August 12, 2011

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

Issue: X-10 August 12, 2011
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Major Indian American civic and professional organizations in the United States with a substantial membership have joined together to campaign with the US administration seeking relief on penalties stipulated by US tax rules on foreign bank accounts. Following a letter from GOPIO delivered on June 27, 2011 to Mr. Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the US Department of Treasury, representatives of four major Indian American community groups; the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), National Federation of Indian American Association (NFIA), American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), under the aegis of a National Coordinating Council, sent a letter on July 19, 2011 to US President Barak Obama seeking his assistance in this matter of urgent concern particularly to the new US immigrants of Indian origin who are facing unfair and unprecedented penalties for failure to disclose and do tax filing of foreign bank accounts by August 31, 2011. Copies of the letter were also sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.


The joint letter affirmed the community's recognition of the necessity for the IRS to take needed actions and enact rules to track money flowing to terrorists, drug transaction and money laundering in safe havens outside the United States. The groups have requested that the IRS review and reconsider the rules towards more practical and prudent application.


The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on February 8, 2011 a special voluntary disclosure initiative (Ref IRS News Bulletin IR-2011-14, Feb. 8, 2011) designed to bring offshore money back into the U.S. tax system and help people with undisclosed income from hidden offshore accounts get current with their taxes. The new voluntary disclosure initiative will be available through August 31, 2011.


"The IRS decision to open a second special disclosure initiative follows continuing interest from taxpayers with foreign accounts. The first special voluntary disclosure program closed with 15,000 voluntary disclosures on Oct. 15, 2009. Since that time, more than 3,000 taxpayers have come forward to the IRS with bank accounts from around the world. These taxpayers will also be eligible to take advantage of the special provisions of the new initiative".


"For the 2011 initiative, there is a new penalty framework that requires individuals to pay a penalty of 25 percent of the amount in the foreign bank accounts in the year with the highest aggregate account balance covering the 2003 to 2010 time period. Participants also must pay back-taxes and interest for up to eight years as well as paying accuracy-related and/or delinquency penalties of 2 percent". (Ref IRS News Bulletin IR-2011-14, Feb. 8, 2011).



While the United States has a rapidly increasing population of Indians and persons of Indian origin who are contributing significantly in all areas of the US economy and society, many in the Indian American community were not aware of the first voluntary disclosure program which ended in 2009. The Indian American media also was not aware of 2009 voluntary disclosure program. Many people holding foreign bank accounts were unaware of these rules simply because these rules were never publicized by the IRS to the general public. Even most accountants preparing and filing the annual individual tax returns did not inform or alert their clients about this requirement. It also appears that certain communities have been singled out for investigation which is highly damaging to the multi-ethnic ethos of our country.


The appeal is for universal application of the law on an equitable basis, on the principle of fairness and in good conscience without undue burden to the US taxpayer. The request further stated that strict application of compliance with the law on hard working Americans who are not aware of the law can lead to undue and irreparable distress, as well as unforeseeable consequences for a large number of innocent citizens who did not consciously or knowingly violate the rules.


The letter further states that the community is becoming aware of the new regulations on foreign accounts and is in full agreement that all citizens must be in compliance and pay all taxes due to the US government.


The Indian community in the USA, by and large, consists of very progressive, hard working and law abiding citizens who do not deliberately or intentionally violate any US laws or IRS rules governing taxes due. In many cases, people had transferred money to have a retirement income or home in the foreign country, or to provide support for extended family in the foreign countries. There was no deliberate intent to avoid taxes on interest earned during the process of acquiring homes or supporting family or saving for children's education. It was not planned to be unjustifiable enrichment.


Now that the groups have become aware of this IRS initiative, the impending deadlines, and potential consequences, they have offered to use their networks to inform and urge full compliance. However, the groups have requested that the remedies fully described in the July 19, 2011 letter to President Obama be considered and enacted. These include:  

  • Request that penalties of 25% Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) penalty on assets of law abiding citizens be eliminated, that presumption of guilt is not a fair and equitable application of law; that penalty on the highest value of the assets is immoral and unfair; that penalties on assets as stated in the rules on foreign accounts should not be levied on law abiding citizens who missed declarations or filing deadlines due to lack of information or timely notification.
  • Request that the IRS deadline be extended to December 31, 2012 to allow more persons who were not previously aware to fully comply. GOPIO is urging organizations, institutions and individuals to fully comply and pay any taxes due in an expeditious manner before the deadline.
  • Request that the 20% accuracy penalty on undeclared taxes be substantially reduced for those who did not knowingly miss the filing deadlines.
  • Request that the US Government should publicize the Voluntary Disclosure Amnesty Program in ethnic newspapers and other community media in multiple languages, as well as IRS representatives be interviewed by print, radio and television media to bring about more awareness resulting in compliance by more tax payers.

 The joint letter was sent by GOPIO Chairman Inder Singh, NFIA President Lal K. Motwani, AAPI President Dr. Sunita Kanumuri and AAHOA Chairman Hemant D. Patel. Since sending out the letter, Federation of Indian Community associations of Cleveland (FICA) and Federation of Indian American Associations (NY, NJ and CT) have joined the effort along with Lueva Patidar Samaj. The groups are reaching out to all Indian community groups to join this effort.


For more information and participation in this national campaign, please contact the respective signatory organizations shown below:



 Signatory Organizations:


Global Organization of People of Indian Origin

GOPIO International, New York, NY

Contact: Inder Singh, Chairman

Tel: 1-818 708-3885, E-mail:


National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA), Bellrose, NY

Contact: Lal K. Motwani, President

Tel: 1-646 724-1153, E-Mail:



American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), Oak Brook, IL

Contact: Sunita Kanumury, MD, President

Tel: 1-630 990-2277, E-mail:



Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), Atlanta, GA

Contact: Hemant D. Patel, Chairman &

Fred Schwartz, President

Tel: 1-404 816-5759, E-mail:




The coordination group has appealed to the Indian American community to post note to the White House at or write to your Congressman and Senators. The groups have posted their appeal to the community for action as follows:


Making Arguments on the Community Cause


The Indian community in the USA, are widely regarded as law abiding model citizens. They are also first generation immigrants,  as such almost all have close ties back in India and family obligations- helping family youngsters to educate, taking care of parents and extended family, building retirement home, etc. This reality needs to be considered in any application of rules and laws. Indeed the US immigration laws allow for dependents and parents to immigrate precisely for that reason so there is precedent in American Law that is cognizant of the particular history of the new immigrants.  This kind of connection is natural for new immigrants who unlike third generation immigrants, will have active financial obligations towards families. What is required is for the IRS to help new immigrants make that generational transition both smooth and effective.


