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August 12, 2009
A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
Issue: VIII-8 August 12, 2009
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Dear friend:
We invite you to a wonderful program of conferences, networking receptions, dinner/banquet, cultural programs and entertainment evenings at the GOPIO 20th Anniversary Celebration and Convention 2009 in New York City. You can join us at the conferences on Friday and Saturday, August 21st and 22nd or for an event such as the Thursday evening Welcome Dinner or Friday evening Reception/Inauguration or Saturday evening Finale Banquet. Delegates from over 20 countries will be participating. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to network with NRIs/PIOs from all over the world.  You may register online at Pre-registration discount ends on August 14th.
More details of the convention are available at  


Dates - August 20-23, 2009
Venue - Crowne Plaza Hotel LaGuardia Airport
104-04 Ditmars Blvd., East Elmhurst, New York 11369, USA
Tel: 718-457-6300
(call for special discounted room rates for GOPIO Convention)
"People of Indian Origin: Strengthening Global Connections"


Two conferences under the broad theme. 

Business Conference (Aug. 21): "India and The Indian Diaspora in the Context of Global Economic Challenges and Development"
Diaspora Conference (Aug. 22): "The Indian Diaspora: Challenges and Opportunities in the New Millennium" 

GOPIO Convention 2009 will also re-examine and re-evaluate GOPIO's role during the last 20 years with respect to goals and aspirations of 25 million people of Indian origin. Conference topics include the following: Human Rights, Political Participation, Diaspora Economic and Business Trends and Opportunities, Socio-Cultural and Diasporic related issues and concerns, Inter-generational Conflict, Challenges and Opportunities for the Future.
Thu (8/20)          Day   2:00 - 4:00pm  GOPIO Executive Committee Meeting
                                       Chaired by Inder Singh, President, GOPIO Int'l.
                                       (Not open to general public)  
                        Day  5.00 - 6.00 GOPIO Executive Council Meeting
                                       Chaired by Dr Thomas Abraham, Chairman of GOPIO Int'l.
                        Day  5.00 - 6.00 Country & Regional Reports 
                                        (Open to general public)   

                         Eve   7:00 - 9:00pm   Welcome Reception/Dinner
                                        Interactive Session with Hon. Vayalar Ravi
                                        Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs
Fri (8/21)            Day  9:00am - 6:00pm  NRI/PIO Economic/Business Conference
                         Eve   7.00pm - 9:00pm  Reception, Convention Inauguration & Entertianment
                                         Chief Guest- Hon. Minister Vayalar Ravi
Sat (8/22)            Day   9:00am -10:00pm  GOPIO General Council Meeting & Elections

                           Day  10:00am - 6:00pm  Indian Diaspora Conference 
                                                               Conference on Living Pioneers, and 
                                                               Networking Session for the Next Generation

                           Eve    7:00pm - 11:00pm Banquet & Cultural Program
Sun (8/23)            Day   10:00am - 12:00pm  GOPIO General Council Meeting (Cont'd)
Hotel and Conference Center: Crowne Plaza Hotel LaGuardia Airport
Tel: 1-718/457-6300 (call to make reservation, mention GOPIO Convention for discounted room rates of $119 for double room)
GOPIO Executive Council Meeting and Reception on August 20th and Banquet August 22nd
World's Fair Marina Banquet Hall, Flushing, New York
(near Citifields, one mile from Crowne Plaza Hotel at LaGuardia Airport)
As part of the convention, YOUTH AND YOUNG PROFESSIONALS MEET (age 14 to 27) will be held at the convention. Contact: Vishnu Mahadeo or Anita Bhat Please tell your youth and young professionals in your family to join us in this networking sessions planned for August 22 afternoon.REGISTRATION TO YOUTH AND YOUNG PROFESSIONAL NET WORKING SESSIONS IS FREE.
Register Online 
or send in your registration to GOPIO International, Attn. Ashook Ramsaran, Convenor, PO Box 560117, New York, NY 11356, USA, Tel: 718-939-8194, Fax: 1-718-353-2404 email:

