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June 6, 2019

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

Issue: XVII-3June 6, 2019
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In This Issue
GOPIO CONVENTION IN VARANASI A SUCCESS - Five Conference Sessions Discussed Strengthening Global Connections of Indian Diaspora
GOPIO NEWS SPONSORS - Attorney Megha Bhouraskar (USA) and Nazareth Consulting (USA)
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We resume GOPIO News again after brief period of few months. Most of us were out in India for the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and afterwards it got delayed due to some unavoidable circumstances.
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

GOPIO International congratulates Shri Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India for a second term. GOPIO extends all best wishes to PM Modiji and his new team of ministers.
GOPIO CONVENTION IN VARANASI A SUCCESS - Five Conference Sessions Discussed Strengthening Global Connections of Indian Diaspora
GOPIO held its annual convention in conjunction with Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas onJan 19th-to 21st 2019 at the Taj Gateway Hotel in Varanasi. Five conference sessions were as part of the convention. It was headed and coordinated by Dr. Asha Samant from USA who is GOPIO's International Coordinator-at-Large.
The signature event of the convention was the Finale Awards Banquet on Jan. 20th evening. The chief guest was Minister of State for External Affairs Dr. V.K. Singh. The Guest of Honor was Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam. GOPIO inducted two PIO political leaders who have participated and helped in GOPIO activities in the past to its Honor Roll. They were New Zealand Member of Parliament Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and South Africa Member of the Parliament Aumsensingh (Omie) Singh.
GOPIO honored those who have done outstanding service to the community and society -at-large with Community Service Awards at the Final Banquet. This year's awardees are: Veena Khosla from France, Parsram Punj from Australia, Dr. Indrani Rampersad from Trinidad, K.V. Shamsudheen - Sharjah, UAE and Dr. Deepak Kant Vyas - Saint Louis, USA. GOPIO also presented special awards to GOPIO Associate Secretary and community volunteer Jaswant Mody from the US and Confluence Founder Smita Srivastav from New Delhi, India.
GOPIO Community Service Awardees 2019  
Photo: and Special Award Recipients with dignitaries and GOPIO President Kulathakal, From l. to r.: Jaswant Mody, Dr. Deepak Kant Vyas, Veena Khosla, K.V. Shamsudheen, Parsram Punj, Minister V.K. Singh, Minister Alphons Kannanthanam and GOPIO President Sunny Kulathakal
A fantastic entertainment was organized by Smita Srivastava of Confluence after the Awards Banquet.
The convention was inaugurated on May 19th evening at the Taj Gateway Hotel. Following the inauguration, GOPIO delegates were hosted with a warm Varanasi reception organized by the local committee consisting of Dr. Markanday Rai, Mr. Satish Rai and Mr. Madan Mohan Upadhyay. The event was held at the Meridian Hotel and sponsored by Rotarian Dr. Karma Raj Singh of Omega Plus Hospital in Varanasi.
Three conference sessions were conducted on Jan. 20th. First session on, Strengthening India's Relations with Global Community through Indian Diaspora was chaired by GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham. In his Keynote Address, Aumsen (Omie) Singh, Member of Parliament from South Africa was enlightened the audience the campaign against Apartheid and launching of non-violent movement by Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa. Later participating speakers presented their opinions on the topic. The speakers were Ms.Purnima Voria, Chair, National India USA Chamber of Commerce, USA, Dr. Markandey Rai, Chancellor, GTAMSU, Senior Advisor UN Habitat Delhil Mr. Nirmal Sinha, GOPIO Founding Member and FIA Columbus, Ohio and Recipient Civil Rights Hall of Fame, State of Ohio in USA. Ms Pooja Thomre, Board Member, National FIA served as Resource person and concluded the session summarizing various statements of speakers.
The session on Opportunities, Development, Business and investment in India and UP was Chaired by Harbachan Singh, GOPIO Intl. Coordinator for North America, New York, USA with panelist team of Manohar Jetley, MLC, Lucknow, UP; Chandran Pillai, Managing Director, Bit technology Singapore; ,Parsram Punj, Parsram Foods Pty Ltd Australia and  Radha Krishnan, GOPIO Life Member from Detroit, USA as Resource Person.
Three sessions were presented on concluding day.FRANCOPHONE SESSION by Mehen Poinosawmy, GOPIO Intl. Coordinator for Europe, Paris, France was enlightening and provided a lot of information what was being going on in France and how the community is facing. Speakers/Panelists: Jean Regis Ramsamy, Co-Chair, Media Council, Reunion Island and Vikas Talwar, President of GOPIO France who explained their opinions of the situation. Ms. Charlotte Gressier, French Caribbean Island presented a research paper in depth.  Resource Person. Jagdish Lodhia, GOPIO Intl. Coordinator for Oceania summarized the session