The second fact is that most Indians are unaware of these rules governing foreign account disclosure which has been very poorly publicized by the IRS. Indeed our spot survey suggests that close to 95 % are unaware of the amnesty and disclosure laws. And others believe that because they are paying taxes in India they are in compliance of the rules. A large majority are not therefore trying to avoid taxes on interest earned while acquiring homes or supporting family or saving for financing children's education. And if they have invested in India then they are simply following what the free market dictates. 


A more discrete IRS approach combined with wider reach into the new immigrant community will  in fact lead to far greater compliance under the disclosure scheme. The current penalties take away savings , retirement incomes in case of a large number of new immigrants and thereby discourage compliance. That surely does not serve any purpose. Making citizens poor and their retirement years uncertain will in the long run impose greater burden on US entitlement system.


We would also like to stress that the current penalties of 25 percent for non-disclosure is totally disproportionate in relation to the presumed violation of tax laws. After all laws need to be just and proportionate to the supposed wrong doing. The disclosure scheme invites no hearing, no consideration for special circumstances that might diminish penalties for non-disclosure. As it stands now, the IRS requires you to simply pay 25percent irrespective of particular life situations. That in our view is indefensible.



The Indian American recognizes and completely agrees with the necessity for the IRS to take needed action and enact rules to track money flowing to terrorists, drug transaction and money laundering in safe havens outside the United States. The Indian American community requests that the IRS review and reconsider the rules towards more practical and prudent application both in the interest of justice and compliance of the lawWe would like this ruling to be changed to make it fair. We also urge that it be applied in a more equitable mannerthat will not impose undue burden on good citizens who have not deliberately violated any law. To do otherwise is to inflict undue harm and cause extreme distress which cannot be the purpose of the US government and its law makers.




GOPIO's Convention 2011 is scheduled to be held in Toronto on October 14 - 16, 2011. The convention will be a 3-day event with GOPIO of Canada holding its first international event along with its several GOPIO chapters. 


Tentative program outline is as follows:

Friday, Oct. 14 (day): GOPIO Meetings

Friday, Oct. 14 (evening): Inaugural Reception

Saturday, Oct. 15 (day): Conference Sessions on Diaspora Community Issues

Saturday, Oct. 15 (evening): Banquet

Sunday, Oct. 16 (day): Conclusion


GOPIO of Canada will take the lead, supported by all the GOPIO chapters in Canada, taking the lead role in planning and coordination. The organizing committees are being established. The conference program would be addressing current, relevant PIO/NRI issues.


A kick off meeting/dinner is planned for Saturday, August 13th starting at 5 pm at 15 Royal Rouge Trail, Toronto, ON M1B 4T5. Many important people from the community will be present, including GOPIO International Chairman Inder Singh from Los Angeles and GOPIO International Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran from New York. The event will be presided over by Honorable Jim Karigiannis. Members of the media will also be present to cover this event.


If you would like to be actively involved in GOPIO Convention organization or become a volunteer, please join for the meeting on August 13th or cntact Jay Banerjei at


Register Now!


Contact: Jay Banerjei, International Convention Chair, GOPIO of Toronto, 1-647-273-1119 or 




Two Indian American girls have emerged winners at Google's inaugural Science Fair, impressing thousands at the internet giant's California headquarters with their projects on ways to improve ovarian cancer treatment and bettering air quality for the benefit of asthma patients.


The top three winners out of 15 finalists at the fair were all girls: Shree Bose, Naomi Shah and Lauren Hodge, prompting Google to laud "girl power" at the fair. 

"The unifying elements of all three young women were their intellectual curiosity, their tenaciousness and their ambition to use science to find solutions to big problems," Cristin Frodella from Google's Education Team said in a blog post. 

The finalists examined complex problems and found simple solutions that can be implemented by the general public--like changing cooking habits or removing toxins from homes, Frodella said. 

Bose, who won in the 17-18 age group, was also named the 'Grand Prize' winner, taking home a 50,000 dollar scholarship and an internship opportunity at the prestigious Geneva-based CERN institute. 

Bose impressed judges, more than 1,000 local attendees as well as Googlers with her project to "improve ovarian cancer treatment for patients when they have built up a resistance to certain chemotherapy drugs". 

Apart from the scholarship, Bose also won a trip to the Galapagos Islands with a National Geographic Explorer. 

Terming Bose's work as "groundbreaking discovery which could have wider implications for cancer research," Google said she came up with complex solutions that can be addressed in labs by doctors and researchers. 

Shah won in the 15-16 age group for her "endeavour to prove that making changes to indoor environments that improve indoor air quality can reduce people's reliance on asthma medications". 

Hodge was named winner in the 13-14 age group for studying the effect of different marinades on the level of potentially harmful carcinogens in grilled chicken. 

Shah and Hodge each received 25,000 dollar scholarships and internships at Google and toy company LEGO.



The Foundation for the Indian Diaspora in Europe, in collaboration with GOPIO of Netherlands, is hosting its first annual Indian Diaspora Conference (IDC) on September 25, 2011 in The Hague. The theme is "Diaspora conference "Indian Diaspora in the Netherlands: Achievements, Contributions & Challenges".


After successfully conducting the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas-Europe in September 2009, the representatives of the Indian Diaspora organizations in the Netherlands will meet again on the 25th of September 2011 at the World Forum in The Hague for the first Netherlands edition of the Annual Diaspora Conference. The theme of the IDC is "Indian Diaspora in the Netherlands: Achievements, Contributions & Challenges". Distinguished speakers from all sections of the Diaspora in the Netherlands, the representatives of the Government of India and prominent Dutch dignitaries, will address on various aspects of this theme. At least 400 participants, most of them representing various Indian Diaspora organizations are expected to

participate in this conference.


