January 8, 2020
A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
Issue: XVIII-1
January 8, 2020
In This Issue

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Delegates from over 20 countries attended the twinned city convention of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International), marking a milestone of 30 years in Berlin with finale in Paris headlined as the "Indiaspora Meeting in Europe" under the banner theme, Strengthening Global Connections.

The official ceremony started with the lightning of the lamp took place in the presence of Shri Deepak Kaul, Minister Consular of Embassy of India in Berlin; Mr Detlef Wagner, Deputy Mayor of Berlin, Germany. 
Inauguration of GOPIO Convention in Berlin
Photo - Mehen Poinoosawmy, Sunny Kulathakal, Deflef Wagner, Dr Thomas Abraham and Deepak Kaul
The GOPIO BIENNIAL CONVENTION in Berlin was not only to celebrate the 30th anniversary of GOPIO International, but also to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. GOPIO and its members were welcomed to the German Bundestag, Parliament on Friday 8th November 2019, a special historical day. It was a matter of mere coincidence that the previous week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was welcomed by PM Modi in India.
The close ties between India and Germany were clearly felt when members of the Indiaspora were welcomed inside the Bundestag. Mr Maik Beermann, CDU member of the German Bundestag welcomed the delegates of the GOPIO Biennial Convention to the German Parliament, Bundestag. Mr Maik Beermann, CDU member of the German Bundestag in his welcome speech noted special recognition to the achievements of our GOPIO Gold Life Member, Mr Barjinder Sodhi. A gift in the form of a book about the history of the Bundestag was presented by Mr MaikBeermann to GOPIO Chairman Dr Thomas Abraham, GOPIO International Coordinator for Europe Mehen Poinoosawmy and Mrs Bindu Sodhi of GOPIO Berlin.
GOPIO Dr. Abraham speaking to Senator Maik Beermann
Photo above - GOPIO presenting a book on Indian Diaspora - GOPIO Maiking an Impact, From left to right:Mehen Poinoosawmy, GOPIO International Coordinator Europe, Mrs Bindu Sodhi of GOPIO Berlin, Mr Maik Beermann, CDU member of the German Bundestag, GOPIO Chairman Dr Thomas Abraham, Mr Barjinder Sodhi, Co-Convenor of GOPIO International Biennial Convention and GOPIO Treasurer Kewal Kanda at the German Parliament, in Berlin

Chairman Dr Thomas Abraham warmly thanked the German government for their nice welcome to our GOPIO delegation and also for the facilities provided to our students coming from India.
After this meeting, the GOPIO Members visited the rooftop terrace and the dome of the German Bundestag just having a better idea of the works of Parliament, and the sights of the important surrounding buildings during the 230-metre-long ascent and descent.

GOPIO thus participated in strengthening the bonds between Germany and India. A book on the « History of the Indiaspora » was remitted to Mr Maik Beermann by our GOPIO Chairman.
GOPIO Delegates at the German Bundestage
Photo top - GOPIO delegates at the Briefing Session; Photo bottom - GOPIO delegates with CDU Member Maik Beermann at the German Parliament, Standing in the front low from l. tp r., GOPIO officials Mehen Poinoosawmy, Bindhu Sondhi and Dr. Thomas Abraham holding the book on the History of German Parliament presented by Senator Beermann while the later holding the book on Indian Diaspora presented by GOPIO.
GOPIO women delegates visiting German Bundestag
Photo - GOPIO women delegates visiting the German Parliament in front of German Chancellor's residence

See more photos of visit to German Parliament at

Following the visit of the Bundestag, within 10 minutes walking distance, the GOPIO delegates had Executive Council Meeting in the Hall of the Neumann’s Restaurant. During this meeting, through a round table with the presence of Exec. VP of GOPIO International Ishwar Ramlutchman, all the delegates expressed their views about the different issues and future of GOPIO.