The Francophone Session  
Photo: Speakers at the Francophone Session - From l. to r.: Dr. Asha Samant, Jean Regis Ramsamy, Charlotte Gressier, Jagdish Lodhia, Mehen Poinosawmy and Vikas Talwar
A session on Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Investment and Start Up India was chaired by Kurian Abraham, GOPIO International Coordinator for South Asia, Kochi, India. Speakers/Panelists included Navin Pathak, Partner, Entry India, LLC, New Jersey, USA; K.V. Shamshudeen, Chairman, Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust, Sharjah, UAE; Prof. H. A. Pandya, Vice Chancellor Gujarat University. Ahmedabad, India; Achal Mehra, Visiting Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India and Prof. G. Gopal Reddy, Member, University Grants Commission, New Delhi.

Session on Start Up India  
Photo: Speakers at the Session on Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Investment and Start Up India with GOPIO officials. From l. to r.: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Achal Mehra, Navin Pathaki, K.V. Shamsudeen, Prof. H.V. Pandya, Dr. Asha Samant and Sunny Kulathakal
Empowering Indian and Diaspora Women was the last Session Chaired by energetic Speakers/Panelists: Mini Guleria, Co-Chair, GOPIO Media Council, Tarzana, California, USA Not to flatter but all the three speakers were amazing. Rini Johar, President, GOPIO-Redwood City/San Francisco, CA, USA spoke pm a handful of activities carrying alone with full commitments. Anju Garg, President, GOPIO-Los Angles, California, USA shared the health-related activities which were being carried by the chapter. Aparna Hande's presentation was very impressive and full of her dedicated commitment.
After all the sessions, several resolutions were passed to be presented to GOPIO Executive Council for further action.
Conference Committee Chairperson Dr. Asha Samant, E-mail:
President Ram Nath Kovind delivered the Valedictory Address at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Varanasi on January 23rd. GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham and President Sunny Kulathakal called on the President. Dr. Abraham briefed him about GOPIO and some of the Diaspora issues as well as how the Diaspora can be mobilized for India's benefit. Dr. Abraham and Mr Kulathakal presented President Kovind a copy of the book, Global Indian Diaspora - GOPIO Making an Impact.
GOPIO Officials with Indian President Kovind
Photo: Mrs. Savita Kovind, Dr. Thomas Abraham, President Kovind and Sunny Kulathakal

