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July 15, 2012

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

Issue: XI-10 July 15, 2012
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The Indian Diaspora Conference in the Caribbean region, with the theme "The Indian Diaspora in St. Vincent and the Wider Caribbean", held in St. Vincent on the weekend of June 1 - June 3 was a grand success with participants and delegates from 14 countries. It coincided with the June 1 Indian Arrival Day in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). The event was organized by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin International (GOPIO SVG) in collaboration with the SVG Indian Heritage Foundation, and support from the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ministry of Tourism and Culture. The primary organizers, Dr Arnold Thomas - GOPIO Regional Coordinator, Caribbean and Dr Kumar Mahabir - Co-Chair, GOPIO Academic Council & Professor at University of Trinidad & Tobago, are to be commended for their efforts in making the conference a huge success.


GOPIO Conference in St. Vincent. President Gonsalves with organizers 

Photo above: Conference organizers with St. Vincent President Dr. Ralph Gonsalves at the inaugural ceremony, From (l-r): Dr Arnold Thomas, GOPIO Regional Coordinator, Caribbean (St Vincent); Mansraj Ramphal (Univ of TnT); Prime Minister of St Vincent, Dr Ralph Gonsalves; Fredderick Stephenson, Minister of National Mobilisation; Ena Maraj, Pres GOPIO Int'l Trinidad & Tobago Chapter; Ashook Ramsaran, President GOPIO Int'l (USA); Elmore Gymes, SVG Indian Heritage Foundation; Elvis Charles, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Culture; Lucienne Scarabany, Pres GOPIO Martinique.



The 3-day event included the Indian Arrival Day Commemoration and arrival re-enactment at the Argyle beach with participation by SVG Indian Heritage Foundation, GOPIO's SVG Chapter, Indian High Commissioner K J Sodhi, visiting delegates and PIOs from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This was followed by a well attended inaugural event on the evening of June 1st. with SVG Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, as the chief guest. There were cultural performances by local SVG artistes and visiting troupe from Trinidad and Tobago. June 2nd was a full day of Indian Diaspora conference including presentations by SVG scholars and experts on regional and international Diaspora history, experiences and issues. June 3rd, allocated for an all-day island guided tour for visiting delegates turned out to be a rewarding experience for everyone. Prime Minister Gonsalves also visited the delegation and participated in some of the events on that day.



Details of each day's festivities of this year's event are highlighted below.


June 1: Indian Arrival Day Commemoration and Conference Inaugural


The Inaugural Ceremony was held at Peace Memorial Hall on Friday, June 1 starting at 7:00pm with St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Prime Minister Hon Dr Ralph Gonsalves as the chief guest. Junior Bacchus and Dr. St. Clair Thomas were masters of ceremonies. Following an opening prayer by Glenda Joyette, there was a beautiful steel pan rendition of SVG National Anthem. Hansby Lewis - President of SVG Indian Heritage Foundation made the welcome remarks, followed by greetings by GOPIO International President Ashook Ramsaran who expressed "thanks to the Hon. Prime Minister and the people of SVG for being so supportive of GOPIO's efforts in SVG since we initiated the GOPIO chapter in 2007". Vibert Bailey - President of GOPIO SVG followed with remarks on GOPIO SVG and progress since the chapter was formally initiated. Dr Arnold Thomas - GOPIO Regional Coordinator Caribbean, gave an overview of the upcoming conference and was pleased to "welcome all attendees and delegates from SVG and abroad". Lucienne Sacarabany - President of GOPIO Martinique, brought greetings from the PIOs of the French speaking Caribbean.

Photo below left: Inaugural reception, (l-r): H. H Wicramsinghe (Sri Lanka), Dr Arnold Thomas (St Vincent), PM Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Ramnarine Bissoon (Trinidad & Tobago), Deo Gosine (Trinidad-USA); GOPIO Matinique delegation with President Ashook Ramsaran


GOPIO Conference in St. Vincent. GOPIO Caribbean officers and delegations 

Photo above: GOPIO Caribbean Officials (l-r): Vibert Bailey, Pres GOPIO St Vincent; Dr Arnold Thomas, GOPIO Regional Coordinator, Caribbean (St Vincent); Lucienne Scarabany, Pres GOPIO Martinique; Ashook Ramsaran, President GOPIO Int'l (USA); Ena Maraj, Pres GOPIO Int'l Trinidad & Tobago Chapter; Dr Kumar Mahabir, Co-Chair, GOPIO Academic Council (Trinidad & Tobago); Deo Gosine, Co-Chair, GOPIO Business Council (USA- Trinidad & Tobago); Dr Maurits Hassankhan, Chair of GOPIO Cultural Council (Suriname). 



There were greetings from individuals and organizations in St. Vincent and the Grenadines: People of African descent; the Garifuna Heritage Organization; Mr. Frederick Stephenson - MP for South Windward Constituency & Ministry of National Mobilization; Hon. K J S Sodhi - Ambassador of India to Suriname and SVG, remarked how "GOPIO and this upcoming conference have put SVG on the map, and to become known to the Indian Diaspora". This was followed by cultural performances by local SVG artistes and visiting troupe from Trinidad and Tobago: singer Aykeel Ali and dancer Shenade Ganase; two SVG children gave a piano recital.


Dr. St. Clair Thomas - Chief Medical Officer of SVG, introduced the Prime Minister Gonsalves who thanked "GOPIO for bringing awareness to the Indians in St Vincent and the Grenadines" and being "proud to host this conference organized by two young organizations" (GOPIO SVG chapter and SVG Indian Heritage Foundation). He re-iterated, "SVG holds dearly its rich history of diversity" and "there is a special place for the Indian community as a vital part of SVG with shared values, even with differences due to heritage and origin".


The recently published GOPIO Book was presented by Ashook Ramsaran to PM Dr, Gonsalves who plans "to read and add to his library and knowledge of the Indian Diaspora". The Inaugural Ceremony concluded with thanks by Dr. Kumar Mahabir - Co-Chair, GOPIO Academic Council & Assistant Professor at University of Trinidad & Tobago.



June 2: Indian Diaspora Conference


The Conference Program held at Murray Heights Hotel, McKie's Hill, Kingstown started with registration at 8:30am and concluding at 5:30pm. The full day conference was followed documentary presentation on films and the Indian Diaspora in the Caribbean.