GOPIO International Coordinator of Europe Mehen Poinoosawmy officially launched the GICC Europe. As from now all the GOPIO chapters of Europe can launch their GICC chapters. Despite his busy calendar, Mr Frank Henkel, Former Interior Minister, Berlin who is currently Senator came to support this initiative of GOPIO International. A book on the History of the Indian Diaspora – GOPIO: Making an Impact was presented to the Honorable Minister by GOPIO Chairman Dr Thomas Abraham. Businesswoman Mrs. Bindu Sodhi has been nominated by GOPIO-Berlin Chapter as the coordinator of this effort in Berlin.
Welcome Dinner and GICC Launch
Photo top - Former Interior Minister Frank Henkel at the GICC-Berlin launch being presented a book 'Global Indian Diaspora' by GOPIO Intl. Coordinators Rita Abraham and Dr. Asha Samant; Photo bottom - GOPIO women delegates at the welcome dinner.


The convention was officially inaugurated on Saturday 9th November 2019 at the conference hall of the Gäestehaus der Polizei in Berlin, starting with the lighting of the lamp ceremony. Convention Convener Barjinder Sodhi and Mrs. Bindu Sodhi welcomed the guests and delegates to the convention from different countries: South Africa, USA, Canada, Reunion Island, Martinique, Mauritius, UK, Netherland, Germany, France, Australia, The Middle East (Bahrain. Dubai, Oman, etc.) and India.

The welcome remarks and greetings were made by GOPIO International President Sunny Kulathakal and Chairman Dr Thomas Abraham. The Chief Guest Mr Deepak Kaul, Minister (Cons) of Embassy of India in Berlin delivered the keynote address. Berlin Deputy Mayor Detlef Wagnergave the inaugural address. Both spoke on the role of India as a growing economy and the contributions and achievements of the Indiaspora in Germany.
A special tribute was paid in homage to the late Shri Inder Singh, former Chairman and President of GOPIO International. GOPIO International Coordinator, Mehen Poinoosawmy thanked all delegates for having traveled to Berlin and Paris to participate in this convention. He gave a brief description of the new realities of a connected world and to strengthen the bonds within the Indiaspora in developing further ties between India and Europe.
GOPIO Convention Inauguration in Berlin with an invocation dance
Photo above – Convention Inauguration with an invocation dance . Sitting on the dais, from l to r: Mehen Poinoosawmy, Sunny Kulathakal, Deepak Kaul, Deflef Wagner and Dr Thomas Abraham

Then followed a series on conferences on the following topics:

  • BREXIT- Business and Financial impacts to India and Indiaspora
  • Entrepreneurship: Towards Diaspora engagement strategies: Entrepreneurship and Investment.
  • Business and Finance: Challenges and opportunities for Indiaspora to cooperation policies and financing.
  • Challenges and Contributions of Women of the Diaspora: From ‘Gender Equality’ and ‘Women’s Empowerment’ to ‘Global Justice’ in a Global world.
  • Shaping the future of our Youth - Diaspora Talent and Competitiveness
  • Scientific and Academic: Digital Innovations, Robotics & Cyber security
  • Youth and Education: Initiatives to promote professionals and student mobility
  • Embrace Change: Achieving Healthy Aging within the Diaspora


The Conferences of the GOPIO International Berlin meeting started after the inaugural session.

