October 5, 2010
A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
Issue: IX-11October 5, 2010
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GOPIO has two major international conferences in London on October 26th and 27th, 2010. The two day meeting will be preceded by OPEN Community Session with GOPIO officials (ADMISISON IS FREE. All are invited) on October 25th starting at 4 p.m. with the meeting details and agenda as follows:
Monday, 25th October 2010  Time:  4 PM to 7PM
Venue: Bombay Palace, 50 Connaught Street London W2 2AA
The session will present Vision of GOPIO and hear from the community on pressing community issues of NRIs and PIOs.
Program and Agenda
Tea:  4PM to  4.30 PM

Meeting to start at 4.30PM

Welcome - Raj Loomba, Vice President GOPIO Europe

Introduction of London Steering Committee

Report on Upcoming Programs

Global Indic Women's Conf - Lady Shruti Rana, Chair, GOPIO Intl. Women's Council, UK

GOPIO Health Summit - Sangeeta Ahuja, Chair, GOPIO Health Council, USA

GOPIO Conference in New Delhi on January 6, 2010

Community Issues and Future Vision of GOPIO International

President Lord Diljit Rana, UK

Chairman Inder Singh, USA

Immediate Past Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham, USA

Exec. VP Ashook Ramsaran, USA

Vice Presidents Raj Loomba (UK), Dr. Piyush Agrawal (USA) and Deosaran Bisnath (Trinidad & Tobago)

 Open Discussion on GOPIO Vision

Concluding Remarks - President Lord Diljit Rana




GOPIO plans on holding an international conference on 26th October, 2010 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to be held at the National Liberal Club (One Whitehall Place) in London in London, UK. The conference theme is "Indian Diaspora's Role in New Economic World Order." Keynote addresses include: Lord Navnit Dholakia (House of Lords, UK); Lord Bhikhu Parekh (House of Lords, UK); Dr Amit Mitra, Secretary General - FICCI (New Delhi, India).


Sub-themes for the conference sessions are: Lessons from Indian Heritage in Sustainable Development; Relevance of Gandhian Economics in Today's World; Empowering Youth with Skills Training. REGISTRATION IS FREE. For more information, contact  Conference Convener Lord Diljit Rana, President of GOPIO International, For registration, contact Sameer Seth at


Conference Program

GOPIO Conference in London



GOPIO plans on holding the First Women's Conference on 27th October, 2010 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to be held at the National Liberal Club, One Whitehall Place, London, UK, following GOPIO's annual  conference on 26th October, 2010. The conference theme is "Women of Indic Origin: Issues and Solutions."


It will be one-day conference with speakers from UK and other countries.  The speakers would be both Women of Indic Origin (WIOs) as well as eminent persons who are authorities on personal, social, religious or economic issues regarding women and gender issues. The goal is to raise awareness on issues affecting women across the world in general and in particular women of Indic origin. It further seeks to revisit how, families, communities, institutions and governments can influence these issues and how education and awareness building can play its part in finding solutions. The keynote speakers will be parliamentarians, social workers and educationists.


Keynote speakers include:Her Holiness Anandmurti Guruma, Lord Meghnad Desai (House of Lords, UK); Baroness Shreela Flather, Baroness Sandip Verma (Peer & Minister in UK Government),  Sonal Mansingh (Bharatnatyam exponent, Padma Vibhushan) and Ranjana Agarwal (President - FICCI Ladies Organisation -FLO)


Sub-themes for the conference sessions are: The Role of Women in Sustainable Development; Legal and Marital Issues of Women of Indic Origin; Gender Issues in Education and Culture and Ways and Solutions for Success. For registration and more information, see below:

GOPIO International India Women's Conference Program-Part 1
GOPIO International Indic Women's Conference in London - Program Part 2

REGISTRATION IS FREEThe conference has been put together by  Lady Shruti Rana, Conference Convener & Chairperson, GOPIO International Women's Council at For registration, contact Sameer Seth at



The Health Council of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) (, together with GOPIO chapters of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Long Island, and Upper New York are delighted to invite members of the global Indian Diaspora to participate in the first Annual Health Summit to be held on November 12 -14 at the Crowne Plaza LaGuardia Hotel, East Elmhurst, New York City. 


The Health Summit is an initiative of GOPIO's Health Council.  Its goal is to improve the health of people of Indian origin by raising awareness of current and emerging health issues affecting them, and by promoting preventive practices and sharing information to better manage chronic diseases.  This year's summit will focus on Cardiovascular Health/Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes/Pre-Diabetes and Stress Management.  In addition to pharmaceutical or nutraceutical medication, the summit will also focus on lifestyle, diet and holistic health practices.  "GOPIO has taken this new initiative under its Health Council to promote health and wellness of our Diaspora, and the upcoming summit will provide health related talks to bring more awareness among the PIO community", GOPIO Founder President and Program Chair Dr. Thomas Abraham said on the preventive measures that could be taken especially for diseases to which people of Indian origin are more prone". 