The specific conference sessions included:


Session I (9:00am - 10:00am: Diaspora and Arrival

Moderated by Dr Victor Ramraj (University of Calgary, Canada) with an "Overview of Indian Indentureship in St. Vincent" by Dr Arnold Thomas. Other speakers included: Mansraj Ramphal (University of Trinidad and Tobago, UTT) on Indian Arrivals in St. Vincent and Trinidad during the Indentureship Period: Names, Numbers, Death, Disease, Ships and Shared Experiences; Dr Kumar Mahabir (University of Trinidad and Tobago, UTT) on Narratives of Recent Vincentian Indian Migrants in Trinidad.


Session II (10:30am - 11:30am): Diaspora: Adapting and Transforming

Moderated by Dr Maurits Hassankhan (University of Suriname). Speakers included: Professor Lisa Lopez(University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras) on A Look into the Indentured System of Indian Workers in St. Vincent, Trinidad and Guyana; Jai Sears (Grenada Indian Cultural Organization, Grenada) on The Contribution of Indians to the Economy and Polity of St. Vincent and the Wider Caribbean.


Session III (12:30pm - 1:30pm): Celebration and Speculation

Speakers included: Prof Lindsey Harlan (Connecticut College, USA) on Indian Arrival in St. Vincent and Trinidad: Fluid Discourses in the Celebration of a National Holiday; John Mair (London Metropolitan University, UK ) on Cricket in the Indo-Caribbean Imagination: The View from Two Sides of the Wicket; Dr Vijay Ramraj (University of West Indies, TnT) on Nebulous and Intangible but Real: Speculations about the Meaning of Pt. Samsundar Parasram's 'punditaye' experiences in St Vincent.


Session IV (2:30pm - 3:30pm): Diaspora, Religion and Culture

Moderated by Dr St Clair Thomas (Chief Medical Officer of SVG). Speakers included: Sylvia Gilharry Perez (Corozal Organization of East Indian Cultural Heritage, COEICH & GOPIO Belize) onThe History of East Indian Seventh Day Adventists in Belize (with reference to St. Vincent); Dr Victor Ramraj (University of Calgary, Canada) on Early Diaspora Indian Pragmatic Religious Conversion.


Session V (4:00pm - 4:30pm): Diaspora, Religion and Culture (Cont'd)

Speaker: Primnath Gooptar (University of Trinidad and Tobago, UTT) on Indian Movies as a Medium for Continuity of Indian Culture in the Caribbean.


Session VI (5:00pm - 5:30pm): Panel Presentation, Discussion & Wrap-up

Moderated by Ashook Ramsaran (President, GOPIO International - USA). Panelists: Dr Gideon Lewis (SVG Indian Heritage Foundation); Jai Sears (Grenada Indian Cultural Organization, Grenada); Vibert Lewis (President, GOPIO of SVG chapter).


Session VII (6:00pm - 8:00pm): Film Screening

Caribbean Interpretations of Bollywood Films (dir: Primnath Goptar); The Madonna Murti (dir: Sharon Syriac); Hosay Cedros (dir: Ann Marie Samsoondar).


June 3: Island Tour



On Sunday June 3, there was an all-day island guided tour from 10:00am to 8:00pm that included visits to various natural heritage and historical sites such as monuments, museums, beaches, events with ceremonies, picnic and activities. Prime Minister Dr Ralph E. Gonsalves visited with the delegates and attendees, and shared in a portion of the events of the day. It was a fun filled day and gave the visiting delegates a first-hand view of major points of interest, including the areas that are considered PIO communities.

The next Diaspora Conference - Caribbean is tentatively scheduled to be held at Paramaribo, Suriname in June 201


Indians, who migrated to the Caribbean countries, since the 19th century, celebrated Arrival Day in Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and other island nations. The Diaspora who have further migrated to the US and Canada also celebrates the event. Below, we provide celebrations in difference countries.




The 167th anniversary of Indian Arrival Day in Trinidad & Tobago was commemorated in highly visible and prominent ways on May 30, 2012 with commemoration events at Diwali Nagar and the Mere Desh at the Chaguanas Mid-Centre Mall, among others. Notable civic, cultural organizations and groups, officials, families and individuals participated in these events which included recitals of the Jahaji journey and experience of indentured laborers in Trinidad & Tobago, songs, dances and speeches.


Five people received awards at the annual Mere DeshIndian Arrival Day celebrations for their contributions to the promotion of Indian culture, songs and music in Trinidad & Tobago. Coordinator of the Mere Desh committee, Ajeet Praimsingh, said that "the awards reflect the deep appreciation and worthiness of the works of these people, namely Auntie Girlie, Errol Singh, Kunzur Sammy Chinpire, Viki Ramdass and Balliram Mansaram". He continued "They have excelled in every aspect of life including religion, education, agriculture, commerce, politics, medicine, sports and culture. The celebration was held under the patronage of Mayor of Chaguanas Orlando Nagessar.


GOPIO International Trinidad & Tobago chapter participated in the Mere Desh event with a GOPIO booth organized and coordinated by its chapter executives with special support and assistance from chapter PRO Karran Nancoo. GOPIO International President Ashook Ramsaran presented the recently published GOPIO Book to Mayor Nagessar. Congratulatory remarks were made by GOPIO International Trinidad & Tobago chapter president Ena Maraj and GOPIO International president Ashook Ramsaran.


The annual Indian Arrival Day event at Diwali Nagar, organized by the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC),also commemorated the day with songs and dances as well as speeches by DeokinananSharma, president ofNCIC, Dr Suruj Rambachan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Indian High Commissioner to TnT Malay Mishra, as well as several others. In his speech, Minister Rambachan remarked that "wecelebrate their spirit of fortitude, their resilience in tough circumstances and thank them for the religious institutions, cultural and social systems they introduced, which have given to so many of us our self-definition and the ability to understand ourselves".


GOPIO President Ashook Ramsaran with Mayor Orlando Nagessar 

Photo above: Photo 2 (l-r): Mayor Orlando Jagessar; Ena Maraj, Ashook Ramsaran



GOPIO International president Ashook Ramsaran presented the recently published GOPIO Book to Minister Rambachan. On May 31, Ashook Ramsaran and Ena Maraj were guests at a live 1-hour interactive television and radio program discussion on history, culture and GOPIO's positive role in TnT, a multi-ethnic society.