- TOPIC 1: BREXIT- Business and Financial impacts to India and Indiaspora
- TOPIC 2: Entrepreneurship: Towards a …Diaspora engagement strategies: Entrepreneurship and Investment.
- TOPIC 3: Business and Finance: Challenges and opportunities for by Indiaspora to cooperation policies and financing. 
Moderator: Prince Ishwar RAMLUTCHMAN, Mabheka Zulu, MD, VukaniMazulu Services (PTY) Ltd Vice President GOPIO International, Durban, South Africa
Dr Ezhil ANAND, Founder of the Yorkshire Indian Business network, London, UK
Mr. Naozad HODIWALA, Project Manager, International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), Brussels, Belgium
Mini GULERIA, Co-Chair, GOPIO Media Council, Tarzana, California, USA
Dr. Piotr PLEWA : Presentation on the German Indian Diaspora
Cheke RAMDHARRY, London School of Economics, President Triomphe Sarl Company, Paris, France
Jay BANNERJEE, M.B.A 8 VP & Franchise owner of Re/Max Realtron Real Estate Inc, Toronto, Canada
Roger LATCHMAN, Executive Chairman of Maruti Global, South Africa
Conferene session  on Diaspora Business
Photo - Conference session on Indian Diaspora Business, standing from left to right: Mehen Poinoosawmy, Ishwar Ramlutchman, Dr Sanjay Mattur, Dr Rajeev Mehta, Bajinder Sodhi; Sitting from Left to Right: Roger Latchman, Jai Bannerjei, Mini Guleria, Dr Ezhil Anand, Cheik Ramdharry, NaozadHodiwala,Dr. Pior Plewa
- TOPIC Challenges and Contributions of Women of the Diaspora: From ‘Gender Equality’ and ‘Women’s Empowerment’ to ‘Global Justice’ in a Global world.
Moderator:- Rita ABRAHAM : SA Insurance Brokers , GOPIO International Coordinator Africa
Molly BANNEJIE, Chairperson GOPIO Women Council,Gopio Toronto, Canada
Bindu SODHI, President GOPIO Berlin, Germany
Nami KAUR, Chairperson Media Council of GOPIO International, USA.
Chhaya MATHUR, CEO Business Implicits, Paris, France. 
GOPIO Women Council Conference Session
Phptp - GOPIO Women Council Session, from left to right : Mehen Poinoosawmy, Molly Banerjei, Bindu Sodhi, Nami Kaur, Rita Abraham, Akil Gurusawmy, Chhaya Mattur, Dr Rajeev Mehta and Dr Thomas Abraham
- TOPIC 1: Shaping the future of our Youth - Diaspora Talent and Competitiveness
Moderator: Vikas TALWAR, Programme Manager Accenture, President GOPIO France, Paris
Prasana RAMARATHNAM, SAP Data Migration, Councillor Bristol UK
Jitendra KUMAR, Software Engineer, RENAULT Group, Entrepreneur, Master at ISEP Paris, B.Tech NIT Raipur
Mrs. Charmaine LATCHMAN, Coaching Youth and Social Development, South Africa.
- TOPIC 2: Scientific and Academic: Digital Innovations, Robotics & Cybersecurity
Dr Amit PANDEY,Chief Technology Officer (CTO) & Chief Science Officer (CSO) at Hanson Robotics Limited, Paris, France
Shivalkar PARAMANANDAM, Director of AI/Recruitment, London UK
- TOPIC 3: Youth and Education: Initiatives to promote professionals and student mobility
Dr Gilles SAGODIRA, University Reunion, France
Author of "The entrepreneurial guidance" - part of the global approach to professionalize a new generation of entrepreneurs in a globalized and responsible economic world.
Mr Anupam SINHA, Banking Finance IT Professional, France
GOPIO Youth and Young Professional Council Session at the Berlin Convention
Photo - GOPIO Youth and Young Professional Session, from left to right: Dr Gilles Sagodira, Dr Amit Pandey, Shivalkar Paramanandam, Prasana Ramarathnam, Jitendra Kumar, Charmaine Latchman and Anupam Sinha

- TOPIC : Embrace Change: Achieving Healthy Aging within the Diaspora
Dr Rajeev MEHTA, Secretary, GOPIO International , NJ , NY ( USA)
Dr. Asha SAMANT DMD, GOPIO Intl. Coordinator-at-Large, Livingston, NJ, USA
Dr. Raaji ANAND MBBS(India) , MRCGP(UK), GOPIO London West , UK
Seniors Health and Wellness
Photo – Session on Diaspora Seniors, Health and Wellness, froml. To r.: Mehen Poinoosawmy, Dr. Rajeev Mehta, Dr. Asha Samant, Dr. Raaji Anand and Dr. Thomas Abraham

CSA and Special Awardees 2019 Berlin
In the evening, after a short break, the highly anticipated GOPIO Biennial convention Dinner Gala & Awards ceremony was the event that culminated the end of the Convention. This ceremony was accompanied with dinner complemented by a cultural entertainment program.

