INDIA DAY, Sunday, 14th August 2016, Parramatta

Announcement

Federation of Indian Associations of NSW

Organising

INDIA DAY: to celebrate Indian Independence Day on Sunday, 14th August, 2016

Parramatta, NSW

More details to follow

—————————————

 

INDIA DAY 2016 POSTER MARCH (4).jpg

—————————————-

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/10th March, 2016

dryadusingh@gmail.com

http://www.fian.org.au

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

 

Why we don’t have India Cultural Centre (India House) in Sydney?

Sydney, NSW

29th April, 2016

I wrote a Blog post on India House on 4th May, 2013. https://yadusingh.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/india-house-in-sydney-what-is-this-about-why-do-we-need-it/.

Then I posted an update on this subject  on 31st Aug, 2014. https://yadusingh.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/india-house-in-sydney-update/

We backed out of this project because every group wanted to make India House. We therefore decided to let them do it and promised to support them. Nothing has happened, and nothing is likely to happen, unfortunately. Its a sad situation.

People I speak with agree that it will be great to have Indian Cultural Centre (India House) in Sydney. They all feel that it has not happened because of division in the community. We have too many associations and too many leaders, most of whom do not have substance, capability, networking and vision. Everyone wants to do the same things- in parallel, not together. To make it worse, we have too many “senior” and several “very senior” leaders (75 years plus) who have been around for 3-4 decades, without much productivity. They have become a big hindrance. They must be persuaded to retire and allow a fresh start. “Me too” syndrome is harming us all as a community in more ways than one.

Let us do a quick review.

The Indian Australian community in Australia comprises of about 500,000 people, out of which about 160,000 reside in New South Wales. Ours is a growing community and about half of our people have migrated to Australia during the last ten years.

Every community is unique and has its special characteristics and requirements.  In this sense, we are no different from the other multicultural communities in Australia.   Many of these requirements can be fulfilled by a Community Centre (India House), which acts not only as the centre for all community/social interactions and mentoring/guiding services, but also for entertainment activities.  Private family occasions like weddings and other events can also take place there.  Any such centre should have sufficient space and facilities to cater to a range of activities.  This Centre should be able to self-sustain financially, and should be run professionally.

Despite being a major community, we do not have this  community Centre, which is in total contrast with other communities like Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Serbian, Croatian and others, many of which are smaller than ours, but do have such community premises.

India House has been talked about for more than 25 years but nothing obviously has happened. Talks and visions should have moved to something realistic and something fruitful by now, but it is yet to happen. We believe that it did not happen only because serious and sincere efforts were never made, and people who talked about it lacked the vision and leadership. “Me too” syndrome  among associations and “leaders” have been the biggest obstacle.

Indian Consulate General in Sydney has a place where smaller events can be done in some circumstances but its space is limited and its situation in CBD is not all that convenient. It can not substitute India House. This place should be in the Western Sydney, where most of Indian Australians live.

Projects of this nature require huge capital to make it happen.  We strongly believe that finances can be raised if there is a group of dedicated & committed people in our community who have integrity, vision, determination, perseverance, willingness and capacity to work on the plan for 5-7 years. The fund raising components must have multiple components, and it should include fairs, charity drives, direct contributions from the community, and also sponsorships from governments and businesses.

Our initial spadework informs us that there is sufficient goodwill for this huge venture in our community. We recognise that the biggest hurdle in this huge task is the distrust community members have towards community groups/leaders because they have not been transparent, accountable and result oriented, and in fact, some have used their groups for financial benefits. To make it worse, some have become branches of political parties. It is a common knowledge that finances generated from events, small and large, have often been mismanaged and possibly misused. The fund sourcing process therefore must remain ethical, transparent and must be supervised by at least three reputed finance professionals. This fund-raising must have the charity status and tax concessions.

As I see it, there is a need for a nodal group of 20 key people who will do the initial work, using the expertise in law, planning, project work, finance, Real Estate, accounting and marketing among others. They will work without charging any remuneration.

This project would need meetings with community representatives/leaders, key members of Indian community and businessmen, and members of media with the purpose of brain storming, exchanging ideas, revising and fine tuning the project. Media is so essential for this project and this project will have to be an “inclusive” work as far as practicable.

The Project should be super headed by a management committee, Board of Trustees and Advisory Council, and will have membership with defined benefits of such membership. The guiding principle will and must always be transparency, accountability and proper governance with an added motto of “service with integrity”.

Can we expect our community groups to take this project earnestly and start the process afresh?  Can we make a fresh start?  Can we collaborate? My friends and I are happy to support a group of this nature and their work, provided this group has people with integrity, ability, capacity, networking and vision.  This is a project for the whole community. 

Leadership is open and available here.