GOPIO Officers: Chairman: Dr. Thomas Abraham; President: Inder Singh; Executive Vice President: Lord Diljit Rana; Regional Vice President North America: Dr Piyush Agrawal; Secretary General: Ashook Ramsaran
Convention Team:  Dr. Thomas Abraham, Sudha Acharya, Dr .Piyush Agrawal, Ritesh Agrawal, Anand Ahuja, Sangeeta Ahuja, Darshan Bagga, Rafeek Baksh, Sharon Banta, Anita Bhat, Marina Budhos, Dr. Maya Chadda, Ravi Dhingra,  Bhanu Dwarika, Ram Gadhavi, Dr Sushila Gidwani-Buschi, Deo Gosine, Rekha Gupta, John Joseph, Prasad Kambampaty, Ramesh Kalicharran, Ram Lakhina, Bina Mahabir, Gary Mahabir, Vishnu Mahadeo, Robert Mahesh,  Prince Markose, Dr. Raj Metha, Jaswant Mody, Chandra Morgan, Ashook Motwani, Dr. Jagat Motwani, Lal Motwani, Stanley Raj, Dr. Rohini Ramanathan, Yesu Persaud, Rajeshwar Prasad, Netram Rambudhan, Ashook Ramsaran, Jasbir Sachar, Dr .Asha Samant, Dharmatma Saran, Dr. Parmatma Saran, Dr. Rupam Saran, Shabana Sharif, Inder Singh, Nohar Singh, Prakash Singh, Pritha Singh, Dhiraj Solanki, Satruhan Sukdeo,  Dr. Najma Sultana, Mohinder Taneja, Thambi Thalappillil and Raju Thomas.
GOPIO has been providing a common platform for people of Indian origin since its inception in 1989. GOPIO membership is open to all people of Indian origin. For more information or to volunteer for the convention activities, please contact: GOPIO Secretary General & Convention Convener Ashook Ramsaran at 718-353-2404 email: or GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham at or GOPIO President Inder Singh at
Venue: Crowne Plaza Hotel La Guardia, New York, USA

Friday, August 21, 2009
India and Indian Diaspora in the Context of Global Economic Challenges and Development


Chair: Dr. Thomas Abraham                                          Co-Chair: Dr. Maya Chadda
Dramatic deceleration in the global economy pose serious challenges to India and the people of Indian origins residing in different parts of the world. How has this global developments affected them? Having returned to power with a stronger mandate, what direction the new government is taking?  Will it accelerate economic reforms and liberalization? Will it take steps to establish a more business friendly environment encourage Indian and Diaspora-led business? Will it promote transfer of technology and encourage Indian community abroad to participate in India's growth and advancement? What impediments is it likely to encounter in achieving this? What investments, trade and technological collaborations can one expect from the interface between India and the Indian Diaspora in advancing India's status as a potential great power? 
9.20 a.m. - 10.00 a.m. INAUGURAL SESSION
Speakers -   Hon. Dr. A.M. Gondane, Deputy Consul General, Consul General of India
                   Hon. Basdeo Panday, MP, Leader of the Opposition, Trinidad & Tobago
                   Hon. Logie Naidoo, Deputy Mayor, City of Durban, South Africa
10:00am - 11:15am  Session I - India & the Global Economy: Prospects and Challenges
Session ChairDr. Maya Chadda, Prof. of Political Science, William Paterson Univ., NJ
SpeakersDr. Arvind Panagariya, Professor of Economics and Jagdish Bhagwati Professor 
                 of Indian Political Economy Columbia Univ. School of International & Public Affairs
                 Sreedhar Menon, Chairman of the Board, Strategic Advisor 
                 & Co-Promoter of VITEOS Fund Services Inc., NJ and Bangalore
                 Dr. Sanjay Ruparelia, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Faculty Fellow
                 of the India China Institute, New School for Social Research, New York, NY

11:15am - 11:35am  Tea/Coffee Break
11:35am - 12:50am  Session  II - Indian Diaspora - Prospects and Challenges in the
                                                       Emerging Global Economy
Session Chair -
Bharat Bhargava, President, US-India American Chamber of Commerce,
                  Washington, DC
Speakers - Lord Diljit Rana, Business Leader & Member of House of Lords, UK
                  Naveen Jain, CEO, Intelius, Bellevue, WA
                  George Abraham, Managing Director, GA Group, Singapore
                  Vibhuti Jha, Director, The Human Potential Project, New York
 12:50pm -  2:00pm    Lunch -Keynote Speaker - Ambassador Frank Wisner 
                                                                          Former US Ambassador to India