During the Awards ceremony, the following persons were recognized with the Shri Inder Singh GOPIO Community Service Award for their outstanding contributions done for the Community in their respective countries: Dr Ezhil Anand (UK) , Dr Vimal Khosla (Paris, France), Mr Krishan Kishore Mathur (Bahrain) and Professor Rajen Pillay (Durban, South Africa). Two awardees Michele Michael (Durban, South Africa) and Gurmeet Kalra (Agra, India) could not be present due to unforeseen circumstances. (See awardees photo above).
GOPIO Convnetion Awards Banquet in Berlin
Photo Top - Photo - A view of the audience at the Awards Banquet; Photo Bottom - GOPIO officials and dignitaries with convention volunteers after their recognition at the Awards Banquet
On Sunday 10th November, 2019, after the General Body Meeting, the GOPIO delegates travelled to Paris. The second part of the GOPIO International Convention with the French Indiaspora started with a visit on Monday 11th November 2019 to the Gurudwara Singh Sabha, Culte Sikh in Paris on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Devji.
The GOPIO delegates visited the Gurdwara with the traditional architecture of the 3 white domes at Rue de la Ferme, Bobigny. This is the most famous worship place for the Sikhs of Paris. The members of GOPIO International were warmly greeted by Shri Gurdial Singh, the Sikh community leader, who warmly welcomed the delegates and, after Langar lunch invited everyone to their community hall. He gave a brief summary about the life of Shri Guru Nanak Devji.
A generous donation was handed over by Mrs. Asha Samant, GOPIO International Coordinator-at-Large of GOPIO International to the Gurdwara.
Guru Nanak Devji's teachings of love, peace, equality and brotherhood have universal appeal and convey the message of spirituality, humanity, devotion and truth.
GOPIO celebrates 550th Anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji
Photo: GOPIO delegates at the Gurudwara Singh Sabha, Culte Sikh in Paris along with Gurdwara officials.

GOPIO 30th Anniversary Cake
Following this spiritual time in Paris, within the build up to the Diwali celebration, the delegates went on a boat cruise on the Seine River and visited Versailles Palace, Mont Saint Michel, the Eiffel Tower and other tourist attractions with Espace Reuilly as the central location.

In the evening, the delegates had their rendez-vous with the French Indiaspora. This event was the finale to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of GOPIO and Diwali 2019 with a Gala Dinner for 400 invitees. Over 100 artists performed a non-stop extraordinary cultural programme with the different colourful costumes and music of the different states of India. The chief guest was Mme George Pau-Langevin, Member of French Parliament, who was also Ex Minister of Overseas Affairs of France. The chief guest presented the plaques to all awardees A 30th Anniversary Cake was cut on the stage by GOPIO pioneers and officials.  
GOPIO 30th Finale with Lighting of the lamp dancers and awardees
Photo:top left - The finale event to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of GOPIO with lighting of the lamp by Mme George Pau-Langevin. From l, to r. GOPIO-France Paris President Vikas Talwar, Convention Chairman Mehen Poinoosawmy, Mme George Pau-Langevin, GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham and GOPIO Treasurer Kewal Kanda.
Photo:top right - Bhangra dancers at the Filnae program
Photo bottom - GOPIO officials with dignitaries and the Finale organizers
Dancers at GOPIO Convention Finale in Paris Nov. 2019
Photos - Dancers at the GOPIO Convention 30th Anniversary Celebration in Paris

See more finale photos at

In Paris nothing is done without a touch of glamour and beautiful ladies. The GOPIO’s 30th Anniversary Finale program ended with a fashion show organized in partnership with our Miss France-India Team and Friends.
The fashion show at the Finale GOPIO 30th
Photo - The fashion show at the Finale GOPIO 30th with Miss India France and other models

See more finale photos at

GOPIO International thanks and compliments the following officers who put together the convention in Berlin and the Finale in Paris

