NEW MEXICO (PR): The Sikh community of New Mexico welcomed Houston-based Indian Consul General Parvathaneni Harish during his visit to the American state from March 11 to 13.
Bhai Sahib Satpal Singh Kohli, Pawan Singh Dhinsda, MSS Hari Singh Khalsa and Marshall Katz, the Chief of Aviation Police. received the Consul General on his arrival at the airport.
During his visit, the Consul General met with top officials from New Mexico, as well as members from Sikh and other Indian communities.
Mr Harish met with New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and Lt. Governor John A. Sanchez, along with Satpal Singh Kohli and Pawan Singh Dhindsa. They also met with the New Mexico Secretary of Tourism Monique Jacobson.
During their meeting on Tuesday, the Consul General Harish discussed ways to increase bilateral trade and cultural exchanges with New Mexico. He also discussed various ways of increasing Indian foreign student participation at University of New Mexico and in the area of film making in New Mexico. The two sides also discussed alternative healthcare and energy projects.
Governor Martinez expressed keen interest in developing further relations between New Mexico and India and assured the Counsul General her support and cooperation for stronger ties.
In the evening, a special dinner was hosted for the Consul General at India House. Mr Harish was joined at dinner by other New Mexico leaders, including Attorney General Gary King, State Treasurer James Lewis, State Auditor Hector Balderas, and Mayor of Santa Fe David Coss.
During the dinner, the Consul General offered the possibility of developing a sister-city relationship between Punjab and New Mexico – Santa Fe and Albuquerque with Amritsar or Chandigarh. All the leaders welcomed the suggestion.
Members of the Sikh community also attended the dinner. These included Bhai Sahib Satpal Singh Kohli and Pawan Singh Dhinsda, who organized and hosted the Consul General’s visit to New Mexico; MSS Hari Jiwan Singh Khalsa, Chief of Protocol for Sikh Dharma, his wife Sat Bachan Kaur Khalsa and Guru Simran Kaur Khalsa.
Pawan Singh Dhindsa in his speech thanked the various dignitaries for attending the dinner reception in honor of the Consul General. Satpal Singh Kohli introduced the Consul General to the audience and thanked him for coming to New Mexico and meeting the community members. Jiwan Singh Khalsa welcomed the Consul General on behalf of Sikh Dharma and invited him and his family to visit again and spend more time in New Mexico.
The late Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi established a Sikh community in the Espanola Valley of Neww Mexico over 40 years. Bhai Sahib Satpal Singh Kohli, who is his son-in-law, is now the Ambassador of Sikh Dharma in the western world and the community still thrives today.
Kohli took Consul General Harish on a tour of the community founded by his father-in-law on March 12.
During the tour, the Consul General met with leaders of the various organizations established through the inspiration of Yogiji. These include Amrit Singh Khalsa, an executive with Akal Security; Nirvair Singh Khalsa, CEO of the Kundalini Research Institute – which trains people to become teachers of Kundalini Yoga; Guruka Singh Khalsa and Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa, CEO and Director of sikhnet.com, the largest Sikh website in the world; Jaap Kaur Khalsa, General Manager for the 3HO Foundation, which hosts yoga intensives in New Mexico each summer; Guruka Kaur Khalsa, who directs the International Kundalini Yoga Teacher’s Association; and other members of the Sikh Dharma community including Gobind Kaur Khalsa who oversees property management for the ashram, MSS Hari Jiwan Singh Khalsa, SatSundri Kaur Khalsa, Mukta Kaur Khalsa, Guruneil Singh Khalsa, Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa and others. The Counsel General enjoyed learning about the Sikh Dharma community in New Mexico, its history and its impact.
In the evening of March 12, Pawan Singh Dhinsda hosted a tea for the Consul General at his home. The following morning, on March 13, Mayor David Coss joined the Consul General, Satpal Singh and Pawan Singh for breakfast. After that he left for Albuquerque for some more meetings, including with Dr. Vasant Ladd.
Consul General Harish thoroughly enjoyed his visit to New Mexico, and said he would like to come again for a longer visit. He expressed to the leaders of New Mexico an interest in solar energy, oil and natural gas. He invited various official to organize trade delegations to India, and offered the full support and cooperation of the Indian government.