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Issue: VI-11 September 15, 2007
September 15, 2007
A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
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MINI PBD 2007 NEW YORK - SEPT. 23, 2007Government of India's Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Culture have joined together with the Confederation of Indian Industry to organize India@60 celebration in New York starting September 23rd. The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) has also joined the efforts by organizing a mini Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD New York 2007) and would be geared to attract participation of those non-resident Indians (NRIs) who had not been able to attend the annual PBD in India.


The objective of the PBD New York 2007 is to provide tangible roles for the Indian Diaspora in North American and its neighboring regions to contribute in a meaningful way to the development challenges that India faces today.

This one day conference will set itself apart by presenting an action oriented agenda focused on how the Indian American community can be involved with India's progress. By prioritizing key areas like education, investment, infrastructure and health, PBD New York 2007 will showcase thought leaders from the social and financial arenas. This event is a unique platform for the individual Indian American to get engaged with India via contributing their expertise and knowledge capital. The day long meeting will conclude with a community interactive session with MOIA.


The theme is "Engaging the Diaspora: The Way Forward." It will be held at Pier 60 - The Lighthouse, 23rd St and West Side Highway, New York on September 23rd starting at 9.00 a.m.


The inaugural session will have Pranab Mukherjee, Minister for External Affairs; Vayalar Ravi, Minster of Overseas Indian Affairs; Nirmal Singh, Secretary MOIA; Ambassador Ronen Sen; Sunil Mittal, President, CII, and Chairman and Group CEO Bharti Enterprises.


Session 2 covers "India's social building blocks: Education and health for the masses." Its moderator is Ramalinga Raju, Founder and Chairman, Satyam Computers Service Ltd. Panelists are Sam Pitroda Chairman, National Knowledge Commission; Rajat Gupta, Senior Partner, Mckinsey & Co.; Analjit Singh, Chairman Max India Ltd**; Dr. Hemant Patel**, President AAPI; Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International.


Keynote speaker at the networking lunch is Professor C.K. Prahalad, Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor, University of Michigan.


Session 3 will deal with "Bridging economies: Creating opportunities for foreign direct investment from the Diaspora." Panelists are: Kamal Nath, Minister, Commerce and Industry; Parag Saxena, Chairman, Vedanta Capital; Nandan Nilekani, Co-Chairman, Infosys Technologies; Dr. Arvind Panagariya, Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Economics, Columbia University; Anil Kumar, Director, McKinsey.


Session 4 is titles "Sustaining India's Growth: Partnership to Resolve the Infrastructure Challenge." Panelists are: Dr.Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Govt. of India; Raj Gupta, CEO, Rohm and Hass) **; Deepak Parikh**, HDFC; KV Kamath, Managing Director and CEO, ICICI Bank**; Sam Kannappan, President, ABI Enterprises (**awaiting confirmation).


The last session is a community interactive session with the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs on the topic "Engaging the Diaspora: Feedback from the overseas Indian Communities." Its moderator is Sree Sreenivasan, Co- Founder, South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA). Panelists include Minster Ravi and Nirmal Singh, Secretary of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. All major national and international umbrella organization representatives will bring up their perspectives and issues related to theme of the conference.

Soem of the Dancers from India who will perform at India@60 launchAll PBD registrants will be provided invitation to a spectacular show of specially choreographed production of Dances of India (Kathakali & Theyyam, Odissi, Kathak, Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi & Manipuri) at the inaugural ceremony of Incredible INDIA  @ 60 at the Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City. It will be followed by a reception with Culnary Experience of India.
One can register by visiting For detailed program, visit



Sand artist Sudarsan Patnaik will be creating a replica of the Taj Mahal as part of the Incredible India @ 60, by the ministry of tourism and culture. Joining him in New York will be two other artists, Manas Kumar Sahoo and Bulu Mohanty, who are students at the sand art institute that Patnaik runs here.The Taj replica in New York will be created near the festival venues at the Port Authority Bus Station, New York's main bus terminal.  According to Panaik, seven truck loads of sand will be used. It weill be at the Bus Terminal starting September 23rd for one week.