Mehen Poinoosawmy GOPIO EUROPE Conv. Chairman, Tel +33 6 70 46 88 85, Email:
Dr. Rajinder Tewari GOPIO EUROPE Conv. Convener, Tel: +31 6 5399990, E-mail:
Bajinder Sodhi GOPIO EUROPE Conv. Co-convener Tel: +49 172 591271. E-mail:
GOPIO Southern California Coordinator Dilip Butani
Community activist, volunteer and GOPIO’s Southern California Coordinator Dilip Butani passed away on December 5th, while on vacation in India. The 70-year-old Butani was well known among Indian Americans because of his involvement in various community-based organizations. Dilip had gone on vacation with his wife Ratna to Dubai and then on to India where the couple stayed in their flat in Colaba, Mumbai. They were scheduled to return to Los Angeles on Dec. 7 when tragedy struck. A family member said he was completely fine and was posting and sending messages on Facebook and WhatsApp till late on that fateful day. He then complained of severe dizziness to his wife. With the help of neighbors, he was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead with a massive heart attack reported as the cause.
GOPIO Treasurer Kewal Kanda, who worked closely with Butani, said they had been in touch through the latter’s vacation, joking and ribbing each other, so when he learned of his colleague’s demise he was dumbfounded. He averred that Butani will be remembered for all the work he had put in for the community.
That work involved several official positions including in the Federation of Indian American Associations, Lions Club of Little India, Indian American Republicans of California, Federation of Indian Community of Southern California and GOPIO.
Butani began his career as an attorney with the Motor Accidents Tribunal in Mumbai before moving to Los Angeles in 1993. He ran the 1-800-Conroys floral business for a few years. In 2005 he joined the County of Orange to work with Social Services and was apparently readying to retire from the job. He also ran a private insurance firm.
Butani leaves behind a loving family that includes his wife Ratna; two sons, Arit and Virit; two daughters-in-law and three granddaughters. The third of four siblings, he leaves behind brother Kash Butani in Mississippi, sisters Rani Hingorani and Bharrti Kumar and their families in California.
GOPIO International conveys heartfelt condolences to Butani family.
‘It is sad news for GOPIO after passing away of GOPIO’s former President and Chairman Inder Singh from Southern California in September.

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The glamorous and dazzling event, organized by Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) Sydney North West Chapter, was held at Bowman Hall, Blacktown on 20th October 2019. The GOPIO Sydney North West Chapter team has been conducting Caring & Sharing events for the last 10 years, raising much needed funds for the less privileged children in India and needy persons/organizations in Australia. The chapter annually supports Cancer Council of Australia and National Heart Foundation of Australia. Previously, the chapter helped victims of the Blue Mountains fire, the Fiji cyclone, the Nepal earthquake, FoxG1 and the underprivileged kids in Nigeria.
Around 400 guests attended the event. Mr Manish Gupta, Consul General of India, Sydney, his wife Mrs. Nimeesha Gupta, Hon. Mark Taylor MP representing NSW Premier and Hon. Stephen Bali MP representing NSW Opposition Leader also graced the occasion.
GOPIO Sydney North West Chapter’s President, Mr Harmohan Singh Walia and the team –Prof. Balkar Kang, Sumit Joshi, Kamal Joshi, Baljit Pelia, Parmjit Multani, Rosie Multani, Aman Singh, Rajvinder Singh, Neeru Singh, Sanjeet Hooda, Baljinder Singh and Ravi Singh have worked passionately towards the success of the 10th Caring & Sharing event. Such events are a result of the spirit that we all have in us to care for the under privileged and needy. Therefore, the funds raised through these events become a symbol of hope for the needful. 
During the night of great cause and unlimited entertainment, there were scintillating performances from the Bollywood dance group, Dhamma Yoga kids, Giddha Group, and Bhangra Group that kept the spectators on the edge of their seats. Aman Singh, in her best attire, engaged the wonderful audience through her stage anchoring. Other attractions of the night, quiz prizes and energetic DJ, attracted the zeal and enthusiasm of all the guests present at the event. 
Generous offerings from the sponsors in Australia and the support of the dedicated individuals in India have made it possible for the team to extend a helping hand to over 5000 less privileged primary school children in India for the last 10 years. A few necessities that will be provided again to the primary school kids include warm clothes, shoes, socks, ceiling fans in classrooms, hand pumps for drinking water, water filters, RO filters, inverters with batteries, furniture, Daris, sound systems for prayers, sports items, stationary and other basic commodities as per the requirements of the remote area schools. This year, the Caring & Sharing event not only raised funds for kids in India, but also gave donations to the Cancer Council, the National Heart Foundation Australia, Kids in Nigeria for their righteous causes. Caringly, funds were also donated to needful overseas student, Captain Shikhawat’s family in Sydney, who is a cancer patient.
GOPIO-Sydney Northwest 10th Sharing Caring Event
Photo - Organizers, Dignitaries and Dancers at GOPIO-Sydney Northwest 10th Sharing Caring Event

