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Issue: VI-17 January 1, 2008
GOPIO NEWS
January 1, 2008
A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
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In This Issue
DIWALI HONORED AND CELEBRATED BY VARIOUS GOVERNMENTS
PRAVASI BHARATIYA DIVAS THEME ANNOUNCED - REGISTRATION IN NOW OPEN
KNOW INDIA PROGRAM FOR NRI/PIO YOUTH
GOPIO INTERNATIONAL AND CHAPTER NEWS
NRIs/PIOs ACHIVE
NEWS OF INTEREST TO NRIs and PIOs
GOPIO LIFE MEMBERSHIP AND CHAPTER FORMATION
EDITORIAL BOARD
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DELEGATES FROM 25 COUNTRIES TO PARTICIAPTE IN GOPIO CONVENTIOIN 2008 IN NEW DELHI
 

The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) has scheduled its Convention 2008 in New Delhi on January 6th and 7th at the FICCI auditorium, in conjunction with Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2008. The conference will be formally inaugurated on January 6th at 3.00 pm by Honorable  Smt. Meira Kumar, Minister  of Social Justice and Empowerment.

 

After the formal inauguration of the conference, there are two sessions planned as follows:

 

Critical Issues Confronting Indian Diaspora

NRI/PIO's  Property Scams and Legal Ramifications

 

On January 7, 2008, GOPIO has planned an all day summit on education with the theme: EDUCATION FOR THE MASSES IN INDIA - ROLE OF NRIs/PIOs. Specifically, the summit will deal on the following questions:

 

                   Opportunities in mass education where NRIs/PIOs can be effectively involved?

                   Opportunities for senior NRIs who are retiring now, who could be motivated to get involved in schools from their towns/villages - What mechanism?

                   Young professionals and younger generation NRIs/PIOs who could volunteer their time during the summer and semesters away - What opportunities and mechanisms?

 

The Education summit is co-sponsored several other NGOs including the US based India Development Coalition, Pratham, America Indian Foundation and GOPIO-Connect. Speaker include Madhave Chavan, Founder Chairman of Pratham; Lord Bhikhu Parekh; Dr. Y.S. Rajan, ZeeTV Chairman Subhash Chandra and Lord Diljit Rana.

 

On January 6th evening, GOPIO will hold it Annual Awards Banquet at 7:30 P.M. at Ashoka Hotel which will be presided over by Honorable Ravi Vayalar, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs. GOPIO COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDS which were established to recognize and honor those NRIs and PIOs who have provided significant community and public service or done philanthropic work for the Indian Diaspora  and/or to India, shall be presented at the banquet.

 

"We at GOPIO feel privileged to recognize some NRIs/PIOs who have contributed significantly to the countries of their adoption as well as to India, and have added a special glitter to the resurgence of India," said Inder Singh, President of GOPIO.

 

 Since its inception in 1989, GOPIO has been organizing conferences and conventions in different parts of the world to mobilize the global NRI/PIO community. During the last few years alone, GOPIO has organized nine international conferences. Besides providing a globally recognized platform for dialogue and discussion to the worldwide Indian Diaspora, GOPIO's conferences and conventions continue to help bring the Indian Diaspora closer to mother India and strengthen the inherent bonds between mother India and the globally spread Diaspora. The convention in New Delhi on January 6th and 7th, 2008, is another of its continuing efforts to mobilize the global Indian community and facilitate their networking.

 

GOPIO believes that the destiny of the Indian Diaspora, in many ways, is intertwined inextricably with India. The NRIs/PIOs, individually and collectively, certainly have made numerous, significant achievements in their adopted lands but they are bound to India by the umbilical cord of history, culture, heritage, and tradition. GOPIO's conferences and conventions continue to bring the Indian Diaspora directly and indirectly closer to mother India.

 

GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham said, "By honoring those who have worked selflessly for Indian Diaspora causes and India, we are providing exposure of such role models to the next generation." "This will motivate more NRIs and PIOs to volunteer their time for community causes," Dr. Abraham added.

 

The awards will be presented by Shri Vayalar Ravi, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs. The awardees for this year are Baroness Usha Prasher, United Kingdom; Moses V. Nagamootoo, Guyana; P.N.C. Menon, The Middle East; Ram Lakhina, The Netherlands and Dr. Mani Bhaumik, USA. Distinguished services to Indian Diaspora Award will be presented to J.C. Sharma, India and ZeeTV. GOPIO will also induct Lord Bhikhu Parekh in its Honor Roll.

