BY NAMITA DOGRA SUDAN
Photos by Vinod Sharma, SFA Productions
Atlanta, GA, November 21, 2023: In a spectacular gathering on November 19th, 2023, the Indian-American community in Georgia warmly welcomed the newly appointed Consul General of India in Atlanta, Hon. Ramesh Babu. The event, hosted by the Federation of Indian-American Associations of Georgia (FIA of Georgia), took place at the elegant Crowne Plaza in Norcross. The occasion marked the official transition from the esteemed service of Dr. Swati Kulkarni, who served as Consul General from 2018 to 2023.
The banquet hall was a lively scene, filled with distinguished dignitaries, prominent community figures, and representatives from various organizations. The evening commenced with a welcoming address by Dr. Vasudev Patel, President of FIA, who expressed gratitude for the community’s continued support and highlighted the significance of the occasion.
The ceremonial lighting of the lamp was conducted by the guest of honor, Hon. Ramesh Babu, accompanied by vibrant dance performances by the students of Bharathakala Naatya Academy and Nataraja Natyanjali Kuchipudi Dance Academy, and vocal rendition in several Indian languages by Atlanta Indian Idol finalist Jyotsna Nanu, setting a joyous tone for the evening.
Mayor of Norcross, Craig Newton, graced the occasion with his presence, emphasizing the strong ties between the Indian-American community and the local government. Other notable speakers included Shiv Aggarwal, owner of Global Mail, Padma Bhushan Professor Jagdish Sheth, India America Cultural Association (IACA) chairman of the board, Ani Agnihotri, IACA president Kaushal Tripathi, FIA’s Rajeev Menon, Indian Friends of Atlanta (IFA) co-founder Sunil Savili, Dr. Sreeni Gangasani who represented GAPI and AAPI, Subhash Razdan, President of the Gandhi Foundation of USA & Raj Razdan, NFIA president and founder of Senior Citizens Program– each offering their perspectives on the importance of fostering cultural and diplomatic connections.
In his address to the audience, Hon. Ramesh Babu expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome and shared his vision for his tenure as Consul General. He highlighted the significance of community engagement, cultural exchange, and fostering stronger ties between India and the United States. The community responded with enthusiastic applause, expressing their optimism for a fruitful collaboration under his leadership.
The event concluded with a sumptuous dinner, providing an opportunity for attendees to network, share ideas, and celebrate the rich cultural diversity within the Indian-American community.