GOPIO joined hands with other community groups in prayers and rallies around the world. Here are coverage in some of the countries.
Southern California
A community meeting of various Indian American Associations was held at the Sanatan Dharma Temple to show their solidarity against the Pulwama attack. It was on 14 February 2019, a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora in the Pulwama district, in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The attack resulted in the deaths of 45 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.
45 candles were lit in the memory of the departed souls. There were speeches, poems and religious shlokas rendered on the occasion. This cowardly terrorist attack was condemned by all speakers and they hoped for lasting peace for future.
The names of the leaders include B U Patel, Vijay Patil, Ajoy Dube, Ashok Patnaik, PK Nayak, Sudip Gorakhshakar, Arvind Joshi, Kamlesh Chauhan, Sachin Amin, Ashok Madan, Kanaksinh Zala, Anil Parekh, Dr Gadasalli, Gopal Chaturvedi, Abdul Gani Shaikh, Manek Bhujawala, Dilip Butani, Anju Garg, Pranav Desai, Aparna Hande, Dr Nehru and Abhinav Mehta.
  Solidatiry with India Prayer Southern California
Photo: Some of the community leaders who spoke at the prayer/solidarity meeting to pay tribute to departed souls.
New York
GOPIO-New York joined hands with Long island Indian community for a solidarity meeting on February 17th to condemn terrorist attack on Indian soldiers. It was initiated by Mr. Kamlesh Mehta, Chairman and Publisher of South Asian Times and put together by Mr. Jasbir Jay Singh and Mukesh Modi of India Day Parade of USA. Several other Indian community groups participated in the event which had several speakers.The Indian Consulate was represented by Deputy Consul General Shatrugna Sinha.
Solidarity meeting in New York  
Photo: Organizers and speakers at the solidarity meeting with Deputy Consul General Shatrugna Sinha
GOPIO France Paris joined with other associations and organisations of France strongly condemning the terrorist attack in Pulwama at Jammu Kashmir on February 14, 2019 where 40 CRPF personnel were killed and many more injured. GOPIO France came out on February 24, 2019 near the Eiffel Tower, Espalanade Trocadero, Paris to protest against the terrorism and to say « NO » to violence.
GOPIO France considers that terrorism is an awful crime against freedom and democracy that affect us all. There are no words enough to condemn this dastardly act and this can never be excused or justified. We extend our condolences to the families of the victims of this extremely tragic event and offer prayers for the speedy recovery of those injured.
GOPIO France share the universal belief that terror will not succeed as the will of decent people shall overcome such criminal acts. We fully support all measures to bring security, calm and confidence to the people and urge all efforts to prevent similar attacks in the future. It is time now to put up a united front against terrorism.
Link to video of peace march: Click here to see the video,

Solidarity March in Paris  
Photos: Vikas Talwar (President GOPIO France), Mehen Poinoosawmy (GOPIO Int. Europe coord.) and Anwar Hussain (Cultural coord. France), Mehen Poinoosawmy (GOPIO Int. Europe coord.) and friends
Contact: GOPIO France Paris, Website:, Facebook:
GOPIO-Triolet North joined hands with other Indian community groups to organize a prayer meeting on February 24th.
Prayers in Mauritius  
Photo: Participants at the prayer and solidarity meeting in Mauritius
Indian Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty and Deputy Consul General Shatrugna Sinha were hosted by the Connecticut chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO-CT) on May 3rd in Stamford and Norwalk, Connecticut. Arriving at 2.30 p.m.. Consul General Chakravorty called on to Stamford Mayor David Martin at the Govt. Center in Stamford, along with GOPIO-CT President Anita Bhat, Past Presidents Shailesh Naik and Shelly Nichani and Treasurer Biru Sharma. Later in the afternoon, both called on to Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling along with GOPIO-CT officials and Norwalk's Indian community leaders including Raj Misra and Anna Duleep as well as representatives of Norwalk's Sikh Gurudwara.
Ambassador Chakravorty with Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling
Photo: Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty presenting the book 'India Unveiled' to Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling in the presence of GOPIO-CT officials and representatives of Norwalk Sikh Gurudwara.
The discussions were very cordial with both mayors and there were agreements on many new initiatives. Consul General Chakravorty very graciously offered to send various artists and performers from India visiting the USA to come and do shows in both the cities Stamford and Norwalk.  Both the Mayors offered full help and cooperation to facilitate such performances. Both mayors and the Consul General are interested in student exchange programs and the Consul General will further work in the same.
Most importantly the Consul General made an offer to the Norwalk Mayor Rilling and the Sikh community to hold a grand 550th Anniversary of Guru Nanakji's birth anniversary. He will contact some eminent academician to come and give a talk on the life of the Guru. This was a major accomplishment and a tribute to our Sikh community. Mayor Rilling offered his full support. GOPIO-CT also proposed an India section at the Norwalk public Library which Mayor Rilling agreed and the Consul General has offered to provide books.
On the economic front, both mayors would like to invite Indian companies to consider Stamford and Norwalk to open their US destination. In this regard, Stamford Mayor Martin will take assistance from the Indian Consulate to invite Indian companies to business expo and investment seminars in Stamford. GOPIO-CT will facilitate such efforts.
Consul General Chakravorty also had a very good discussion with Congressman Jim Himes who is a leading member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Congressman Himes is very supportive of India's interests and values.
CG Chakravorty also had a very informative discussion with Connecticut State Senator Bob Duff, the Majority Leader in Conn. Senate.
CG Sandeep Chakravorty with elected officials ay GOPIO-CT Mtg.
Photo: Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty along with GOPIO-CT officials after meeting US House Rep. Jim Himes and Connecticut Senator Bob Duff. From l. to r.: Biru Sharma, Mrs. Misra, Raj Misra, Deputy Consul General Shatrugna Sinha, Senator Duff, Consul General Chakravorty, GOPIO-CT President Anita Bhat, Ritu Johorey and Shailesh Naik
In the evening a reception was held at Hampton Inn for the many leaders of Indian diaspora in Connecticut to meet and greet Consul General Chakravorty and Deputy Consul General Sinha. GOPIO-CT President Anita Bhat welcomed the guests. GOPIO-CT Treasurer Biru Sharma moderated the session. Connecticut House Representative Matt Blumenthal, who represents Stamford, also joined the dinner meeting. Rep. Blumenthal was very appreciative of the contribution by the Indian American community in Connecticut.
Consul General Chakravorty gave a very descriptive talk on the election in India and how the country is a well-established democracy.  A Q&A session followed where the participants asked questions and expressed their concerns.
A donation of $2000 was made to Future 5, an organization in Stamford that takes underprivileged students from local high schools and tutor them in the hours after school.