 

 

GOPIO CONVENTION 2008

 

Program

 

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

 

9:30 am to 11:00 Noon   GOPIO Executive Committee Meeting (Not open to public)

11:00 am           Registration for GOPIO Convention begins (till 5.30 p.m.)

11:00 am - 12.00 Noon   GOPIO General Council Meeting (Not open to public)

12:00 Noon - 1.00 pm.   GOPIO Council & Chapter Reports (Open to Public)

North America -           Dr. Piyush Agrawal, Regional Vice President

                                    Zafar Iqbal, Delegate, Washington D.C. Chapter

                                    Ashok Kumar, Delegate, San Jose, California Chapter      

South America and Caribbean - Ambassador Krishna Nandoe, Regional Vice President

Middle East -                Sunny Kulathakal, Regional Vice President

South East Asia -          George Abraham, Regional Vice President

Pacific/Ocenia -           Noel Lal, Coordinator, Australia

Europe-                       Sunil Prasad, President, GOPIO-Belgium Conference Report

                                    Dr. Rajindre Tewari, President GOPIO-Amsterdam, Netherlands

                                    Birjinder Sodhi, President GOPIO Berlin, Germany

1:00 Noon - 1.45 pm. Lunch

2:00 pm to 2:45 pm  

Tribute to the Late Dr. L.M. Singhvi

GOPIO is grateful to late Dr. L.M. Singhvi, formerly Chairman of High Level Committee on Indian Diaspora, for his outstanding contributions to the Indian Diaspora movement, for his role in the grant of dual nationality to NRIs/PIOs and for his initiative in starting and organizing PBD.

 

Chair: Ambassador (Retired) J. C. Sharma, Anthar Rashtra Sahayog Nyas

Speakers:  Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International, USA

     Lord Bhikhu Parekh, House of Lords, London, U.K.

     Raj Loomba, Businessman and Philanthropist, U.K.

     Ram Lakhina, The Netherlands, Former Chairman, GOPIO International

     K.N. Gupta, President GOPIO India

     Dr. Abhshek Singhvi, MP, Spokesman for the Congress Party, India

 

Session Coordinators: Inder Singh, President GOPIO Int'l & Ashook Ramsaran, Secretary Gen GOPIO Int'l

 

3:00 pm to 6:30 pm  GOPIO Convention 2008 Inauguration

Welcome: K.N. Gupta, Convention Chair and President GOPIO India

Welcome: Inder Singh, President, GOPIO International, USA

Greetings: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International, USA

Inauguration Ceremony: Lighting of the Lamp

Chief Guest - Hon. Meira Kumar, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment

Release of the book by Anand Mulloo of Mauritius

Recognition of Sponsors

Note of Thanks: Ashook Ramsaran, Secretary General, GOPIO Int'l., USA

 

Session I: 3.30 pm- 4.50 pm    Current Issues and Concerns Confronting the Diaspora

Chair:   Dr. Jagat Motwani, Author, Writer and Chairman, GOPIO Academic Council

Co-Chair: Dr. Shekhar Tiwary, Co-Chair, GOPIO Tracing of Roots Committee

 

Keynote Speaker: Hon. Basdeo Panday, Leader of the Opposition and former Prime Minister, Trinidad

Panelists:  Vijay Kumar Sharma, Senior Partner, Arlingtons Sharmas Solicitors - Indian community Issues in Europe

Buddhdev Pandya MBE, Hon Corporate Advisor, British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) - Issues of Medical doctors in UK

Ambassador Krishna Nandoe, Caribbean Regional VP, GOPIO - Caribbean Perspectives

N. Ganesan, Malaysia - Current Temple and Other Issues in Malaysia

Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria, Executive Director, Social Strategic Foundation - Current Issue in Malaysia

Dr. Piyush Agrawal - Community issues in North America

 

Session II: 5.00 pm- 6.30 pm   NRI's/PIO's  Property Scams and Legal Ramifications

 

Moderator & Chair:

Subhash C. Sharma, Professor of Economics, Southern Illinois University     Carbondale, U.S.A

Co-Chair: Yatish Choudhari, USA

 

Panelists: Mr. M. M. Maheshwari, New York, USA

                  Ms. Anjali Sachdev, Seattle, Washington, USA

                  Mr. Subhash C. Sharma, USA, Ved Prakash Sharma, President Delhi Bar Asso.

