New York-based social activist and Jaipur Foot USA Chairman Prem Bhandari was unanimously elected as the president of the leading diaspora organisation Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA) in March.

Upon this appointment, the royal families of Jaipur and Jodhpur in Rajasthan have congratulated Bhandari and wished him success for the continued work of the organisation.

We are all delighted to hear of your being unanimously elected President of Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA) in New York. My family joins me in conveying our Heartiest Congratulations on this well-deserved honour. You have done tremendous work for promoting our Rajasthani heritage & culture in a foreign land. Not only this, but you have extended help & support to many Indians who needed it. May Chamunda Mataji protect you always and be with you in this journey. Wishing you continued success & best wishes for the good work you are doing under the RANA banner," Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Jodhpur said in a letter to Bhandari.

Jaipur, Jodhpur royal families congratulate NY-based social activist appointed as RANA president

The Royal family of Jaipur is very glad to know that you have been appointed as the President of Rajasthan Association of North America. You are very rightly placed in this position, keeping in view all your selfless work that you have been doing. Our best wishes are always with you and with R.A.N.A. for all the social welfare that is carried out by this association," H. H. Rajmata Padmini Devi of Jaipur, wrote in a congratulatory letter addressed to Bhandari.

Jaipur, Jodhpur royal families congratulate NY-based social activist appointed as RANA president

What is RANA?

RANA is a non-profit organisation, which focuses on highlighting and promoting Rajasthani cultural heritage in the US. RANA provides a single social platform for people across the world to experience Rajasthan's rich culture.

Prem Bhandari as RANA president
Prem Bhandari elected RANA president

RANA has been recognised by both Indian and US governments as one of the leading trans-continental non-profit organizations building bridges between USA and India through the exchange of art, culture, commerce and social ventures. The organisation in NY has held four international conventions over the years, for which Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot was in attendance twice and former CM Vasundhara Raje had visited once. Bhandari has expressed plans to organise a global RANA convention soon.

Who is Prem Bhandari?

Prem Bhandari is also the chairman of Jaipur Foot USA and REDIO — Rescuing every Distressed Indian Overseas. He has been at the forefront of the cause of OCI cardholders for several years and came forward to the aid of many Indians by easing their travel during the challenging times of COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently, he has also been working through REDIO to help Indians stranded in the Ukraine return to their country.

Earlier this month, Bhandari joint Secretary of the non-profit organisation based in New York, Nishant Garg met the Counsel General of Ukraine in New York Oleksii Holubov, New York City's Commissioner for International Affairs Edward Mermelstein, Deputy Commissioner- Trade, Investment and Innovation for New York City Mayor's Office for International Affairs Dilip Chauhan and General Counsel for the Mayor's Office for International Affairs Sarah Friedman, to discuss the possibility of holding limb fitment camps for needy soldiers and civilians injured in the conflict.

Jaipur Foot USA mulling limb fitment camps in war-torn Ukraine; to help soldiers and civilians [details]

As the chairman of Jaipur Foot USA, whose parent organisation is Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), Bhandari has been associated with several international camps under the leadership of Padma Bhushan D.R. Mehta over the years. Since its inception in 1975, BMVSS has helped over 2 million differently-abled people globally through 85 international camps in 35 countries across Asia, Latin America and Africa. The artificial limbs, popularly referred to as Jaipur Foot cost the organisation $70, but the beneficiaries are not charged a single penny.

Bhandari's philanthropic work has gained him immense respect, international recognition and accolades.