Patnaik had earlier created a Taj Mahal using black sand at Agra on the occasion of the 350th anniversary celebrations of the monument of love.  He has created 35 sand replicas of the Taj abroad including at Doha and Berlin.


The New York festival is being organized by the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Culture and the Confederation of Indian Industry.


Contact: Confederation of Indian Industry, 1700 North Moore Street, Suite 1928, Arlington, VA 22209, Tel: 703-807-0310, E-mail:


The Overseas Indians constitute a significant economic, social and cultural force in the world. They are estimated at over 25 million spread across 120 countries. Their industry, enterprise, economic strength, education and professional skills are widely recognized. The creation of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) acknowledges the fact that the welfare of overseas Indians needs mainstream attention.


In this background the Government of India has been organizing 'Pravasi Bharatiya Divas' in recognition and appreciation of the constructive, economic and philanthropic role played by the Indian Diaspora. It is the annual flagship event of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. The event aims to connect more than 25 million overseas Indians and to bring the expertise and knowledge of the Indian overseas community to India and integrating it into India's development process.


The 2008 edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) will be held in New Delhi on 8-9 January, 2008. The Conference is being organized by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) of the Government of India. The process of online registration of delegates will start shortly. Work would also start soon to shortlist the nominees for the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award, which the president confers on the recipients during the valedictory session of the event.


For enquiries regarding PBD 2008, one can log on to the website of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs,



PIOTV.COM connects India with people of Indian origin and to each other. Its unique content and technology can be watched, browsed and connected anywhere and anytime.


Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi unveiled, the 1st digital integrated media platformfor any expatriate community anywhere in the world. It had to happen in Incredible India which is in the midst of a media revolution, as much as there's an information technology revolution.


Indians in India and those living overseas have shown a tremendous appetite for content of all kinds. According to industry estimates, a Bollywood movie today makes more money from the US than its total exploitation in India.


www.pioTV.COM has created a convergence of media with technology that should serve the infotainment demands of a growing, extremely affluent community of 25 million People of Indian Origin (PIOs) worldwide, whose annual gross income is about one third of India's GDP.


Munish Gupta, Chairman & CEO of PIO TV said that " is a multi-faceted platform whose USP lies in the fact that it covers India from the perspective of PIOs whereas other media is India centric. And, in the space and domain of the PIO world, there is no platform that conjugates the PIO communities in different continents and countries. The purpose is to provide connectivity by providing content in many forms & ensure the platform is readily available to browse, watch and connect on any device, anywhere and anytime."


LIVE TELEVISION - PIOTV is 24-7 live stream of television content that brings significant news from India, the PIO World and other global news of importance and relevance to the community. This channel through its centers around the world, which could be called its points of coverage, will report on the developments, events, businesses, celebrations, achievements of PIOs in North America, UK, Europe, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Far East, Australia-South Pacific, South & Eastern Africa, South America and the Caribbean.


Twenty-nine youth of Indian origin from nine countries are currently in India for the latest edition of an orientation program that is meant to help them rediscover their roots.  Welcoming the participants to the Know India Program (KIP), Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said, "You have known about India from your parents and grandparents. This is a chance for you to see India with your own eyes."


Minister Ravi exhorted the participants to explore and experience the real India through the program, organized by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan.


"Don't just go back after taking in the sights in cities like Delhi," Ravi said, adding: "Go to the rural areas. See the villages. That is the real India."


This year, Goa is the host state for the program that runs Aug 29-Sep 15. The organizers have chalked out a series of events in collaboration with the Goa government to showcase Indian life and culture to the youth, who have come from countries like Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, South Africa, Canada, Britain, Malaysia, Mauritius, the Netherlands and Israel.


The participants spent the first three days in Delhi attending lectures on Indian history, constitution and governance. In between they will also visit the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Maruti Suzuki car plant in Gurgaon.


