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Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center
This is the Kerala Center News letter online. Vol.6, 2004
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Hon. Minister E. Ahamed at Kerala Cener
Kerala Center Annual Awards Dinner - Nov 6, 2004
Activites at Kerala Center

Reception to Hon. Minister E. Ahammed at Kerala Center

Photos:  (Left) Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed speaking at a program organized by Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center and NORKA-NA at the Kerala Center. Sitting from L. to R: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Consul General Pramathesh Rath, Zach Thomas, Geroge Abraham and Dr. Javad Hassan (Partially visible). ( Right ) Audience

Govt. of India Committed to Address All Issues of NRIs: E Ahamed

 “The Government of India, led by Shri Manmohan Singh, is fully committed to address all the issues and concerns of Non Resident Indians (NRIs) around the globe,” E. Ahamed, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, declared on Sunday, October 10, 2004 at the Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center. He was addressing a group of nearly a hundred community leaders representing various Indian American Associations in the New York Tri-state area, during a public meeting organized to felicitate the Indian leader from the state of Kerala.

While referring to the issue of Dual Citizenship, Ahamed said, the Indian Parliament passed a Bill to grant dual citizenship to the people of Indian origin and the Bill received the President's assent on January 7, 2004. Among other things, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill - 2003, which amends the Citizenship Act -1955, would simplify the procedure to facilitate the reacquisition of Indian citizenship by persons of full age who are children of Indian citizens and former Indian citizens. The Bill grants of overseas citizenship of India to persons of Indian origin belonging to 16 specified countries and Indian citizens who choose to acquire citizenship of any of these countries at a later date. “The rules, regulations and requirements are still under process and very soon, this will be a reality.”  

“The issues and problems faced by the Non Resident Indians across the globe are quite diverse,” the Minister said. “Each region has its unique problems and even before joining the Government, I have been representing their concerns, urging the Government to address them.” While praising the contributions of NRIs, he said, “With the remittances from the NRIs across the globe, Indian economy has been able to overcome many challenges.” 

On the issue of right to vote, the Minister said, “I had moved a Bill in the Parliament giving the 20 Million NRIs the right to vote.” But, he cautioned, although the Government is willing to consider the issue, there are many obstacles in implementing the policy. On every issue, there is so much good will from the part of the Government, the Minister said, but, when it comes to applying them, there are several hurdles and the Government is taking every step possible to implement them. “Ultimately, I want to reiterate again before you, the UPA Government has a categorical commitment to promote the wellbeing of NRIs around the globe,” he told the NRI leaders.  

Earlier, in his opening remarks, Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman of GOPIO, complimented the Manmohan Singh Government for creating a Ministry for Non Resident Indians and drew the visiting Minister’s attention to the tax on global income of Not Ordinary Citizens (NOR) who have chosen to settle back in India after their retirement. In an emotionally charged welcome address, E M Stephen, president of the Kerala Center, said, “Minister Ahamed is a founding member of Kerala Center, who had attended several meetings when the concept of founding the center was under discussion. “There is no need to formally welcome you, Mr. Minister, as this is your home,” he said.

Pramathesh Rath, Consul General of India in New York, described, the Minister, who is currently on a visit to New York to address the United Nations as “a distinguished lawyer” who has been very active in Indian political area for several decades. Stating that Keralites in the United States are the second or third largest group, Rath praised their contributions. He said, “NRIs have changed the image of India across the globe, through their hard work and contributions to their adopted lands.” 

Zach Thomas, official representative of the Kerala Government and in charge of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs in North America (NORKA-NA), praised Ahamed as a person who is humble, ever available and is always willing to help those in need. He went on add some of the initiatives NORKANA has taken up in the recent past, mobilizing support for the needy back home in India.  

