India Retires ‘Jetty’ from Diplomatic Service in Liberia
Monrovia – After more than two decades of diplomatic services and humanitarian works, the Government of India, through its Embassy in La Cote D’Ivoire, has withdrawn Mr. Upjit Singh Sachdeva, as its Honorary Consul General to Liberia.
Mr. Sachdeva, who is commonly known as “Jeety” in Liberia, was appointed Honorary Consul General of Indian to Liberia in 1998.
He is also the Chief Executive Office (CEO) of the Jeety Trading Corporation-a premier dealer of building and household materials in the country.
In a letter dated February 5, 2021 and addressed to Liberia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dee Maxwell Kemayah, a copy which is in the possession of Frontpage Africa, the Indian government also withdraw the Letter of Commission appointing Mr. Sachdeva as Honorary Consul with immediate effect.
The Indian government, through its Embassy in La Cote D’Ivoire pointed out that Mr. Sachdeva will “cease to function as Honorary Consul General of India with immediate effect”.
“The Embassy of India in Abidjan has further honour to express to express the Government of India’s sincere appreciation to the Government of Liberia for all the cooperation extended to Mr. Upjit Singh Sachdeva while serving as Honorary Consul General of Indian to Liberia”.
Seeking Embassy formation
For sometimes now, the Government of India has been reportedly expressing interest in establishing its Embassy in Liberia to further strengthen bilateral and multilateral relations between the two countries and peoples.
The lack of an Indian Embassy in Liberia compels Liberians and others planning to make a trip to India to wait for several days before acquiring their visas from La Cote D’Ivoire.
But in the communication, the Indian government requested the Liberian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to “expedite the necessary clearance for establishing the Embassy of India to Liberia”.
The Indian government also wants the Liberian government, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to also fast-track the “Agreement” of its designated Ambassador to Liberia, which has already been forwarded for necessary clearance.
Recall in humanitarian works
Though the Indian government did not state reason (s) for recalling Mr. Sachdeva as its Honorary Consul General to Liberia, the action has been taken at a time “Jeety” is making many impactful contributions in the lives of thousands of Liberians, especially the less fortunate and vulnerable citizens.
Through the launch of his hot cooked meal program several years ago, Mr. Sachdeva has been providing feeding and drinks to citizens, including mentally derailed, old folks, vulnerable youths commonly known as “zogos” in Liberia, convicts and prisoners at the Monrovia Central Prison, among others.
The program came to the lampstand during the heat of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Hundreds of less fortunate citizens normally trooped his Vai Town offices on the Bushrod Island, outside Monrovia to receive their share of the hot cooked meal on a daily basis.
Mr. Sachdeva played a pivotal role in rallying the Indian community in Liberia to donate over US$40,000 worth of items, including 200 Bags of Rice to Nurses, Doctors and Soldiers at the 14 Military Hospital, and also made a cash donation of US$6000 in April 2020 to the frontliners.
At the celebration of the 71st Republic Day, the outgoing Honorary Indian Consul General promised to ensure the establishment of a charity hospital, full and equip with some of the latest, and modern medical technology in Liberia.
Republic Day is a national holiday in India which commemorates and honors the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of India Act of 1935 as the governing document of India and thus, turning the nation into a newly formed republic.
On July 26, 2011, Mr. Sachdeva was conferred with Liberia’s Highest Award “Knight Grand Commander” during the country’s 164th Independence Day celebrations, by former Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
He was bestowed the country’s highest honor for his outstanding contribution to the socio-economic development, recovery and reconstruction of Liberia after the civil war.
“Jeety” earned the distinction of being the FIRST INDIAN in the history of African Countries to have got the highest award.
At the time, Madam Sirleaf made special reference to Mr. Sachdeva’s efforts in forging friendship between Liberia and India and his enormous contribution to the growth of Liberia’s commercial sector.
Earlier in January 2011 President Pratibha Patil also honoured Mr. Sachdeva with the PRAVASI BHARTIYA AWARD for enhancing India’s global image.
He made India proud when on Jan 10, 2016 he was appointed as Head/Dean of the Consular Corps (Group of Ambassadors) in Liberia, by the Government of the Republic of Liberia, through its ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The appointment was based upon precedence of appointment as between Head of Consular Post, in accordance with article 16 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of April 24, 1963 and Mr. Sachdeva was informed about this appointment through a letter signed by the Acting Chief of Protocol of the Republic of Liberia
As Mr. Sachdeva departs from diplomatic service, Liberians and others will miss a Diplomat turned a traditional friend and a true humanitarian that has been combating against hunger and poverty in the nation.