Dr. Surat Singh (Doctor of Law -Harvard), Advocate Supreme Court and Delhi High Court

                   Mr. Jagdish Vatsa, Advocate Delhi High Court

 

7:30 pm to 11:00 pm

Reception, Entertainment andGrand Awards Banquet with the Presentation of GOPIO Community Service Awards

Ashoka Hotel, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakaypuri, Delhi, 110021 Telephone 11-2611-0101, 11-2611-6161

Chief Guest: Honorable Vayalar Ravi, Minister, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs

Honored Guests: Dr. Karan singh MP and Former Governor and Minister M.M. Jacob

Event Coordinator: Munish Gupta, Chair, GOPIO Media Council & Ashok Malhotra, Secretary GOPIO India

 

GOPIO Community Service Awards will be presented to:

  • Baroness Usha Prasher, U.K.              
  • PNC Menon, Middle East
  • Moses V. Nagamootoo, Guyana          
  • Ram Lakhina, The Netherlands
  • Dr. Mani Bhaumik, USA

Distinguished Services to the Indian Diaspora Award

  • Ambassador J.C. Sharma, India

Special Award

  • ZeeTV for its Outstanding Reach to NRI/PIO Communities and help in bringing them together

 

GOPIO HONOR ROLL

GOPIO honors leaders by inducting to GOPIO Honor Roll for their outstanding political leadership and their continued support for GOPIO and Indian Diaspora. This year, the following leader will be inducted to the GOPIO Honor Roll for his outstanding leadership and continued support for GOPIO and Indian Diaspora.

       Lord Bhikhu Parekh, U.K.

 

Monday, January 7th, 2008

 

GOPIO EDUCATION SUMMIT

 

CO-SPONSORS:      

India Development Coalition Association (IDCA),

GOPIO.Connect

American Indian Foundation

Pratham

 

THEME:

EDUCATION FOR THE MASSES IN INDIA - ROLE OF NRIs/PIOS

 

Specifically, the summit will deal on the following questions:

1.       Opportunities in mass education where NRIs/PIOs can be effectively involved

2.       Opportunities for the NRI baby boomer generations who are retiring now, who could be motivated to get involved in schools from their towns/villages - What mechanism?

3.       Young professionals and younger generation NRIs/PIOs who could volunteer their time during the summer and semesters away - What opportunities and mechanisms?

 

9:30 am Registration and Coffee/Tea

 

10:00 am to 11:00 am - Inaugural Session

Event Chairman - Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International, USA

 

Welcome - Inder Singh, President, GOPIO International, USA

Address - Madhav Chavan, Founder Chairman, Pratham , India

Felicitation Address - M. M. Jacob, Former Minister and Governor, India

 

11.00 am to 11.20 am Coffee/Tea Break 

 

11.20 am to 12.30 pm Session I - The Need Where NRIs/PIOs Can be Involved

Chairperson and Moderator: Satvasheela P. Chavan, Shiv Niketan Education Society, New Delhi

 

Speakers:   Opening Talk - Lord Bhikhu Parekh, House of Lords London, U.K.

 

Dr. Y.S. Rajan, Advisor, Confederation of Indian Industries, New Delhi, India

  • NRI/PIO resources
  • Range of schools to support
  • Possible action areas and action channels

 

Amit Kaushik, Director, SRF Foundation and former Director of Elementary Education in the Ministry of HRD and also with UNESCO, India

  • The current status of elementary education in India
  • Major areas of gaps
  • Some recent successful NGO/partnership examples
  • Possible areas for involvement of NRIs/PIOs

 

Rakesh K. Mittal, IAS, Former Secretary of Education and Secretary of the Dept. of Social Welfare, Government of UP, India

 

12:30 pm to 1:30 pm Lunch 

 

1.30 pm to 2.40 p.m. Session II - Meeting the Need and Challenges for NRIs/PIOs to be Involved in Education for the Masses in India

Chairperson and Moderator : Vivek Singhal, India Development Coalition

 

