By Bhuwan Gautam
Mr. Prasant Hatalkar, General Secretary and the leader of the International Department of the Viswa Hindu Parisad (VHP) of India, said, “I will request Government of India and Bhutan to allow the Bhutanese Hindu followers in America and other refugee receiving countries to honor their right to visit families in Bhutan.” He was participating at a sat-sang program organized by Hindu Sanatan Sewa Samaj of Massachusetts on October 4, 2015.
VHP General Secretary Prashant Hartalkar speaking at an event organized by HSSS.
He continued, “You can write an appeal to the Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi and copy it to VHP. I will take this matter personally with PM Modi.” He informed that the current dispensation in New Delhi works closely with VHP.
Mr. Hartalkar also informed that he is visiting Bhutan at the end of October and stay there for a few weeks representing VHP. He assured the gathering that he will discuss with Bhutan Government to allow Bhutanese living in different parts of the world to visit their country of origin without any hindrance.
He said that the GOI awards 10,000 scholarships every year to foreign students to acquire higher education in Indian Universities. He would love to have students from Bhutanese Hindu communities in US. He also encouraged everyone to think ways for inculcating Hindu Culture to new generation and build stronger Hindu Community.
Mr Hari Khanal, Executive Director of HSSS, assured him of an appeal to PM Modi from the resettled Bhutanese community. He also urged Mr. Hartalkar to discuss with Bhutan Government granting of Non- Resident Bhutanese (NRB) status to the resettled Bhutanese, which, in fact, is the only dignified solution to the resettled Bhutanese.
The HSSS organized a cultural program in honor of Mr Hartalkar. A four years old US born Bhutanese boy Davesh Khanal entertained the guest by playing Nepali instrument: Madal and Dholak. Mr. Hartalkar who was Chief Guest of the occasion presented him the certificate of appreciation.
Narad Adhikari, president of HSSS Board of Director, delivered the welcoming address and Mr. Khanal gave vote of thanks. Over 150 Bhutanese Hindu followers from Worcester, Westfield, West Springfield and Springfield attended the program.
Editor’s note: Bandhu Adhikari of Springfield MA also contributed to this report.