March 26, 2020
A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
Issue: XVIII-4
March 26, 2020
In This Issue
GOPIO NEWS SPONSORS - Attorney Megha Bhouraskar (USA), Nazareth Consulting (USA) and Vaastu Shastra Specialist Dr. Rashmi Jain (India)
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The spread of Coronavirus has the world on lockdown. After China, Korea, Iran, the situation has worsened in Italy, Spain and France and is worsening in the USA, and in particular in New York City.
Worldometer.Info  ( has published the following data on the Coronavirus cases and deaths as of March 27th, 1.20 a.m. (GMT).
·        Global cases: 531,799
·        Global deaths: At least 24,071.
·       Top six countries with the highest number of reported cases: USA (85377), China (81,340), Italy (80,588), Spain (57786), Germany (43,938), Iran (29,406), France (29,155).
India has put its 1.3 billion people in a 21-day lockdown to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a televised address on March 24th said that people would not be allowed to leave their homes for three weeks after the order went into effect hours later at midnight. He also announced that $2 billion would be provided to strengthen India’s medical infrastructure and treat patients infected by the virus. 
The impact of the lockdown on India’s informal sector, which includes many street vendors as well as taxi and auto drivers.

All international flights to India have been cancelled till 00.00 hours of April 15th. All visas, except that of diplomatic personals have been cancelled till April 15th. OCI card holders are also not permitted to travel to India now. 
The following is from CDC, Center of Disease Control. It compiles the description of symptoms of COVID-19 provided by China, U.S. A. and UK. The table uses the exact words used by CDC and provides a comprehensive description of symptoms of COVID-19 disease. 80-20 simply made CDC's info. easier for you to absorb.

   What are the common symptoms of COVVID-19 disease?
Guidelines for Covin-19 Symptoms
Allergy symptoms that differ from COVID-19?  
(Note: Symptoms may vary from person to person.) 
As spring is starting in the Northern Hemisphere many people will develop allergies. How do you know if your symptoms are those of an allergy or something else. 
1.   Itchy eyes
2.   Stuffy nose. (Please also note item 5 in the CDC of China's 
  column. It could mean that having stuffy nose doesn't
  necessarily mean that one has been infected. However, those 
  who have been inflected may also have nasal congestion owing 
  to COVID-19.)
3.   Sneezing
   Please wash hands often & take great care of yourself.
Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) has condemned an attack on March 25th on a Sikh temple in Kabul in which at least 25 people are reported to have been killed. The attack was carried out by a single gunman, ministry officials have said multiple attackers were involved in the assault, which lasted hours as Afghan security forces struggled to track down and neutralize the assailants in the complex and its neighboring residential area.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the raid.
GOPIO, in its statement said that the Afghan Government must provide security and protection to all minority religions. It's not the first time that the Islamist militant group has attacked the Sikh community in Afghanistan. In 2018, at least 19 people — mostly Sikhs — were killed by a suicide bombing claimed by ISIS in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