The aims of this conference are to:

  • Enhance understanding and strengthen the relations between the various sections of the Indian Diaspora in the Netherlands
  • Increase participation and visibility of the Indian Diaspora in the Dutch social, cultural and political spectrum
  • Broaden and deepen the ties with India in various fields Work as a catalyst to further the cause of economic and cultural cooperation between India and the Netherlands.

The conference has not only as an aim to highlight the contribution of the Indian Diaspora to the host country but also to focus on the issues of concern to the Diaspora. There will be special sessions to address the issues concerning the youth and the women. The Diaspora congress is organized collectively by many Indian Diaspora Organizations based in The Netherlands under the umbrella organization "The Foundation for the Indian Diaspora in Europe."



The one day programme of the conference consists of presentations, lectures, discussions about the position of Indian Diaspora in the Netherlands and its relation with India. This will be an excellent opportunity to take stock of the progress made by the Indian Diaspora in the Netherlands so far and the measures to enhance it further. The programme will be concluded by a cultural gala with about 50 top artists giving quality performances with songs and classical as well as folk dances from various parts of India.



Those who are interested in attending the conference are most welcome to register via the website ( The participation fee is € 35,00 p.p. if paid in advance, and € 50,00 for those who want to pay at the door. Students with a student card will be charged € 20,00 in advance payment procedure and € 35,00 at the door. The students will be requested to show their student card at the entrance. he entry to the conference also includes drinks, snacks, lunch and cultural programme. Those who want to register only for the cultural programme the fee is € 20,00 to be paid in advance.


For more details, contact Wahid Saleh (Press Officer): Email:






October 14 -16, 2011: GOPIO Convention (Toronto)




The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) expressed strong and unequivocal condemnation of the series of bombings in Mumbai on July 13, 2011 that killed at least 22 innocent people and left many more injured. GOPIO considers these brutal and despicable acts as unforgivable and unjustified criminal actions directed to create widespread fear among innocent citizens.


GOPIO commends the Government of India and Maharashtra State for their diligent efforts in providing emergency services to the survivors and their families. GOPIO expresses deep and abiding concern for the victims of the tragedy, their families, friends and associates.




With the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States issuing rules and penalties regarding foreign bank account reporting (FBAR), GOPIO-CT organized a seminar on the subject on July 15th in Norwalk, CT. The speaker was Cecil Nazareth ACA, CPA, MBA. It was fully subscribed meeting.


According to the IRS rules, any individual living in the US for more than 180 days and has a foreign account in India and has more than $10,000 USD at anytime between 2003 and 2011 has to report their foreign accounts Failing to report can result in criminal proceedings and the individual can be placed under amnesty and will have to pay 85% of the amount held in foreign accounts as penalty. Depending on the individual situation, tax returns for the years 2003-2010 could be amended to include interest income, dividend income and all other income including rental income, if any, in the amended tax returns. Nazareth at the seminar said that the US citizens and residents are Taxed on World-wide Income.Nazareth said that those with foreign bank accounts should avail the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI 2011) to come forward with undisclosed foreign assets and get back in to the tax system.  


"I strongly urge all Indian- Americans to disclose all their Foreign Bank accounts that exceeded $10,000 as per FBAR requirements," said Nazareth. He further suggested to employ competent professionals and get the best advice possible both in the US and India.







GOPIO chapters in San Francisco and Los Angeles, in cooperation with other Indian community groups, organized a farewell to India's Consul General in San Francisco Ambassador Susmita Gongulee Thomas as she completed her term.

GOPIO-San Francisco Chapter held a farewell dinner at the residence of Usha and Jeevan Zutshi in Vineyard Hills of Fremont on Friday June 24, 2011. It was co-sponsored by Indo-American community Federation (IACF-USA) and attended by nearly 75 community leaders including the National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA), FIANC, Jain Temple, Indo-American Community Federation (IACF-USA) and others. Ashok Sinha, Consul Community Affairs was also present at the gathering.



GOPIO-SF President Jeevan Zutshi spoke about the effective and low key leadership style of the Consul General and the remarkable progress consulate has made in terms of serving community needs, in spite of all the odds.


"The Ministry of External Affairs has been changing rules and regulations so recklessly in the past couple of years thus causing confusion and belligerence amongst NRI community", said Zutshi. "Consulate staff has been reduced and there are more than 1000 applications a day for OCI, PIO and visa, thus putting too much pressure on Consulate staff."


Others who spoke were NFIA Executive V.P Anil Yadav, FIANC President Rajiv Awasti, and Jain Temple President Shoba Vora. Everyone appreciated the role of CGI and Consul Ashok Sinha in helping promote understanding of Indian culture in this part of the U.S.



Zutshi presented both CGI and Consul for Community Affairs with his book "The Last Smile - A Journey of Hope" about his journey from strife torn valley of Kashmir in India to the U.S. and about the dangers of dietary supplements which ultimately took the life of his elder son in 2008.


GOPIO Sanfrancisco Bid farewell to Consul General Susmita Thomas 


Photo above: Jeevan Zutshi (Center) presenting his book "The Last Smile- A Journey of Hope" to Consul Community Affairs Ashok Sinha (Left) and Consul General of India Susmita Thomas (Right)


C.G. Susmita Thomas talked about her pleasant experiences during her term in San Francisco as Consul General and praised the active segment of the community in building Indo-U.S ties and understanding of Indian culture in the U.S. She praised the role of GOPIO International in addressing the recent controversial issues related to Visa fees, surrender certificates and other related issues.


The evening concluded with musical entertainment by Dr. Deepak Sachdev. 


Los Angeles Program - GOPIO, in association with National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA),Federation of Indo-American Associations of Southern California (FIA) and India Association of Los Angeles (IALA), held a farewell dinner for Ambassador Susmita Thomas at the Royal Delhi Palace Banquet Hall, West Hills near Los Angeles. The dinner was attended by over 150 people. Several community leaders, Padam Shree Mani Bhaumik, Cypress City Councilman Dr. Narayan, heads and members of the above four organizations and many members of the community from all walks of life attended the event.


