Indian envoy to receive Liberia's highest award



Monrovia: India's Honorary Consul General to Liberia Upjit Singh Sachdeva will receive the West African nation's highest award, the Knight Grand Commander, from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during its 164th independence day celebrations on Tuesday.

Sachdeva, a prominent businessman and humanitarian, was selected for the honour by the president.

He will become the first Indian to receive the award from a Liberian president in recognition of his contributions towards the country's reconstruction programmes. He is also being honoured for his commitment to philanthropic causes as well as contributions to the betterment of India-Liberia relations.

He was appointed honorary consul general by the Indian president in 1998.

Liberia declared independence on July 26, 1847. This year's celebration will be held in the northern city of Voinjama in Lofa County, 400 km from Monrovia, the Liberian capital.

"This investiture is therefore a matter of extreme pride and delight for all Indians, both within and outside Liberia," Sachdeva, who is also popularly called Jeety, told the Daily Observer, the country's oldest independent daily.

On January 9 this year, Sachdeva was honoured with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by Indian President Pratibha Patil.

Along with Sachdeva, Liberian Vice President Joseph N Boakai and Legislature Speaker Alex Tyler, among others, will be honoured at the special event.

The presidents of Nigeria and Sierra Leone are among the foreign guests expected to attend the celebrations.

The Knight Grand Commander of the Liberian Humane Order of African Redemption was set up on January 13, 1879, during the presidency of Anthony W Gardiner. It is awarded to individuals for their meritorious humanitarian work.

IANS