On Occasion of the celebration of Liberation day of Uganda, H.E President Yoweri Museveni has presented the Highest Civilian Award to Mr. Rajesh Chaplot.
Rajesh Chaplot is an Indian Entrepreneur living in Kampala, Uganda. He is currently the CEO/GM and Director of Various Corporate entities in Printing, Packaging, IT, Real Estate, Metal & Aluminum Fabrication. Mr. Rajesh Chaplot is also holding Business advisory positions in organizations such as Indian Business Forum (Uganda), Institute of Chartered Accountants (Uganda), Private Sector Foundation, etc.
He also, plays Business Advisory role for HE The President of Uganda (PIRT).
He was also holding various social positions of various charitable organizations like Indian Association Uganda, Rajasthani Association, Miss Uganda Foundation Board, Kabbadi Federation of Uganda etc.
Some of the major accomplishments of Mr. Rajesh Chaplot includes;
Formed & launched the Indian Business Forum in Uganda
Spearheaded the launch of the first-ever Indian content Magazine in the National Newspaper of Uganda, New vision (Indi Vision)
Spearheaded the celebration of Diwali festival with HE The President of Uganda at the State House since the year 2012.
Vice-chairperson of the Organizing Committee for the visit of Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi
Formed and launched the chapter of the Institute of the Chartered Accountants of India (Uganda)
Part of the India Africa Summit at New Delhi with HE the President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
Founder chairperson of Jain International Trade Organization chapter in Uganda
Undertaken various charitable/sports/cultural/education/health projects during various social positions in Kampala
He has also been recently recognized by the Government of India by awarding him with the Highest NRI award Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, 2019 by HE. The President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind.
Mr. Rajesh Chaplot has been awarded & recognized by the Highest Award of the Country where he was Born India (Janam Bhoomi) & his workplace I.e. Uganda. (Karma Bhoomi)
Rajasthani’s have been known for giving India, Businessmen with excellence, over a period of more than, last one century.
Gujarati’s have spread, all over the world in the 19th & 20th Century. And grew economically, while in the same period Rajasthani’s spread all over India & grew Economically.We as the Rajasthani’s and with the support of leaders like you, need to promote the Rajasthani’s Business houses, all over the world.
Hon. Speaker of Lok Sabha Shri OM Birlaji.,H.E the High Commissioner of India, to Uganda. Shri Ravi Shankar.
Chairman Rajasthani Association, Mr. Sachin ShahAll advisors of Rajasthani Association.Hon. Sanjay Tanna,
Chairman Indian Association, Secretary General, Indian Business Forum,Chairwoman Indian Women Association.All present Distinguished Guests.And last but not least the Beautiful Ladies in Rajasthani Attire.
A Very Good morning to you all.
Hon. Shri Om Birlaji, it is my proud privilege to welcome you to this country and, among your own people from Rajasthan.We the Rajasthani’s feel proud of you and we congratulate you on the very, successful and Historic 1 session of this parliament, under your Leadership.
First and foremost, I would like to thank you for Giving me the time to see you in your office at Parliament on 9th August, 2019. This was the First time; I have put my foot in Parliament.
I wish I would also get a term in the Parliament soon with your blessing Sir.
Let me brief you on some interesting facts about Uganda.Uganda is among the only few countries in the world, where the First Speaker of Parliament, was of Indian Origin. He was Hon. Mr. Narendra Patel. It was my honor, to host him few years before, when he visited Uganda after many years of stay in UK.
Ugandan Parliament, has been represented by, two more persons of Indian Origin, Hon Sanjay Tanna and Hon. Parminder katongole. Hon Sanjay Tanna was member of Parliament of Uganda, for consecutive two terms.
As an Indian Association Chairman in the year 2012, I also had the privilege to host Hon. Mira Kumar, the then Speaker of Lok Sabha of India. And now today, I am standing here to welcome you Sir.
Hon. Sir, now let me elaborate, few propositions of us.
1. There are approximately 3 Crore NRI residing in approximately 208 countries. From centuries, NRI have been making tremendous contributions, to their Janam Bhoomi, while serving in their respective Karan Bhoomi.
For all the past 70 years, NRI was a neglected Community as far as Government of India is concerned. But since 2014, Hon Narendra Modi, have started personal interaction with Indian Diaspora around the Globe & this has enhanced India’s Image High Internationally, as well as back home.
NRI cannot be considered as Brain Drain for India, we are assets for India, which never depreciates.
Since 2014, we have seen and observed, the shift in the Government policy towards NRI. Today we feel that Government thinks and cares about us directly or indirectly, we are Ambassadors of India, and play a significant role, in India ’s Foreign Diplomacy. We NRI’s have always kept, India’s Flag High, in all circumstances. We also play important role, in bringing FDI into India. The amount of saving, we all NRI bring back in India, as Foreign Exchange, also has its own impact.
With all the contributions, we as the NRI feel strongly, that we need to contribute to our motherland, politically or in policy making and hence we propose, two (2) Rajaya Sabha seats, to be reserved and nominated, from NRI Community around the world.