Indian Association of Los Angeles (IALA) president Bobby Kumar welcomed Consul General Susmita Thomas.FIA chair Anju Garg pleaded for a consular office in Los Angeles. FIA president Rajinder Dhunna complimented her as a leader while Cypress City Councilman Dr. Prakash Narayan praised her the way she explained the stringent regulations for the grant of visa to the audience. Gursharan Nat narrated his own impressions about his visits to San Francisco Consulate and how he got changed from having negative thinking about the working of the consulate to becoming an admirer of the Consul General.


GOPIO Chairman Inder Singh said that obtaining Indian visa was never a problem in the past. Consul General and senior staff members were more engaged in promoting business, tourism, or reaching out to the community for issues pertaining to India in the US Congress.  


Inder Singh stated that the new restrictions for the grant of visa to India imposed in May 2010 triggered resentment and obtaining visa became nightmare. GOPIO got the fee for surrender certificate reduced and some penalties eliminated, but that did not ease the continuing problem. He urged Ambassador Thomas to get the rules for visa relaxed and to make the process work smoothly. The expatriates should be free to visit India. It is good for people to maintain links with their motherland. These are the people who collectively contributed to India's transformation into a modern economy and that these are the people who sent over $55 billion to India in 2010 as foreign remittances. The huge sum is good for India's economy; it is good for Indian people.


Ambassador Susmita Thomas told that her assignment as the Consul General of India in San Francisco has been very challenging. She was obligated to follow the new rules but she also had responsibility to the needs of people for consular services. Her workload had increased manifold but her staff strength stayed the same.


GOPIO-San Francisco bids farewell to Consul General Susmita Thomas

Photo above: L-R: Mobin Khan, Consul General Susmita Thomas, Kewal Kanda, GOPIO President Inder Singh, IALA President Bobby Kumar, NFIA VP Ashok Madan, Dinesh Lakhanpal, FIA President Rajinder Dhunna, FIA Chair Anju Garg 


NFIA Vice President Ashok Madan called upon all the event co-chairs and presented a coffee table book on Los Angeles with signatures and comments from several people. Vinod Manchhani gave note of thanks mentioning all those who contributed to the organization and success of the farewell program. He thanked the media and TV Asia for attending the event.




"It is with great pleasure we welcome you to the first combined Hindi-Urdu poetry recitation session arranged at our Embassy," said Ambassador Arun Kumar Singh, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India greeting the audience assembled to felicitate Professor Satyapal Anand and for a mushaira-kavi sammelan program at the Embassy of India Auditorium on Friday, 10th June, 2011. He acknowledged the support of the community members in the organization of the event and expressed hope to establish a tradition to holding such functions in the future. He also paid tribute to Professor Satyapal Anand for his outstanding contributions to the literature of Urdu, Hindi, English and Punjabi languages.


Thanking Ambassador A. K. Singh and Dr. Virander Paul, Minister, Press, Information and Culture, Embassy of India for their support in organizing the event, GOPIO-Washington DC President Dr. Zafar Iqbal apprised the audience that for the last three years the Embassy of India has been supporting Yaum-e-Azadi (Independence Day) Mushaira-Kavi Sammelan programs jointly organized by the Washington Aligarh Alumni Association (AAA) and the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin of Metro Washington (GOPIO) every year to promote subcontinent's Ganga-Jamuni culture. It was very pleasing to note that such events are gaining increasing popularity, he added.


Introducing Professor Satyapal Anand- the honoree, Dr. Iqbal said that Professor Anand is a stalwart literary personality of our times; he has enriched the literature of Urdu, Hindi, English, and Panjabi languages authoring more than 70 books. Almost all reputable Urdu magazines of the Subcontinent and the Europe and Northern America have published special numbers acknowledging his remarkable contributions to the field. An indication of Dr. Anand's recognition is the fact that the US Library of Congress has acquired 18 books authored by Dr. Anand, an honor not shared by any other Indian author in USA. Copies of documents listing publications and a brief biography of Dr. Anand were also distributed at the meeting.


Acknowledging tribute paid to him, Professor Anand thanked Ambassador Singh, participating poets and the organizers of the program. He also mentioned a few anecdotes related to his interactions with contemporary poets, writers, and critics during his many decades of literary life in India and other parts of the globe.


Dr. A. Abdullah, the evergreen conductor of poetry recitation sessions, mentioned in his introductory remarks that Urdu and Hindi are like twin sisters, but unfortunately people with political motives-starting with the British Empire-have tried to inculcate sibling rivalry between them. The faithful lovers of both languages have realized that the progress of Hindi and Urdu is interdependent on each other. He also mentioned that the Aligarh Alumni Association and GOPIO have been successfully providing a common platform for the interaction of Urdu and Hindi literary personalities under one roof for the last three years and that increasing number participants and audience is in these programs is a testimony to the desire of people to share the common heritage.


GOPIO Washington DC organized poetry recital

Photos above: Packed audience at the poetry recital at the Indian Embassy in Washington DC


Participating poets included Professor Satyapal Anand, Professor Rajkumar Qais from San Diego, Mr. Krishnakumar Singh Mayank from Lucknow, Dr. Narendra Tandon Saahil, Dr. A. Abdullah, Smt. Madhu Maheshwari, Dr. Astha Naval, Mrs. Bhupinder Katohora, Dr. Vishakha Thaker, Mrs. Rekha Maitra, and Ms. Rashmi Sanan.


The program was followed by a sumptuous dinner hosted by the Indian Embassy.




Prof. Parmatma Saran and Dr. Rupam Saran visited Sydney and addressed GOPIO members at a meeting organized GOPIO Sydney North West and GOPIO Cultural Council on July 8th at the Edward Purser Hall of Rouse Hill Library. The event was organized by GOPIO Sydney North West chapter. The chapter president, Neeru Singh welcomed Dr Parmatma Saran and other guests. GOPIO Cultural Council Co-Chair Abbas Raza Alvi provided the introductory remarks and then introduced Dr. Saran to guests. GOPIO-Australia Area Coordinator Harry Walia highlighted activities of GOPIO in the Sydney area.



Dr. Parmatma Saran, a GOPIO Life Member, spoke of the history of the community mobilization such as GOPIO and assimilation of the community in the larger society in the US and other countries. A lively discussion followed. Amit Pall conducted a Question - Answer session with Dr Saran. GOPIO's Alka Sharma paid vote of thanks.


