By Pradeep Singh
Gurugram, Jan 11 : Some Non-Resident Indian (NRIs) who attended the two-day Pravasi Haryana Divas that ended on Wednesday complained about poor arrangements by the organisers.
“The arrangements were pretty bad… We felt insulted,” said one of them. The event was organised jointly by the Haryana government and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
The organisers said over 400 NRIs from Haryana based in 33 countries took part in the first such event.
But Narender Joshi and Jasveer Saini, who came from the US, have a different story.
Both of them were among the state guests at the International Gita Mahotsav (December 6-10), organised in Kurukshetra in Haryana.
“We spoke to Haryana Agriculture Minister Om Prakash Dhankar over phone on December 7 regarding the Pravasi Haryana Divas. He invited us and said two rooms have been booked for us at the Haryana Bhawan in Delhi,” Joshi told IANS.
“Our plane landed at Delhi on January 9-10 night. We were told there would be a Help Desk from the Haryana government at the airport but there was none to attend us,” Joshi added.
They hired a taxi and reached the Haryana Bhawan but no one was even there to receive them.
They said that after several efforts they were told that Room No 216 had been allotted to them and that a second room would be available at Punjab Bhawan.
“When I knocked at Room 216, I found it was already occupied,” Joshi said.
The two NRIs again hired a taxi and reached Gurugram’s Vivanta By Taj hotel around 4.30 a.m. on December 10 where NRI participants were to stay.
The hotel staff declined to provide them rooms because, as per the pact with the Haryana government, the check-in time was 11 a.m.
They said nearly 25 NRIs from different states of the US came for the event and some others too faced similar issues.
When contacted, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said: “It is very sad and we regret if such an incident has happened.”
Joshi owns JMD Group, which is counted among the top 10 business groups in Washington DC. Saini owns a chain of restaurants in Boston.
Both hail from Kurukshetra and moved to the US two decades back.
A number of guests complained they could not have their breakfast due to poor management.
“People had to stand in long queues on Tuesday for lunch,” said an NRI who did not wish to be named.
“One can now understand the pain of the people who stood in long queues outside banks and ATMs after demonetisation.”
(Pradeep Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)