Afghanistan's dwindling Sikh population, numbering fewer than 10,000, has long complained of discrimination and harassment by the Muslim majority.
IIW (Inspiring Indian Women) Awards 2020 event with the support of GOPIO EUROPE was held at the House of Parliament, London on March 3rd to celebrate the ‘She Inspires Award Night.’ The event was hosted by Parliamentarians Bob Blackman MP of Harrow East and Joy Morrisey, MP of Beaconsfield.
An event of different kind where a daughter can nominate a mother, a husband can nominate wife, daughter in law can nominate mother in law and more. She Inspires Awards is to praise the achievements of extraordinary women who inspire those around them in the business, community or through their achievements in their everyday lives and acknowledging dynamic role models.
Anuradha Poorun of GOPIO Mauritius and Rita Abraham, International GOPIO Coordinator of South Africa received the ‘Inspiring Indian Women’ awards during this event.
Dr Ezhil Anand facilitated GOPIO’s participation in the event.
Inspiring Indian Women Award at the UK Parliament
Photo: Dr Ezhil Anand( GOPIO UK London), Anooradha Poorun (GOPIO Mauritius), Rita Abraham (GOPIO International Africa coordinator), Yegas Naidoo ( South Africa), Mehen Poinoosawmy (GOPIO International Europe coordinator).
GOPIO NEWS SPONSORS - Attorney Megha Bhouraskar (USA), Nazareth Consulting (USA) and Vaastu Shastra Specialist Dr. Rashmi Jain (India)
The Law Offices of Megha D. Bhouraskar [MDB] is a NYC/USA-based law firm specializing in Business Transactions, Company Formations, Real Estate, Investments, Intellectual Property, Entertainment, and Entrepreneurial Mentorship. MDB advances the business opportunities for Indians Worldwide by using a specific set of skills that include: personal strengths, creativity, intuition, discretion, sense of community, attention and interactive collaboration. 
Contact: The Law Offices of Megha D. Bhouraskar,P.C.,
139 Fulton Street, Suite 902, New York, NY 10039, United States, Tel: (212)571-1770
Contact: Nazareth Consulting, Cecil Nazareth, International Tax and Accounting,, The book on Intl Tax & Compliance can be ordered through the website or from Amazon.
Vaastu Specialist Dr. Rashmi Jain
For Consulting, contact: Dr. Rashmi Jain, +91-9971610440,,
GOPIO News offers display advertising in the format shown above will also be displayed in GOPIO website. This form of marketing allows you to effectively reach over 50,000 people by direct mail
GOPIO France celebrated International Women's Day on Sunday, March 8 at Jodhpur Palace, Paris 75012. On this auspicious day, GOPIO recognized the achievements made by women in the different fields; social, economic, cultural and political . It’s also a day when GOPIO brings awareness to the obstacles that still stand in their way and to raise the concern about issues related to the gender parity, pay gap, gender equality and most importantly women empowerment. During every GOPIO Convention, a session of the Women Council is always on the agenda to bring forward and discuss these types of issues. 
The GOPIO France members shared stories of how their women colleagues have inspired them in different ways or made a valuable contribution to them personally or through their work. It is observed that women and girls continue to be undervalued; they work more and earn less and have fewer choices and experience multiple forms of violence at home and in public spaces.
Even though some progress has been made, there is an emerging global consensus that real change has been agonizingly slow. Not a single country can now claim to have achieved gender equality. Multiple obstacles remain unchanged in law and culture.
GOPIO France has given some awards to the women members who have played an extraordinary role and done outstanding contributions to the community.
Among them, Mrs Veena KHOSLA, a senior member who previously launched the IWFA (Indian Women of France Association). Rucha Bagul, Secretary of GOPIO France, Jeevana Gogula, Gopio Youth Council, Sona Marciel recently elected Miss India France 2020 and Gaëlle Richer-Favard, a French author who has written an interesting boon on « Le Voisin Indien – The Indian Neigbourg » were awarded at this function.
The event was graced by the Minister (Consul) Embassy of India, Mrs Shrila Datta Kumar
Facebook: GOPIO France Paris
GOPIO-France Paris Intl. Women's_Day Celebration
Photo: Tarun Kalwani (Vice President GOPIO France), Mehen Poinoosawmy (GOPIO International Europe coord.), Jeevana Gogula ( GOPIO France Youth Council) ,Minister(Consul) Embassy of India, Mrs Shrila Datta Kumar, Rita Abraham (GOPIO International Africa Coord.), Veena Khosla (Women Council GOPIO France), Rucha Bagul (Secretary GOPIO France) and Gaêlle Richer-Favard, author of the book «Le Voisin Indien - The Indian Neighbor 
The Thiruvalluvar Day (16 January 2020) is celebrated in a grand manner not only in Tamil Nadu, but also in Mauritius. The GOPIO Mauritius East chapter under the leadership of President Seeven Arasen organised a commemoration event on the 16th January 2020 to celebrate an outstanding philosophical work called the Thirukkural, written in exquisite poetic in Tamil by a sage named Valluvar, elevated unanimously to the rank of Thiruvalluvar.
Shortly named as the Kural, this book is classified as the greatest work on Ethic and Morality which is consisted of 1330 couplets. It is divided into three books, each with teaching on virtue, wealth and love. The text has been dated from about 3 centuries BC.
The Kural is considered a masterpiece and one of the most important text of the Tamil Literature. The text has been translated into at least more than 40 languages. The Kural was the first book to be published in Tamil, followed by the Naladiyar.
President Seeven Arasen of GOPIO Mauritius East is an ancient lecturer and devotes a considerable amount of his time for volunteer activities and promoting Indian arts and culture in Mauritius.
GOPIO Mauritius East Program on Thiruvalluvar Day
Photo: From l to r: Dr. Adi Sankara Peruman O.S.K, Armoogum Narayana Goundan, Devarajen Ramasawmy (Asst. Secretary GOPIO Mauririus East), Seeven Arasen (President GOPIO Mauritius East)