Speakers: Opening talk - Subash Chandra, Chairman ZeeTV and Ekal Vidyalaya, New Delhi           

Lord Dilijit Rana, House of the Lords, London, UK     

  • Need and opportunity of NRI involvement, in developing educational facilities in rural areas of India.
  • The Difficulties experienced by NRI's in doing so...
  • Difficulties presented by FCRA (Foreign Currency Regulatory Authority, Ministry of Home affairs).
  • The education of women and creating some employment opportunities of woman in rural areas.  
  • Example from Sanghol project www.sanghol.com

 

Dr. Ashok K Chauhan, Founder President, Ritnand Balved Education Foundation (RBEF) - The Foundation of Amity Institutions

 

Yogi Patel, Pratham USA

  • NRIs have money and heart. They love India. They love education.
  • They will fund education in India.
  • Pratham USA persuades NRIs to fund education in India, raised over $10 million in 2007.
  • Telling NRIs about a good NGO does not raise money.  Connecting with passion and a specific "Call for Action" does.

 

2:40 pm to 3:50 pm Session III - Breakout Sessions (Intensive Discussion with Participants)

 

Session III A - INVOLVING SENIOR NRIs IN MASS EDUCATION IN INDIA

Moderator- Prof. Mohan K. Gautam, President and Chancellor, European Univ. of West & East, The Netherlands

Rapporteur - Dr. T.A. Geroge, Educationist, Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India

Speakers:Shankar Venkateshwaran, American India Foundation, New Delhi, India

                 Venkat Velagala, PLAN International, New Delhi, India

                  Dr (Mrs) Amita Chauhan, Chairperson, Amity International Schools

 

Session III B - INVOLVING YOUNGER GENERATION OF NRIs IN MASS EDUCATION IN INDIA

Moderator -  Dr. Kamal Dwivedi, Counselor, Science & Technology, Embassy of India, Washington DC, USA

Rapporteur - Prof. Raka Kamal, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India

Speakers: Prof. Roopam Saran, Manhattanville College, Purchase, New York, USA

                 Neal Bharadwaj, College Student, Univ. of California Merced, California, USA

     Atul Chauhan, Chancellor, Amity University Uttar Pradesh

           

3.50 pm to 4.10 pm Coffee/Tea Break 

 

4:10 pm to 5:15 pm Session IV - Reports from Breakout Sessions, Wrap-up and Adoption of Resolutions

Chair: Dr. Piyush Agrawal, USA Coordinator and Vice President for North America, GOPIO International, USA

Reports from all sessions - All Chairs and Co-chairs

Concluding Remarks - Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International

Note of Thanks - Prashant Gupta, Chairman, GOPIO.Connect

 

CONVENTION SPONSORS

 

Lord Daljit Rana, House of Lords, UK

Barjinder Sodhi, Berlin, Germany

Dr. Muhammed Majeed, Sabinsa Corporation, New Jersey and Bangalore

Dhani Ram Baruah M.D., FRCS, India

Balachandran Nair, Dubai & India

Manoranjana Sinh, NETV, India

 

 

Conference Registration

 

Contact GOPIO-India president Mr. K.N. Gupta, Tel: (91) 11-4164-2066/9811131588, e-mail: knguptas@hotmail.com  or GOPIO.Connect Chairman Prashant Gupta at Tel: +91-9899987657 or E-mail, pg1619@yahoo. com.

 

For more information on GOPIO Convention 2008, please contact: GOPIO President Inder Singh in USA at 818-708-3885, E-mail: gopio-intl@sbcglobal.net or Secretary General Ashook Ramsaran at: 718-353-1900 or by email at ramsaran@aol.com

 

 

GOPIO AND PBD PROCEEDINGS LIVE ON PIOTV

 

PIOTV will provide live coverage of GOPIO Convention 2008 on Jan. 6th and 7th and the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on Jan. 8th and 9th. Those who are not attending the GOPIO meeting and PBD can watch at PIOTV in the privacy of their homes/offices. Visitwww.piotv.com.

PRAVASI BHARATIYA DIVAS - JANUARY 7-9, NEW DELHI

 

PRAVASI BHARATIYA DIVAS 2008


January 7 - 9, 2008
Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi

Theme - Engaging the Diaspora: the way forward

 

The sixth PBD is also projected as a platform where issues of social concern of regional diaspora groups could be discussed in details. There will be parallel sessions of different regions - such as Gulf and the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Africa, USA etc - where there is significant Indian presence.