Gopalan Nair, Board Chairman of the Center, described Ahamed’s visit to Kerala Center as “home coming of a champion,” as the Minister has continued his close affinity with the Center since its very inception. Javed Hassan, an entreprenur, told the audience, “Ahamed is a true son of Kerala” who speaks his mind without any fear. Alex Vilanilam of the World Malayalee Council presented a memorandum to the Minister, bringing to his attention some of the pressing problems of Keralites living abroad.  He appealed to the Minister to structure the NORKA system and help create a Data Bank of NRIs around the world. Vilanilam’s memorandum also brought other issues including tax on NRIs deposits and developing economic zones in Kerala

Among others who felicitated the visiting Minister were, V K Madhavan Kutty, U.S. Nazeer, John Issac, Dr. Parveen Chopra, Jayachandran, Abraham Mammen, and Dr. Abdul Aziz.  

While introducing the Minister, George Abraham, General Secretary of Indian National Overseas Congress, said, E Ahamed has been an active member of the Kerala State Muslim League Working Committee, and was an elected Member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly for five terms from 1981. As an elected MLA, he served on several important committees of the Government of Kerala. Since 1995 onwards, he was the National-Secretary, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML). In 1996, he was first elected to the Indian Parliament and since then, he has been elected five times to the Lok Sabha.  

Ahamed was the Chairman, Committee on Government Assurances of Lok Sabha, Member, Standing Committee on Railways, Member, Standing Committee on External Affairs, Member, Consultative Committee on Civil Aviation, Chairman, Joint Committee on Food Management in Parliament House Complex, Member, Consultative Committee on Civil Aviation,  Member, Joint Parliamentary Committee on Pesticide residues in safety standards for soft drinks, fruit juice and other beverages, Member, Central Haj Committee. He is a Member, Executive Council, Aligarh Muslim University since May 2004. After his election to the Parliament for the fifth time with the distinction of being the sole elected member from the ruling coalition from Kerala, he was Ahamed was appointed Minister of State for External Affairs. George Abraham said, “For decades, the honorable Minister has been advocating our cause; he has been representing our voice and has been the unofficial representative of Keralites around the globe.”


Kerala Center President Mr. E. M. Stephen welcomes Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed to the reception organized by Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center and NORKA-NA at the Kerala Center. Sitting from L. to R: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Consul General Pramathesh Rath, Minister E. Ahamed, Zach Thomas, Geroge Abraham and Dr. Javad Hassan 



The Kerala Center

Invites You with your family and friends



Annual Awards Dinner


Saturday, November 6, 2004 at 6:00 PM

Public Meeting, Cultural Programs, Annual Awards & Dinner


Chief Guest

Pramathesh Rath


(Consul General of India)




Keynote Speaker

Dhilip R. Vellodi

 Founder, chairman and CEO of Sutherland Global Services Inc., and an authority on Customer Relationship Management and Business Process Outsourcing



The Kerala Center

1824 Fairfax Street, Elmont, NY 110003

Call: 516-358-2000 










========Activities at Kerala Center========

Math Tuition: Abraham Thomas ( Monday - Friday: 4.00 PM - 9.00 PM , Saturday: 8.00 AM - 5.00 PM )
Math Tution classes for Junior High School, High school and College level Students
Preparation Classes for PSAT, SAT and GMAT Examinations.

Computer Classes: Elmont Computer Training Institite ( Monay - Saturday: 8.00 AM - 9.00 PM )
Computer Fundamentals, MS Office, Internet Access and Use,
Database design and Applications, Programming Languages, Website design and Developments.

Dance class: Mrs. Beena Menon ( Every Tuesday 6.00 PM - 8.00 PM )
Indian Classical dance, Folk dance and Western dance.

Malayalam Class: Abraham Thomas, Leslie Varikattu and Christy James ( Every Friday 7.00 PM - 9.00 PM )
Malayalam Reading, Malayalam Song, Kerala Cultural Activities
and Talent Improving Practices and Competitions.

Elmont Computer Training Institute (ECTI)
@ Kerala Center

Phone: (516) 358 2000

J. J. Entertainments
@ KeralaCenter

Phone: (516) 358 7120

This site is developed and maintained by Abraham Thomas Thervalakattayil for The Kerala Center