  2:00pm - 3:15pm   Session  III - Diaspora in India's Development
Session Chair - Prof. P. Somasundaran, La von Duddleson Krumb Professor
                                    School of Engineering Columbia University, New York
SpeakersDr. Sanjay Sinho, American India Foundation, New York
                   Dr. George Abraham, MD, FRCS, Medical Director, ED & EMS, Troy
                   Community Hospital; Chair and Secretary, American Academy for Emergency
                   Medicine in India and President and Managing Trustee, Institute of Emergency 
                   Medical Services (IIEMS); Troy, Pennsylvania
                   Dr. Surendra Kaushik, Prof. of Finance, Lubin School of Business,
                   Pace University (New York) and Founder Chairman, Mrs. Helena Kaushik
                   Women's College, Rajasthan, India
                   Pavit Mattewal, Mattewal La Offices, Chandigarh, India
                   B.C.Gupta, IAS, Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Govt. of Punjab
3:15pm - 3:35pm   Tea/Coffee Break
3:35pm - 4.35 pm  Session  IV - Indian Diaspora in Social Development - What could we do?
Session Chair - Yesu Persaud, Chairman, Demerara Ltd. and Chairman of the Caribbean
                                                    Council for Europe (CCE), Guyana
Speakers - Hon. P. Chandrasegaran, Minister of Community Development & Social Inequity
                                    Eradication, Govt. of Sri Lanka
                 Dr. Raj Warrier, Vice Chancellor, Manipal University, India
                 Aruneshwar Gupta, Former Advocate General of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India
                 Pritpal Singh Pannu, Chairman, National Integrated Forum of Artists and
                 Activists (NIFAA), Karnal, Haryana, India
4:35pm - 4.55 pm  Special Presentation 
Speaker  -  Shefali Chaturvedi, CEO, Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC)
                  Confederation of Indian Industry
4.55pm - 5.15pm   Concluding Session & Resolutions
                                      To be conducted by Conference Chairs 
5.15pm - 7.00pm   Networking Reception 
7.00 pm   Inauguration of GOPIO Convention - Chief Guest: Honorable Vayalar Ravi
                                        Special Guest - Hon. Prabhu Dayal, Consul General of India

GOPIO 20th Invitation for Inauguration
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Theme: The Indian Diaspora: Challenges and Opportunities in the New Millennium


Chair: Prof. Parmatma Saran              Co-Chairs:  Prakash Singh, Ashook Ramsaran
GOPIO's 20th Anniversary Commemoration and Convention 2009 will examine and evaluate GOPIO's role during the last 20 years with respect to helping achieve goals and aspirations of 25 million people of Indian origin (PIO) living outside of India. GOPIO Diaspora Conference "The Indian Diaspora: Challenges & Opportunities in the New Millennium" will examine issues of human rights, political participation, economic trends and challenges, socio-cultural and Diaspora related issues and concerns, inter-generational issues, inter-ethnic relations, and opportunities for the future. 
9:00am - 10:00am       Conference Registration
10:15am - 10:45am      Introductory Session

11:15am - 11:30am       Tea/Coffee Break
11:30am - 1:00pm  Session I: Energizing the Global Indian Diaspora
Areas and means whereby the global Indian Diaspora can become much more vibrant, active and engaged in more collaboration through improving means of communication, interaction, networking, cultural exchanges, academia, economic alliances and support for mutual benefits to all.
   Prof Chandershakhar Bhat (former Professor of Sociology & Director, Centre for the Study of Indian Diaspora, University of Hyderabad, India)
Co-Chair:        Nohar Singh (CEO of Travel Span Ltd, Community Advocate, New York, USA)
Speaker:          Mitra Kalita (Journalist and Author, New York, USA)
Speaker:          Hon. Basdeo Panday (former Prime Minister, Trinidad & Tobago)
Speaker:          Sandhya Sinha (Chairperson- Women's Political Forum, India)
Conclusion:     Dr Asha Samat (University of Medical and Dentistry, New Jersey, USA)