 

The Indian government will now seek the 25-million strong diaspora's help in the social development of the country, said Vayalar Ravi, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA). The sixth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2008 will focus on education, healthcare, empowerment of rural women and knowledge economy.

 

REGISTRATION

 

One can register online by visiting visit www.pbdindia.org.

 

MOIA Deputy Secretary Tanweer Qamar Mohammad has also informed GOPIO that the registration counter will be operating in the Vigyan Bhawan Annexe Building from the afternoon of January 5th, for on the spot registration. The delegates attending the GOPIO conference and those who have not registered for PBD 2008 may register there.

 

For any clarification or question, contact: Mr. Tanweer Qamar Mohammad, Deputy Secretary (Financial Services), Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Room no 914,
Akbar Bhawan, New Delhi 110021, India, E-mail: tqmohd@yahoo.com

 
T&T CHIEF JUSTICE SHARMA CLEARED
 

President George Maxwell Richards revoked the suspension of embattled Chief Justice Sat Sharma of

Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), paving the way for him to return to his job at the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain, hours after he received an official copy of the Lord Mustill Tribunal report. In a 58-page report, the three-member tribunal concluded: "In light of the matters set out in our report, the tribunal humbly recommends to your Excellency that the question of removal of the Honourable Satnarine Sharma from the office of Chief Justice of Trinidad and Tobago should not be referred to the Judicial Committee (of the Privy Council)."


The report, dated December 14, was handed over to the President at 10 am by Ida Eversley, secretary of the tribunal which was appointed on May 16, to determine whether Sharma should be removed from office. After perusing the report, President Richards dispatched a one-page letter to Sharma, pointing out that in accordance with Section 137 (4) (a) of the constitution, the suspension which he (Richards) imposed on Sharma on June 13, was revoked. A letter was also sent to acting Chief Justice Roger Hamel-Smith informing him that his appointment was revoked, with immediate effect.


The tribunal comprised retired Privy Council Judge Lord Michael Mustill, Sir Vincent Floissac QC and Dennis Morrison QC.


Sharma told T&T's Newsday: "I want to thank God for giving me the strength and courage to be able to face what I have been through. I also want to thank all the people who prayed for me, sent me cards and letters. I am happy at the decision of the tribunal."

 

At the helm of this issue, there was a move to arrest Chief Justice Sharma. GOPIO organized a demonstration in front of the United Nations in New York to counter this move by T&T government.

GOPIO INTERNATIONAL AND CHAPTER NEWS

 

 

GOPIO-WASHINGTON DC HOLD SEMINAR ON MENTAL HEALTH - RAISES FUNS FOR THPI

 

GOPIO-Washington DC hosted a successful fund raiser seminar on Saturday October 27, 2007 at the Woodlands Restaurant in Langley Park, Maryland, a suburb of Washington DC for one of its noble community work to raise funds for the expansion of renowned Thakur Hari Prasad Institute (THPI), Hyderabad, India.  This is a well known forty years old institute that provides vocational training, educational courses, therapy to people suffering from mental health problems and magnificent services to the children that suffer from AUTISM.

 

The seminar began with the GOPIO Washington DC chapter President, Dr. Renuka Misra welcoming an audience of about fifty people to the event.  There were several influential community leaders in the audience to support this humanly cause and the mission of GOPIO Metro-DC.  Dr. Misra provided an overview of the activities of GOPIO and GOPIO Metro-DC in the last few years, and also made a fervent appeal to the audience to donate generously to the GOPIO fund for the THPI.

 

The fund raising event consisted of a Panel discussion on diverse Mental Health Issues specially, Autism from three independent perspectives --- Psychiatrist, Neurologist and a Clinical Psychologist. The Psychiatrist's perspective was given by Dr. C. Prasad, a well known medical professional in his field. The neurologist perspective was delivered by Dr. A. Jayam Trouth,  Chairperson, Department of Neurology at Howard University, College of Medicine, Washington DC., and Dr. Surjit Kaur a Clinical Psychologist gave her personal perspective as how to deal with children with Autism.