GOPIO Sydney North West Chapter thanked their main sponsors – Yogesh Manav & Jasbir Kang of Auburn Sapphire Function Centre, Kewal Kalra of Kalra Group, Sumit Joshi of My Loan Expert, Baljit Pelia of Vista Home loan,  Fred Khurana of House Properties Quakers Hills, Gurpreet Chadha & Aman Brar of G&A Roadline, Sanjeet Hooda of Gain Home Loans, Parmjit & Rosie Multani, Graphic Designer, Akhlak Parker and Dimple’s DJ. Evergreen Memories Photography and Rao Srini captured all the beautiful moments of the event. 
Contact: Harmohan Singh Walia, JP, President, GOPIO-Sydney North West. Sydney, Australia. Tel: +61-402 842 375,,
Fifteen Indian-origin MPs are among 65 non-whites elected to the new 650-member House of Commons on Friday, reflecting 10 per cent of its strength and making it ethnically the most diverse house in British political history.
The last House had 52 MPs from non-white backgrounds, reflecting progressive growth over the decades, building on efforts by various parties and stakeholders to make the British parliament more representative of its population.
The election of 15 MPs of Indian extraction is a new record for the 1.5 million-strong community: they include eight from Labour and seven from the Conservative party. There were 12 such MPs in the last House.
Also, for the first time, more ethnic minority women were elected than men. In 2009 there were only two ethnic minority women MPs; ten years on there are 37 women MPs, according to an analysis of ethnicity of new MPs by think-tank British Future.
The new faces in the Conservative group are Gagan Mohindra (Hertforshire South West) and Claire Coutinho (Surrey East), while its five sitting MPs were re-elected: Priti Patel (Witham), Alok Sharma (Reading West), Shailesh Vara (Cambridgeshire North West), Suella Braverman (Fareham) and Rishi Sunak (Richmond, Yorkshire). Sunak is the son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy.
Three of them, were part of the outgoing Boris Johnson government: Patel (home secretary), Sharma (international development secretary) and Sunak (chief secretary to the Treasury).
Navendu Mishra (Stockport) and Nadia Whittome (Nottingham East) are the new faces in Labour’s group, while its six outgoing MPs were re-elected with convincing margins: Virendra Sharma (EalingSouthall), Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (Slough), Seema Malhotra (Feltham and Heston), Preet Kaur Gill (Birmingham Edgbaston), Lisa Nandy (Wigan) and Valerie Vaz (Walsall South).
Sections of the community campaigned on social media and on the streets against the Labour party for its stand on Kashmir and for nominating a non-Indian origin candidate from Leicester East (Claudia Webbe).
According to Josh Westerling of British Future, “The ‘Class of 2019’ new MPs will also be the largest ever intake of new ethnic minority MPs, with 19 new MPs from an ethnic minority background entering parliament”.
The first three Indian-origin MPs in British history were Dadabhai Naoroji (1892, Finsbury Central), Mancherjee Bhownagree (1895, Bethnal Green North East) and Shapurji Saklatvala (1922, 1924, Battersea North).
Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO-International) in coordination with GOPIO-Los Angeles organized a Heart Disease and Diabetes summit on November 17, 2019 at the Joys of Sharing Community Center in Norwalk, California under the expert guidance of two award winner registered nurses, Aparna Hande (RN, MSHCA) and Rani Kuusto (RN, MPH). Both Aparna and Rani are GOPIO-LA members as well as co-chairs for GOPIO-International's Health and Wellness Council. Summit was open to public at no cost.
Approximately 125 people attended the summit and learned first-hand, directly from the subject matter experts, the complications and effects of heart disease and diabetes on various parts of the human body. Six doctors and two nurses, a speech therapist, a dietetic nutritional expert and a yoga expert enlightened the audience as to how heart disease and diabetes can be prevented and managed. The summit's goal was to create awareness and increase access to information on the prevention and care of heart disease and diabetes and its complications.
Kewal Kanda, GOPIO-International Treasurer, welcomed the audience and thanked them for taking time to attend this valuable and informative event. He introduced the organizers and supporters the event, including President Rajinder Dhunna, Chairman Navin Gupta of GOPIO-LA and event conveners Rani Kuusto and Aparna Hande. He also recognized and thanked the community leaders in the audience as well as members of the Fullerton Host Lions Club for their support. Photographer Vijay Barot was recognized for his services. He expressed gratitude for Joys of Sharing Community Center for their unconditional support by providing us the facility for the event.
The subject matter experts in their respective medical fields and professional speakers covered the issues related to heart disease and diabetes with specific details in their areas of specialization within the care continuum, engaging the audience effectively in a culturally sensitive manner and in laymen's terms.
Dr. Harvinder Sahota, cardiologist/surgeon was the keynote speaker. Dr. Prakash Narain, geriatrician; Dr. Indy Gujral, cardiologist; Dr. Muni Nithyananada, cardiothoracic surgeon; Dr. Ajit Singh Sawhney, nephrologist; Dr. Asmath Noor, dentist; Dr. Hema Ramkumar, ophthalmologist (in absentia – through PowerPoint presentation); Charu Shivakumar, MS Speech Pathologist; Anju Garg, health dietetic expert; and Dr. Vijaya Kavuri, yoga instructor were other speakers. The audience was greatly impressed by the information they received and one could see them taking notes as to what they were hearing. An interactive question/answer session followed at the end of regular presentation. Quite a few members in the audience were quick to take advantage of the subject matter experts and were happy to get answers to their questions and, in a few cases, the answers to their personal medical situations.
GOPIO-LA organizers with Health Summit speakers and panelists
Photo Left - GOPIO-LA organizers with Health Summit speakers and panelists; Photo Right - Audience at the Health Summit