Thereafter, they proceeded to Goa where they were taken around the Goa University, the National Institute of Oceanography, BITS Pilani's Sancoale campus, the Mormugao Port Trust and an eco-tourism site among other places.


A highlight of their Goa sojourn was visits to villages in interior areas where they got to know the rural way of life by attending mock panchayat sessions and doing field work on issues like democracy at grassroots level, women's empowerment and empowerment of youth.  This apart, they will also take in the sights and sounds of Goa.


The participants came from different backgrounds - one is a fashion designer from Malaysia, another a teaching assistant from Canada while a third is a project team leader in British auto giant Rolls Royce and a fourth Jaya Manikchand, an attorney-at-law in Guyana.


Indian missions abroad will get to play a statutory role in the protection and welfare of overseas Indian workers once amendments to the Emigration Act 1983 come into effect, said Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi.


"The amendments to the Emigration Act have been finalized" in consultation with the missions and "are expected to be in place shortly", Ravi said while inaugurating the second annual meeting of the heads of Indian missions in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Malaysia, Jordan, Yemen and Libya.


"Two important changes are relevant. One will give our missions a statutory role in the protection and welfare of workers and another will provide for stringent action against those indulging in human trafficking," he said.


The two-day meet, being organized by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), will discuss several policy measures for safeguarding interests of Indian workers abroad.


The minister also stressed on a policy framework for safeguarding interests of overseas Indian workers.


"It is imperative that we develop a policy framework and an institutional arrangement that will best serve the overseas Indian workers over the medium to long term," Ravi said.


"Such a policy framework must include certain non-negotiable terms of the work contract, an effective outreach program for redressing grievance and a strong legislative framework to deal with intermediaries for the exploitation of the workers."


The minister said that the emigration process was being revamped "to make it simple, efficient and transparent and to eliminate intermediaries".


He also said that a host of measures had been finalized for the protection of women emigrants. "Women emigrant workers, particularly those in the household service sector, should be at the centre of all our policy initiatives. They are the most vulnerable. They suffer gender bias, economic bias and do not have the protection of labor laws."


He added that the government would overhaul the recruiting system to hold recruiting agencies accountable for irregularities.


Ravi called upon the envoys attending the meet to take the initiative in signing bilateral labor welfare pacts between India and the different countries, on the lines of the ones signed with United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait.


"We have initiated a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Malaysia and an additional protocol with Qatar. We hope to conclude these at the earliest," he said, adding that India has proposed negotiations for similar MoUs with Bahrain, Oman and Yemen.


Stating that 46 percent of Indian workers in Saudi Arabia were in the informal sector and not covered by labor laws, Ravi said: "We need to take up the issue of signing an MoU with Saudi Arabia through a strong diplomatic effort."


There are approximately five million Indians in the six GCC countries of UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait. Many of them are working as contract laborers in the booming construction industry there.


In Malaysia, people of Indian origin constitute approximately eight percent of the country's population of around 24 million. Many of them had migrated from India to work in the rubber plantations in the Southeast Asian nation. Jordan, Yemen and Libya too have large numbers of Indian workers.


Ravi said the government was working closely with the International Organization for Migration to establish an Overseas Indian Resource Centre in the UAE. "We must explore this option in other countries, which have a large Indian workforce," he said.


These centers, he said, would provide a wide range of services including information dissemination, legal assistance, temporary shelters and healthcare.


He also said that the government would soon establish a Council for Promotion of Overseas Employment to serve as a think tank and to devise strategies to help emigrant workers benefit from the labor supply gaps in the overseas employment market.






Many members of GOPIO Berlin, a chapter of GOPIO International, together with other Berliners held a silent Peace March to protest against the tragic attack on eight Indians who were injured in a racist assault at a community fair in Mügeln near the city of Leipzigin Eastern Germany on the night of 18th/19th of August 2007.


