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Consul General Mr. Dinesh Bhatia at the Republic Day Flag Hoisting 

Friends, brothers and sisters,

Now I would like to add a few words from my own side.

The Republic Day is always a very special day for me as it was

the very same day in 1984 when I had walked on Rajpath

participating in the National Republic Day parade as a young

boy scout. I have moved a long way from a boy scout to now a

seasoned diplomat.

2. Toronto has been a very welcoming and warm destination

for me and my family in spite of cold weather. We have tried to

reciprocate this warmth and reached out to the Indian and Indo-

Canadian community.

Friends, brothers and sisters,

3. We are trying to facilitate travel of Indo-Canadians by

providing long-term visas of 5 and 10 year, in as simple way as

possible. My team at the Consulate is attempting to respond to

each and every mail and queries that are posed to us. I am

personally available to everyone whosoever wishes to see me,

on every Friday from 10 am to 12 Noon without any prior

appointment.

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4. The Consulate, myself and my team is reachable through

various means including direct email, Twitter and Facebook.

The Consulate’s handle is @IndiainToronto and my personal

handle is @dineshbhatia. I would like to inform you the

Consulate has begun using new mail addresses with

mea.gov.in domain. All these are already listed on our website

cgitoronto.ca.

Friends, brothers and sisters,

5. We will continue to hold our grand events in 2017 too. The

first such program will be held on 28 January with Panorama

India at Pearson Convention Centre when we all will celebrate

India’s Republic Day once again with a much larger gathering.

Panorama India will also be organizing the Independence Day

parade on Sunday, 20 August at downtown Toronto. I hope this

year’s parade will cross the landmark established last year of

over 20,000 Indians and Indo-Canadians participating in the

parade.

6. This year we will also be celebrating International Day of

Yoga together as I have requested to all Yoga Organizations

and Indo-Canadian community associations to come forward

and participate in a joint program under the umbrella of IYDC,

the International Yoga Day Canada. We had recently

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celebrated the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas at the Consulate in

august presence of a large number of NRIs and OCIs.

7. We will also continue to reach out to the community and

once again hold Consular camps and Pensioners’ Life

Certificate camps in the month of November in order to

facilitate our senior citizens.

Friends, brothers and sisters,

8. The Demonetization initiative of the Government of India

has been exceptionally successful in integrating the

unaccounted sector of our economy into the mainstream and

dealt a severe blow to black marketers, corrupt, extremists,

those involved in drug trade, human trafficking and above all

the counterfeit notes. The Government has extended the date

for submission of old 500 and 1000 currency notes by NRIs till

30 June 2017.

9. The Government has also been repeatedly requesting all

PIOs to convert their PIO cards into OCI, without payment of

any fees and the last extension for this scheme has been

granted till 30 June 2017. I request all PIO card holders to now

expedite and avail of this offer in time.

10. With these words, I seek blessings and support of

Indians, Indo-Canadians and friends of India in Consular

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Jurisdiction of this Consulate, namely, Ontario, Quebec,

Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward

Island, and Newfoundland & Labrador in achieving the

challenges that lay ahead of us not only in improving the

consular services but also bettering India-Canada ties.

11. I wish to take this opportunity to particularly thank the

young children, teachers and Principal of Guru Teg Bahadur

International School, Brampton for joining us today.

12. To conclude, on behalf of my Government, my

Consulate, my family and myself, I reiterate greetings and

best wishes to all Indians and Indo-Canadians on this

auspicious occasion of 68 th Republic Day of India.

Thank you / Dhanyawad

Jai Hind. Jai Hind. Jai Hind

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