Houston Indians Attend Reception for India’s President Ram Nath Kovind

India’s President Ram Nath Kovind at the Houston reception.

HOUSTON: An elite segment of the Indo-American community in Houston attended a dinner reception in honor of Ram Nath Kovind, the 14th President of India from 2017 to 2022. The reception took place on Friday, October 6 evening at the Post Oak Hotel in the Galleria area.

The presidential reception was organized by Maneesh Media, a publishing house based in Jaipur and with operations both in Canada and the United States. Most recently, Maneesh Media published a coffee table book titled Modi Ho to Mumkin Hain (With Modi, Anything is Possible).

Several celebrities joined as sponsors, including Jugal and Raj Malani of Unique Industrial Product Co., Dr. Dayal T and Indu Meshri of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Brandworks, a telecommunications manufacturing company based in Mumbai, with Ishwar Kumhar as CEO. Guests contributed $500 per person to attend the event. There were about 150 guests, including political dignitaries, such as Fort Bend County Judge KP George, Judges Juli Mathew and Surendran Pattel, and Stafford Mayor Ken Mathew.

Raj and Jugal Malani of Unique Industrial Product Co. (top row) with special guests at the reception: L to R: Chandmal Kumawat, Chairman of Maneesh Media; daughter Swati Kovind, President Ram Nath Kovind, wife Savita Kovind, Consul General DC Manjunath and Dr. Dayal T. Meshtri of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

On Thursday evening, a private dinner reception was held for President Kovind and his family at the home of the Malanis. In their introductory speeches, both Consul General DC Manjunath and Jugal Malani praised President Kovind for his affability and friendly demeanor at the earlier dinner.

President Kovind was born to Maiku Lal and Kalawati in a Dalit family during the British Raj on 1 October 1945, in Paraunkh village in the Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh, as the youngest of five brothers and two sisters. After his elementary school education locally, he needed to walk 8 km each day to attend high school. Eventually, Kovind earned a law degree from DAV College in Kanpur. He then went on to a distinguished career in law and government service. Prior to the presidency, he served as the 26th Governor of Bihar from 2015 to 2017. He also served as Member of Rajya Sabha from 1994 to 2006. Before entering politics, he was a lawyer for 16 years and practiced in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court of India until 1993. Kovind currently serves as Chairman of One Nation, One Election committee to seek a single election date for all of India.

In remarks at the Houston reception, President Kovind spoke of the emergence of India as the world’s 5th largest economy. He praised the contributions of Indo-Americans and urged them to speak either in Hindi or their native language to inculcate Bharatiya culture to the next generation, including via frequent visits to India. “I am proud of all of you and I will be pleased to meet you in New Delhi,” he said.