A group of about 50 young Germans chased the Indians who sought shelter in a pizza parlor run by an Indian. Two of the injured Indians who were mostly outdoor market merchants in the region, were hospitalized. The mob of racist Germans shouted slurs such as "foreigners out".  As many as 70 police officers were called to disperse the attackers and restore order. Four assailants and two policemen were also injured in the incident.


GOPIO Demonatration in Germany 

Photo: GOPIO-Berlin Protest March and delivering flower presentations to German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel

Through the rally against violence and hate against Indians, the marchers expressed appreciation for the firm stand taken by the German Government. They however stated that they would not be intimidated by the misdeeds of a small group of racist hot-heads.


The marchers carried flowers as a symbol of peace, respect, love and harmony instead of posters, banners, drums, or loudspeakers. GOPIO Berlin chapter president, Barjinder Sodhi presented a memorandum to the duty officer of German Chancellor Mrs. Dr. Angela Merkel. The memorandum included many demands including, prompt completion of investigation of the race riots by the Government investigating agency, providing report to community and punishing the guilty as per law of the land; taking necessary measures to avoid repetition of similar future incidences; and taking steps to ensure safety of immigrants from India.




GOPIO in association with the EICC and in cooperation with the Indian Embassy in Brussels will organize an interactive session; followed by a dinner, for a cross party Indian Parliamentary delegation which will visit Brussels on 20 September 2007. The members of the delegation are: Dr K Kasturirangan, MP; Dinesh Trivedi, MP & Chairman, IEUFP, Trinamool Congress, Tariq Anwar, MP, Nationalist Congress Party; Lakshman Singh, MP, Bharatiya Janta Party, Mrs. Preneet Kaur, Indian National Congress.


The members of Parliament will be in Brussels for three days from Sept. 17 to attend a meeting of the India-European Union Forum of Parliamentarians (IEUFP). The formation of the India-European Union Forum of Parliamentarians in 2005 was an initiative to accentuate the India-EU partnership in a multitude of spheres through inter-parliamentarian dialogue and cooperation. The forum has representation by parliamentarians from across the political spectrum. The forum is chaired by Dinesh Trivedi, MP. Shri  Ramesh Chandran, Adviser to the FICCI and the Executive Director of the Forum will also accompany the delegation. GOPIO has invited important members of the Indian Diaspora to attend the session and exchange views.    


For more information and Sunil Prasad, Tel/Fax: 0032 2 469 2677, GSM: 0472-207 338, E-mail:




GOPIO is planning to revise and bring out an updated version of its previous book, "Global Indian Diaspora: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" published in 1993. The revised edition shall include articles and information about lot more countries than the earlier version which had information about 28 countries only. However, GOPIO would need help of NRIs/PIOs settled in various countries to provide the bare minimum information, such as no. of NRIs/PIOs in the country of their residence, number of religious places, restaurants, etc. The questionnaire is available at GOPIO website at and requires only 15 to 20 minutes to respond. Please complete the questionnaire (whatever questions you can answer)and email to Dr. Jagat Motwani at 631-421-4688 or e-mail:




GOPIO CT-Chapter will offer a FREE lecture "Heal Your Fatigue and Stress Fast" on Thursday, October 18, 2007, 6:30 pm - 8 pm at Stamford Hampton Inn & Suites in Stamford, Connecticut. Participants will discover an 8-step strategy to release stress and increase vitality fast and 10-minute technique to overcome stress, anger, fears and guilt. Speaker Renu Agrawalis an ESOCEN Certified Trainer and Coach-Healer specializing in healing Stress, Fatigue and Sleep Disorders. She is the Director of ESOCEN Renewal Center in Stamford, CT, USA and country coordinator for India.


Light refreshments will be served. RSVP by: October 15, 2007. Contact: Sangeeta Ahuja (203) 329-9744 to Anita Bhat  (203) 595-0159.




As part of its community reach program, the GOPIO Belgium, in association with the EICC, organized a summer Barbeque outside Brussels on 25 August 2007.  This was the Second such BBQ program being organized by the organizations. The BBQ was attended by more than 125 members of the Indian Diaspora, native Belgians and representatives of Diplomatic Mission from India, South Africa, Singapore and Malaysia.