 

GOPIO-Washington DC Mental Health Seminar and Fundraiser Dr. Jayam Trouth addressed the complex subject of Autistic Disorders. She explained that it is very important to diagnose autism in the youth at an early age, and provide them therapy, medication and training to overcome their handicap.  Dr. Trouth explained that often autistic youth are very talented in mathematics, arithmetic and numbers even though they have communication problems.

 

Dr. C Prasad spoke on how mental health issues are perceived in the 21st century.  He asked the audience to appreciate the differences between the various mental health problems, eg. mental retardation, mental depression, anxiety disorder, stresses due to certain family or job-related situations.  He traced the history of practices in India to treat mental disorders and the growth of this branch of medicine in US.

 

Dr. Surjit Kaur talked about her experiences working with Southasian people in US in the mental health and social services arenas.  She explained that major differences in cultural and social practices between US and Southasian countries impose a significant burden on immigrants.  Sometimes these stresses end up causing severe mental health problems.  She explained that a good understanding of the social situations of mental health patients is very important in devising treatment plans for them.

 

The seminar, well received by the audience was moderated by vice president Mr. Kaleem Kawaja. Dr. Sambhu Banik, a noted psychologist himself educated the audience about accomplishments of THPI.  The panel discussion was followed by a lively Question & Answer session moderated by Dr. Anil Mathur, a well known practicing psychologist.

 

The seminar concluded with recognition plaques being awarded to the three panelists for their support to the vision and mission of GOPIO. Vote of thanks was given by GOPIO General Secretary Dr. Kaushal Chauhan, and people enjoyed a sumptius buffet at the courtesy of Mr. Anand Poojary (life member) and Mrs. Meeta Poojary (GOPIO Treasurer) of the Woodlands Restaurant.

 

Dr. Renuka Misra made a humble appeal to the Global community and Community-at-large to donate generously for this humanitarian cause by writing a check to: GOPIO Metro DC/ THPI and mail to 12106, Pawnee Dr., Gaithersburg, MD. 20878.

 

Contact: Dr. Renuka Misra at 301-330-5098 or e-mail at renugopio@ yahoo.com.

 

GOPIO-SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA CHAPTER HOSTS HOLIDAY PARTY

 

GOPIO - San Francisco Bay Area hosted it annual gathering on December 14th. GOPIO International Treasurer Haresh Panchal spoke about the activities and achievements of GOPIO during past two decades. Nearly 60 people attended the dinner event to highlight GOPIO achievements.

 

GOPIO-SanFrancisco Bay Area Annual Holiday PartyJeevan Zutshi, the founding member and President of the Chapter talked about the GOPIO events held since the Chapter was founded in January 2007. He talked about the successful Unity Dinner event in March, 07. He invited everyone to attend the next Unity Dinner in Newark-Fremont Hilton on March 21, 2008.

 

Zutshi talked about the upcoming GOPIO Conference in India where the GOPIO Founder and Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham is going to receive the Bharatvanshi Gaurav Award from Trusts of International Cooperation in New Delhi and will be attended by the GOPIO International President Mr. Inder Singh, and so many GOPIO members worldwide. He was very excited to report that SF Chapter will be represented in India by Ashok Kumar, another executive Committee member of the chapter. 

 

Contact: Jeevan Zutshi, e-mail: JEEVANZUTSHI@aol.com

 

GOPIO-BERLIN HOSTS MOIA MINISTER RAVI

 

Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi visited Germany from December 22nd to 24th.  GOPIO-Berlin President Barjinder Sodhi organized a community reception at the famous Neumanns Restaurant in Berlin in his honour on December 23rd.

 

GOPIO-Berlin Hosts Minister Vayalar RaviAttended by over 200 NRIs and PIOs, the meeting was also attended by two members of German Parlament, Holger Ortel and Detlef Dejimbritzki. Berlin Mayor Dr. Christian Hanke was also present to welcome Minister Ravi to the city. After his speech, Minister Vayalar Ravi interacted with GOPIO members and other community leaders for over three hours.

 

Contact: Barjinder S, Tel: +49-172-5912710, barjindersodhi@hotmail.com

NRIs/PIOs ACHIEVE
 

INDIAN AMERICAN PADMASREE WARRIER APPOINTED AS CTO AT CISCO

 

Cisco Systems has appointed Padmasree Warrier as the Chief Technology Officer. She was serving as the chief technology officer at Motorola and resigned that position when Motorola Chairman and CEO announced his departure. According to some analysts, Cisco intends to increasingly expand in the communications sector beyond its networking business.