OPIO-CT officials with CG Sandeep Chakravorty
Photo above: GOPIO-CT officials and other Indian community leaders at the Reception/Dinner with Indian Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty and Deputy Consul General Shatrugna Sinha

Contact: Anita Bhat, President, GOPIO-CT, Tel: 203-524-2935,

In a major relief to Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) who have taken asylum in foreign countries and were often denied consular services by Indian missions there for being on their local blacklist, India has directed all its missions abroad to abolish such locally maintained lists.

This will help the asylum-takers and their immediate family members (derivative asylees) avail of consular services, including visa and OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) services, at their local Indian missions, as long as they are not on the central blacklist approved by the home ministry.

Many of the beneficiaries will be asylees hailing from Punjab who had taken asylum in countries like Canada and the US, citing fear of religious persecution back home during the crackdown on pro-Khalistan movement. They had been facing problems in getting visa and OCI benefits in their respective Indian missions that maintain local blacklists comprising names of such asylum-takers, in addition to the central blacklist. 

The India government, acknowledging the sensitivities of many Sikh asylum-takers and their family members who have not been able to visit their native places or relatives even years after the end of Sikh militancy, has now issued instructions to all missions/posts abroad to abolish local blacklists. The missions have been asked to provide all asylees and their family members, whose names do not figure in the central blacklist, consular services, including visa services and OCI-related benefits. At the same time, it has directed the missions to continue with the usual checks and due diligence in line with the existing orders.

Sources said the decision reflects the recognition that many of the asylum-seekers were, in fact, economic migrants who were forced to pass themselves off as victims of political persecution in order to escape the bleak economic condition then back home.