Please come forward and show us the leadership.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/29th April, 2016

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

You can give the gift of life and be a Bone Marrow Donor for Sujith

Sujith is a 35 years old fellow from Perth who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in November 2015. He has had several courses of chemotherapy. He needs a Bone Marrow Donor for a successful and complete treatment to survive this aggressive Leukaemia.

You can help if;

  • you are in the age bracket of 18-45 years
  • you are from South Asian background
  • you are matched as a suitable Bone Marrow Donor

A dedicated group of volunteers have organised these drives in Perth and Melbourne. Sydney Donor Drive is at:

Billiard Hall, Toongabbie Community Centre,

244 Targo Road,

Toongabbie, NSW

14th May, 2016.

1.00 to 5.00 PM

Step 1: Prior to May 14: If you are ready to join the registry, please contact one of the coordinators listed on the flyer either by phone or email to pre-register your interest. You will need to provide them with your full name, year of birth and contact phone number. Please note that Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR) prefers all participants to be pre- registered, to ensure they can plan appropriately and be properly staffed for the event. Once pre-registered, you will be notified via email or text what your time slot is for that day.

Step 2: On the day, please arrive a few minutes prior to your allocated slot. There will be a one-on-one information session (approx 2 to 3mins) between the donor and ABMDR where you can ask any questions you may have and they will guide you through the process. There will be some paperwork to complete.

Step 3: Approximately 10ml of blood will be collected.

Finally, Light Refreshments will be provided.

Afterward, you can return home knowing that you and the other registrants may have played a part in giving someone like Sujith a truly wonderful gift: The Gift of Life.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the coordinators, listed in the Flyer.

More info: https://www.facebook.com/BoneMarrowSujith/


Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/26th April, 2016

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

 

Consular grievance management system is a great service for overseas Indians

Sydney, NSW

22nd April, 2016

Consular grievance management system is an initiative by Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

Sushma Swaraj EAM.jpg

This will be useful for overseas Indians. Do use it, if needed.

—————————————

Details are here: http://www.madad.gov.in/AppConsular/welcomeLink


Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

Annual deaths of 1.46 Lac (146,000) Indians on Indian roads is avoidable

21st April, 2016

1.46 Lac (146,000) people died on Indian roads in 2015. 400 people died every day. These numbers are 5% more than a year earlier.

There were over 5 Lacs (500,000) accidents on Indian roads in 2015 compared to 4.89 Lacs (489,000) a year before.

India holds a shameful records of being number 1 on the road fatalities.

Uttar Pradesh is on the top among Indian states, followed by Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Rajasthan.

This TOI article should give you the details. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/400-road-deaths-per-day-in-India-up-5-to-1-46-lakh-in-2015/articleshow/51919213.cms

Besides deaths, there are many (I assume at least double of the fatalities)  with serious and debilitating injuries, which are not in the fatality numbers, but no less important statistics.

Something needs to be done to control this massacre on Indian roads. Indian Transport minister, Nitin Gadkari,  wants to reduce these numbers by 50% by 2020. I hope he succeeds.

We remember that a central minister died in Delhi due to a road accident in 2014. https://yadusingh.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/india-should-make-seat-belts-compulsory/

Causes for these massive numbers are many and include;

  • poor quality roads
  • unsafe vehicles
  • rash driving
  • poor quality of drivers’ training
  • alcohol and drugs use
  • poor compliance of traffic rules
  • poor enforcement of traffic rules’ violations
  • unnecessary risk taking
  • speeding
  • low use of seat belts

Many things will need to be done. Public education on traffic rules and safe driving should be a key element of this campaign to reduce these fatalities.

Seat belts must be made compulsory for every passenger.

Traffic rules must be enforced with heavy punishment including fines and jail time for serious violators.

This is a national problem. Minister Gadkari and State transport ministers will need to work together and form a plan to deal with with this unnecessary and preventable massacre on Indian roads.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/ Australia

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

FIAN organised a rousing welcome reception for new Consul General of India in Sydney and visiting ministerial delegation from India

More

Press release: Sydney, 4/4/16

Federation of Indian Associations of NSW (FIAN) hosts a rousing welcome reception for new Consul General of India and visiting ministerial delegation from Uttar Pradesh.

GOI authorities requested us to organize the welcome event for the visiting delegation and provided required assistance.

Madison Function Centre in Dural, NSW was immersed in serious political colours with the presence of visiting ministerial delegation from Uttar Pradesh (UP) and new Consul General of India, Mr B. Vanlalvawna and his wife, Dr Rosy Vanlalvawna on Friday, 1st April, 2016. Delegation from UP included senior ministers, Mr Azam Khan, Mr Raghuraj Pratap Singh (Raja Bhaiya), Mr Om Prakash Singh, Prof Abhishek Mishra, Mrs Arun Kumari and 10 members of UP Parliament.

