BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA, January 31, 2023: Shailesh Lakhtakia, Former Consul (Political and Consular) at the Consul General of India in Atlanta, was recently appointed by the Delhi High Court to join as Special Metropolitan Magistrate.
With mandatory administrative procedures, he was sworn in as Special Metropolitan Magistrate on 09 January 2023 by Anju Bajaj Chandna, Acting Principal Judge, District and Sessions Court, Tis Hazari, Delhi. Lakhtakia is expected to discharge his duties as per the law of the land but more importantly to inspire and educate people toward having a better society.
“Each country where I had resided had its own comforts and difficulties. I think my job has provided me with a vision to understand things in their right perspective as I was exposed to various facets of life,” Lakhtakia had stated in his exclusive with NRI Pulse in 2020, when he was leaving Atlanta and his longstanding and rewarding diplomatic career with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.
But retirement did not hold back his spirit to serve. Post Covid, he joined hands with Dadhichi Deh Dan Samiti (www.dehdan.org) which has been awarded by the Government of India as India’s best NGO in the field of donation of eyes, body organs and whole body (for medical school students).
Lakhtakia traces his roots to Lucknow, where he obtained two Bachelors’ degrees from Lucknow University, one in the field of Arts having studied Economics, Modern History and Political Science and another in the field of Law. He went on to work in New Delhi with the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India between 1984 to 1987. In 1987, he went on to take up new assignment with the Indian Foreign Service in the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and has been with this service since.
The former diplomat’s job took him across the globe including Indian Diplomatic Missions at Libya, Kyrgyzstan, Bahrain and Mongolia, with responsibilities in the areas of finance, protocol, administration, accounts, consular, culture, civilian training, education, global cyber issues, commerce, publicity, counter terrorism, and political.
Notable contributions of Lakhtakia’s Atlanta tenure, among others, include reducing prolonged waits for reissuance of Indian passport time and OCI cards, visa issue in 3 days and many emergency visas the same day, expediting the issue of Indian Passports by having in-house printing facility installed, streaming the Indian Visa process, helping Indian students caught in the Visa issue in the fake University of Farmington established in Michigan, helping the community affected by Hurricanes in Florida, and lastly helping the people when Covid hit in 2020 through active community outreach, medical assistance and arranging special Air India flights to India. Recognizing his work towards the community, city of Cooper City, Broward County, Florida, declared 15 August 2020 as ‘Shailesh Lakhtakia Day’. The Friendship Knot,” with His Holiness The Dalai Lama, the spiritual Head of Mongolia, as the one of the memorable incidents through his travels over the years.