HOLI celebrations do not happen only in India. GOPIO France Paris organized this most popular, joyful and colorful festival on the Sunday, March 31st, 2019. It was one of the greatest HOLI Event in Europe drawing a record crowd of 30 000 people at the Jardin d'Acclimatation, the most beautiful park of Paris.
This festival of Holi also commemorates the divine and eternal love between Lord Krishna and Radha. But it is also to mark the arrival of the sweet season, the transition from winter to spring or abundant colors of spring. It is also an opportunity to show your love for loved ones and friends and to forgive your enemies. This unifying celebration has a symbolic dimension by breaking down the barriers of all social classes and making people equal with the colors of joy.
Holi in Paris - Spreading of Colours  
Photo:Spreading of colours - 500 kg of Color powder used
For GOPIO France, HOLI is also a remarkable occasion to display the rich and diverse cultural facets of India. A vibrant Indian village was created with several stands and activities such as : Ayurvedha, Yoga, Meditations, Fakirs, Kathputtli puppets , Jadoo magicians, Indian Tatoos (Heine), Indian Make Ups, Clothing items, Cuisines and Indian delicacies with several food trucks full of smells of tandoori, saffron, peppers and cheese naans.
On stage a great variety of musicians from Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Orissa, Bihar, Punjab and Rajasthan demonstrated their talents. It was a colorful JOURNEY ACROSS INDIA. GOPIO France is very proud to have brought together music and dances of the different states of India to celebrate this HOLI 2019. As translated from Sanskrit "" Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam "" which means "The world is a family". Everybody enjoyed this great moment of Unity in Diversity which is the essence of Incredible India! and it is HOLI that allows us to live this great moment of joy and happiness.
Organizers with dignitaries and sponsors at Holi Celebration  
Photos: Organizers with dignitaries and sponsors. Top: Mehen Poinoosawmy (GOPIO Int. Europe coord.), Tarun Kalwani (Vice President GOPIO France), Vikas Talwar (President GOPIO France) and Indian Ambassador Vinay Kwatra and Mrs. Kwatra; Bottom: Mehen Poinoosawmy (GOPIO Int. Europe coord.), Indian Ambassador Vinay Kwatra and Mrs. Kwatra, Virginie Regis (Group Marketing and Communication Director, Group Executive Committee member of Capgemini), Mr Paul Hermelin (CEO and Chairman of Capgemini ) and Mr Marc Antoine Jamet (President of Jardin d'Acclimatation)
This huge event was possible thanks to the close collaboration of the LVMH group, Capgemini, the Jardin d'Acclimatation and the patronage of Embassy of India in France. We promise to gather every year on the same occasion at the Jardin d'Acclimatation all our friends, neighbors and families to celebrate together the festival of colors: HOLI.
"Bura na mano, Holi hai"
Contact: Mehen Poinoosawmy, GOPIO International Coordinator for Europe,
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GOPIO International delegates, who attended GOPIO Convention and Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Varanasi, were welcomed at a reception hosted by the famous motivational speaker and author Shiva Khera at his residence New Delhi. Several GOPIO International officers were present including Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham, Treasurer Kewal Kanda, GOPIO Intl Coordinator for North America Harbachan Singh, GOPIO Intl Coordinator for Oceania Jagdish Lodhia, GOPIO Intl Coordinator for Africa Rita Abraham, GOPIO Intl Coordinator for Europe Mehen Poinoosawmy and GOPIO Liaison Officer with Govt. of India Sunil Rawla. Also [present were GOPIO-NCR Delhi President Dhiraj Ahuja and GOPIO-Redwood City (SF) President Rini Johor.
Also present was Unity International Foundation Founder and Secretary-General R.N. Anil, who was honored by GOPIO for his outstanding service work for India. A book on Global Indian Diaspora - GOPIO Making an Impact was presented to Mr. Anil.
Shiv Khera's Reception for GOPIO delegates in Delhi  
Photo: GOPIO officials at a reception hosted by Best Seller Author Shiv Khera in Delhi. GOPIO Chairman Dr. Abraham recognizing Mr. R.N. Anil at the event. From l. to r.: Kewal Kanda, Jagdish Lodhia, Rini Johar, Sunil Rawla, Shiv Khera, G.V. Rao, Dr. Thomas Abraham, Mrs. Rao, R.L. Anil, Dhiraj Ahuja, Harbachan Singh and G.L. Agrawal
Global Organization of People of Indian Origin - New York Chapter (GOPIO-New York) organized a community Health Care Seminar on April 20, 2019 at the Indian American Kerala Center in Elmont, New York. The event was once again, a grand success. Seven prominent physicians and healthcare providers, each an expert in their specialized field served as speakers and panelists.
The program started with an inaugural session with welcome greetings and messages from Kerala Center Vice President Alex Esthappan, GOPIO-New York President Beena Kothari, GOPIO International Coordinator-at-Large Lal Motwani and GOPIO International Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham. The first speaker was Dr. Jagamohan Kalra, M.D. Hematologist, Oncologist, and Internist - triple board certified, who identified and addressed various types of cancers and concluded that modern health care is our best wealth.

