Toronto, Jun 21 (Canadian-Media): An Interactive Open House Session, was held by the Consulate General of India, Toronto with the Indian and Indo-Canadian community organizations on 19 June 2018 at Etobicoke.
The Session was well attended by representatives of over 100 organizations registered with the Consulate as well by the local media, particularly the Indian vernacular media in various languages.
Dinesh Bhatia addressing the gathering
Consul General Dinesh Bhatia addressed the gathering of over 275 people present in a packed hall and said that in when he joined the office in 2015 he requested that the Indian as well as Indo-Canadian community should be expanded.
Bhatia added he was proud that at present there are more than 1200 Indian as well as Indo-Canadian associations registered with the Consulate, some of them in GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and some in other provinces since consulate has the jurisdiction not only in Toronto, Ontario but in seven other provinces in Canada.
Bhatia answered the queries from the community members as well as from media, during the session and took note of their suggestion on various consular and community matters.
Bhatia also said that the Consulate was able to resolve the main grievance of the Indian as well as Indo-Canadian community that they felt disconnected with the consulate by providing ceremonies/observances like Diwali celebration, Indian Independence Day celebrations, organizing of various Yoga camps as well as observance of birth anniversaries of various renowned leaders.
In his address, he highlighted the efforts made by the Consulate in the last two years to reach out to the community as well as to provide smooth and prompt services the Consulate.
Bhatia said that the community members should regularly check their website: http://www.cgitoronto.ca for any concerns they have and requested the audience to send their sugggestions to further improve the website.
The introduction of counsular camps was a new initiative undertaken by the Consulate in various cities in Ontario including Oakville, Brampton and Mississauga as well in Winnipeg, Manitoba which has a large number of Indo-Canadian population.
Another important initiative by the Consulate was the weekly report newsletter which highlights Bhatia's involvement with Indian, Indo-Canadian as well as with other communities outside Canada.
There were questions from the audience regarding the efforts made by the Consulate to help the new immigrants, specially youth, in their education endeavours.
Bhatia said that there are links in their website which provides the necessary information for educational concerns of people of all ages including kids, youth as well as adults.
Discussions also took place on deepening the relations and coordination between the community and the Consulate as well as to connect younger Indian-origin generation with their roots back in India, through culture and language.
The Consul General also unveiled the forthcoming India Day Parade to be held on 19 August 2018 to commemorate India’s Independence Day. The Parade will be organised by Panorama India. The last year 2017 India Day Parade was attended by over 60,000 people in which the Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty participated as the Parade Marshal.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)