 GOPIO Sydney Chapters with Drs. Parmatma and Rupam Saran

 Photo above: Prof. Parmatma Saran and Dr. Rupam Saran with GOPIO organizers of program in Sydney





On 11th July 2011 GOPIO NZ Inc had organized an interactive meeting with Dr. Parmatma Saran, Professor of Sociology at Baruch College of City University in New York City. It was held at Bharatiya Samaj in Auckland New Zealand. Dr Parmatma Saran gave a 15 minutes statement on Indian Diaspora in USA and other countries. It was followed with an interactive session with the gathering.


Dr. Saran advised that there are approx 25 million Indian origin people residing around the world. It was in the late 1980's that BJP leaders while visiting USA and met with Dr. Thomas Abraham who was a community organizer and a strong supporter of Indian  culture, Indian Diaspora; who had asked if Indian government would open a cell within the Foreign ministry for NRI's. At that time this was a new thing and it was not received with enthusiasm. Now with the help and initiative of GOPIO International, that Indian government created a ministry of NRI and not only a cell.


Prof. Parmatma Saran speaking to members of GOPIO-New Zealand 

Photo above: Bharatiya Samaj Charitable Trust Chairman Jeet Suchdev, GOPIO Auckland Downtown President Nek Mohammed, Prof. Parmatma Saran  and GOPIO NZ Inc. National Co-Chair Marketing [PR & Membership] Sunny Kaushal


Dr. Saran wants to promote interaction not only within our Indian community but also with the local communities around us. He wants to promote and uphold not only Indian culture but interact with the other cultural groups around us. He wanted to know more about NZ societies mixing with Indian and vice versa. It was very interesting to note participation of people on this topic.


This kind of meeting and interaction does help in our thinking and widening our horizon. Over 30 people attended the meeting despite rainy and unsettled weather on that evening. Every one enjoyed the talk and meeting Prof, Saran and Dr. (Mrs) Rupam Saran. GOPIO NZ Inc. had pleasure in organizing this and would not mind having more International GOPIO speakers from anywhere from GOPIO families.


Prof. Paramatma Saran and Dr. Rupam Saran also visited Hamilton, Waikato (New Zealand) on July 10, 2011. The informal talk & session in the evening focused on Diaspora cultural heritage, languages & transmission of values/ beliefs, assimilation of Diaspora in the US and other countries. The meeting was organized GOPIO Waikato President Suman Kapoor and was also attend by Dr. Pushpa wood who is an expert on financial literacy for seniors.




GOPIO-CT sponsored and conducted two soup kitchens in June and July. On June 25th, YOUTH CT cooked food for over 100 people at the Stamford Soup Kitchen located at the New Covenant House of Hospitality. This event has been carried on by volunteers of the GOPIO CT adult group, but on June 25th, for the first time youth have participated. The participants were Sharon-Priya Banta, Ashish Ramachandra, Amit Ramachandran, Sarika Mathur and Sivan Sud. The youth worked diligently to cook food for the people who are less fortunate and hungry. It was a great experience and the youth group looks forward to participating again!


On July 30th, GOPIO-CT adults group conducted the soup kitchen. Again over 100 people were served. GOPIO has committed two more dates in 2011 and six dates in 2012.


Photo below: Meera Banta, Amit Ramachandra, Sharon-Priya Banta, Lucille Thompson, Sarika Mathiurs, Ashish Ramachandran and Sivan Sud. Adult is Meera Banta

 GOPI-CT Volunteers at Soup Kitchen in Stamford, CT, USA

Photo above: Lucille Thompson, Meera Banta, Rekha Hida, Carina Brijmohan, Dr. Susy Abraham and Dr. Thomas Abraham


To get involved to volunteer with GOPIO CT at the Soup Kitchen please contact Meera Banta 




GOPIO-New York joined hands with the National Federation of Indian American Association to host a luncheon meeting with visiting political leader from Mumbai Mr. Raj Purohit, Chief of Mumbai Pradesh BJP. Purohit, who is an advisor to NFIA was in the US attending the annual conventions of Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) in Las Vegas and American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin in New York. It was held at the Malabar Kitchen in Belrose, New Yorkon June 19th.


NFIA President Lal Motwani welcomed the gathering. GOPIO Founder President Dr. Thomas Abraham complimented Mr. Purohit for his interest in overseas Indian community and thanked him for his help in launching GOPIO-Mumbai. Mr. Purohit called upon the overseas Indians to help India's development. The program was attend by several community leaders from the New York Metro area.


NFIA Organizes reception for Raj Purohit

 Photo above: Community leaders of the New York Indian American community with Mr. Raj Purohit   




Senator Kate Lundy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister of Australia, expressed appreciation for GOPIO's concern and support for citizens of the affected areas of Australia which were experiencing unusually harsh flooding and cyclone conditions that have caused undue suffering, pain and anguish. This followed GOPIO's Press Statement of February 4, 2011 and letter from GOPIO President Lord Diljit Rana.


The letter from Senator Lundy to Lord Rana states that, "in these difficult times the sympathy and messages of support received by the international community, including the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin, have been greatly appreciated by the Australian people."  
















End of GOPIO Activities






Former Mumbai textile worker Harchavari Singh Cheema, who came to Ghana 40 years ago, has become a celebrated farmer and one of the most successful Indians in the West African country. From an initial export of about 70 tons a year, Cheema's Param Farms now exports 120 tons of vegetables a year. Ghana, a country of 24 million people, is known the world over for cocoa exports.

Cheema arrived in Ghana in 1972 to work as a manager for the then Glamour Stores - a supermarket chain - but some years later, the country's economy started to go down and he had to leave the chain to do something on my own. Cheema, who hails from Amritsar in Punjab, initially started a poultry farm at Gomoa Pamfokrom in the Central Region. He used to grow maize to use as feed.

Unfortunately, the poultry sector also started having problems, so he started a small textile manufacturing unit in Accra, Ghana's capital. But this also suffered a lot because of the trade liberation that the government initiated in the 1980s. Cheema decided to get back to farming again to produce 25 different varieties of Asian vegetables for export to Europe. Since then, he has been awarded by two presidents - as the Best National Farmer in the vegetable sector in 2006 and the Best National Farmer award in the food crop sector in 2004.

