Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi reached New York City for Jan Aashirwad Abhar event. At the event, Randhir Jaiswal, Consul General, New York, Prem Bhandari, Jaipur Foot USA Chairman and social activist and Alok Kumar, former FIA president were present. This NYC event marks Lekhi's first visit as Minister of State.
Lekhi spoke at the event, where she highlighted that Indian diaspora acts as goodwill ambassadors for the country, and their achievements in the professional, business, and education fields add value to the country's goodwill. The MoS MEA also expressed gratitude towards the Indian community for standing strong and extending necessary help in times of need.
MoS Lekhi highlighted India's contributions through providing vaccines and other required help to the world while praising PM Narendra Modi's quick decision-making, allocating Rs 3000 crore for vaccine research to enable medical scientists to conduct research and development rolling out vaccines in less than one year, which used to take years.
Relaxed OCI rules benefit thousands
Prem Bhandari also spoke at the event, thanking Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign Secretary of India for extending the partnership to organize another 12 prosthetic fitment camps on Aug 5th, 2020. He further said that Jaipur Foot USA is working to expand the help of the prosthetic within India and abroad.
Most importantly, Bhandari celebrated the relaxed OCI regulations, which caused tremendous suffering for over 6 million OCI cardholders since 2019 due to the cumbersome renewal regulations and administrative issues while travelling with OCI. But now, frequent renewal is not required, which was previously once every 5 years, every time foreign passport is renewed and need to carry old passport with OCI stamp until the age of 20 years and when OCI is renewed at the age of 50. As a result, thousands of passengers were not allowed to travel without their old expired passport, which only added to the hassles of traveling abroad.