  GOPIO-New York Health and Wellness Symposium Inaugural Session
Photo: GOPIO-New York Health and Wellness Symposium Inaugural Session. From l. to r.: Kerala Center Vice President Alex Esthappan, GOPIO-New York Treasurer John Paul, GOPIO-New York President Beena Kothari, GOPIO Intl. Coordinator-at-Large Lal Motwani, GOPIO-Secretary and Session Moderator Dr. Yousuf Syed and GOPIO Intl. Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham

Dr. Prachi Dua, M.D. an ophthalmologist spoke about the cataract surgery and provided information on modern cutting edge technology available for the best eye care. Dr. Ketan Laud, M.D. a famous and prominent Retina specialist, treats all medical and surgical conditions, talked about Diabetes and Retinal health in great details.
Dr. Parinda Dave, DDS, who practices general and family dentistry, spoke about the importance of Oral Health care. Dr. Dua said that if regular dental care is not done, could lead to many serious health hazards including heart issues.
Registered world-famous Nutritionist/Dietician Rita Batheja, M.S., RDN, CDN, FAND, AFMCP, eloquently informed the audience about the balance diet and importance of green raw vegetables in our daily diet. Community activist and dietician Indu Jaiswal further reinforced importance of diet in one's health.
Distinguished Chiropractor Dr. Michael Posner, who is also internationally certified instructor of Tai Chi-Chi Young, meditation and weight loss spoke about how great posture empowers your level of energy, create better health and wellbeing, while reducing stress.
Dr. Yousuf Syed, M.D.MPH, a Pathologist was the moderator who introduced the speakers, encouraging robust discussion of event's agenda and topics and moderated Q&A session.

Panelists at GOPIO-NY Health Symposium
Photo: Dr. Parinda Dave, DDS speaking at the symposium, Sitting panelists from l. to r.: Dr. Prachi Dua , M.D.; Nutritionist/Dietician Rita Batheja; Dr. Ketan Laud M.D.; Chiropractor Dr. Michael Posner; Hematologist/Oncologist Dr. Jagamohan Kalra, M.D.; Session Moderator Pathologist Dr. Yousuf Syed , M.D.MPH and GOPIO-New York President Beena Kothari
"With a well-attended program, our community is very much interested in such programs and GOPIO New York will continue to do health educational seminars," said GOPIO-New York President Beena Kothari.
GOPIO's next health related seminar is titled Aging Gracefully with Proper Health Care in early June.
The symposium was co-sponsored by Alliance of Global Sindhi Associations, India Day Parade (IDP), Indian American Forum (IAF) and Long Island Ladies Council (LILC)

GOPIO-NY Health Symposium organizers with Health Care panelists
Photo: Symposium organizers with Health Care panelists along with some attendees

GOPIO-New York can be contacted at, Tel: 631-988-1280.