Dr Yadu Singh, President of Federation of Indian Associations of NSW, conducted the proceedings in his trade mark flair, spontaneity and endearing style, enlivening the audience.  After welcoming the dignitaries, he described the love which Indian community has for India. He described how India is deep inside our hearts. He outlined the fact that Uttar Pradesh is the heart of India, besides being the most populous state, sending 80 MPs to Indian Parliament.  UP Chief Minister, Mr Akhilesh Yadav’s visit to Banda city for the inauguration of a Medical College there in March 2015, for which Dr Singh accompanied the Chief Minister, and CM’s studies in Sydney University in late 1990s were mentioned to bring a context for Uttar Pradesh and Australia connections. There was ample praise for Australia too, and its successful multiculturalism, as well as unshakable love and loyalty of the community for Australia.

Consul General of India and his wife were welcomed formally and assured of full support from the community in whatever way it is necessary.  Mr B.Vanlalvawna assumed charge as Consul General of India in Sydney on 19 February 2016. He was educated at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1998 and served in Indian Missions/Post in Tokyo, Shanghai, Brussels and Cairo. His wife, Dr Rosy Vanlalvawna is a medical doctor and a writer.  She is a graduate from Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi. More details here. http://tinyurl.com/zx9rmb6

Head of the delegation, Mr Azam Khan, thanked the community for their love for India. He praised India for its democracy and egalitarian ethos, where even a common man can be a minister, chief minister or Prime Minister. He hoped that overseas Indians will remain connected with India and will continue to serve the country of their current residence as well as the country of their birth, not only now, but also in the future. During his speech, he used “Shayari” generously, enthralling people in the audience and making many as his fans.

David Clarke, Parliamentary Secretary to NSW Government outlined his praise for India and the commonalities between India and Australia, which extends not only to Cricket, but also to the fields of trade, security, transparency, rule of law, multiculturalism and democracy.

Cultural programme, conducted by noted poetess Rekha Rajvansi, comprised of performances from top artists from the community and included Jyoti Dixit, Khurana sisters (Cheryl and Michelle), Murali Venkatraman and Arun Nanda.
Visiting delegation praised and enjoyed sumptuous and delicious dinner, catered by popular and multiple award winning, Maya Da Dhaba, which is owned by Ajay Raj.

Capacity crowd of 200+, which included who is who of Sydney, key community representatives and Indian media, stayed right up to the end of the event, enjoying every minute of the evening, and called it one of the best events from the community. Ministers and MLAs too, as well as Consul General, mingled with people, enjoying the occasion and creating a lasting and positive impression on people with their simplicity and easy going nature.

Further contact:
Dr Yadu Singh
President, Federation of Indian Associations of NSW
Fianinc1@gmail.com

http://www.Facebook.com/FianInc

http://www.Twitter.com/FianInc

Bundelkhand needs long-term policies and investment for its development

 

This is the press release from Indian Prime Minister’s office

————————————————————-

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/mbErel.aspx?relid=138741

Press Information Bureau
Government Of India
Prime Minister’s Office
(10-April, 2016 18:20 IST )
Union Government commits for Bundelkhand (UP) development

Prime Minister directs a high level review of drought situation in Bundelkhand, Vidharbha and Marathwada. First such review about Bundelkhand was held in Prime Minister’s Office on 09.04.2016. Chief Secretary UP and his team made a presentation and Secretaries of the concerned departments of Government of India were also present.

Relief Measures

High Level Committee chaired by the Union Home Minister has recommended Rs. 1304 crore for drought relief to UP under National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF). The State Government would disburse the relief amount directly into the bank accounts of farmers within a week. It was decided that Government of UP will forward a Memorandum for Rabi 2016 soon. Ministry of Home Affairs will examine if an exemption can be given under SDRF on 25% limit and continuation of distribution of food component beyond 90 days.

Drinking Water : Chief Secretary, UP informed that a comprehensive contingency plan to address the drinking water situation in Bundelkhand region especially Mahoba, Chitrakoot and Banda districts of Chitrakoot division are ready. He further assured that drinking water will be made available.

Employment & Livelihood : Provision of extending mandays from 100 to 150 under MNREGS in the Bundelkhand for financial year 2016-17 was approved. State Government will ensure distribution of Rs. 700 crore released under the labour component of MGNREGS directly to the eligible beneficiaries via electronic payment system.

It was decided that to provide alternate source of income National Rural Livelihood Mission would be strengthened and intensified and coverage would be extended to all the blocks.

Food Security : Chief Secretary, UP confirmed that NFSA has been implemented w.e.f. 01.01.2016. Accordingly, food grain allocation has been enhanced in Bundelkhand. State Government was advised to ensure Aadhar seeding of MNREGS beneficiaries and ration cards on high priority.

