GOPIO Special Bulletin, December 23 2016
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GOPIO NEWS

SPECIAL BULLETIN

December 23, 2016

A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)

Issue: XIV-13December 23, 2016
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In This Issue
GOPIO ANNOUNCES BENGALURU CONVENTION AND PRAVASI COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDS
GOPIO TO LAUNCH GOPIO INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN MUMBAI ON JAN. 10TH
GOPIO NEWS SPONSOR
MEA AND KARNATKA GOVT. GETTING READY TO HOST PRAVASI BHARATIYA DIVAS (PBD2017), JAN 7-9, 201
GOPIO TO LAUNCH DELHI/NCR CHAPTER ON DEC. 23RD
GOPIO LIFE MEMBERSHIP AND CHAPTER FORMATION
EDITORIAL BOARD
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GOPIO is a community supported non-profit organization taking up issues of the Indian Diaspora and attempting to unifying the community in its common causes. Support GOPIO by becoming a Life Member or chapter member. Once can become Life Member online by visiting http://www.gopio.net/online_membership.html.

GOPIO ANNOUNCES BENGALURU CONVENTION AND PRAVASI COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDS  

The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) is hosting its convention on 5th and 6th of January, 2017 at Hotel Le Meridien, Bengaluru in conjunction with Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conducted by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. This convention in Bengaluru attracts investors, political functionaries, business leaders from India and abroad and would be an important milestone which will chart out a course of action for the future. 
 
GOPIO, founded in New York in 1989, has been serving the 30 million global Indian community for the last 27 years. GOPIO serves as an effective platform to channel NRI/PIO talents and investments to India their motherland. Over the years, GOPIO has taken up issues of civil rights and human rights violations of the Indian Diaspora around the world and are pleased to say that our communities have joined the political mainstream in many of the Diaspora countries. The philanthropic and social causes undertaken by GOPIO among the needy and distressed NRIs and PIOs are acclaimed by one and all. 
 
However, visitors from abroad are ill prepared for the sudden demonetization of high value currency notes in India.
 
 
"One group that will be hit hard by the government's restrictions will be hundreds delegates reaching Bengaluru for the Pravasi convention from all over the world," said Sunny Kulathakal, Convention Convener and GOPIO's Global Ambassador. He added that many of them have in their possession demonetized currency notes that they may find difficult to exchange on arrival in India. GOPIO has requested the government to facilitate the exchange of these notes at various Indian embassies or other means.
 
 
Earlier GOPIO President Niraj Baxi wrote a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to extend by six months the cutoff date for depositing the demonetized notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations.
 
"NRIs and PIOs should be allowed to exchange whatever amount they have as long as they show the proof of past conversion of foreign currency to Indian currency in the last 10 years," said Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman of GOPIO International.
 
GOPIO will discuss this and other issues at the convention in Bangalore on January 5 and 6, 2017 at Hotel Le Meridien, Bengaluru. Union Minister of State for External Affairs Shri. M. J. Akbar will inaugurate the Convention at 4 PM on 5th. The Chief Ministers of Southern States of India and other prominent personalities will attend.
 
On 6th morning Dr. Shashi Tharoor, MP will inaugurate the panel discussion on Diaspora issues. It will be followed by panel dialogue on philanthropy by Lord Dilgit Rana, Lord Raj Loomba and others. Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien will be attending the valedictory function.
 
The Awards Banquet function at 7 PM on Jan. 6th will be attended by the Governor Vajubhai Vala, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and other dignitaries. GOPIO Community Service AwardS also will be presented at the Finale Banquet event. This year's awardees are as follows:

Dr. Abraham M. George, New Jersey, USA and Tamil Nadu, India

Dr. Abraham M. George
Abraham M. George is engaged in several social projects including: Shanti Bhavan Residential School (www.shantibhavanonline.org) for children from socially and economically disadvantaged families; Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media (IIJNM - www.iijnm.org); Baldev Medical & Community Center to address the healthcare needs of over 15 villages in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. His work in the field of environmental health was instrumental for the removal of lead from gasoline tin India in 2000 and the creation of National Referral Centre for Lead Poisoning. George is the author of four books in international finance and environment. His recent book was "India Untouched: The forgotten face of rural poverty.
 