GOPIO NYC Central Chapter held its 11th Anniversary Dinner to celebrate Indian Arrival Day on April 27, 2019. At this event Dr. Frank Anthony, former Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports in Guyana and current adjunct professor in epidemiology at the University of Guyana, made a presentation on "Cultural Preservation & Adaptation in the Diaspora". His presentation was well received by all in attendance.
GOPIO NYC Central Chapter Arrival Day Dinner  
Photo: Organizers with guest speaker Dr. Frank Anthony. Front row l. to r. Ann Lutchmidat, Secretary; Jhairam Persaud, outgoing president; Mala Dasrat; Donna Narine; Dr. Frank Anthony, former Minister of Culture, Guyana; Patsy Leopold, President, Martin Lalsingh and Ivan Shivnarine, Vice President; (second row) Dev Chedda, Vishnu Mahadeo, honored for community service; Netram Rambudhan, Vernon Outar, Pandit Gurdatt Jagnanan, Premnauth Singh; Tony Roopnarain (Treasurer) and Richard David, District Leader, Queens.  
Contact: Patsy Leopold, President, GOPIO-Central New York, Tel: 718-296-3885, E-mail:
On the 18th of April 2019, Mr Shamikapoor Sewoke and the team of GOPIO QUATRE BORNES - MAURITIUS, organized a lunch and tea party for the ARYA Sabha Ashram, an old age homecare consisting of 120 mentally and physically disabled persons.
On this occasion, GOPIO, Quatre Bornes donated foodstuffs, beverages and also a cheque of Rs 10,000 to the management of the homecare.
GOPIO Quatre Borne President Shamikapoor Sewoke serving food  
Photo: GOPIO Quatre Borne President Shamikapoor Sewoke serving food at the ARYA Sabha Ashram
GOPIO-CT Chapter participated in the walkathon to raise funds for Bennet Cancer Center of Stamford Hospital on Sunday, June 2nd, 2019. The funds raised through this event go to sustain the important programs and services that directly impact the Bennett Cancer Center patients and their families. Integrative medicine, exercise and educational programs, recuperative treatments and transportation are just a few of the services that are provided as a result of our fundraising efforts.
GOPIO-CT Chapter participates in Hope in Motion  
Photo: GOPIO-CT Team: From l. to r. Ambrish Mathur, Anita Mathur, Alka Banerjee, Dr. Thomas Abraham and Svitesh Tatineni.
Contact: Anita Bhat, President, GOPIO-CT, Tel: 203-524-2935,


Reaffirming the dominance of Indian-Americans, a record seven Indian-origin students were among eight who jointly won the prestigious 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee, taking home more than USD 50,000 in cash and prizes in an "unprecedented" competition.
It is the first time in the 94-year history of the contest that more than two co-champions have been named. It was also the first time since 2007 when an American student, Erin Howard, was among the winners.
Rishik Gandhasri, 13, of California; Saketh Sundar, 13, of Maryland; Shruthika Padhy, 13, of New Jersey; Sohum Sukhatankar, 13, of Texas; Abhijay Kodali, 12, of Texas; Rohan Raja, 13, of Texas; Christopher Serrao, 13, of New Jersey and Howard, 14, of Alabama were named as co-champions.
The six boys and two girls combined to spell the final 47 words correctly over five consecutive perfect rounds in the most extraordinary ending of the competition.
"In an unprecedented display of academic achievement, eight spellers have become co-champions of the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee, making history as the first group to share the coveted title in the 92 years of the storied event," the organisers tweeted. The finals went on more than an hour and half past the scheduled time with words like omphalopsychite, Geeldikkop and auftaktigkeit. The 565 contestants ranged in age from 7 to 14 and came from across the US and several other countries, including Canada, Ghana and Jamaica.
"Champion spellers, we are in uncharted territory," official pronouncer Jacques Bailly said.
"We do have plenty of words remaining on our list, but we'll soon run out of words that can possibly challenge you, the most phenomenal assemblage of super spellers in the history of this competition," Bailly added.
The final words spelled correctly by the co-champions include auslaut by Gandhasri, erysipelas by Howard, bougainvillea by Sundar, aiguillette by Padhy, pendeloque by Sukhatankar, palama by Kodali, cernuous by Serrao and odylic by Raja, ESPN reported.
The National Bee is a high-profile, high-pressure endurance test as much as a nerd spelling match and spellers spend months preparing for it.
Last year, 14-year-old Indian-American Karthik Nemmani won the National Spelling Bee, taking home more than USD 42,000 in cash and prizes. He correctly spelt "koinonia" to become the 14th Indian-American champion in 11 consecutive years. In 2017 also, an Indian-American girl, Ananya Vinay, won the title. From 2014-2016, the bee ended with co-champions.