The history of presence of the Indian Community in Belgium is not very old but they have made a remarkable contribution to the Belgian economy. However, this is not very widely recognized. The land of Belgium is the home to more then ten thousand Indian Diaspora and this community has been the core of EU-India trade relations and they have integrated into the Belgium society in all spheres.


The GOPIO and EICC have noticed that in spite of this integration there is a wide gap of cultural and social divide between them and the Belgians and therefore there was a need to have a regular interactive and intense closer co-operation between them. GOPIO believes that such events do help to bridge these cultural divide.  The BBQ was followed by a gala cultural program.




GOPIO's latest chapter will be inaugurated on September 24th at Royal Albert Palace (1050 King George Road, Ford, New Jersey) on Monday, September 24th at 7 p.m. The chief guest will be Vayalar Ravi, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs along with MOIA Secretary Nirmal Singh. GOPIO International officers Dr. Thomas Abraham (Chairman), Inder Singh (President), Dr. Piyush Agrawal (North America Regional Vice President) and Ashook Ramsaran (Secretary General) will be present.


GOPIO-New Jersey chapter is being launched by GOPIO Life Members Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Ram Gadhavi, Jaswant Modi, Dhiraj Solaki, H.R. Shah, Rajul/Prakash Shah, Yash Pal Soi and Dr. Asha Samant. Other members of this committee are Shobana Patel, Chandrakant Trivedi, Alex Koshy, Dr. Rajeev Mehta, Pratima Mahajan, Ravi/Kamlesh Mahrotra, John Stephen, John Sachariah and Rakesh Gupta.


Admission is FREE. Dinner will be served after the inauguration ceremony.


Contact: Dr. Sudhir Parikh, e-mail:; or Ram Gadhavi at 973-628-8269 or Jaswant Modi e-mail: 732-968-0867 or Dhiraj Solanki 973-574-8090.




The Queen has appointed Paul Sabapathy Esq. CBE as Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant for the County of the West Midlands following the retirement of Sir Robert Taylor KCVO, according to a statement issued from 10 Downing Street.


"Lord-lieutenants are the monarch's representatives in their lieutenancy. It is their foremost duty to uphold the dignity of the Crown, and in so doing they seek to promote a spirit of co-operation and good atmosphere by the time they give to voluntary and benevolent organizations and by the interest they take in the business and social life of their counties," an official said explaining the appointment.


The office dates from the reign of Henry VIII (1509-1547) in the Tudor days, and the Lord-Lieutenant was originally responsible for the maintenance of order and for local defense. The current responsibilities include all aspects of visits by members of the Royal Family, escorting Royal Visitors, presentation of awards and medals on behalf of the Queen, representing the Queen at a variety of events, chairmanship of the advisory committee that recommends the appointment of magistrates to the Lord Chancellor, liaison with local units of the armed forces, and advising on honors nominations.


The West Midlands covers Birmingham, Britain's second largest city, Coventry, Solihull, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell, and Dudley, with a total population of about 3.5 million. There have been only two previous holders of this office since 1974, when the county was established.


Sabapathy is currently the chairman and pro-chancellor of the University of Central England (UCE), Birmingham, the first non-white to hold the post. Born in Chennai, Sabapathy moved to Britain in 1964. He was also chief executive of North Birmingham Community NHS (National Health Service) Trust, serving until 2000. Sabapathy is currently chair of Birmingham East and North Primary Care Trust, vice chair of the NHS Confederation Primary Care Trust Network, a committee member of the Higher Education Funding Council and a trustee of the Bournville Village Trust. He has been a member of the boards of the Birmingham and Black Country Development Corporations, Standards Board for England, and of the National Blood Authority, chair of the West Midlands Industrial Development Board, past president of Walsall Chamber of Commerce, and a trustee of the Refugee Council.


