Though, there was no mention of where he is being posted next, and when asked by this correspondent he would not tell--except that he is going to New Delhi, a press note issued by Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) about six months ago, shows that Dr.Gondane, an Indian Foreign Service officer of the 1985 batch, is taking charge as the next High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea--an impoverished nation, located in Southwestern Pacific Ocean.Its numerous islands were part of Indonesia, once.
In his opening remarks, Rajiv Khanna traced the long association with Dr.Gondane and business community.He also praised his willingness--on a personal level-- to go out of his way to help him get a visa to India for a friend on January 1st, the New Years day.
Dr.Gondane, in his address remarked that though, he may be considered a "Bada Babu (Big Boss)" here, all Government servants are working hard and long hours in New Delhi, too."You can see the lights on in Offices even at 9 or 10pm there," he said.
"In New York, we still have the same level of staffing, since last two decades, and it has not increased even by a single number, as MEA is reluctant to give permission to employ one more person," he continued.
He was passionate about Indian Government's programs for the poor."We will need a school within one mile of a student's residence.The Government will be trying to achieve this goal.Until, this is done, compulsory education will not have much meaning," he declared.
He did not touch on the chronic complaint that teachers are absent from most of the rural public schools!
Another program he recommended, with intense emotional attachment, was "food for all," program."By that, I don't mean only or any food," adding that "I want the nutritional food for all that includes protein and other nutrients, too."
Farewell, and Good luck, Dr.Gondane, Good luck!Now only if you give us a plan on how to reduce the budget deficits and inflation in India, at the Federal and State levels!!
The meeting dispersed after a reception.
There are 14 photos in view photos below.
(Photos Chandrakant Pancholi, Overseas India Press Syndicate and Overseas India Press, Inc,2011..None of these photos can be used for publication, private use or in any other way without the express written permission of these copyright holders,
Overseas India Press, Inc, 2011