Dharmatma Saran, Chairman and Founder of Miss/Mrs. India Worldwide and Shree Saini, the reigning Miss India Worldwide won awards as the Director/Producer and Best Title Holder respectively at the Second Global Beauty Awards held on April 7 at Snoqualmie Casino in Seattle, Washington State. The Global Beauty Awards has been acclaimed as the Academy Award (Oscar) of beauty pageant industry. The event was attended by beauty pageant leaders from around the world. Sarah Rose Summers, the reigning Miss USA, was Emcee for the gala event.
Dharmatma Saran who is the pioneer in starting Indian beauty pageants in the USA and the world was honored for creating Miss India USA thirty-eight years ago and also the only international Indian pageant - Miss India Worldwide with affiliates in over 40 countries. "He provides exceptional opportunities to his winners," said the citation, "many of whom have gone to become Bollywood celebrities and the Who's Who of the Indian community worldwide."
IFC Founder Dharmatma Saran honored  
Photo: Dharmatma Saran and Mrs. Saran with Miss USA Sarah Ross Summers, Miss India Worldwide Shree Saini and organizers of the Second Global Beauty Awards
Dharmatma Saran in his acceptance speech thanked Maureen Francisco and David Van Maren, Producers of the awards, for this honor. He also thanked Ekta Saini for nominating him and his wife Neelam Saran who has been a source of strength in his thirty-eight years of pageant journey. Saran got this award out of 15 other influential nominees from around the world.
Dharmatma Saran, chairman and founder of the New York based India Festival Committee (IFC) that organizes the trail blazing Miss India Worldwide, is a pioneer in entertainment, holding Indian pageants and fashion shows in the USA and worldwide.In 1990, Dharmatma Saran, decided to take the pageant one step further to an international level and started The First Miss India Worldwide Pageant to identify and honor beauties of Indian origin the world over and the show graduated to become the top most international Indian pageant on the earth.

India retained its position as the world's top recipient of remittances with its diaspora sending a whopping $79 billion back home in 2018, the World Bank said in a report.
India was followed by China (USD 67 billion), Mexico (USD 36 billion), the Philippines (USD 34 billion), and Egypt (USD 29 billion), the global lender said.
With this, India has retained its top spot on remittances, according to the latest edition of the World Bank's Migration and Development Brief. Over the last three years, India has registered a significant flow of remittances from $62.7 billion in 2016 to $65.3 billion 2017.
"Remittances grew by more than 14% in India, where a flooding disaster in Kerala likely boosted the financial help that migrants sent to families," the Bank said.
On ways to lower remittance costs, Dilip Ratha, lead author of the Brief and head of KNOMAD, said, "Remittances are on track to become the largest source of external financing in developing countries. The high costs of money transfers reduce the benefits of migration. Renegotiating exclusive partnerships and letting new players operate through national post offices, banks, and telecommunications companies will increase competition and lower remittance prices.

India Fellow is a 13-month Leadership Program for Young Indians who aspire to understand social issues and bring change in the world around them. The fellows get a hands-on experience by working on a specific project with a grassroots organization towards nation building. At the same time, they learn from classroom training, peer-sharing, mentorship from leaders and a strong network support.

The Timeline

  • Application Deadline: 10th July, 2019
  • Fellowship Starts: October, 2019
  • Fellowship Ends: November, 2020
E-mail: | Phone: 011-26217459

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 2/3rdthe amount for each category for those from developing countries and India.
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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 (Ardsley, New York, USA)

Contributors of this issue: Sunny Kulathakal, President, GOPIO International (Bahrain);Dr. Neerja Arun Gupta, Chair, GOPIO Academic Council (Ahmedabad, India); Shefali Mehta, President, GOPIO-Auckland Central Chapter(Aukland, New Zealnd), Kewal Kanda, Treasurer, GOPIO International (Norwalk, CA, USA); Mehen Poinoosawmy, GOPIO Europe International Coordinator (Paris, France); Harry Walia, President, Sydney NW (Sydney, Australia) and Kritilata Ram, Co-Chairperson of GOPIO Women's Council International and President of GOPIP Triolet North (Mauritius)

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
Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) Inc., P.O. Box 1413, Stamford, CT 06904-1413
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