In Guyana, the Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) hosted a number of activities to commemorate the 174th anniversary of East Indian arrival throughout the country. IAC organized a grand international mela that was held on Saturday, May 5, at the Albion Community Centre in Berbice. The cultural program featured members of the Shakti Strings Orchestra and other local Guyanese artistes, as reported on the online Guyana Times newspaper.  


The celebration continued on Sunday, May 6, with a cultural parade that was held on the Essequibo Coast, started at Affiance and ended at Anna Regina Community Centre ground. Entertainment was provided by the Sangeet Rhythm Band. Admission to both the Berbice and Essequibo events was free.


For the first time, IAC hosted a food fair as part of its activities to commemorate this historic event, which was held on Saturday, May 19, on the lawns of the Indian Cultural Centre. The newspaper added that cuisine from a number of local restaurants was on sale and patrons was treated to a rich cultural evening, featuring members of the Shakti Strings Orchestra, students of the Indian Cultural Centre and leading dance troupes. This was a ticketed with redeemable chits.




The Sanaatan Dharma Mandir of New York organized an event to celebrate the "Indian Arrival Day" of their Indian Indentured Ancestors to the West Indies. It was a rich history, spanning 174th years. The event was held at the temple in Richmond Hill, Queens, on Sunday May 6and was planned to coincide with the "Indian Arrival Day" celebrations in Guyana, which was observed on May 5th.  


Celebrations as these were held in different countries in the Global Indian Diaspora where British plantation owners recruited Indians from India as indentured laborers to "toil and sweat" in their sugar plantations.


The keynote speaker was Dr. Basdeo Mangru who is of Guyanese origin. He is one of the West Indies' most distinguished historians, specializing in the draconian Indentured system in Guyana, previously known as British Guiana. Dr. Mangru is the author of several books written on the Indentured laborers' history. He talked about how the recruitment process for the laborers started in India, the many voyages made across the "Kala Pani" (which means Black Water) and the indentured laborers difficult struggles against the indentured system. It was a concise but well-documented history lesson on the indentured laborers' experiences that many in the audience was not aware of.


The program was sprinkled with children of the temple reading empowering statements about the rich characteristics of their indentured ancestors, the sterling contributions they made towards the socio-economic and political development of their adopted country and their fight for a free Guyana. The event was ended with an informative slideshow that depicted their hard but humble lives on the sugar estates. Pictures were shown of the ancestors cutting and loading canes, living in their grass houses and fetching loads on the donkey-carts, among others. Mention was also made of the Kolkata Memorial and museum that are being built in India and which is being spearheaded by GOPIO International in honor of the Indentured ancestors. History books written by Dr. Mangru were on sale and people who bought books had it signed by the author.




The Indian Arrival Day in Trinidad & Tobago was celebrated in New Delhi at a beautiful ceremony marking the occasion. The Antar Rashtriya Sahyog Parishad (ARSP), also known as the International Council for Cooperation, organized the screening of a nostalgic documentary 'Yatra' and a High Tea event in association with the High Commission of Trinidad & Tobago in India. Speaking on the occasion, H. E. Chandradath Singh, High Commissioner of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, said culture, traditions and entertainment have played a vital role in keeping the Indian Diaspora connected with motherland India through generations. 2012 marks the 167th year of Indians arriving in that country. Importantly, he said the island culture that took tens of years to evolve created a wonderful and level playing field for the two dominant communities in his country - Indians and Africans.

The documentary titled 'Yatra - The Journey of Indian Presence in Trinidad and Tobago' was screened. Producer, Anita Chandradath, traced the story of the arrival of Indians in 1845 until the 150th year of arrival in 1995.

Audience praised the documentary that in the High Commissioner's words demonstrated that their ancestors were amongst the poorest and most illiterate people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar as indentured labor to successful Indians ruling the country today. The new Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago Kamala Bissessar is the first PIO female and the second PIO administrator of the country.

ARSP founder and General Secretary Baleshwar Agrawal couldn't attend the function because of his illness but thanked the High Commissioner and wife Anita for their contribution to the strengthening of relations between the two countries. In his message to Munish Gupta, GOPIO International's Coordinator for Africa, Aggarwal expressed his happiness that GOPIO International President Ashook Ramsaran was in the Caribbean island of St. Vincent June 1st through 3rd for a GOPIO seminar on the Indian Diaspora. Aggarwal thanked PIO TV for its coverage of Diaspora events during a brief meeting with K .N Gupta, Chief Editor PIO TV and GOPIO International's Director for Government Liaison in India. 

The function was held at the Pravasai Bhawan constructed and run by ARSP in New Delhi that also houses a mini conference area in the basement for such special Diaspora events.


By PIO TV Bureau   





At a June 27, 2012 conference in San Salvador on "Education in Central America: Engaging Diasporas, Governments and the Private Sector in Education for Development", the Indian Diaspora and GOPIO's role were highlighted by a notable presentation by GOPIO International President Ashook Ramsaran who was invited by the Organization of American States (OAS), the government of El Salvador and the Pan-American Development Foundation (PADF) "to share the best practices, lessons learned and the impressive work of GOPIO".


It was an impressive gathering of government officials, members of private and public sectors, and several prominent civic organizations, and it was a tremendous opportunity to learn from the experience of the Indian Diaspora and the successes of private, public and NGO partnerships. "There is a lot of awareness of the Indian Diaspora and GOPIO's significant role in shaping it while working in close collaboration and partnership with the Government of India, in particular the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs", said Ramsaran.


GOPIO President Ashook Ramsaran with Organization of American States panelists  

Photo above: Conference speakers at Organizaiton of American States, Frpo,, Photo (l-r): John Sanbrailo, Executive Dir of Pan American Development Foundation; Hon Atala Perez, Dir of education & Culture, Secretariat of Foreign Relations, Mexico; Ashook Ramsaran, president of GOPIO International; Marielo Franco, Social Entrepreneur of BancoAgricola, El Salvador; Consul General of ColumbiaHatem D. Quiceno.


Recently published GOPIO book (containing a lot of information about Indian Diaspora and GOPIO) were presented to: Organization of American States; Pan-American Development Foundation; Hon Hugo Martinez, Min of Foreign Affairs, El Salvador; Hon Erlinda Hanal Vega, Vice Minister of Science & Technology, El Salvador; Hon Juan Hose Garcia, Vice Minister, Min of Foreign Affairs, El Salvador.




