Rajesh Chaplot Receives the Highest Civilian Award (Golden Jubilee Medal-Civilians) of Uganda

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)

Rajesh Chaplot Speech during Hon. Lok Sabha Speaker OM Birla’s Uganda Visit

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.

End Part.

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.

Jai Hind.

Receiving Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award from the Hon.President of India

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.

Diwali Celebration with President of Uganda-2013

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.

India 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 expedition.

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 concerns.

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 the beginning

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 to

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 track.

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 goals

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

Also 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 so.

This 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. 

Mr. 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.

I wish everyone a very happy Diwali. Nutan Varsh Abhinandan.