Chandu Patel, California, USA and Gujarat

Chandu K. Patel
Chandu Patel has set up the Sabarkantha Health and Research Foundation (SHRF) to augment the state's healthcare system. He started Krishna General Hospital in Himatnagar and plans to upgrade it to a medical college. The SHRF has also set up Geeta Girls Hostel for 300 college students and C. K. Patel Mahila Arts College. Chandu has also contributed to projects for abandoned children, senior citizens and other marginalized sections of society. His donations helped the victims of the Gujarat earthquake (2001), the Odisha super cyclone (1999) and other natural disasters. Chandu has been bestowed with many honors and awards for his community service and philanthropy.
 

Dr. George Cherian, Bahrain

Dr. Cherian George
After a 25 year career in Neonatology that spanned 3 continents, for the last 7 years Dr. Cherian has taken leadership of the American Mission Hospital in Bahrain. The hospital has been providing high quality care regardless of the ability to pay for the last 120 years. The Indian migrants who cannot afford insurance for healthcare have largely been the beneficiaries of hospital's policy.  A sustainable model of financing to provide this care has been created to enable us to grow and expand our reach. This model of not for profit care can be modeled in all economies of scale in both developed and developing economies.


 Naliandra (Jay) Naidu, Durban, South Africa

Naliandra (Jay) Naidu


Jay is currently employed as group head (home care) for Amka, a major toiletry and household company in South Africa. He has been with Amka for 28 years. He studied marketing and sales at various business institutions in South Africa. He has been involved in various community and charity drives within South Africa. He is very passionate about the plight of women and has worked on training women and placing them in employment. He is currently setting up a training academy where abused and unemployed women will be trained and employed.

Ram Buxani, Dubai, UAE

Dr. Ram Buxani
Dr. Ram Buxani is a 3 time Forbes awardee.  He is the Chairman of the ITL-Cosmos Group, a diversified global business entity.  He is a visionary entrepreneur, endowed with unfailing business acumen.  His autobiography "Taking the High Road", is now in its second edition.  He is often recognized as Mr. NRI in Gulf Region.  Truly multi-faceted, he is a community leader, spokesperson of NRIs, writer, theatre actor, cultural ambassador and social organizer. He has been conferred the Doctorate by Washington International University in 2004 and D.Litt Degree by D.Y. Patil University of Mumbai - for his contribution for NRIs and victims of natural calamity.

 
Vinod Patel - Fiji

Vinod S. Patel
Vinod Chandra Patel has served Town and District of Ba as a Councillor and Mayor and as an elected Member of Parliament of Fiji on two occasions. His contributions have been in the field of Education, Sports, Religion, Community Health, Local Government, and National Government and in Community and Philanthropy. He has provided outstanding service to business and commerce and in the field of sports especially in Soccer as the National Team Director and Vice President. He is the recipient of several awards given by the Government of Fiji and Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha. His philanthropic contribution to education in Fiji and India are legendary. 
**
PROGRAM DETAILS
GOPIO will have its General Body Meeting and Convention Inauguration on January 5th and a full day conference on Jan. 6th. The venue is Le Meridian, Bangalore.
 
GOPIO Convention 2017 - Bengaluru, India
 
Detailed Program
 
January 5 - 6, 2017
 
Venue:  Le Meridian Hotel, Bangalore
 
GOPIO Meetings, Regional & Country Reports, Conference Program & Community Service Awards Banquet
 
5thJanuary 2017
 
GOPIO Board and General Body Meetings, Council Reports, Session on Issues and Challenges of Indian Diaspora, Convention Inauguration, Session on Art and Culture for the Diaspora and Welcome Dinner
 
11:30am - 1.00 pm    GOPIO Executive Council Meeting
Chaired by Niraj Baxi, President, GOPIO Int'l, USA
(Not Open to the Public)
 
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm     Lunch
 
2.00 pm -2.45 pm       GOPIO General Body Meeting (Not Open to the Public)
 
   Chaired by Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman GOPIO Int'l, USA
   President's Report - Niraj Baxi, President
   Treasurer's Report - Kewal Kanda, Treasurer
   Foundation Report - Inder Singh, Exec. Trustee, GOPIO Foundation
   GOPIO Intl. Chamber of Commerce - Nitin Shah and Prakash Shah
   GOPIO Ambassador's Report - Sunny Kulathakal
   Conclusions - Dr. Thomas Abraham
 
2.50 pm -3.45 pm      Session "Issues, Opportunities and Challenges of the Indian Diaspora" (Open to the Public)
 
    Moderator: Inder Singh, Executive Trustee, GOPIO Foundation, USA
    Panelists: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman GOPIO International, USA
                    Dr. Neerja Arun Gupta, Gujarat Univ. and Chair, GOPIO Academic Council, India
                    Dr. Asha Samant, Chair, GOPIO Health Council, Livingston, NJ, USA
                    Prof. Prasad KDV Yarlagadda, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
and Chair GOPIO Science and Technology Council
                    Dr. Sai Giridhar, Secretary, GOPIO International Bahrain, The Middle East
     Dr. Mohan Jain, Chairman, India Development Coalition, Chicago, IL, USA
                  