Based on reports of discrimination being perpetrated against persons of Indian origin (PIOs) in South Africa in academia, public and private sectors of society, GOPIO has organized a GOPIO Task Force to make an assessment of the extent of such discrimination in order to determine the appropriate steps to bring awareness and seek redress accordingly. The GOPIO Task Force, a committee of GOPIO's Human Rights Council, is directed to accumulate relevant information and make a determination of any systemic or targeted discrimination against PIOs in South Africa, the extent of such discrimination and what segments of society are affected.


"In accordance with the mandate of GOPIO's Human Rights Council to actively monitor human rights conditions and unfair treatment of persons of Indian origin (PIOs) and non-resident Indians (NRIs), we want to accurately evaluate the current conditions and trends", said Ashook Ramsaran, president of GOPIO International.


Persons of Indian origin (PIOs) in South Africa, approximately 1,200,000 representing 2.5% of total population of 49,000,000, are descendents of indentured immigrant laborers from colonial India during late 19th-century through early 20th-century, with the first arrivals in 1860.


For more information, please contact Ms. Aminta Kilawan, Co-Chair of GOPIO Human Rights Council





The 'Indian Diaspora Engagement Meet' for Overseas Indians, held on 13th April 2012, in Nairobi, Kenya for the East African region, was inaugurated by Shri Parvez Dewan, Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), Government of India, and Chairman, Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC). The Meet was organized by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) through Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC), in association with the High Commission of India, Kenya and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and was supported by the Global Organization for People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), Africa Chapter.


Addressing the delegates, Shri Parvez Dewan said that India was keen to connect with its Diaspora in Kenya and other East African countries, economically, both within Kenya and in India. He emphasized that the meet was aimed at providing a platform to the Diaspora to share their ideas, suggestions and concerns. He said "we are here not so much to ask you to invest in India but to sit with you and work how India can engage with its Diaspora in Kenya and East Africa and on the economic front and moreover, how can India help the Indian Diaspora and other Kenyans and East Africans who wish to realize their dreams to be part of the India-Growth Story."


Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kenya, Prof. Sam Ongeri, joined during the Business Session of the "Indian Diaspora Engagement Meet". With an academic background from India, Prof. Ongeri is well acquainted with the Indian Market and highlighted the tremendous scope prevalent in the manufacturing sector for India to engage with Kenya. This area in Kenya could provide employment to the youth in Kenya which constitutes nearly 50% of the unemployment figure. Speaking at the inaugural, H. E Shri Sibabrata Tripathi, High Commissioner of India to Kenya said that Kenya epitomizes all that is good in the Indian Diaspora overseas. While the number is not large in Kenya itself, the total in the East Africa region is substantial.


Other speakers at the inaugural Session were Dr. Manu Chandaria, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awardee and Chairman, Comcraft Group; Mr. Vimal Shah, Vice Chairman, Kenya Private Sector Alliance and CEO, BIDCO Kenya and Prof. Kenneth Ombongi, Chairman, Kenya-India Friendship Association who shared their valuable remarks on the Meet. Dr. Chandaria invited Indian companies to explore the open market in East Africa and enjoy the opportunity of huge businesses and emulate the Diaspora. Mr Vimal Shah mentioned about "Vision 2030" and how effectively 70% of the Kenyan population who are below 30 years, can be employed in various sectors with investments and development.


The inaugural was followed by the Business Session which included discussions and presentations on MOIA by Shri Vinay Sahni, Joint Secretary, MOIA and on Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre by Ms Sujata Sudarshan, CEO, OIFC. Other prominent speakers in the session were Mr T. Ramamurthy, Regional Director - Strategy & Operations, Nakumatt Holdings Ltd.; Mr. Julius K. Korir. Acting Managing Director, Kenya Investment Authority; Mr Deepak Sharma, Senior Vice President - NRI Banking & Remittance, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd; Mr Nikhil Hira, Senior Partner, Deloitte & Touche; Dr. Markandey Rai, President, GOPIO Kenya Chapter; Mr. Naresh Kumar Leekha, Executive Director, Tata Africa Holdings (Kenya) Ltd.; Mr M. N. Sarma, Managing Director, KenIndia Assurance Ltd. The speakers mentioned about increasing visibility of Indians in Kenya.


OIFC Diaspora Engagement meet in Nairobi 

 Photo above - Conference panelists (l-r): Mr Vinay Sahni, Joint Secretary, MOIA, India; Mr Vimal Shah - Vice Chairman, Kenya Sector Alliance & CEO, BIDCO Kenya; Mr Sibabrata Tripathi - High Commissioner of India to Kenya; Dr Manu Chandaria - Chairman, Comcroft Group, Kenya & Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award recipient. 


The session concluded with an active interaction between the panel members and the audience. The main emphasis during the discussions was on the willingness and potential of the Indian Diaspora in getting economically engaged with India and creating synergy between the two economies and social development. OIFC assured to continue its interaction with the delegates, who attended the Meet. This will help strengthen the interface and reach out of the Diaspora with India. The following day, the OIFC organized a Round Table meet with select senior Diaspora members and government officials to deliberate on the way forward to enhance economic linkages between the two countries.




GOPIO-Central Jersey Chapter organized an immigration seminar on U.S. and Canadian by a panel of renowned experts at Edison Hotel in New Jersey on Sunday, July 24, 2012. The expert panelists for the seminar were attorneys David H. Nachman, Esq., Michael Phulwani, Esq., Madhavi Samudrala, Esq., and Veronique Malka who provided their expertise on the ever changing policies of U.S. and Canadian immigration.


Various topics ranging from family sponsored categories to employment sponsored categories were discussed by the four experts. Mr. Phulwani discussed in length B-1 visa for business visitors, F-1 to F-4 categories and employment sponsored categories. The highlight of the discussion was President Obama's Executive Order "Dream Act for Dreamers" which was signed on June 15, 2012.   Under this act, more than 800,000 illegal immigrants will be covered who were brought in this country as children and have completed high school and either attended a college or served in the military. To qualify, an individual must have arrived in the U.S. when they were under the age of sixteen and continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five years prior to June 15, 2012, present in U.S. on June 15, 2012 and under the age of 31 years old on June 15, 2012 and no threat to national security or public safety.  Details were discussed by Mr. Phulwani and Mr. Nachman. 


Several attendees interacted with some good questions on personal and business immigration in U.S. and Canada.   The panel also gave some good tips on how to prepare before going to Consulate Office to apply for any type of visas.   The discussion also included foreign investors, EB-5 category, Regional Center Program, immigration related audits for the employers and so many high interest topics for personal and business immigration.