Sabapathy was awarded the OBE for services to urban regeneration in 1995 and a CBE in 2004 for services to business and education in the West Midlands. Sabapathy lives in Sutton Coldfield, is married to Win, and they have two adult children.




Romesh Ratnesar, who has been the world editor of Time since 2004, is going on book leave and is being succeeded by Aparisim "Bobby" Ghosh, who's been in the magazine's Baghdad bureau for four-plus years. In a memo, Time editor Rick Stengel has announced that Bobby Ghosh has been named World Editor."


Based in New York, Bobby will be responsible for editing the domestic magazine's international coverage. In that role, he will be working closely with Michael Elliott, who leads the increasing coordination of our international output across all editions and Bobby's extraordinary work from Iraq and his dedicated support of TIME's Baghdad bureau has been inspiring.


Bobby succeeds one of the great all-time TIME world editors, Romesh Ratnesar, who has departed for a book leave.




Dr. Mohinder Sambhi, Professor Emeritus at David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, endowed setting up the Centre of India Studies in memory of his wife, Minno, by donating $2 million to John Hopkins University, Washington. Two years ago, he had helped set up a chair, in memory of his wife, for Indian classical music at UCLA, with a donation of $1million. 


Dr. Sambhi was born in Ludhiana, Punjab and was a hypertension specialist. He was a professor at UCLA School of Medicine from 1971 to 1994.


India studies center at John Hopkins is planned to be the leading center for discussing key issues relating to India. It could also work as a platform for discussions on bilateral relations between India and the US.




Deputy US Trade Representative Karan Bhatia resigned from his position after serving in that capacity for two years. He was the highest ranking Indian-American in the Bush Administration.


Bhatia served the Bush Administration altogether for six years. During his tenure as the deputy Trade Representative, Bhatia was responsible for overseeing U.S. trade relations with Asia and Africa. Before he became the deputy trade representative, Bhatia served as Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Aviation and International Affairs and Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Industry and Security.




Indra Sinha, along with five other authors, has been short listed for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2007, the UK's annual celebration of the finest in fiction. The chair of judges, Howard Davies announced at a press conference at Man Group plc offices in London on September 6, 2007. The six authors were chosen from a longer list of 13. Sinha's novel Animal's People is about the tragedy in Bhopal.


Each of the six short listed authors receives £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their own book. The winner will be announced on October 16 at an awards ceremony at the Guildhall, London and would receive £50,000 in prize.


Indra Sinha lives with his family in France. He was born in India in 1950 and spent his beginning years in Bombay, Hyderabad and Rajasthan.






One hundred years ago, on September 4, 1907, all Hindus(Sikhs) in Bellingham (state of Washington), who were working in the city's saw mills were pulled from their homes and mills, beaten and rounded up and lodged in the basement of police station for their alleged safety. During the few days following the incident, all of them were forced to leave the city.


Bellingham City Proclaims Healing and Reconciliation DayMayor Tim Douglas of Bellingham proclaimed Sept 4th, 2007 as a day of "Healing and Reconciliation." The mayor's proclamation was read in the presence of some members of the Indian community, residents of Whatcom County and many officials to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Hindu (Sikh) riots.


At present, there are a few hundred Indian families living in Bellingham and the neighboring cities. In connection with the 100th anniversary, a documentary "The Curse of Bellingham," was shown while some displays were organized at the Bellingham Public Library and Western Washington University's Wilson Library.


The local Sikh temple has raised $10,000 and is working with the city and county officials to erect a permanent memorial. The temple also organized "Celebration of Diversity" event which attracted large no. of locals. The city has also agreed to declare September 4 as the annual "Day of Healing and Reconciliation."


A recent article by GOPIO President Inder Singh titled "Bellingham Race Riots - Hindus Expelled from the City" explores the history of that tragedy in detail and has been published in various Indian Diaspora publications an is at GOPIO website (visit




Indian-American author, Shobhan Bantwal announces the release of her debut novel, THE DOWRY BRIDE.