4.00 pm            -           Convention Inauguration

Minister M.J. Akbar
Chief Guest: Hon. M.J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs
 
5.30 pm            -           Tea Break
 
6. pm - 7.30 pm             Session - EMERGING OPPORTUNITIES: ARTS, SPORTS, CULTURE & WELLNESS
 
8.00 pm to 10 pm           Welcome Dinner and CULTURAL PROGRAME by Dr. Kumar ENSEMBLE
 
6thJanuary 2017
 
Full Day Conference concluding with Finale Awards Banquet
 
9.00 am - 5.30 p.m. - Conference Sessions 

Dr. Shashi Tharoor, MP
Keynote Address: Hon. Dr. Shashi Tharoor, MP, Former Minister of State for External Affairs

INDIAN WOMEN. GLOBAL LIVING/Time Shift

SOCIAL INDIAN - SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: REPRESENTING INDIAN CAPABILITIES FOR THE RURAL AND UNDER PRIVILEGED

GOPIO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 

STARTUP INDIA. MAKE IN INDIA TO DIGITAL INDIA

DIASPORA DIRECT INVESTMENT


7 pm - Valedictory Session and Finale Awards Banquet with Dignitaries including Karnataka Governor Shri Vajubhai Vala, Chief Minister S. Siddaramaiah, Rajya Sabha Deputy Speaker Prof. P.J. Kurien and others

Convention dignitaries (invited)

Vajubhai Vala, Siddaramaiah and Prof. P.J.Kurien
Photo above: Governor Vajubhai Vala, Chief Minister S. Siddaramaiah and Deputy Speaker Prof. P.J. Kurien


Convention Hotel -Le Meridian Hotel, Bangalore
           28 Sankey Road, P B No. 174, Bangalore 560 052, India             
 
Deluxe rooms on single occupancy @ INR 5750 + 21% tax (inclusive of buffet breakfast and wifi)
Deluxe rooms on double occupancy @ INR 6750 + 21% tax (inclusive of buffet breakfast and wifi)
 
For reservation, contact Jen Varghese, Director of Sales and Marketing, Le Meridian, Tel:+91 80 22262233 / 22282828  M +91 9980014000  Fax +91 80 22262050 / 22267676, jen.varghese@lemeridienbangalore.com 
 
Convention Registration: Please register for the GOPIO Convention which includes the Welcome Dinner on Jan. 5th and Lunch and Finale Awards Banquet on Jan. 6th. The registration fee is $35 per person.
 
To register, 
Go online to:
www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/make-online-payments
Choose:
Make online payment
Select option:
Pay for items or services quickly and securely
GOPIO Email:
 
Registration for youth and young professional - Gratis. Register by sending an e-mail to Geroge Varghese at geevarghis@gmail.com.
 
For more information, contact: GOPIO Global Ambassador Sunny Kulathakal in India at 09845756692, e-mail: kulathakal44@gmail.com or Convention Convener Shaji Baby John at 09567471111, E-mail: shajibabyjohn@kingsgroup.co.in.
GOPIO TO LAUNCH GOPIO INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN MUMBAI ON JAN. 10TH 
  
GOPIO's General body Meeting on June 26th, 2016 adopted a constitutional amendment to launch GOPIO International Chamber of Commerce (GICC). It will be a worldwide body working within the GOPIO organization. The new Executive Council is business oriented and keenly interested to connect with businesses with India and across the world. The new chamber GICC will focus on some of Indian Prime Minister's initiatives such as Make in India, Skill India and Digital India. With our 80 chapters in 30 countries, name recognition and with our extensive level of contacts, GOPIO hopes to grow this new chamber as a globally networked business promotion group.
 