GOPIO - Central Jersey Chapter was launched in April 2008 under the leadership of then President Dr. Rajeev Mehta.  Current Officers of the chapter are: Dinesh Mittal - President, Suresh Reddy - Vice President, Dr. Tushar Patel - Secretary and Gagan Deep - Treasurer with other members include Sarika Sikand, Anu Gupta and Jaswant Modi. 


GOPIO Central Jersey Immigration Seminar, speakers with organizers  

Photo above: GOPIO-Central Jersey organizers with the panelists: Left to right (standing): Madhavi Samudrala Esq.,Suresh Reddy (Vice President GOPIO CJ),Mal Braich (GOPIO CJ Business Committee), Rajendra Kankaria (GOPIO CJ Business Committee), Jaswant Mody (Community Affairs GOPIO CJ), David Nachman Esq., Veronique Malka Esq., Dr. Rajeev Mehta (Co-Chair GOPIO International Health Council); Left to right (seated): Dinesh Mittal (President GOPIO CJ), Sarika Sikand (GOPIO CJ Business Committee), Poonam Khanna (GOPIO CJ Cultural Committee), Dr. Tushar Patel (Secretary GOPIO CJ).


Immediate Past President, Dr. Rajeev Mehta introduced the panelists and welcomed everyone to the seminar. President Mittal thanked the audience for their participation and encouraged them to support the GOPIO Central Jersey Chapter by becoming a member. 


Several events are planned to be scheduled by GOPIO - Central Jersey Chapter during next several months and the current officers are enthusiastic to bring the organization to a next level to promote the interest of PIOs and NRIs, and help shape relevant policies to benefit our community. 


To get more information on GOPIO-Central Jersey Chapter or become a member, please contact their website at or e-mail at and send a check with the application form at GOPIO Central Jersey, 2088 Route 130, Suite 100, Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852.





The Silicon Valley is turning to a Germanium paradigm in the world of physics, with the physics breakthrough achieved by PIO scientist Dr. Birendra Dutt. A transformation of how an element can be used to create light critical to harnessing energy and its potential use in processors could change our lives. It is the manner in which photons become the light source that will save enormous energy and even positively impact the crisis of global warming.


Dr. Dutt was speaking at an event hosted by GOPIO International's India chapter in collaboration with India's largest industry chamber, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). Dr. Dutt has signed a contract with India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) utilizing his physics breakthrough.


Dr. Dutt interacted with a group of scientists, administrators and strategic thinkers. Endorsed by the US Defense Department, Dutt has been credited with developing and successfully testing developed the germanium based laser. One significant application of Dutt's technology will be in revolutionizing the computer chip processor manufacturing. Now, potentially, a chip could be so efficient and reduce heat emission to create supercomputers out of regular PC's and Laptops. Dutt says India's leadership in Information Technology based services should now leapfrog to manufacturing chips. The Indian Government has sought his advice, based on clearance from the US for this high technology input funded by the American government.


Dutt is a nephew of the famous Indian physicist Dr. Satyen Bose of the Bose-Einstein equation after who the sub atomic particle Boson is named. Dutt was greeted by FICCI Secretary General Dr. Rajiv Kumar, FICCI Centre for Technology Director Nirankar Saxena, GOPIO New Delhi President Rajendra Prabhu, GOPIO Govt. Liaison Director K. N. Gupta and several other important GOPIO members in India. The event was organized by GOPIO International executive council member Munish Gupta, also International Coordinator-Africa for GOPIO International.


See the video

By PIO TV Bureau



GOPIO-CT hosted its annual picnic at the Greenwich polo ground on June 24th. It was a well attended program. People came with their children with generations of the community present at the picnic. A polo match followed where the team White Birch won the game.


GOPIO-CT Picnic and Polo Match 
GOPIO-CT picnicers watching polo match


Watch YouTube videos of the picnic and the polo match below:


GOPIO-CT Annual Picnic 2012 at Greenwich Polo Ground -

GOPIO-CT Annual Picnic 2012 at Greenwich Polo Ground - Polo Match -




GOPIO New Delhi held an urgent meeting of the Delhi chapter in Gulmohar  Park  to mourn the death of former Indian Ambassador to the US  and also former Union minister Abid Hussain. K.N.Gupta, Rajendra Prabhu and Munish Gupta paid tributes to Hussain who died in London.  All those present at the meeting held on July 4, 2012 observed two minutes' silence in the memory of Hussain.  





Former president of GOPIO Houston, Texas chapter, Sockalingam (Sam) Kannapan PE, was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to serve on Texas Professional Engineers Board for the term expiring on September 26, 2017. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett administered the oath of office on Friday June 15 with wife Meenakshi Kannappan holding Bhavad Gita during the ceremony.


Sam Kannappan after taking oath of office as member of TX Prof. Engineers Board

The Texas Professional Engineers Board licenses qualified engineers, enforces the Texas Engineering Practice Act and regulates the practice of professional engineering in Texas. Ramesh Kannappan, Director of Enterprise Systems, Texas A&M system introduced the guests and Abirami, IT Consultant at Chevron also spoke at the ceremony. Attendees include: Glen Emmett (wife of presiding judge Ed Emmett), Pearland Mayor Tom Reid, Consul General of Germany Roland Herrmann; Consul Anil K Matta, Consulate of India at Houston; Sugar Land City Councilman Thomas Abraham, Dr. Kamlesh Lulla, NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston; Mike Clements, Market President, Frost Bank.


Sam Kannapan is senior design engineer SNC Lavalin Hydrocarbons and Chemicals. He is a member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Gas Pipeline Safety Research, a board member of the Society of Piping Engineers and Designers, and an advisory board member of the Asia Society of Texas. Tamil born Sam Kannapan is co-founder of the Shri Meenakshi Temple in Houston.




Indian-American legal luminary Srikanth 'Sri' Srinivasan has been nominated by President Barack Obama to the US court of appeals for the American capital. Noting that "This important court is often called the Nation's second-highest court," he said: "Srinivasan will be a trailblazer and will serve the court with distinction and excellence."


Srinivasan, 45, last year was named Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the US, succeeding Indian American, Neal Kumar Katyal, which created history in becoming the first South Asian to be ever nominated to the circuit court. "Sri Srinivasan is a dedicated public servant who will bring tremendous experience, intellect, and integrity to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit," Obama said.