The horrendous bushfires in Australia raging in NSW, ACT, VIC & QLD was out of control for several weeks, destroying properties, causing unprecedented environment pollution and taking  lives of people including bush firefighters.
GOPIO believes, that it is our duty as good citizens, not only to chat about this calamity but also help with whatever resources we can to support the Fire Fighting efforts of Rural Fire Services (RFS) and for the wellbeing of the Fire Fighters. Looking at need of the time to support the Fire Fighters, GOPIO Sydney North West chapter gave $2000 cheque to Mr Brendan Doyle, Operational Officer, HQ, Kenthurst on 6th of March 2020.
From September 2019 to March 2020, fires heavily impacted various regions of the state of New South Wales. Multiple states of emergency were declared across New South Wales, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory. In eastern and north-eastern Victoria large areas of forest burnt out of control for four weeks before the fires emerged from the forests in late December. The fires started in various ways: some by lightning, some by human actions, including arson. However, it's the climate conditions that provide ample fuel for the fires to grow and spread. A staggering 1 billion animals are now estimated dead in Australia's fires. The number of kangaroos, koalas, and others killed keeps skyrocketing. More than 18,636,079 hectares of Australian land have been burned. At least 33 lives have been lost and over 2,700 homes lost. More than 18,636,079 hectares of Australian land have been burned. At least 33 lives have been lost and over 2,700 homes lost.
GOPIO Sydney North West chapter also annually donates $2000 each to Heart Foundation of Australia and Cancer Council of Australia
GOPIO-Sydney NW Donates to Fire Service
Photo - GOPIO-Sydney NW officials presenting a check to RFS official. From l. to r. Harmohan Singh Walia (President), Mr Brendan Doyle (Operational Officer RFS), Prof. Balkar Singh Kang (Treasurer) and a volunteer at RFS.
Contact: Harmohan Singh Walia JP, President, GOPIO-Sydney NW, Tel:: +61-402 842 375, E-mail:

Indian Ambassador Vinay Mohan Kwatra hosted a Farewell Reception at his residence on February 12th evening in Paris. Tarun Kalwani, Vice President of GOPIO France and Mehen Poinoosawmy, Gopio International Coordinator for Europe were present at this function. GOPIO France thanked Ambassador Kwatra and his wife for their kindness, cooperation and support to GOPIO activities in France.
Harmohan Singh Walia, President, GOPIO Sydney North West chapter was awarded "A Special Certificate of Appreciation" by Rotary Club of Sydney on 3rd of March 2020 due to his tireless Community Service in Sydney, Australia.
President of Rotary Club, Ms Barbara Ward said “A Special Certificate Appreciation is given to a person who has made enormous contribution to the betterment of many in the community. Does not have to be a member of our club, but to acknowledge the work they do at grass roots level. I have picked this person because I see his work which is no less than any Rotarian “Service Before Self”. It is my humble duty, a privilege and honor to present this Special Appreciation to Mr Harmohan Singh Walia. He works tireless in the community and his photos are amazing all pro- bono".
Rotary Club of Sydney honoring Harmohan Singh Walia
Photo: Rotary Club of Sydney President Barbara War presenting a Special Certificate Appreciation to GOPIO-Sydney President Harmohan Singh Walia.
GOPIO chapters are gearing to help Indian students who have been stuck in different countries. GOPIO-Sydney North West chapter team has decided to support overseas Indian students, who have recently lost their jobs at restaurants/cafe. GOPIO-Berlin is Helping Indian students with temporary accommodation and food.

More information on these efforts will be publicized in the coming issues.

