-Says Indian Ambassador
India’s Ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Liberia Mr. Sailas Thangal has dismissed reports here that the Indian Government has been financing the home – cooked free hot meal initiative through which former Indian Honorary Consul General to Liberia Mr. Upjit Singh Sachedeva (Mr. Jeety) has been feeding inmates and less fortunate people over the years.
“I know for sure and there has been lot of appreciations for former Honorary Consul General Upjit Singh Sachedeva or Jeety, doing his philanthropist work, and he’s doing it from his own. No Government of India has paid any money for that,” Amb. Thangal said during a press conference held in Sinkor Thursday, 3 June.
Mr. Thangal explained that when the Government of India has a cash contribution to make toward the development efforts of the Government of Liberia, that transaction is done directly from government to government, and not through Mr. Jeety.
As an instance, Amb. Thangal recalled that India has provided the Government of Liberia US$2m for the construction of the 14th Military Hospital which is a bilateral project, and also provided 45 buses along with three containers of spare parts.
Amb. Thangal continued that India also provided five trucks, one container spare parts and two consignments of medicines to the Government of Liberia during the heat of the coronavirus crisis here.
He described the claim of alleged external support as a wild allegation which he said cannot think that somebody is saying that, adding “I am sorry, he’s doing it on his own, he will stop when he wants to.”
The Indian Ambassador said he is very happy that a fellow Indian citizen, Mr. Sachedeva is doing such a great job, “wining many hearts and souls of Liberian brothers and sisters, specifically the less fortunate, underprivileged.”
While praising Mr. Sachedeva’s free hot meal initiative, Amb. Thangal emphasized that the first basic need of any human being is food because if you are hungry, you cannot reasonably think or work.
Additionally, Amb. Thangal clarified that Mr. Sachedeva is not under investigation by the Government of India in relation to alleged US$5m intended for Indians, explaining that “Government of India does not pay any money to Honorary Consul General.”
According to Amb. Thangal, the payment of US$2m by the Government of Indian was not done through Jeety, but it was through the Government of Liberia.
Even as India’s Ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Liberia, Mr. Thangal explained that the Government of India does not pay money to him that is intended for these countries he is accredited to, saying “It is strict from government to government.”
Mr. Sachedeva, an Indian Businessman, diplomat, and philanthropist has repeatedly explained here that his food distribution initiative is from Jeety Trading Corporation, adding that “we are not getting external support or internal support from anyone.”
Through his monthly distribution of home – cooked hot food to inmates at the Monrovia Central Prison, Mr. Sachedeva said recently that he strongly believes he will be able to inspire one of his fellow businessmen who will also think about helping the inmates one day.
With this aim, he said he and his team from the Jeety Trading Corporation carried home – cooked hot food for over 1,300 inmates which included rice, kidney beans, chicken, water, juice and cakes.
Mr. Sachedeva’s efforts in forging friendship, cordiality, peace and love between Liberia and India and enormous contributions to the growth of Liberia’s commercial sector have been recognized by both the past and current governments
The Indian businessman and philanthropist was in April this year honored and decorated by Liberian authorities with the rank of Knight Grand Commander of Humane Order of African Redemption during a cocktail reception held in honor of members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps here.
At that event on 23 April, Mr. Sachedeva renewed his pledge to continue his humanitarian and philanthropist works even having ended his tour of duty as India’s honorary consul general in Liberia. By Winston W. Parley