Currently 12 seats in Rajiya Sabha are Nominated by the President of India for their Contribution to Art, Science, Literature and Social service.
Also, there are 2 seats reserved for Anglo Indians in the Lower House in India’s Parliament.We strongly feel, that a strong contingent of 3 Crore people, around the Globe, also need a good representation, in the Parliament of India.
To give examples, there are some countries in the world, like France and Italy, who have representatives of their diaspora, in their parliament.
Having said this, about NRI representation in India, we also wish and put our strong case, to get first representative from Uganda to the Parliament of India.
2. Also, we have noted there are many political appointee positions, we have back at home in India. Even some, High Commissioners, are appointed directly. We strongly recommend, some NRI Representation, in such political appointees.
Now one request for our Ugandan Brothers,
3. Uganda National Sports Authority, have recognized recently, Kabbadi Federation of Uganda. But due to, lack of Funds, this Sport of ours is not able to take off properly. National Team of Uganda Kabbadi, has been selected and formed. But it needs some support, and I strongly feel, that Government of India, needs to support this Traditional sport of ours to, prosper in Uganda.
We need your Advice Sir.
Promotion of Art and Culture.
4. Government of India establishes The Indian Council of Cultural relations Centre (ICCR) Centre, in many countries outside India.
30 thousand NRI residing in this country, called Pearl of Africa, request your good office, to help us in the allocation one such. ICCR Centre in Uganda, from the Government of India.
5. Two Humble request for Rajasthani Association, Uganda
a) Sir, in the next session of parliament, we wish to bring a small delegation of fellow Rajasthani’s from Uganda to see and watch the proceedings of the Parliament from the visiting Gallery.
b) We have been hearing about Rajasthan Foundation, a Government entity in Rajasthan for promoting Rajasthan and Rajasthani’s outside Rajasthan. We need your advice as how to get support from this foundation or from any such other NGO for Rajasthani Association Uganda.
With this wish list of us, we wish, your visit to Uganda, a great Success.
We in Uganda say, whoever drinks water of River Nile, will visit Uganda again.
So, see you again soon.
But before I leave the Podium, I need to Thank our High Commissioner H.E Shri. Ravi Shankar in your presence for helping us and guiding us in arranging this Breakfast meeting of today.
Also, would like to Thank him from our heart for all his support to Rajasthani Association and its members during his past 2 and half years of his Tenure.
he Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (Overseas Indian Honour/Award) is an award
constituted by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of
India in conjunction with the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Non-Resident
Indian Day), to honour exceptional and meritorious contribution in their
chosen field/profession. The award is given by the President of India.
H.E the President of the republic of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta
Museveni, H.E the High Commissioner of India to Uganda Mr. S.N Ray, Hon Sanjay
Tanna, All dignitaries and holders of high office, captains of various business
houses & communities present , India Association Board of trustees and
Executive committee, distinguished guest & all present.
Ladies & Gentlemen
Good evening to all of you
It is our pride /profound privilege to celebrate Diwali at
statehouse for the second consecutive year. Thank you Mr. President, for
honouring us, and allowing our community, to celebrate, our biggest Indian
festival with you.
Diwali at State House, outside India ,is celebrated only in
few countries, like Uganda, UK, USA & Mauritius. And thus, such moments are,
very memorable for our community
On behalf of the Indian Community, we wish to convey our
sincere thanks, for hosting us and for all the support, you have given, to our
business community over the years.
Mr. President Sir, we look Indian because of our Brown
Skin, but we are nationals of many other countries like America, British,
Canada, Kenya & Uganda. The only common thing among us is that we are all
of Indian Origin
In Hindi we refer to our Birth place as Janam Bhoomi, which
are in different countries, but what we have in common, is that Uganda
is our Karama Bhoomi; i.e. our work place & adopted home
Our community in Uganda is
approximately 10,000-12,000 in numbers which is about 0.04 % of the total
Ugandan population but we contribute more than 60% to the government’s domestic
revenue, which you are well aware of. This shows the Internal strength
and business acumen ship of our community
However our community, have our own values of life and we
strongly believe in religion & culture. A religion binds us away, from all evil
activities. A religion could be any, Hinduism, Christianity, Muslim, Sikhism or
Jainism. When we come here, to Uganda we not only bring Investment , Employment
, technical Expertise , Market or revenue to the exchequer but we also bring,
strong values of religion & culture, which unfortunately is losing its
values, in some parts of the world
We have built more than 20 small or big temples /churches
/mosques of different faiths in this country
Buddhism which was originated from India, with high values
& practice was adopted by many countries in South East Asia like China,
Thailand, Japan, etc etc but today it
is getting lost at the cost of “no religion concept” This in the long run can
create major problems for the world.
India conquered and dominated china and several other
surrounding Asian countries culturally for 20 centuries without ever
having to send a single soldier across her boarders
Mr. President Sir, you will agree with me, religion &
culture are very important assets, for us, and it should never depreciate.
is the birth place of Mahtma Gandhi a man now called the father of the Indian
independence movement. Gandhi led a non-violent way of protesting against
injustices and to date he has remained a hero in the hearts of many. Mr.
