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak DevJi. As our president said on the eve of Independence Day in India Guru Nanak DevJi was not only important for the Sikh community but revered and respected across the globe," said Dalela.

The philosophical teachings of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism the world's fifth-largest organized religion, remains essential not only to Sikhs but also globally. The consulate general announced plans to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak by working with community organizations across the Midwest.

Dr. Harjinder Khaira who was the master of ceremonies, instrumental and spearheaded the effort to host this event. He thanked community leader Happy Singh and Jaskaran Singh Dhaliwal for their efforts in bringing together religious and community leaders across the Punjabi community and local area

Community and religious speakers at the event included Dr. Balwant Singh Hansra, Brij Sharma, Lakhwant Singh Komal from Devon Gurdwara Sahib of Chicago, Parminder Singh Goldy from the Oak Creek Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, Sawarn Singh from South Bend Indiana, Sarwan Singh Tiwana of Crown Point Indiana, Baba Daljit Singh , Laddi K. Singh former candidate for the 54th District of the Illinois House of Representatives, and Bhai Mohinder Singh from the Wheaton Gurudwara in Illinois.

Representatives from Sikh community organizations identified several areas that the consul general can improve services to the Indian diaspora.

Community leaders highlighted challenges such as bridging the existing gap between pre-eminent members of the Indian community and consulate general, ensuring fast and efficient means of services such as passports and travel documents.

Dalela responded to community concerns stating that he and his team would work to change the perceptions of local community members.

"It is our duty to address this perception. We have an absolute zero- tolerance policy as far as corruption is concerned. We will certainly not tolerate any malpractice in terms of providing consulate services. The consulate general will work in an efficient, and transparent manner to improve services to the Indian community," Dalela said.

"We have an open-door policy to engage with our community. We will do our best to respond and engage with you. We take your observation very seriously. We would like to work on that more aggressively," he added.

Dalela encouraged community leaders to reach out directly to the consulate through requests for meetings and written correspondence on pressing community matters and assured members that their concerns would be addressed expeditiously.

Dalela also commended Indian diaspora for their contribution to the economic, civic, and political life across the US.

"As a consulate, we are very proud of the Indian community and their achievements across the US and here in the Midwest. We must advance the friendship between India and the US, and our biggest strength is the American Indian community," Dalela said.

Dalela emphasized that support and active participation from the Indian community is critical to achieving a $5 trillion India economy in the next five years- a goal set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Indian Government.

Consul General of India Chicago Sri Sudhakar Dalela, Om Prakash Haryana Police chief and Congressman of the 8th District of Illinois Raja Krishnamoorthi honored by Darshan Singh Dhaliwal

Congressman of the 8th District of Illinois Raja Krishnamoorthi was invited as special guest to attend the event commended the consul general for his humble service and Sikh And Punjabi community for their support.

"The Sikh American community, compassionate, hardworking, courageous. It's my pride and honor to represent you and your families and businesses. I thank you for the honor of representing you," said Krishnamoorthi.

Dalela thanked Darshan Dhaliwal, Dr Khaira, Happy Heer and representatives from Sikh and Punjabi organizations for the opportunity to meet many leaders in one place. Accompanying Dalela was Indian Ranjit Singh consul of Education, Press, Information and Culture.