 

Warrier has M.S. degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University and B.Tech from IIT New Delhi.

 

INDIAN AMERICAN LAKIREDDY DONATES $1 MILLION TO MERCED COLLEGE

 

Indian American cardiologist Hanimireddy Lakireddy has announced the formation Hanimireddy Lakireddy School of Health Sciences at Merced College, Merced, California. A ground breaking ceremony was also held for the school's new Allied Health Building, a $12-million, 31,000 square-foot building which will house school's health sciences, registered and licensed vocational nursing, certified nursing assistant, emergency medical technician, sonography and radiological technology programs.

 

Lakireddy had earlier donated $1 million to UC Merced for the construction of an auditorium.


GOPIO LIFE MEMBER RAJ SOIN BUILDS SPECIALTY HOSPITAL IN HARYANA

 

Indian American and GOPIO Life Member Raj Soin has opened a multi-specialty hospital in Banchari, Haryana. This will serve nearly a million residents of this backward area of Haryana.

 

The 55-bed multi-specialty non-profit hospital, with facilities for 24-hour intensive care unit (ICU) and emergency trauma services, started operations on December 29, 2007 in Haryana's Faridabad district, adjoining the Indian capital.

 

Dayton, Ohio-based Rajesh K Soin has built the hospital in the memory of his father, Sukhdev Raj Soin. The NRI's Nasdaq-listed company in the US has interests in defence equipment manufacturing, software development and other products.

 

At hand for the inauguration of the hospital were Ohio Senator George Voinovich and Congressmen Mike Turner, Phil Gingrey, Rob Bishop and Steve Pearce.

 

Nearly 100 villages spread over an area of 4,600 sq km in Faridabad and Mewat - among the most backward districts of Haryana - will benefit from the new hospital. Villagers will now not have to travel to big cities to avail of top health facilities.

 

Even though Raj Soin originally hails from Jammu city, he chose to set up the Sukhdev Raj Soin hospital in this part of Haryana after land was donated to the hospital trust and the Soin Foundation by the Maharishi Dayanand memorial campus based in Banchari.

 

Soin said that the hospital would further be expanded to 150 beds and add a medical college later, would have surgical and super-specialty services like neurosurgery, gastroenterology, ophthalmology and pediatrics. Medical facilities will be offered free-of-cost to poor patients. Drugs will be made available at highly subsidized rates, Soin said.

 

Located close to the Delhi-Mathura highway, the new hospital will also cater to accident victims.

NEWS OF INTEREST TO NRIs AND PIOs AROUND THE WORLD
 

LIFTING THE MISTS - A GUIDE TO ELDERLY US IUMMIGRANTS

 

Texas resident Malti Patel has published a useful book, "Lifting the Mists - A simple guide to a complex welfare system for elderly immigrants and their families" to help Immigrants and senior citizens with Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security and welfare issues. The book is written in very simple question answer format for seniors to understand complex rules easily. Purpose of the book is to make difference in the life of elderly immigrants, who struggle to get medical and social security benefits for their survival in this country because of lack of right information.

 

The book can be ordered from: Malti Patel, 1607 Wood Creek Lane, Allen, TX 75002, USA, Tel: 469-675-0972, e-mail: malti13@tx.rr.com

 

BRITAIN TO TIGHTEN IMMIGRATION LAWS

 

British Government plan to announce new rules on immigration to that country. Visitors to Britain from outside the European Union will not be allowed to stay in the country for more than three months, instead of the current six months, according to a plan likely to be announced soon. The plan tightening immigration laws, which will affect thousands of Indians, also includes revival of an old scheme that makes it mandatory for families with temporary visas sponsoring relatives to visit Britain to deposit 1,000 per head. The cash bond would be forfeited if the relatives overstayed. A few years ago, when such a deposit was suggested, it led to an uproar in the Indian community, which ensured that it was dropped. Every year, thousands of Indians visit their relatives in the UK, many of them to attend marriages and family functions, the community had said against the scheme.