President Sir, we are peace loving people
Mr. President Sir, I would like to mention again from my
speech of last year, we Indian owned corporate’s, undertake several projects,
of social benefits in this country, which portrays the magnanimous heart, of
our community people.
Indians have a glory to be proud of, like, India never
invaded any country, in her last 10,000 years of history, India invented the
number system, zero, algebra, trigonometry and calculus Sanskrit, the Indian
language, is the mother of all European languages. World’s first university was
established in India in Takshsila in 700BC
Following a successful space mission to the Moon in the
past. On 5th November 2013. India has now joined the elite nations Mars
If I quote Albert Einstein, he said, “We owe a lot to
Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific
discovery, could have been made.”
And hence Mark Twain describes India as –India is the
cradle of the human race, the mother of History, the grandmother of legend and
the grandmother of tradition. Most valuable, and the most instructive materials,
in the history of man, are treasured up, in India.
Looking around the room, I can see our business people, who
have given, enormous amounts of contributions, in terms of business &
commerce to this country. People of Indian origin, around the world, are known
for their successful, business accumenship.
Your Excellency Sir, I would like to take this opportunity
to raise a major issue, on behalf of our business community
Most of the Indian Owned Industry is facing the challenge
of getting work permits for their key staff. Work permits applications are
rejected arbitrarly and there is no neutral panel to listen to our genuine
Indians came to Uganda, more
than 10 decades ago, when nobody else was willing to come, to this part of the
world. We have participated, in the development of Uganda & Africa since
This small population of
10,000-12,000 people who grew over a period of last 100 years have created
millions of jobs in Uganda
We have established, business
in the deep down villages, of Uganda, and this is helping the indigenous
community, to get the access of those products, which were otherwise, unable to
reach them at affordable prices. This has greatly helped Uganda in its, wealth
distribution & capacity building exercise.
Now Immigration Department is
rejecting the Work Permits of these investors is the name of Petty Traders.
It also needs to be noted that
hardly there isn’t any Indian Trader in the Kikubo Market, which is the trading
hub of Uganda. Rather our business people are in deep down villages
The problem of rejection of
work permits in the last few months has started affecting even big business
houses which was never a case earlier.
Most of the business owners
/investors present here today have been affected/ or are fearing this problem
relating to Immigration.
Your Excellency sir, the Indian Business community needs
your help & intervention.
The other current burning issue, is with regard to, de-licensing
of Traders, in the name of Petty traders with no clarity or /policy on paper,
therefore, creating barrier in your vision.
In this regards, we strongly urge, that traders, who have
been given licenses, earlier by the regulatory body, need not be canceled,
rather any new license, may not be issued, until all new guidelines are adhered
Change of policy retrospectively/ or cancelling of the licenses,
already granted, is not a healthy sign. These so called traders, have come to Uganda,
and have worked hard in this country, for all these years. They have closed all
their businesses, in the county from where, they have come. Now with such a
move we will make them, stranded
Mr. President Sir, As the leader of Indian Association once
again I request for a meeting with you, with few representatives, as per your
convenient time, as soon as possible, so that we can present, & detail these
issues in a more appropriate manner
Uganda has a huge potential because of its endowment like,
Oil, Lake Victoria, the climate, mineral wealth, location, Flora & fauna, a
task force of over a million, young educated youths. We as Indian Association
would like to pledge to you Mr. President if the government supports us, we
will join hands to fulfill & support, your vision.
For example Mr. President Sir, Uganda has quality English
speaking youth and thus is a very Ideal destination for BPO & IT activities.I
would even say, it is a better destination than India
In this BPO & IT sector, we Indians, with a success
story in India, can play a major role & can work towards, revolutionizing
the Ugandan economy.
Even E-governance, in Uganda needs to be put on the fast
Uganda needs, a world class hospital & some good
universities, so that an indigenous Ugandan, has no need to go outside .Our
business community, can play a role here, in channelizing & achieving these
Your Excellency Sir, the festival of Diwali, carries
innumerable lessons, for all of us. So this time, as we light the sacred lamp,
lets be aware of, how this lamp, symbolizes the triumph of: Enlightment over
blind faith, prosperity over poverty ,knowledge over
ignorance , good health and well being over disease and ill health ,
freedom over bondage
as we light the lamp, and pray to the Goddess Laxmi, we need to remember, that,
from our position, of well being and prosperity, that there are many who are
less fortunate, and deprived, and that we will have to work together, to
formulate ways of helping, to respond to the grinding poverty and desperation,
in some areas of the country. The Indian Community has always supported the
cause to develop this country which we call our home and we will continue to do
year; we should also celebrate, Not just Diwali, but also celebrate the
incredible success of multi-racial, multi-cultural Uganda, that is made up of
people who have come from all corners of the world, who have all sorts of
different faiths, religions and ethnicities.
President Sir , for the Festival of Lights, please accept our best wishes, for
a happy Diwali, for health, and for good
fortune, For Uganda may light shine upon
all the development plans throughout the coming year.
wish everyone a very happy Diwali. Nutan Varsh Abhinandan.