Srinivasan began his legal career by serving as a law clerk for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. He received the Attorney General's Award for Excellence in Furthering US National Security in 2003 and the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence in 2005.


Srinivasan was born in Chandigarh and grew up in Lawrence, Kansas. He received his BA with honors and distinction from Stanford University and his JD with distinction from Stanford Law School. He also holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.




The Institute of Export hosted a splendid Gala Dinner to honor those businesses who have been conferred The Queens Awards for Enterprise in International Trade in this Jubilee year 2012. The dinner was attended by over 150 prominent members of society including HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Kent KG GCMG GCVO who is also patron of the Institute. 


Rami Ranger of Sun Mark Group in UK receiving award Sun Mark Ltd received special recognition from the Institute for winning the Queens Award for Enterprise in International Trade for four consecutive years, a unique of achievement in the history of the Queen's Awards. The award was presented by Mr Doug Tweddle, National Chairman of the Institute of Export to Dr. Rami Ranger MBE, the founder and Chairman of Sun Mark Ltd. Dr. Rami Ranger MBE, upon receiving the award put his success down to the British sense of tolerance and fair play where an ordinary immigrant like him could realize his ambitions and become an asset for his family and adopted country. 


Photo:Dr. Rami Ranger (left) receiving the special award from Mr. Doug Tweddle





He also paid tribute to the staff of Sun Mark for sharing his vision for the company and working hard to provide excellent customer service. He is delighted with the company's standing and the significant increase in its sales and profits, given the economic downturn in global markets. The company exports British supermarket products to over 100 countries and its motto is "we only succeed when our customers succeed".




Indian-American Rahul Nagvekars won the National Geographic Bee Championship with an educated guess about the Bavarian city that was a legislative seat of the Holy Roman Empire from 1663 to 1806. The 14-year-old from Sugarland, Texas, correctly answered the geography stumper by naming the city Regensburg on the Danube River. Approximately four million students from across the US participated in the competition this year.


Indian Americans swept all the top three positions. As champion, Rahul won a $25,000 scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to the Galapagos Islands. At second place, Vansh Jain of Minocqua, Wisconsin won a $15,000 scholarship, and the third place winner, Varun Mahadevan from Fremont, California won a $10,000 scholarship.


Rahul said he fell in love with geography when his parents gave him a globe at the age of three. "I was not necessarily expecting to win. But at the same time I knew that if I was calm and I focused on everything and I listened to all of the questions then I would be able to get a good number right and I knew I could do well if I executed the plan properly," he told ABC News.


President Barack Obama taped a video message congratulating the participants and asked them to answer what city hosted the Nuclear Security Summit he attended this March. Nine out of 10 contestants in the finals answered correctly with Seoul.




Prominent cardiologist Dr. Vivian Rambihar was honored on May 19, 2012 by the Queen's College Alumni Association of New York for his exemplary global contribution. He attended Queens College in the 1960's and is a Guyana Scholar, who has made global contributions in medicine and in complexity science. He taught mathematics at Queens College before immigrating to Canada to pursue studies in medicine at McMaster University where he specialized in cardiology. Dr. Rambihar has been in practice in Toronto since 1980. His family has had exemplary contributions and he credits his parents, friends, mentors and family for helping him achieve success.

Dr. Vivian Rambihar being recognized by his peers Dr. Rambihar is currently Co-Chairman of GOPIO's Health Council and is recognized for this award for his visionary and pioneering work in the field of ethnicity and health and also the field of complexity science. He is also an author, an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a community activist. He has been an advocate for improving the health of Canadians for two decades and did some of the early research on Immigrant health. He was the first in Canada to raise awareness of the need for addressing heart disease and diabetes in South Asians. He is currently developing the concept of "Global Heart Hour" with his daughter Vanessa Rambihar, a recent graduate in medicine from the University of Toronto, advocating creating a culture of health across the Diaspora.






The Gates Foundation announced that ten Indian-origin scientists were among the Grand Challenges Explorations Round 8 winners. They and the more than 100 researchers were awarded $100,000 grants for innovative, early-stage research projects focusing on one of five categories.


Alip Borthakur of the University of Illinois at Chicago will characterize the effects of probiotics on epithelial uptake of the fatty acid butyrate in vitro and in a mouse model to inform therapeutic strategies to cure and prevent acute diarrhea and malnutrition in children.


Maruthi M.N. Gowda of the Natural Resources Institute in the United Kingdom is working to control the population of the whitefly, which transmits plant viruses, by using Wolbachia bacteria that naturally spread through whitefly populations and inhibit the insect's reproduction and egg laying capabilities.


Nithya Ramanathan of Nexleaf Analytics in the United States, working with Direct Relief International and Medic Mobile, is developing cell phone sensors that monitor refrigerated vaccine stocks and generate geo-tagged alerts when vaccines reach critical temperatures. The sensors could enable affordable, remote monitoring of vaccine safety throughout the supply chain.


Payal Kamdar of VSolvit in the United States proposes to develop a customizable Geographical Information System web application platform that integrates existing data in a particular region (e.g., population, locations of vaccines stores, health care facilities, transportation options, even weather) to maximize delivery of vaccines to target populations.


Pavan Muttil of the University of New Mexico will test the theory that inhaled live BCG immunization will elicit a stronger and more sustained immune response in mammals that have been exposed to mycobacteria than conventional intradermal BCG immunization. The new administration method could overcome the present variable protection to tuberculosis offered by the current intradermal technique.


Chetan Patil of Vanderbilt University will test the ability of a mobile phone platform to perform measurements of bilirubin with sufficient sensitivity to accurately identify jaundiced newborns. By using the phone's camera and simple applications to detect levels of bilirubin through the skin, a quantitative assessment can be made so that treatment can be initiated.


Farook Jahoor of Baylor College of Medicine will conduct studies to test whether healthy women in India produce less arginine, an amino acid critical for a successful pregnancy, than pregnant Jamaican and American women, and will research the underlying mechanisms to inform possible interventions to reduce the number of low birth weight babies in India.




Three Indian American academics were elected among its 84 new members were recognized for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research: Jagdish N. Bhagwati, Columbia University, New York City; Sabeeha Merchant, University of California, Los Angeles; and Subra Suresh, National Science Foundation, Arlington.


Membership in the National Academy of Science is one of the highest honors given to a scientist in the United States. Among its most renowned members have been Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright and Alexander Graham Bell.


