Indian American Community Honor Consul A.K. Vijayakrishnan at his Farewell Dinner


Indian Community Organizations honor Consul A.K. Vijayakrishnan at the Farewell and Send-Off Dinner. GOPIO Chairman presenting a honor plaque on behalf of all sponsoring organizations. Also seen in the middle are Kerala Center President Alex Esthappan, Mrs. Jalaja Vijayakrishnan, and Consul Pragya Singh.

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New York, NY

Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) chapters in New York and Manhattan joined hands with Indian American Kerala Center in Elmont, New York along with several other community organizations including the Kerala Cultural Association of North America, Pioneer Club of Keralites, Kerala Samajam of Greater New York, World Malayalee Council NY Province, FOMAA Metro Region, FOKANA Metro Region, Long Island Malayalee Cultural Association and Indian American Malayalee Association of Long Island, Milan Cultural Association to give warm send-off with a dinner to Consul for Community Affairs Shri A.K. Vijayakrishnan from the Indian Consulate in New York after 4 ½ years of service.

Consul Vijayakrishnan has been a ranking diplomat with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India with experience of over 36 years in a variety of interesting and challenging assignments with earlier postings being in the High Commission of India in Pakistan as well as other countries and different sections of Ministry of External Affairs. As Vijayakrishnan was retiring from the service a send-off dinner was held at the Indian American Kerala Center.

The program started with Kerala Center President Alex Esthappan’s welcome address in which he praised Consul Vijayakrishnan during his term of office.

GOPIO International Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham said that although many Consuls come and go, the community organizations decided to give Consul Vijayakrishnan an appropriate send-off since he conducted his service above his call for duty by making himself available to serve the community 24/7 by sharing his cell phone to everyone.

“Whenever I called him to alert a community issue or the death of an Indian citizen in the USA, he was already on the case and that was greatly appreciated by the community,” said Dr. Abraham.

Representatives of other community organizations who spoke at the farewell included Beena Kothari, President, GOPIO-NY; Suresh Sharma, President, Milan Cultural Association (Hartford, CT); Johny Zachariah, President, Pioneer Club of Keralites; Manohar Thomas, President of Sargavedi; Jose Kadapuram of Kairali TV; Philip Madathil, President, Kerala Cultural Association of North America; Sibi David, President, Kerala Samajam of New York; Thomas T. Oommen, Long Island Malayalee Cultural Association; Sibi David of Kalavedi and Biju Chacko of World Malayalee Council. Others who spoke at the event were Democratic Party leaders Dr. Sumita SenGupta, Kalathil Varghese and Koshy Thomas; May Philip and Mathew Kutty Easo.

Consul Vijayakrishnan was presented with an honor plaque for his sincere service to the Indian diaspora by these community organizations.

In his reply, Vijayakrishnan said that he enjoyed fully working for the benefit of the Indian American community. He said that he encountered a lot of family disputes including violence against spouses and suggested that the community must pursue non-violence in any dispute.

Vijayakrishnan added further that he had attended many regional community festivals and suggested that community organizations invite some members of other Indian community organizations whenever any regional festivals are held. This would help in better understanding and knowledge of Indian festivals across our communities.

The Consul for Visa at the Indian Consulate, Pragya Singh will assume the additional charge of Consul for Community Affairs, who emphasized at the meeting that she would continue the good work of Consul Vijayakrishnan and is looking for community support.

Kerala Center Secretary, Raju Thomas gave away the vote of thanks.

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