The novel is set in India and tells the story of one young woman trapped in India's dowry system and her dramatic escape and action-packed journey to freedom and hope.


THE DOWRY BRIDE has garnered several excellent reviews prior to its release.  Ms. Bantwal will appear at various book signings and discussions at bookstores and libraries in the U.S. in the next few months.


For information, visit Shobhan Bantwa'ls website:




The Hindu Council of the Caribbean and Caribbean have planned a Caribbean Hindu Conference to be held on October 28, 2007 at the Learning Resource Center, University of the West Indies, Trinidad in Trinidad. The session starts at 1:00pm and concludes at 6:00pm.


The session will be inaugurated by His Excellency Shri Jagjit Singh Sapra, High Commissioner of India to Trinidad. There is a line-up of prominent speakers including: Swami Aksharananda ji "Conversion of Hindus"; Pandita Dr. Indrani "Invading the Sacred: An Analysis of Hinduism Studies"; Professor Prakash Persad; Professor Brinsley Samaroo "Hinduism in the Caribbean - Practices & Beliefs, Hindu Human Rights in the Caribbean".


Attendance is free and open to the public. For details, please contact:




South African Indian politician, who quit a government position last year over an alleged affair with a married woman, has become a member of the country's national parliament.


Narend Singh, the then provincial Cabinet Minister for Arts, Culture and Tourism in KwaZulu-Natal, resigned after he was caught on camera with a married woman at a hotel in Durban.Singh told the media that he was the 'victim of a plot'.


A police investigation was established to determine who was behind the DVD of his alleged affair with a Durban socialite. His alleged meeting with the woman was captured on camera and then distributed to post boxes and schools near his home town of Umkomaas, to the south of Durban.


Singh was chosen by his Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) to become an MP from Cape Town as the sitting parliamentarian died.Singh, a father of two teenage children, said that he was surprised by the support he received from the people and added that because of his family's help, he had overcome a tough time.


The IFP is led by the Zulu politician Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi.




The India Association UK donates £100,000 to much needed research into the cure for AIDS and Cancer. At a gala dinner which was hosted to celebrate the "Great Walk" undertaken by the chairman, Balwant Grewal, at the age of 68, in order to raise these funds. He walked from one end of India to the other and covered over 4000 km in five months to help raise this staggering amount.


Over 350 people attended the dinner in Central London together with dignitaries from both Houses of Parliament. Ministers from India House also attended. The event began with national anthems of both India and Britain followed by a cultural programme. In a speech, the Events Committee Chairman, Dr Rami Ranger MBE, thanked all those who supported the event especially those who also donated money from their hard earned incomes for these very worthy causes. He also praised the chairman, Bobby Grewal who sacrificed so much at the young age of 68 for others and further said that what we do for others lives on, but what we do for ourselves dies with us, and that Grewal's contribution will be remembered for years to come.


A cheque for £50,000 was presented to Professor Colin Green, Professor for Surgical Science, from the University College London and Director of Northwick Park Institute of Medical Science to support research into bowel cancer. A second cheque for £50,000 was presented to Dr Moses Kepembwa, Consultant Physician, HIV, at St Marks Institute, based in Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow. They both thanked the India Association, and in particular Mr. Grewal for highlighting the need for research into these dreaded diseases in the 21st century.


Mr. Virender Sharma, MP for Ealing Southall, praised all those who put back into society, from where we take so much. Lord Mohammed Sheikh praised Indians living in Britain.  Mr. Gurpal Gill of the India Association informed that the India Association was engaged in doing a lot more work in India itself. Other dignitaries present at the occasion included Gitesh Sarma, Minister from India House and Monica Mohta, Minister and Head of Nehru Centre.


Contact: Rami Ranger, Chairman, Events Committee, India Association of UK, E-mail:



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 (Gurgaon, Haryana, India) and Abu Thomas (New Rochelle, NY, USA)

Contributors of this issue: Inder Singh (USA), Sangeeta Ahuja (USA), Sunil Prasad (Belgium)


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