Bhagwati is a Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has been Economic Policy Adviser to Arthur Dunkel, director general of GATT; Special Adviser to the UN on globalization; and external Adviser to the WTO. He has served on the Expert Group appointed by the Director General of the WTO on the Future of the WTO and the Advisory Committee to Secretary General Kofi Annan on the NEPAD process in Africa. Five volumes of his scientific writings and two of his public policy essays have been published by MIT press. Bhagwati's latest book "In Defense of Globalization" was published by Oxford University Press in 2004 to worldwide acclaim.


Merchant was the lead author on a three-year, 115-scientist research project reporting a "gold mine" of data on a tiny green alga called Chlamydomonas, with implications for human diseases. She was honored with a major award from the National Academy of Sciences in 2006, the Gilbert Morgan Smith Medal, awarded only once every three years, for her exceptional scientific research. She has been awarded research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Air Force Office of Science Research.


Suresh was nominated by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as director of the National Science Foundation in September 2010. As director of this $7-billion independent federal agency since October 2010, he leads the only government science agency charged with advancing all fields of fundamental science and engineering research and related education. Prior to assuming his current role, Suresh served as the Dean of the School of Engineering at MIT.




14-year-old Snigdha Nandipati from Sand Diego won the 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee. She beat out eight other finalists in the nerve-wracking, brain-busting competition. Snigdha's prize haul includes $30,000 in cash, a trophy, a $2,500 savings bond, a $5,000 scholarship, $2,600 in reference works from the Encyclopedia Britannica and an online language course.


Stuti Mishra of West Melbourne, Florida finished second. Coming in third for the second consecutive year was Arvind Mahankali of Bayside Hills, New York.


A semifinalist last year, Snigdha became the fifth consecutive Indian-American winner and 10th in the last 14 years, a run that began in 1999 when Nupur Lala won and was later featured in the documentary "Spellbound."

In the run-up to the bee, Snigdha studied 6 to 10 hours a day on weekdays and 10-12 hours on weekends. Her father, Krishnarao, said Snigdha first showed an interest in spelling as early as age 4. As she rode in the car, he would call out the words he saw on billboards and she would spell them. A coin collector and Sherlock Holmes fan, Snigdha aspires to become a physician or neurosurgeon. She also plays violin and is fluent in Telugu.





The Global Punjabi Society celebrated the Queen's Diamond Jubilee by hosting a lunch in Middlesex, UK. It was attended by prominent members of the Indian community and from both Houses of Parliament including Baroness Verma of Leicester, Minister for Women and Equalities; Amar Singh, Member of the Indian Rajya Sabha; Sukhdev S Sidhu, Minister of Coordination at the High Commission of India, London along with 200 guests attended the lunch.


Ashok Verma, President of the Global Punjabi Society UK Chapter spoke of the diversity and change the country has gone through during Her Majesty's reign. Punjabis are hardworking community and enrich Britain in more ways than one.


The Guest of Honour Rt. Hon. Dr. Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills praised the positive contribution of British Indian community. More and more Indian companies are making their bases in the UK and he welcomed this development.


A special Award was presented to industrialist Lucky Rajesh Satija for his Business Achievements by the Business Secretary Dr Vince Cable.


Dr Rami Ranger, International Chairman of the Global Punjabi Society said Indian values allow us to integrate into any society easily and quickly due to our upbringing. Indians become assets to every country where they choose to reside. He was thankful to the founder of the Global Punjabi Society Mr Jagmohan Singh for uniting Indian Diaspora with Mother India for quarter of a century.


Amar Singh, Member of the Indian Rajya Sabha stated that it was a matter of pride for him to see that British Indians were playing an integral part in the celebrations of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee.


Speeches were followed by vocal performances by Bobby Chaudhari. These events send a positive message to the nation that we Indians are part and parcel of British Society.




The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International) inducted four (4) new life members and one (1) associate member at the conclusion of GOPIO Upper New York chapter's celebration of its 4th anniversary which was done in grand style with a huge attendance on Saturday, May 5, 2012 at the posh World's Fair Marina Restaurant & Banquet Hall in Flushing, New York.


Indian Americans are the highest-income and best-educated people in the United States and the third largest among Asian Americans who have surpassed Latinos as the fastest-growing racial group, according to the Pew Research Centre report on 'The rise of Asian Americans'


Key Findings


The median age of adult Indian Americans is 37, lower than for adult Asian Americans (41) and the national median (45).




Indians, who now number 3.18 million, the third largest after the Chinese (4 million) and the Filipinos (3.4 million) have a median household annual income of $88,000, much higher than for all Asians ($66,000) and all US households ($49,800).


Median annual personal earnings for Indian-American full-time, year-round workers are $65,000, significantly higher than for all Asian Americans ($48,000) as well as for all US adults ($40,000).


More than half of Indian Americans (57 percent) own a home, compared with 58 percent of Asian Americans overall and 65 percent of the US population overall.


The share of adult Indian Americans who live in poverty is 9 percent, lower than the rate for all Asian Americans at 12 percent as well as the national rate of 13 percent.




70 percent Indian Americans ages 25 and older have obtained at least a bachelor's degree; this is higher than the Asian-American share of 49 percent and much higher than the national share of 28 percent.


76 percent of Indian Americans peak English proficiently, compared with 63 percent of all Asian Americans and 90 percent of the US population overall.




Indian Americans stand out from most other US Asian groups in the personal importance they place on parenting; 78 percent of Indian Americans say being a good parent is one of the most important things to them personally.


Indian Americans are among the most likely to say that the strength of family ties is better in their country of origin (69 percent) than in the US (8 percent).


More than 71 percent adult Indian Americans are married, a share significantly higher than for all Asian Americans at 59 percent and for the nation at 51 percent.


The share of unmarried mothers was much lower among Indian Americans (2.3 percent) than among all Asian Americans (15 percent) and the population overall (37 percent).




Highly acclaimed Trinidad born PIO and Indian Diaspora novelist Dr. Lakshmi Persaud launched her latest novel "Daughters of the Empire" at two events on May 26 - May 27, 2012 in New York following successful launches in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Toronto, Canada. She is also author of 'Raise the Lanterns High', 'For the Love of my Name', 'Sastra' & 'Butterfly in the Wind'. She was born in Trinidad in the Caribbean, of Indian descent. Her novels explore many ideas using a combination of high drama, romance and gentle humor. Though her work is usually set in the Caribbean, her themes appeal to all.