Sri Srinivasan has become the first Indian American and Asian to head a US court of appeals after taking over as Chief Judge of the Washington DC circuit from Merrick Garland.
Under US rules, circuit courts of appeals must be headed by the senior-most judge under the age of 65, and Garland, who is 67, stepped down on February 12, paving the way for Srinivasan, who is 52.
The DC circuit court of appeals is often considered the second most powerful court in the United States after the Supreme Court, and has been a stepping stone to the highest court. Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama, but Republicans blocked it by denying him a confirmation hearing in the senate that they controlled then, as now. Obama had considered Srinivasan for that nomination also before going with Garland.
The Indian-descent judge, who was born in Chandigarh, is widely expected to be named to the apex court at some stage, possibly by a Democratic president — he was named to the DC circuit by Obama.
Srinivasan joined the DC circuit in 2013. His swearing in was attended by then prime minister Manmohan Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur and the family; their families have been friends from their days in Chandigarh.
By Marlan Padayachee, Publishing Author of Across the Zulu River
Naicker passed away at his home in Newark, Tugela, on Sunday, aged 90. His health took a turn following the death of his wife, Kaliamah Naicker, two years ago.
Despite the stringent restrictions on public gatherings, limiting attendances to 100, hundreds of mourners turned up at a hall in Stanger and at the crematorium to pay their last respects to one of the most formidable community leaders to emerge from Zululand and neighbouring towns – including Richard’s Bay and Gingindhlovu – a tribute from the the townsfolk where Naicker worked tirelessly in the 1980s to provide state-subsidised housing and encourage captains of industry – SAPPI, Mondi and big industries in Richard’s Bay to create jobs for Indians and coloureds.
When apartheid pass laws prohibited Indians and coloureds from living in Zululand, he responded: ‘’People working in the sugar cane fields of Melmoth, Mtubatuba, Darnall, Hluhluwe and Mkuze didn’t understand their predicament. There were no schools, temples or other facilities where they lived. We were like beggars, struggling to eke out and make a decent living.’’
A skillful letter writer, Naicker convinced the administrators like Thorington Smith, to create a new township for Indians, Brackenham, in Richard’s Bay that made it legally possible for Indians to work in the harbor town.
SV Naicker, as he was known, was born in Nkwalini, between Eshowe and Zululand, on 8th August 1930 to indentured labourers, Thayamma and Vaythialingam Naicker. He had to take care of 12 brothers and sisters and was forced to quit the Entumeni Sugar Mill and New Guilderland Primary Schools prematurely to supplement the family’s income.
Naicker was hard hit when the Group Areas Act prevented Indians and coloureds from living in Zululand: ‘’I could not live freely in the country of my birth. I was being forced to cross the river away from my spiritual connection with Zululand.’’
His family and relatives were forced to move south of the Tugela River to Newark. After working several jobs, it was in politics where Naicker found his niche and a new home where he resided for 40 years – retiring from the KZN Legislature more than five years ago. Naicker was head and shoulders above the belligerent political peers in the discredited House of Delegates – the apartheid’s administration’s political ploy to lure Indians and coloureds in their laager while excluding the majority of disenfranchised black people.
Naicker also maintained very strong ties with the Government of India to lobby for cultural ties and was renowned classical Indian music legend as a Carnatic singer and musician, and he seldom missed performing at a funeral or memorial service and often gave religious and spiritual discourses.
For full tribute, click S.V. NAICKER by Marlan Padayachee.
Marlan Padayachee with the late S.V. Naicke
Photo: GOPIO News Associate Editor Marlan Padayachee with the late S.V. Naicker while interviewing for his autobiography
  • Seasoned journalist Marlan Padayachee is working on SV Naicker’s autobiography, Bridge Over the Zulu River, One Man’s Mission in Politics, Culture and Community 1930-2020.

Citizens of the European Union will no longer enjoy preferential access to living and working in the post-Brexit UK from January 1, 2021 under a new points-based immigration system likely to benefit Indian professionals who are already preferred by British employers.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel – daughter of Indian-origin immigrants – said that the ‘free movement’ enjoyed by EU citizens over decades of UK’s membership of the EU would end, offering more opportunities to global talent.
The UK already issues more than half of its work visas to Indian professionals (52 per cent of Tier 2 visas). The new system, which has a lower annual salary threshold (£25,600) is likely to enable more Indians to access employment opportunities in the post-Brexit UK.
British business organisations cautiously welcomed the new regime, hailing the scrapping of cap on work visas, but feared severe labour shortages when low-skilled EU citizens will no longer be available in hospitality, care, food processing and other sectors. Home Secretary Patel, in turn, has advised them to adapt and train 8 million economically inactive people in the UK population. From 1 January 2021, EU and non-EU citizens will be treated equally.
Applicants will need to have at least 70 points under heads such as a confirmed job offer, knowledge of English, education qualifications and salary level. Indian students enrolling from September this year will also be eligible for post-study work visa valid for two years.
Government of India has launched AYUSH Scholarship Scheme for Foreign students, who want to pursue Undergraduate/ Post Graduate/ Ph.D. Courses in Indian traditional medical system such as Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy or Yoga in Indian Universities/ institutes/ colleges. Acceptance of AYUSH at international level has resulted in growing demand from foreign students to study in Indian Institutions.
The detailed guidelines on the process for applying online and other eligibility criteria for ICCR Scholarships are given on
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: Ishwar Ramlutchman, Exec. Vice President, GOPIO International (Durban, South Africa); Mehen Poinoosawmy, GOPIO Europe International Coordinator (Paris, France); Rajneesh Misra, Secretary GOPIO-CT (Norwalk, CT, 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:
Visit GOPIO’s Official site at or
+1 (203) 329 8010 
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