From a small farm in Weija in Accra, he moved to other areas outside Accra, including Bawjiase in the Central Region, Akatsi in the Volta Region, Old Akrade and Nsawam in the Eastern Region.

"The idea to spread was necessary because we did not want to become victims of the weather. Therefore, the spread of the farms enabled us to succeed even when the weather failed in other areas," Cheema said.

Cheema said that because of his success in Ghana other Indian investors looking for opportunities had sought his assistance to establish businesses here. Cheema and a group of investors are in the process of establishing a packaging company at Tema, near Accra.



For the third time in a row, British Indian Dr. Rami Ranger's Sun Mark was awarded Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's coveted award for business, the Queens Award for Enterprise 2011. It is an exceptional achievement by any company to win such a prestigious award and that too for a third consecutive year 2009, 2010 and 2011.


This extremely rare accomplishment is the culmination of great effort, organization, and vision by the company which was founded and is led by Dr Ranger MBE FRSA, who has taken the company, in just 15 years, from a start-up business to one which is now recognized all over the world.


This Queens Award for Enterprise symbolizes the strength and credibility of the company, its positive contribution to the British economyand that it is amongst the best of British companies. The company's sales continue to grow despite the global downturncaused by the financial meltdown. The company's turnover grew by over 35% last year and is fast approaching £150 millionand continuing to grow at 30% even now. It is a considerable achievement by any standard, especially when the company's business has been affected by the events in countries such as Libya, Bahrain and Egypt.


The company exports British supermarket products to over 90 countries with staggering results and market penetration. Needless to say, due to its export activities, it not only generates wealth and employment for Britaindirectly, but also helps other British companies grow which are connected with its export activities like transport, shipping and manufacturing. It is fair to state that Sun Mark is an engine of growth for many other British businesses. This year Sun Mark was added to the prestigious Sunday Times Profit Track 100 emphasizing the company's contribution to the British Exchequer in terms of profitability and taxes.


As Managing Director, Dr. Ranger MBE, is optimistic that his company, which is a leading force in exports, will continue to drive hard and be a recipient for many more such awards for sustainable growth and for excellence. He said that the third award recognizes the company's ethos of hard work, ethical practices and above all empathy for others.




Indian American Mitul Desai, an Indian American international finance and law expert, has been brought in to US State Department's South Asia bureau to lead its efforts to expand "partnerships and engagement with the private sector and diaspora groups" in the US.


Announcing the appointment of Desai at an India Donor Roundtable here last week, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Robert Blake said "The US-India relationship has never been stronger," thanks to the "important role" that the Indian community has "played in creating and strengthening these ties."


"Indeed I have made it a priority for the South and Central Asia Bureau to expand our partnerships and engagement with the private sector and diaspora groups here in the US," he said.


Desai, who has been named Senior Advisor for Outreach, comes from a private sector career in international finance and law, where he worked on many issues, including global health, Blake noted.


Desai received his BA in Chemistry and Philosophy at Rudgers University and his JD from the Boston University School of Law. He was born in Kankakee, Illinois, and lived in South Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania before moving to Succasunna, New Jersey, where he spent most of his childhood.


His parents, Indirajit and Surekha Desai who hail from Gujarat, came to the US in the 1960s, when they were both in their early 20s. He has a younger brother, Amit.









According to the World Bank, there has been a dramatic increase of almost 162% in the remittance that India receives from overseas Indians over the last eight years. While India received nearly $21 billion from overseas Indians in 2003, the figure jumped to $55 billion in 2010. 

"India received the highest remittance in 2010 compared with any other country in the world," said Dr Alwyn Didar Singh, secretary, ministry of overseas affairs during a discussion on the Indian Diaspora organized by the global think tank Gateway House. World Bank data also points to the fact that India receives the highest remittance, followed by China ($51 billion) and Mexico ($22.6 billion), Philippines ($21.3 billion) and France ($15.9 billion). 

Though there was a slight dip in remittance from 2008 to 2009, it bounced back in 2010 to a level higher than in 2008. Kerala and Punjab are currently among the states which receive the highest remittance from overseas residents. Didar Singh believes the increase in remittances has much to do with a great degree of faith in the Indian banking system, coupled with a lack of faith in US banks. "Remittance may be in a number of forms, such as domestic consumption, property, health and education. This is real money that is very much a part of the local economy, and is not money that is simply parked in a bank," he adds. 

According to S Parasuraman, director of the 
Tata Institute of Social Sciences, money is increasingly being remitted to India from educated Indians who have temporarily moved out of the country for work. "Those who earlier left the country for the US often settled down there for good and did not send money back home," said Parasuraman. "Earlier, the money coming back to India was largely from poor people who migrated to Gulf countries, and sent a large portion of their income back home," he added. 

He says there is a great need to protect the rights of these migrants and introduce schemes to support them when they return home. It isn't just the money that's returning to India. India also has the highest number of returning migrants, says Didar Singh. While six to eight lakh Indians leave the country each year, a significant number of overseas Indians (over one lakh) return to the country yearly.




India has emerged as the largest source country for New Zealand with a 12 percent increase in approval of applications under the skilled migrant category for the 2010-11 financial year. Among the top source countries to New Zealand, Britain decreased by 17 percent, China decreased by 11 percent, South Africa decreased by 37 percent and the Philippines decreased by 25 percent, according to the Migration Trends Statistics (MTS) report for July 2010 to May 2011.

India's increase was due to former Indian students who transited to temporary work and then went on to permanent residence, it said. The report focused on three key areas - the New Zealand residence programme, permanent skilled migration and temporary entry.

With regard to student visas to New Zealand, as many as 69,448 people were approved in July 2010-May 2011 - a three percent increase from the 67,453 in the previous financial year. From July 2010-May 2011, the largest source countries of students were China (23 percent), India (14 percent) and South Korea (12 percent).

Indian-origin MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi said that as New Zealand was a peaceful country, it has emerged as an ideal destination for study. Its spectacular scenery and rich and diverse culture were the other factors that made it a favorite among Indians.

Richard Howard, honorary member and past chairman of the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment, said: "These statistics confirm the clear trend that New Zealand is seen as an increasingly attractive study and migrant destination for Indian students."