GOPIO-International's interest and value in the leadership of youth in heart disease and diabetes was on display when three young students, under the age of 18, volunteered at the event. Jasmin Sivakumaran, Rohan Dhunna, and Sagar Dhunna assisted at the registration desk and helped with distribution of gift bags filled with goodies and folders containing printed material about heart disease and diabetes. They were rewarded with certificates of recognition by GOPIO-LA. 
Aparna Hande delivered the vote of thanks. She acknowledged all the speakers, sponsors, committee members, community leaders, vendors, all participants and the audience for supporting this summit. The event concluded with a complimentary healthy lunch catered by Ashoka the Great restaurant. 
Contact Kewal Kanda, Treasurer, GOPIO International and Advisor to GOPIO LA,


In 2012, Patti Tripathi, an Indian American former CNN news anchor, initiated the ‘Saris to Suits’ calendar featuring prominent South Asian women role models as a tool to empower South Asian women. The 2020 edition of the calendar reflects that same spirit.
The uniquely themed calendar features 14 inspirational South Asian women from different walks of life and ranging in age from 18 to 97. The 36-page glossy calendar includes bios, empowerment quotes, holidays and festivals of major religions and South Asian communities, and important dates of women in history, including world leaders.
Appearing in the 2020 calendar are Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Dr. Nina Radcliff, a board-certified anesthesiologist in New Jersey, and the niece of the king of Udaipur, Rajasthan; Priya Yadav, who was adopted from a Pune orphanage when she was two, is an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer and a sophomore at Emory University; Patti Tripathi, who lost her mother very early on at the age of 56 to a rare lung disease but also notes that the “fiercely protective and hugely supportive mom of three lived to see her only daughter accomplish her dream of becoming a trailblazing network news anchor; Dr. Naina Sachdev, the medical director of the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based NainaMD Anti-Aging and Regenerative Clinic; Veena Rao, the founder and editor-in-chief of NRI Pulse and her mother Frances M. West, who founded Ogmobosho School for the Blind in Nigeria; Atlanta, Georgia-based singer-songwriter and performer Movina Nagarajan, who released her debut single, “Call Me Baddie,” in 2018; Elementary education teacher Marsha Nicholas-Nigri, who also runs Café Amici, an Italian restaurant in Sarasota, Florida, with her husband; Raji Venkat, an accomplished coloratura operatic singer as well as a Bharatanatyam dancer and teacher; Payal Patel, an international award-winning multilingual communications professional based in Chicago, Ill., and a strong advocate for girls’ education; tennis player Sania Mirza, who is the winner of six Grand Slam titles; tennis player Natasha Subhash, who has been ranked the No. 1 player in the country in categories like girls 12 and under, girls 14 and under, and girls 16 and under; lawyer-activist Abha Singh, and Dr. Sujatha Reddy, a board certified Ob/Gyn and an Emmy Award-winning medical journalist.
In this calendar, Tripathi adds that Saris to Suits focuses on building awareness and supporting key organizations in a concerted effort to break down the barriers that constrain the advancement of women and girls.
Ccalendar boxes have been donated to several US organizations, including Raksha, Apna Ghar, Sakhi for South Asian Women and Ascend Atlanta for Asian business networking. According to Tripathi, many women, are raising money with calendar signing events for charities close to their heart. Among the organizations receiving funds from the sale of these calendars include the Chicago, Ill., chapter of Room to Read and an organization in Trinidad.
For more information, or to purchase the calendar, visit
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 2/3rd 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 ( and get details of chapter initiation (visit 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 President – Sunny Kulathakal, Bahrain, +973-39441956, India +91-9845756692, E-mail:
GOPIO Executive Vice President – Ishwar Ramlutchman, Durban, South Africa, Tel: +27-83-3578747, E-mail:
GOPIO Vice President – Ram Gadhavi, Wayne, New Jersey, USA, Tel: +1-973-699-8582, E-mail:
GOPIO’s Global Ambassador – Issac John, Dubai, UAE, +971-50 625 9941, E-mail:
GOPIO Secretary – Dr. Rajeev Mehta, Piscataway, New Jersey, USA, Tel: +1-732-986-2584,
Executive Trustee of GOPIO Foundation - Inder Singh, Tarzana, California, USA, Tel: +1-818-708-3885, E-mail:
GICC Chairman - Niraj Baxi, San Jose, California, USA, Tel: 408-307-9845, E-mail:
To become a Life member of GOPIO, visit, print and fill up the form and send it with a check to:. GOPIO International, PO Box 1413, Stamford, CT 06904, USA
Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International (Stamford, CT, USA)
Editor: J. Nami Kaur, Media Council Chair, GOPIO International (New York, USA)
Associate Editors: Layla Matthew (Bangalore, India), Harry Walia (Australia), Marlan Padayachee (South Africa)
Webmasters: Abu Thomas (New Rochelle, NY, USA) and Prashant Gupta (Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India)
Contributors of this issue: IKewal Kanda, Treasurer, GOPIO International (Norwalk, CA, USA); Mehen Poinoosawmy, GOPIO Europe International Coordinator (Paris, France), Jagmohan Dhaliwal, President of GOPIO Sydney,

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:
Visit GOPIO’s Official site at or
+1 (203) 329 8010 
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