Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago honors Consul General of India Mukta Tomar and
Schaumburg, IL: The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago www.PCSChicago.org (PCS) coordinated a dinner reception for Schaumburg village president honorable Al Larson and the new consul general of India in Chicago honorable Mukta Dutta Tomar. The reception was hosted by Diljit and Mohina Ahluwalia, immediate past chairperson of PCS Chicago. The Ahluwalia family owns industrial businesses in Morton Grove, Illinois. The festive dinner reception by invitation only took place on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at India House Restaurant and Banquets in Schaumburg Illinois. More than 60 guests and PCS officials relished the interesting and educational presentations, Punjabi music, delicious dinner, and the informal evening conversations.
Diljit and Mohina Ahluwalia the host family welcomed and thanked the guests and the special guests of honor. Balwinder Singh Girn president PCS Chicago addressed the gathering and elaborated on the mission of the organization and the community service programs like “Rangla Punjab 2011” on April 23, Graduation & Scholarship Award Night on June 12, The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago Sports Festival in August and soon.
Rajinder Singh Mago, the convener of the event screened a DVD “Cultural Safari” about the Sikh American community’s culture, spirituality, foods, festivals and performing arts. Mago also made a power point presentation titled “Who are the Sikhs.”
“The presentation was to create an awareness of Sikh appearance, turban, beard, articles of faith, and external tangible symbols which are constant reminders of the core Sikh values,” explained Rajinder Singh Mago. Harinder Pal Singh, president of M.I.T.S. and past chairperson of PCS Chicago, who owns a business in Schaumburg, introduced the village president Al Larson.
“I started my business from scratch in Schaumburg; I always received great service from the village officials. Now I have expanded to several locations, but Schaumburg is still my favorite and like a home to my business,” said Harinder Pal Singh.
“Seventeen percent of Schaumburg population is east Indian,” said the village president Al Larson, “ Schaumburg is no longer a bed room community for professionals working in Chicago, but it is home to many corporations like Motorola, Ikea, Woodfield Mall, Renaissance Convention Center, an airport and about two dozen major hotels,” he added.
Shaan Singh Ahluwalia introduced the honorable consul general of India in Chicago Mukta Dutta Tomar. Madam Tomar addressed the gathering and expounded on the progress being made in the state of Punjab in India. “I am impressed by the laudable work being done by PCS in holding many social activities such as Rangeela Punjab, Punjabi Sports Festival, PCS Night, International Bhangra Competition, Art and Culture Exhibitions, Youth Scholarships, Youth Seminars, Catering to the seniors, etc” she added.
She also applauded the good work being done by Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago to promote Punjabi culture in America. “Bhangra is no longer only a Punjabi dance, but it is popular all over India and abroad,” said Tomar. Commenting on the presentations about Sikh culture, she said that even though we already know most of these facts in the back of our minds but we all need reminders as we become complacent to these values and beliefs. Consul General Tomar brought Punjabi literary books as gifts for the attendees of the reception. The books instantly disappeared like hot cakes.
The purpose of this reception was to introduce CGI Tomar to the PCS Chicago officials and the Punjabicommunity. There were many small group conversations, discussions and questions mostly about PIO & OCI, passport surrender certificates, and visa issues. “We are scheduling an informational camp about PIO, OCI and surrender certificates on Sunday March 6, 2011 in Palatine,” announced Rajinder Singh Mago, immediate past president and permanent board of governors of Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago. It will be free and open to all.
Media Partners present were Suresh Bodiwala, Dr. Chandrakant Modi, Dixal Lotwala from Asian Media USA, and Jatinder Bedi from India Reporter. Suresh Bodiwala from Asian Media had an opportunity to talk to Honorable Council General of India Mukta Tomar’s for “Any message to our community”. She replied that “I take this opportunity to thank the Indian American community for giving me a warm welcome since my arrival here. The Consulate is here to render the best possible assistance to the community in Chicago and other Midwest States. As is usual in public service, there is always scope and room for improvement. This is a dynamic feature of public service. I am aware that the consular services have been streamlined through several measures in the last three years and I am sure you will continue to see changes to make it more people friendly.
I am always open for any suggestions for improvement, but these have to be meaningful, practicable and should be an enhancement on the existing system without impinging on the functioning of the Consulate. I am fully for a system that is user friendly.”
Visa services were outsourced and to a great extent, I can say that these have become more professional and in tune with the changing international practice to obtain visas. The OCI, PIO and Passport services have still not become completely technology driven, but we are going in that direction. We expect OCI, PIO and Surrender Certificate services to be outsourced by March 2011.
The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago is a 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. For further information please contact:
Photographs and Press release by: Asian Media USA
Press release by: Rajinder Singh Mago and Asian Media USA
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