Bahrain's ECONOMIC VISION 2030 was discussed at a Professional Summit of Kerala/Indian professionals in Chicago last week. Nearly a dozen professional organizations of Indians in different parts of U.S.A had arranged a one day conference the first of its kind at Sheraton Gateway Hotel, Chicago under the auspices of FOMAA (Federation of Malayalee Associations of America). Mr. Ramesh Chennithala, President of Kerala  Pradesh Congress Committee President and Mr.T.P.Sreenivasan Former Indian Ambassador to Austria were the chief guests. Experts from different areas and academic heads and journalists spoke on the occasion.


As a special guest Mr. Sunny Kulathakal, Managing Editor of the Gulf Who's Who Directory  Bahrain and GOPIO's International Coordinator for the Middle East addressed the gathering and the directory was  officially  released at the function for the U.S market. Kulathakal focused on the interviews of nearly 200 dignitaries on VISION 2030 of Bahrain which forms part of the 750 pages Directory. He mentioned that the dreams and aspirations of the leaders of a tiny island nation to improve the standard of living of its citizens are quite evident in these interviews.


Dr. Sreedhar Kavil senior  Professor  and former Chairman of St. John's  University in his keynote address appreciated the contents of the 2011-2012  Directory. He stressed that the recent negative global publicity against Bahrain in foreign media could be rectified  through wide circulation of such publications. Dr. Kavil mentioned that we should be proud and happy that an Indian could bring out such a precious and timely document to project to the outside world, a positive true picture of Bahrain.


A  series  of  campaign to explain  the salient features  of VISION 2030  of Bahrain was started  by the publishers  of  Gulf Who's Who  Directory 2011-2012 in different parts  of the United  States of America last month. The Directory was widely distributed to the  American Arab Chamber of Commerce and  other Diplomatic missions. Separate   Public  functions  were  organized   in  Houston, St. Louis  and Dallas where  Mr. Kulathakal Managing  Editor and Mrs. Elizabeth  Sunny  Kulathakal, Business  Editor of the Directory attended.




Australia's new immigration rules that focus on higher qualification and advance English language skills as requirements for those wanting to migrate to this country came into effect today. The new rules, according to Australian officials, aim to pick up the "best and the brightest" from the pool of applicants, and have been criticized by Indian groups in Melbourne. 

The Australian government announced changes to its independent skilled migration points test, introducing the new immigration point system to put more emphasis on work experience and high-level educational qualification with higher English language proficiency.

However, the new program has been criticized by the Federation of Indian Association of Victoria (FIAV) which said the level of English proficiency is like an "iron curtain" being imposed on migration in this country. IAV president Vasan Srinivasan said the organization sympathizes with the government's need to attract to Australia migrants with good English speaking skills but the requirement that is appropriate for skilled professionals like for doctors and accountants, should not be required for other less professional occupations.




The first budget presented by the Congress-led United Democratic Front has added Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the Kerala diaspora by way of a rehabilitation scheme, a legal aid cell and a 24-hour helpline. A new centre will also be set up to improve the skill sets of those who want to go abroad for a job.

According to a study done by the Centre for Development Studies on the diaspora, there are more than two million Keralites working abroad, of whom around 90 percent are in the Middle-East. The budget QAS presented by Finance Minister K.M. Mani.

"The NORKA department will come out with an elaborate program for the rehabilitation of those people who have returned from abroad on account of internal issues in some countries," said Mani. According to the CDS study, the number of returnees from the Middle East has crossed one million in the last one decade.

Another new initiative is the setting up of an Overseas Employment Skill Testing Centre.




The Background - Annually Over 120,000 Indians are diagnosed with blood cancers and another 10,000 children are born with Thalassemia (a disease needing one or two blood transfusions every month for lifetime). Over 400 Indians living globally search for a bone marrow donor or stem cell match annually. Over 60% of these patients can hope for a cure if they have access to matching stem cells from donated umbilical cord blood. Since matching is highly dependent on ethnicity, the chances of an Indian finding a match in any other country is less than 10% while the possibility is over 60% in an Indian inventory. Today, even if a match is found, it will cost over USD 45,000 to import a unit of stem cell, which is beyond the reach of most of these patients


The Beginning - Jeevan Stem Cell Bank, a unit of Jeevan Blood Bank and Research Centre, a 15 year old not-for-profit organisation, started operations in November 2008 with the vision of Ensuring Quick and affordable access to matching stem cells for life-saving treatment for Indian patients living globally with blood cancers and Thalassemia. Jeevan will make available matching stem cells free for poor and at Rupees Two lakhs for those who can afford. As of now, Jeevan is the ONLY active Indian Public Stem Cell Bank across the world.


What Jeevan Has done - Today, Jeevan has 669 units of stem cells processed, tested and stored - ready for patients and gets over 5 requests a week for matching units from Indians across the world. Chances of finding a match is directly proportional to inventory size. Our vision is to scale-up the inventory to 4000 (March 2012), 10,000 (December 2012) and 30,000 (December 2015).


The Team - Jeevan is professionally managed by a committed and competent team lead by the co-founders Drs. Srinivasan and Saranya Narayan and who have a combined experience of over 50 years in starting and managing Pathology and Blood transfusion facilities.


How You Can Help - There are two challenges to this project, which will touch Indians globally. One is cord blood donation. With over 20 million births happening every year targets are easily achievable. However, the other - meeting the cost ($ 750) of processing each cord blood donation, testing, typing and storing each unit of stem cells can only be surmounted with the participation of the beneficiaries - Indian community across the world. Jeevan is looking for 30,000 Indians who could make a tax exempted donation of $ 750 each (or $ 250 every year for three years).


Can Jeevan also meet the needs of patients of Indian origin living in Canada, the UK, the U.S. and other parts of the world? Dr. Saranya Narayan, Co-Founder and Medical Director of Jeevan responds with an emphatic 'yes'. She points out that donor registries across the world are wired into a global stem cell donor network through reciprocal agreements. However at present, persons of Indian origin are underrepresented in the national donor registries, and Indian patients face very poor odds in finding matching donors. More than 400 patients of Indian origin living globally search the various registries for matching donors every year, and very few, if any, find matches.