Launch Event of 26th May: This was sponsored by the Association of Artists and Writers in collaboration with the Indo-Caribbean Council, New York. The event, held at the Faith Assembly Hall, 101 Avenue was chaired by Lal Bachan Harricharran and among those attending were District Leader Taj Rajkumar and the NY Consul-General of Trinidad and Tobago, Ms Nan Ramgoolam, who made the welcoming address. In addition to readings by Lakshmi Persaud and reviews of the book by Dr. Lisa Outar, a literature professor, and Rev Seopaul Singh, the program was further enriched by an invocational classical dance by accomplished dancer Natalie Poonam Phagoo, who also introduced Lakshmi Persaud and a rendering of two songs, including the Pledge of Allegiance by school girl Victoria Labban.


A notable feature of the Program was an award ceremony for writers and authors by the Indo-Caribbean council. Those receiving awards were Lakshmi Persaud, Balkrishnan Naipaul, novelist, Gora Singh, (posthumously) for promoting the Indian classical dancing and Kaar Dyal, sculptor and painter; Dr Basdeo Mangru, historian.


Launch Event-27th May: This was sponsored by the Rajkumari Cultural Centre (RCC) in Richmond Hill and associated with the theme 174 years of East Indian women in the Diaspora. It was held at the Queens Museum of Art, in Meadows Corona Park, Queens. The program which was organised by Pritha Singh , chief Executive of the RCC and the associated Jahajee Sisters, culminated in readings by Lakshmi Persaud from "Daughters of Empire" and her other novels around the theme of challenges facing Indo-Caribbean women in the Diaspora, followed by a lively questions and answers session.


The program was moderated by Taij Moteelal and Shivana Joriwar, who also with other Jahajee sisters spoke on the challenges facing Indo-Caribbean women. It started with enriching cultural items such as singing and storytelling, and interpretive dance and music presentation by American Betis.


Lakshmi Persaud resides in the UK and was a speaker at the GOPIO Women's Conference held on October 24, 2010 in London, UK.






An advocacy campaign was launched after La Salle Minor Soccer Association decided not to allow Sikhs with turban and patka to participate in soccer games in Canada.


"We have written to the president of the Soccer Club Authority Sofio Pagliaro, and also to the technical director. The response received from their secretary clearly indicates that they do not have jurisdiction in offering exemptions to FSQ, CSA & FIFA regulations," said Sukhwinder Singh, Director of United Sikhs, which launched the campaign. "We have made it clear to the president that this decision is against the basic principles of human rights and is hence a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights."


The decision was taken a few weeks ago and they have not only banned these aspiring players to play but also went a step further and canceled their registration and returned their registration money. Feedback from the local community of Quebec indicated that there haven't been any such issues in the past.




Australia has decided to offer additional work options for Indian students to help them tide over impact of depreciation of rupee against dollar. As value of rupee has fallen to a record low against dollar, Indian students are forced to shell out more money to meet living cost abroad.


Indian students enrolled in postgraduate and doctoral research programs at Australian universities will now be able to work as faculty, assist research programs, work in the libraries, laboratories and other avenues in the universities itself. Graduate students will also be permitted to work more hours so that they can earn money to support their living expenses.


Earlier, students could work only limited number of hours because the accepted policy was to allow them to focus more on studies. David Holly, consul general for South India, Australian Consulate told, "We are going to provide flexible work options for postgraduate and research students. They will be able to work for an unlimited number of hours per week during their studies."


According to visa statistics, depreciation of rupee against dollar has not impacted the flow of students to Australia. There are 70,000 Indian students in Australia. There is a 10 per cent increase in the number of Indian students who have enrolled in universities in Victoria where nine top universities of Australia is located.




Breaking a 15-year trend and indicating a change in social profile, the number of emigrants with ECR (Emigration Check Required) endorsement from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar has surpassed Kerala and Tamil Nadu, so far the largest aggregate for overseas employment.


The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs reported Uttar Pradesh and Bihar sent the largest number of workers abroad with ECR endorsement in 2011. "It only shows a shift in social profiling in the southern states. This could mean that more workers from Tamil Nadu and Kerala are qualifying themselves educationally and do not need ECR endorsement anymore," a senior ministry official said. On the other hand, more workers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar might increasingly find overseas employment attractive.


While Tamil Nadu saw a decline in numbers from 1,55,631 in 2006 to 68,732 in 2011, Bihar saw an increase from 36,493 persons in 2006 to 71,438 persons last year. Kerala sent only 86,783 persons last year, as against 1,20,083 in 2006, while the numbers from Uttar Pradesh went up to 1,55,301 last year from 66,131 in 2006.


Of desired destinations, Saudi Arabia continues to attract more Indian workers with 2,89,297 persons in 2011, while United Arab Emirates and Oman were at second and third spots with 1,38,861 and 73,819 persons. 



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


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


GOPIO is looking forward to opening chapters in all major cities of the world so as to network people of Indian origin all over the world. If you do not have chapter in your city, please visit GOPIO website ( and get details of chapter initiation (visit 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 - Inder Singh, Tarzana, California, USA, Tel: +1-818-708-3885, E-mail:


GOPIO President - Ashook Ramsaran, Fresh Meadows, New York, USA, Tel: 718/939-8194,


GOPIO Executive Vice President - Sunny Kulathakal, Bahrain, Tel: +973 39441956 or +91 9845756692, E-mail:


GOPIO Senior Vice President - Dr Piyush Agrawal, Weston, Florida, USA, Tel: +1-954-684-6494,


To become a Life member of GOPIO, one can sign up online at fill up the form and send it with a check to: GOPIO International, PO Box 560117, New York NY 11356, USA.



Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Founder President and Chairman Emeritus of GOPIO Intl. and Executive Trustee, GOPIO Foundation (Stamford, CT, USA)

Editor: Nami Kaur, Secretary, GOPIO International (New York, USA)

Co-Editors: Bina Mahabir, Co-Chair GOPIO Media Council, GOPIO International (Guyana-New York, USA) and Nilofar Pardawala (Portland, Oregon, USA)

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

Contributors of this issue: Ashook Ramsaran (President, GOPIO Intl.), Munish Gupta (GOPIO Intl. Coordinator for Africa), Naresh Kumar Leekha (President, GOPIO-Kenya Chapter), Dr. Tushar Patel (Secretary, GOPIO-Central Jersey)


 Contact Dr. Thomas Abraham, Tel: 203-329-8010, E-mail:


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