 

The measures will be part of a consultation document to be introduced by Immigration Minister Liam Byrne. The government has already announced several other changes to the visa rules, which Byrne described as the "biggest shake-up of the immigration system in history". It includes a points-based system for economic migrants and the tightening of norms for people bringing their spouses to Britain.

 

ANNUAL PARVASI PUNJABI DIVAS 2008

 

By 2020, every 4th person on the earth will be India born. The most pressing challenge will be to provide skilled manpower globally to match the demand and supply. Keeping the Global demand scenario in view, International Punjabi Chamber for Service Industry (IPCSI) has dedicated its 6th International Annual convention to "Skills Development for Global Employment of Indian Youth - Challenges and opportunities" on Saturday, the 12th January, 2008, at Hotel Mountview, Chandigarh.

 

Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister Punjab shall inaugurate the convention while ministers, government officials, eminent Non Resident Indians, leading corporate executives, academicians, HR developers, international agencies, and others associated with skill development will be attending the convention.

 

Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister Haryana shall attend the business networking deliberations and dinner.        

 

Interested persons should write to:ppd2008@ipcsi.orgor download details from www.ipcsi.org/IPCSI_Brochure.pdf.

 

GLOBAL GOANS TO MEET IN JANUARY IN GOA

 

World Alliance of Goan Overseas Association is planning a meet of Non-residents Indians from the state of Goa on January 19 at Mandovi Riviera, Panjim, Goa. The theme of the convention is, "We still call Goa home" and is aimed at celebrating the solidarity, heritage and rich Goan traditions.

 

According to UK based Rene Baretto who is one of the organizers of the event, "The Global Reunion is a wonderful opportunity to meet Goans settled in different countries, start new friendships, renew old ones and to build a stronger link between Goans through networking."

 

For more information, contact, Antonio Mascarenhas - Goa Telephone; 227-7418 or visit http://www.our-goa-nsw.org/, http://www.our-goa-nsw.org/alliance.html.
GOPIO LIFE MEMBERSHIP AND CHAPTER FORMATION

GOPIO is a non-partisan, non-sectarian global organization with chapters in several countries, actively promoting the interests of people of Indian origin worldwide by monitoring and addressing current critical issues of concern, and by enhancing cooperation and communication between groups of Indians living in various countries.

 

GOPIO Individual Life membership is open to all who believe in the mission of GOPIO. The one- time fee is $5,000 for Platinum Life Membership, $2,500 for Gold Life Membership and $1,500 Silver Life Membership and half the amount for each category for those from developing countries and India.

 

GOPIO is looking forward to opening chapters in all major cities of the world so as to network people of Indian origin all over the world. If you do not have chapter in your city, please visit GOPIO website (www.gopio.net

) and get details of chapter initiation (visit http://www.gopio.net/chapter_initiative.htm). Process involves sending a letter of intent to start a chapter by a committee of five people or more.  For more information, contact:

 

GOPIO President - Inder Singh, Tarzana, California, USA, Tel: 818-708-3885, E-mail: gopio-intl@sbcglobal.net

GOPIO Executive Vice President - Lord Daljit Rana, UK, Tel:  +44 28-9807-8787, Email: dsrana@andrashouse.co.uk

GOPIO Secretary General - Ashook Ramsaran, Fresh Meadows, New York City, Tel: 718/939-8194, E-mail: ramsaran@aol.com

 

To become a Life member of GOPIO, visit http://www.gopio.net/membership_form.htm, print and fill up the form and send it with a check to: GOPIO, P.O. Box 1413, Stamford, CT 06904, USA.   

EDITORIAL BOARD

 

Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO (Stamford, CT, USA)

Editors: Ashook Ramsaran, GOPIO General Secretary (New York, USA); and Munish Gupta, GOPIO Media Chair (Los Angeles, Calif)

Webmasters: Prashant Gupta (Gurgaon, Haryana, India) and Abu Thomas (New Rochelle, NY, USA)

Contributors of this issue: Inder Singh (USA), Barjinder Sodhi (Germany), Dr. Renu Misra (USA), Jeevan Zutshi (USA)

 

GOPIO NEWS welcomes NRI/PIO related stories from all over the world. Be a volunteer correspondent or reporter. Contact Dr. Thomas Abraham, Tel: 203-329-8010, E-mail: gopio@optonline.net

 

Visit GOPIO's Official site at www.gopio.net or www.gopio.com