FIA plans India Day event with Consular Expo

FIA President Keerthi Ravoor
FIA President Keerthi Ravoor

CHICAGO: Federation of Indian Associations-Chicago [FIA] will host the Kick-Off event to herald their flagship India Independence Day festivities on Sunday June 8, 10:30 a.m. at the Indo American Center.

Significantly, FIA has persuaded the Indian Consulate in Chicago to host its ‘Consular Expo’ [Passport/Visa Camp] that will be conducted immediately following the ceremony in partnership with the Indian Consulate staff

This Kick-Off event will be attended among others by special guests Dr Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India, Debra Silverstein, Alderwoman 50th Ward and State Senator & Committeeman Ira Silverstein besides leading business and community leaders. The Kick-Off ceremony will feature lighting of the lamp and an invocation dance presentation with remarks from the guests.

Keerthi Kumar Ravoori, FIA President in a statement disclosed the preliminary plans to host the India’s Independence Day Parade on Saturday, August 16 at noon; Grand Gala Banquet on Sunday, August 10 and Flag-Hoisting Cultural program on Friday August 15, 2014 on Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago.

This year there will be an exciting addition to the festivities “Grand FIA Mela” at the Republic Bank premises on Devon Avenue that will begin immediately after the completion of the Parade. This Grand FIA Mela will feature colorful dances, non-stop pulsating music and singing by local talent. FIA is making arrangements to provide complimentary Indian snacks and cold drinks to all attending the Mela.

This Consular Expo will provide an opportunity to the families and the individuals in the community to avail a wide range of services provided by the Indian Consulate Office, including information about expeditiously acquiring Passports, Visas, PIO and OCI cards. At the Consular Expo, Cox & Kings Global Services will be introduced as the only authorized service provider for Embassy of India and its Consulates across USA for Visa/OCI/PIO/Renunciation of Indian Citizenship support services with effect from May 21.

The Indian Consulate and representatives from Cox & Kings will actively field questions, enquiries and address issues surrounding the application and documentary requirements for passports and visas. In addition, the Consular Expo will feature guest speakers from the Illinois Attorney General Office to address civil rights issues confronting the community; while Representative from the Kiwanis will also be present to highlight their role in the community. This Consular Expo is also an opportunity for the Indian Consulate and outsourcing firm to hear the difficulties and challenges faced by the Indian Diaspora.

FIA-Chicago is spearheading this ‘Consular Expo’ to address the growing demands of the Indian Diaspora in reconnecting with India and in light of the recent changes in the law in Illinois State that provides driver’s licenses privileges to certain qualified undocumented immigrants.

This camp will provide valuable informational assistance in acquiring Passports, Visas/OCI/PIO cards. Given the growing need for clarity of information surrounding varied services provided by the outsourcing office, this Consular Expo will give common folks and their families an understanding into the processes and documentation-compliance surrounding the issuance of Passport, Visas, OCI /PIO cards, etc. This Consular Expo will be co-chaired by FIA’s Veenod Patel and Minhaj Akhtar.

Surendra Ullal

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