11:30am - 1:00pm     Session IA: Living Pioneers: Global Perspective of Indian Elders
Discussion on issues faced by early and recent immigrants of Indian Origin with perspectives as seen and understood in other countries: New Zealand/Australian; Indian, European and possibly Canadian views. Issues include: Social, cultural, economic aspects of senior life such as health, isolation, loneliness, family interaction, etc.
Chair:  Rajeshwar Prasad , Exec Dir, National Indo-Amer Assoc for Senior Citizen (USA).
Co-Chair: Chan Jamoona, Exec Dir, United Hindu Cultural Council Senior Center (USA)
Speaker: Raj Loomba, CBE, Founder & Chairman, The Loomba Trust Foundation (UK)
Speaker: Suman Kapoor, President, GOPIO of Waikato(New Zealand)
Speaker: K N Gupta, President, GOPIO of New Delhi(India)
Q &A   Moderator  Interactive Audience Participation
From the Floor: Dr Jagat Motwani, Joseph Parmar
Concl. Remarks: Sunny Kulathakal
, Vice Pres, GOPIO Middle East rEGION(Bahrain)
Who is a Senior? Their categories outside India: Early Immigrants, Recent Immigrants, also Single Seniors. Matters of Importance to Each Group in the following areas:
(a) Social, Cultural and Economic Aspects of Seniors such as Isolation, Loneliness, Family Interaction, Financial Stability or Lack of it During Retirement Phase; Economic Independence or Lack of it; assimilation problems in foreign countries, including adaptation to a different way of life, domestic abuse.
(b) Intergenerational Problems (Conflicts and Compromises) such as Communication with Children and Grand Children; and utilization of richness that seniors bring to the next generations.
(c) Health Related Issues including Insurance; End of Life issues such as Wills, Durable Power of Attorney, Health Proxy, Asset Protections
(d) Residential Alternates: Joint Family Structure; Home Sharing with someone like a Tenant, but not a tenant in literal terms; Senior Homeowners and Apartment Residents organizing themselves to seek support on the spot from Private and Public Entities; Independent Senior Housing or Retirement Complexes; Assisted Living and Nursing Homes: Various Concepts in Different Countries.
REGISTRATION TO THE LIVING PIONEERS IS FREE. VEGETARIAN LUNCH WILL BE SERVED. Please register by sending your name, address, tel. no. and e-mail address to:
1:00pm -  2:00pm       Lunch
                                    Speaker: Personal Perspectives in the Diaspora
2:00pm - 3:30pm        Session II: The Global Indian Diaspora: Then and Now
In this session, an attempt will be made to see the changing experiences of the Indian Diaspora in general, with particular references to family, religion, politics, economics and identity.
Chairperson: Dr. Parmatma Saran (Prof of Socilogy, City Univ. of New York, USA)
Co-Chair:       Dr. Najma Sultana (Founding Member, NRIs for Secular & Harmonious India)
Speaker:       Hon. Dr. A. M. Gondane (Deputy Consul General, Indian Consulate, New York)
Speaker:       Dr. S. Jauhar (North Shore - Long Island Jewish Health System, New York, USA)
Speaker:        Dr. Prem Misir (Pro-Chancellor, University of Guyana, Georgetown, Guyana)
Conclusion:     Harold Ramdhani (President, GOPIO of Suriname, Paramaribo, Suriname)
2.00 pm - 3.30 pm  Session IIA: The Next Generation (First Session)
GOPIO believes in strengthening the next generation, in line with the motto"The Next Generation is our Future." To create a strong next generation, GOPIO has planned sessions where it engages the Next Generation members from different Diaspora to interact, collaborate and network. This session aims to discuss Academic, Professional, Political & Economic challenges and raise awareness on the impact of these key issues on the next generation of PIOs.