Says Dr. Srinivasan "the Jeevan Stem Cell Bank will ensure quick and affordable access to stem cells derived from donated cord blood and therefore, life saving treatment for many. The creation of an Indian Public stem cell bank like Jeevan will raise the potential match rate to as high as 60%, both for Indians living in India and globally".


To find out more about Jeevan, online donations and tax exempted donations in USA and UK please contact Dr Srinivasan at  




For NRIs, living outside India can be an isolating experience for Indians, especially when they are new. When living abroad, Indians should be able to have an opportunity to get to know other Indians & their families in the "neighborhood".

Now there is a new Platform that provides an opportunity to create awareness about the existence of other Indians in the neighborhood. The service is called Desi NRIs & PIOs around the world can Visit & become a member for FREE.


By becoming Members of, NRIs & PIOs can derive following benefits FREE:


   * Find new family friends who have similar lifestyles, hobbies and values.

   * Come together and share nostalgic moments.

   * Create groups based on common interests.

   * Share shopping tips pertaining to ones own neighborhood.

   * And last but not the least, build a support system for each other.


There are 2 Sections in to make the website User-friendly & Interactive, viz;" How It Works" & " Desi Padosi BLOG".


NRIs & PIOs around the world may make use of this platform to reach out.


Contact:K.Suresh Rao,Desi Padosi Blog,




An Indian woman who lives in Britain and wants her husband to join her there cannot do so because a new immigration law requires him to speak English. The couple has now challenged the law in court. 

British citizen Rashida Chapti, 54, applied for her husband Vali Chapti, 57, to join her in Britain. The couple have been married for 37 years and has six children together. Vali Chapti is an Indian national and does not speak, read or write English. They have now challenged the rule at a court in Birmingham. They said the law "contravenes their rights to a family life, their right to marry and constitutes discrimination", according to UK's Daily Mail newspaper. 

Rashida Chapti has been travelling between India and Leicester for 15 years. 

The rule came into force in November 2010. It says English language is a primary requirement for migrants applying to come or stay in Britain as a spouse. 

Manjit Gill, representing the couple, told the Birmingham court the requirement was a breach of their human rights. He said it contravenes several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights - including the right to family life, the right to marry, and to be free of discrimination.




According to survey conducted by recruitment consulting firm, as reported in the media, IT and IT-enabled firms in India hired 28 percent more non-resident Indian (NRI) professionals in the first quarter of 2011-12. Due to shortage of jobs and declining wages overseas, an increasing number of NRI IT professionals are returning to India. During the first quarter of the current fiscal year, IT and IT-enabled services registered highest growth, as much as 28 percent. Several other sectors of the economy have also seen noticeable job growth. Pharma and healthcare grew by 20 percent, automobile and manufacturing by 18 percent, telecom by 14 percent, banking and financial services by 10 percent.


Largest number of returned NRIs found jobs in Bangalore, followed by Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad.




Punjab's Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Affairs Minister Balbir Singh Bath said in a statement that the state government had initiated many new steps for the welfare and security of NRIs. He also said that the East Punjab Rent Act has been amended empowering NRIs to get their property on rent vacated from tenants.


The minister said that all 20 districts in Punjab have separate revenue courts for NRIs for speedy disposal of their cases, exclusive NRI police stations have been set up in six districts with predominant NRI population for the prompt redresses of their grievances/complaints and one court for NRIs has been opened in Jalandhar in consultation with the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Punjab Government would soon open a new NRI Suwidha Kender at Jalandhar to provide single window service to the NRIs for all Government related works.


Minister Balbir Singh Bath also met Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur and asked her to expedite the grant of visa to Punjabis who want to visit their motherland.




Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney recently confirmed that as many as 1,800 new Canadians could be stripped of their citizenship as they obtained it fraudulently. The minister said that some people who did not meet the qualifications for citizenship are believed to have submitted fraudulent applications. They have been identified following a three-year investigation and their citizenship will be revoked.


Minister Kenney also said that his government is combating immigration fraud and abuse whether it is from bogus asylum claimants, crooked immigration consultants, people smugglers or people who are abusing Canadian citizenship program.


The minister also announced that Canada will soon be introducing 10 year visas for low-risk visitors from around the world.




Shri T.K.A. Nair, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, has been appointed as Adviser to Prime Minister with the rank and status of Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office with effect from the October 3, 2011. Earlier this year, Mr. Nair was inducted to GOPIO's honor roll for his help and support of NRI/PIO causes.

Shri Pulok Chatterji, presently Executive Director of World Bank, as Principal Secretary to Prime Minister with effect from the October 3, 2011 on approved standard terms and conditions. His appointment will be co-terminus with the term of the Prime Minister.




Marking an era of unprecedented Indian investment and collaborations in the neighboring Maldives, and coinciding with the official visit of India's External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, a unique Indo-Maldives PPP collaboration project was announced today to set up a US$ 200 million Global Knowledge & Medical Hub including a Medical Tourist Resort pioneered by an Indian company.


The Government of Maldives announced on July 28, 2011, the successful completion of a series of agreements between Government Ministries and the Island Development Company Pvt. Ltd., Maldives (IDC). The announcement was made in the presence of H.E. President Mohamed Nasheed of Maldives and Hon.S M Krishna at the first function during the latter's two-day visit. The project is the second largest Indian investment after MR's take-over of operations of the Male International Airport.


Contributed by Munish Gupta




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: 818-708-3885, E-mail:

GOPIO President - Lord Daljit Rana, UK, Tel:  +44 28-9807-8787,


GOPIO Executive Vice President - Ashook Ramsaran, Fresh Meadows, New York City, Tel: 718/939-8194, E-mail:


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, GOPIO (Stamford, CT, USA)

Editors: Ashook Ramsaran, GOPIO Executive Vice President (New York, USA)

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

Contributors of this issue: Inder Singh (GOPIO Intl., USA), Dr. Zafar Iqbal (GOPIO-Washington DC), Suman Kapoor (GOPIO-Waikato, New Zealand), Jay Banerjei (GOPIO-Toronto), Shailesh Naik (GOPIO-CT, USA), Shefali Mehta (GOPIO-NZ), Harry Walia (GOPIO-Australia), Jeevan Zutshi (GOPIO San Francisco), Munish Gupta (GOPIO Media Council).


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