Bundelkhand Package

During the meeting, implementation of previous Bundelkhand package was high on agenda. It was brought to the notice that Rs. 264 crore was released by NITI Aayog on 31.03.2016 to complete the committed liabilities on ongoing projects in UP as a one-time grant. It was agreed that the State Government would ensure completion of all ongoing 37 Piped Water Schemes on priority. Further, the warehousing marketing infrastructure built under the package needs to be better utilized.

Drought Proofing

It was also decided that water tanks, building of dug wells, farm ponds would be taken up on priority under various projects and schemes for Bundelkhand. CEO, NITI Aayog in consultation with State Government will explore the possibility of taking up fresh projects for drought proofing from the resources available under the package for Bundelkhand region.

Agriculture

It was brought out that Sesame is the most important Kharif crop in Bundelkhand. It was agreed that MSP for Sesame for 2016-17 be announced expeditiously. A bonus of Rs. 20 for Bundelkhand region over and above the MSP shall be considered. State Government would finalise a procurement plan for Sesame in consultation with Secretary, Agriculture.

To focus on boosting agricultural production and productivity in Bundelkhand region State Government will send a proposal for introduction of a new sub scheme under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.

Crop Insurance : It was noted that the coverage of crop insurance scheme in UP is between 7 to10% only. However, the coverage in Bundelkhand due to distress situation is around 30 percent. More than 250 crores in Rabi 2014-15 and around Rs. 180 crore in Kharif 2015 has been distributed as claims benefitting around 3.34 lakh and 2.16 lakh farmers respectively.

State Government was asked to ensure maximum coverage of farmers in the recently launched Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and it was agreed that the State Government would hold district wise camps to ensure that both loanee and non-loanee farmers are covered in a campaign mode.

Irrigation

Secretary, Water Resources was requested to ensure release of funds on priority for the nine ongoing projects under Repair, Rejuvenation and Restoration (RRR) of water bodies.

CEO, NITI Aayog, Secretary (Water Resources), Principal Secretary (Irrigation), UP will meet on 12th April, 2016 to resolve various issues pertaining to Arjun Sahayak, Varuna and Banasagar irrigation projects. CEO NITI Aayog in consultation with State Government will also resolve the pending proposals of drinking water at the earliest.

Cooperative Federalism

It was also agreed that various development proposals especially under PMGSY, drinking water, village electrification etc. should have wider consultation with local public representatives especially Members of Parliament.

As per the Prime Minister’s vision and in the true spirit of cooperative federalism, Government of India and the State Government will together work for long term sustainable solutions to address the problem of vulnerable regions in natural distress.

***
AKT/HS
(Release ID :138741)

————————————————————

My view

This is good, but more needs to be done to deal with economic backwardness of Bundelkhand. Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh Governments are also doing many good things for their parts of the region. UP Chief Minister announced several projects worth Rs 1400 Crore for the region recently, while delivering the UP Budget (http://tinyurl.com/jhy94bx).  Uttar Pradesh asked Central Govt for a Rs 7000 crore Bundelkhand package. Packages are fine and necessary, and the region deserves it, but there is a need for a systemic & policy co-ordination between various Governments for long-term outcomes.  I believe there should be a high-powered Bundelkhand Development Council (Bundelkhand Vikas Parishad), chaired by either Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi or Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh, or Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitly, and with membership of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Sri Akhilesh Yadav and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Sri Shivraj Singh Chouhan, CEO of Niti Ayog and 2 Economists, to formulate comprehensive policies for long-term investment in and development of Bundelkhand. Significant encouragement including tax holidays and finance support should be provided to facilitate setting up of industries. This will generate employment and will help alleviate poverty.

 

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/11th April, 2016

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

Indian e-tourist Visa now for 150 countries

Sydney, NSW/5th April, 2016

With extension of e-Tourist Visa scheme to 37 more countries from 26th February 2016, e-Tourist Visa facility is now available to citizens of  150 countries.
————————————————————————
——————————————————————–
Information in this Blog post is from
————————————————————
Countries covered:

Albania, Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Island, Chile, China, China- SAR Hongkong, China- SAR Macau, Colombia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d’lvoire, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Island, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Venezuela, Vietnam., Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Eligibility

  • International Travellers whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation , sight seeing , casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short duration medical treatment or casual business visit.
  • Passport should have at least six months validity from the date of arrival in India. The passport should have at least two blank pages for stamping by the Immigration Officer.
  • International Travellers should have return ticket or onward journey ticket,with sufficient money to spend during his/her stay in India.
  • International Travellers having Pakistani Passport or Pakistani origin may please apply for regular Visa at Indian Mission.
  • Not available to Diplomatic/Official Passport Holders.
  • Not available to individuals endorsed on Parent’s/Spouse’s Passport i.e. each individual should have a separate passport.
  • Not available to International Travel Document Holders.
——————————————————————-
More information
Visit the link for more information: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html
+91-11-24300666
indiatvoa@gov.in
e-TV Blog
—————————————————————-
Dr Yadu Singh