During this session, teams are formed to discuss four chosen topics: - Political Engagement, Career Opportunities,Current Economy, & PIO Youth - Identity.  Experts on all these topics will be invited to provide a primer. Teams, thereafter, get to discuss issues and recommend initiatives in these areas. Experts and assessors will develop a report on the basis of group discussions. This will be presented to GOPIO Executive committee at the end of the session to create an action plan.
The dialogue and the discussion between experts and the next generation will help GOPIO formulate an action plan for the Next Generation. GOPIO International will look into addressing these issues and concerns as part of their global initiatives and growth, through GOPIO's various chapters
The first session aims to discuss Academic, Professional, Political & Economic challenges and raise awareness on the impact of these key issues on the next generation of PIOs.
Speaker:          Bhiravi Desai
(Taxi Workers Alliance in New York, USA)
Speaker:          Nohar Singh (CEO of Travel Span Ltd, Community Advocate, New York, USA)
Speaker:          Jessica Taneja (Shelter Rock Strategies LLC, USA)
Speaker:          Shankar Krishnan (Managing Director, Adventity Inc, New York, USA)
3. 00pm  to 3. 30pm   Coffee break and Networking for The Next Generation
Organizations taking part in the networking session
Sakhi for South Asian Women - Mohammad Alam
Jahajee Sister - Jacquelene R. Latif Scully , Taij Kumarie Moteelall
Census 2010 - Suzanne Persard 
SAYA -  Annetta Seecharran
Youth Canada - Vanessa Rambihar
3:30pm - 3:45pm          General Tea/Coffee Break
3.30pm  - 4.30pm Session III A - The Next Generation - Networking: An Essential Guide to Survival
Session will engage the Next Generation members from to interact, collaborate and network collectively to challenges and opportunities
4.30pm - 4.45pm Concluding Session & Presentation - The Next Generation
3:45pm - 5:00pm   Session III: The Global Indian Diaspora: Inter-Ethnic Relations
How Indians can peacefully and successfully co-exist in multi-ethnic societies as increasing numbers of Indians live and settle in more countries;  including suggestions, precautions and guidelines on adaptation, assimilation and coping as well as participation in host country social, cultural, political and community activities.
Chairperson:    Prof Mohan Gautam (Co-Chairperson, GOPIO Academic Council, former Professor of Disapora Studies at Leiden University, The Netherlands)
Co-Chair:          Jasbir Sachar (Founder & Publisher, Asia Who's Who,London, UK)
Speaker:          Prof Mahin Gosine (Prof of Sociology, Suffolk Comm. College, New York, USA)
Speaker:          Ms. Marina Budhos (Author, Educator, New Jersey, USA)
Speaker:          Amarinder Bajwa (GOPIO Australia Country Coordinator, Australia)
Conclusion:      Dr Rajeev Mehta (President, GOPIO of Central New Jersey, USA)
5:00pm - 6:00pm    Session IV: The Global Indian Diaspora: The Family Unit including Women and Inter-Generational Issues
Chairperson:    Prof. Runi Mukerji-Ratnam (Chair, Dept of Psychology, State University of
New York, Old Westbury, New York USA)
Co-Chair:        J. Nami Kaur (Marketing & Media Consultant, New York, USA)
Speaker:         Dr V. Rambihar (Consultant Cardiologist, Scarborough Hosp, Canada) Speaker:          Aysha Latib (Socioligist, Researcher, Author, South Africa)
Summary Reports: Sessions of Living Pioneers & The Next Generation
Conclusion:    Dr Renuka Mishra (Medical Researcher, Pres, GOPIO Washington, DC, USA)  

REGISTRATIONS TO THE THE LIVING PIONEERS AND THE NEXT GENERATION NETWORKING SESSIONS  ARE FREE. Must register to attend. Please register by sending your name, address, tel. no. and e-mail address to:
 GOPIO 20th Banquet Invitation


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 President - Inder Singh, Tarzana, California, USA, Tel: 818-708-3885, E-mail:

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

GOPIO Secretary General - Ashook Ramsaran, Fresh Meadows, New York City, Tel: 718/939-8194, E-mail:


To become a Life member of GOPIO, visit, print and fill up the form and send it with a check to: GOPIO, P.O. Box 1413, Stamford, CT 06904, USA.



Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO (Stamford, CT, USA)

Editors: Ashook Ramsaran, GOPIO General Secretary (New York, USA); and Munish Gupta, GOPIO Media Chair (Los Angeles, Calif)

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

GOPIO NEWS welcomes NRI/PIO related stories from all over the world. Be a volunteer correspondent or reporter. Contact Dr. Thomas Abraham, Tel: 203-329-8010, E-mail:

Visit GOPIO's Official site at or