The new chamber of commerce will be launched in Mumbai at Garware Club in Mumbai on January 10th at 5 p.m. GOPIO's advisor Raj Purohit MLA is the chairman of GICC Launch Committee. Many dignitaries from Mumbai including several political leaders and head of corporate houses will participate. For participation, contact gopio@optonline.net.
GOPIO NEWS SPONSOR
  
Viiaan Realty LLP

Viiaan is a Real Estate company facilitating clients and developers buy & sell properties in Western & Central parts of India. Viiaan is preferred marketing partners to some of the best developing companies in the region. Viiaan also focus into development activities itself in the city of Mumbai with currently 3 projects in pipeline. Contact:
Viiaan Realty LLP,
2, Vireshwar Kunj, Tejpal Road, Vile Parle East, Mumbai, 400057, Maharashtra, India, Tel: +91 22 2610 5127, 


MEA AND KARNATKA GOVT. TO HOST PRAVASI BHARATIYA DIVAS (PBD2017), JAN 7-9, 2017
  
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will organize the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) from January 7-9, 2017 in Bengaluru, Kranataka, India. It will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 8. The President of India will deliver the valedictory address on January 9 and also confer the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Awards. The pre-conference seminars will also be organized on January 7 followed by plenary and panels sessions beginning on January 8. 
 
PBD has become a significant forum to connect the overseas Indians from all over the world and the PBD-2017 will be focusing on more connectivity with overseas Indians with a theme "Redefining Engagement with Indian Diaspora." Karnataka will be the Partner State of the 14th PBD, which would provide the Diaspora an opportunity to understand the vibrant culture as well as the business and investment potential of the State. More than 2000 delegates are expected to participate in PBD-2017 from all over the world.
 
Please see more details below or at https://pbdindia.gov.in/.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2017 Flyer

https://pbdindia.gov.in/how-register

 
DISCOUNT REGISTRATION FOR GOPIO MEMBERS
The Ministry of External Affairs has approved discount registration by GOPIO delegates to PBD2017 at 50% rate of $125. 
 
REGISTRATION DETAILS WHICH HAS SPECIAL MENTION & RATES FOR GOPIO
 

 
For all registering under GOPIO with Group code is # 5805c35dd6950, Proceed on the registration till you hit the page for payment. Save the document on the server itself. Then make the payment of $125 to GOPIO using your credit card through PayPal as follows:
 
Choose: Make online payment
Select option: Pay for items or service quickly and securely
GOPIO Email: gopiofunds@gmail.com
 
GOPIO will make a lump sum payment for all those registered through GOPIO International.
GOPIO TO LAUNCH DELHI/NCR CHAPTER ON DEC. 23RD
 
NRIs, former NRIs, PIOs and those with children/parents and siblings living abroad and have interest in the NRI/PIO affairs and staying in the Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) are invited to attend the function at the India International Center on Dec. 23rd at 2.30 pm. Contact Chapter President and GOPIO Life Member Dhiraj Ahuja, 09717112272, globallinkoverseas@yahoo.co.in.
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 2/3 of 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 with people of Indian origin all over the world. If you do not have a chapter in your city, please visit the GOPIO website (www.gopio.net) and get details of chapter initiation (visit http://www.gopio.net/chapter_initiative.htm). This process involves sending a letter of intent to start a chapter by a committee of five people or more.  For more information, contact:
 
GOPIO Chairman - Dr. Thomas Abraham, Stamford, Connecticut, USA, Tel: +1-203-329-8010, E-mail: gopio@optonline.net
 
GOPIO President - Niraj Baxi, San Jose, California, USA, Tel: 408-307-9845, E-mail: president@gopio.net
 
GOPIO Executive Vice President - Noel Lal, Sydney, Australia, Tel: +61 417448293, E-mail: evpgopio@gmail.com
 
GOPIO Vice President - Ram Gadhavi, Wayne, New Jersey, USA, Tel: +1-973-699-8582, E-mail: ram@gadhavi.net
 
Execuitve Trustee of GOPIO Foundation - Inder Singh, Tarzana, California, USA, Tel: +1-818-708-3885, E-mail: indersinghusa@gmail.com
 
GOPIO's Global Ambassador - Sunny Kulathakal, Bahrain, +973-39441956, India +91-9845756692, E-mail: kulathakal44@gmail.com
 
To become a Life member of GOPIO, visit http://www.gopio.net/gopio_membership.html, print and fill up the form and send it with a check to:. GOPIO International, PO Box 1413, Stamford, CT 06904, USA.

EDITORIAL BOARD

Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International (Stamford, CT, USA), (Stamford, CT, USA)
Editor: Nami Kaur, GOPIO Media Council Chair (New York, USA)
Associate Editors: Layla Matthew (Bangalore, India), Ila Rosengarten (Denver, CO, USA) and Harry Walia (Australia)
Webmasters: Prashant Gupta (Hyderabad, India) and Abu Thomas (New Rochelle, NY, USA)   
Contributors of this issue: Sunny Kulathakal (GOPIO's Global Ambassador and Convention Convener) and Shaji Baby John (International Coordinator for South Asia)

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