The three-day summit with a panel of distinguished speakers and health practitioners will include interactive sessions with audience participation, breaks for exercise and meditation.  This year's summit will focus on Diabetes, Cardiovascular Health and Stress Management.  The target audience will comprise of South Asians from around the world with a majority from the Tri-State area who are committed to healthier living, and eager to learn more about the products and services offered by the diverse set of holistic healthcare providers.  Confirmed speakers include Dr. Enas A. Enas, a cardiologist and an expert on South Asian Heart Issues; Master Del Pe, a modern day guru of Energy/Yoga/Healing/Martial Arts; nutrition expert Dr. Wahida Karmally, Nutrition researcher and entrepreneur Dr. Madhavan Anirudhan; nutraceutical supplement expert Dr. Muhmmed Majeed; Ayurveda practitioners Dr. Prathibha Shah and Dr. Aparna Bapat, and Dr. Alex Zachariah a renowned speaker on Diabetes/Obesity.  During the last day of the summit, on the occasion of India's "Children's Day", Sunday November 14th morning, children's health and wellness sessions will be offered free to all.


"There is no easy way to deal with chronic diseases including diabetes and cardiac issues. Awareness, education and prevention play a huge role along with support and appropriate direction from the medical community.  Keeping this in mind I strongly believe that it is our responsibility to organize activities that bring culturally sensitive and practical information to the Indian Diaspora.  This summit is specifically designed to highlight the emerging health issues affecting people of Indian origin and we also want to honor our health service providers with community involvement", said Mrs. Sangeeta Ahuja, Chair of GOPIO Health Council.

More details on the upcoming GOPIO Health Summit will be available at  or contact GOPIO Health Council Chair Sangeeta Ahuja at 203-329-9744, E-mail  For more information, or to schedule an interview with the Health Summit organizers, please contact J. Nami Kaur at 914-476-2082, E-mail


GOPIO Health Council is now accepting nominations for the 2010 GOPIO Health Council Healthcare Awards to honor outstanding achievements of healthcare organizations and professionals (nurses, dietitians, dentists, lab technicians, pharmacists, physicians, scientists, podiatrists, audiologists, physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, etc.) who make a difference in our community through charity care or social service. With the Healthcare Awards, the GOPIO Health Council will salute the achievers of the Year. The 2010 GOPIO Health Council Healthcare Award Honorees will be recognized at the GOPIO Health Summit in New York, on Saturday evening, November 13, 2010. Please e-mail nominations (name, health care provider/organization name and address, telephone, e-mail, brief bio and a paragraph on achievements and service accomplishments) with supporting documents as pdf or jpg files to Deadline for submissions is Monday, October 18, 2010.


Finally, the committee chairs of GOPIO Health Summit are seeking engagement, participation, partnerships and sponsorships to help make this launch a success. A  number of sponsorship options are available that will showcase the sponsor's company, raise awareness of the healthcare offerings, products and services and provide opportunity to network with successful entrepreneurs, professionals, academicians, experts and thought leaders. 


A GOPIO delegation hosted a luncheon for Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) officials in New York on Monday, September 13, 2010. The luncheon meeting was organized and coordinated by GOPIO International Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran.


MOIA officials who attended: MOIA Secretary Dr A Didar Singh; Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC) Chief executive Officer Shefali Chatervedi; and Indian Council of Overseas Employment (ICOE) Chief executive Officer Mr G. Gurucharan.


GOPIO attendees: Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran; Immediate Past Chairman Dr Thomas Abraham; former GOPIO Academic Council Chairperson Dr Dr Jagat Motwani; GOPIO Central New Jersey Chapter President Dr Rajeev Mehta; GOPIO Upper New York Vice President Netram Rambhudan; GOPIO Women's Council Co-Chairperson Rekha Gupta; GOPIO Life Member Nohar Singh; GOPIO Life Member Dr Najma Sultana; GOPIO Health Council Chairperson Sangeeta Ahuja; Hema Virani, US Resident Director at International Institute of Fine Art (New Delhi-USA).


The discussion was interactive on many substantive issues and the results quite productive. Topics of discussion included matters of interest and concern to GOPIO and the global Indian community: Passport Surrender Issue - the Ministry of External Affairs would be issuing a complete guideline shortly, clarifying all the issues, with answers to queries of the past several months; Oct 26-27 conferences in London being inaugurated by MOIA Min Vayalar Ravi; Theme and relevant sessions for PBD2011; GOPIO's request for plenary or full session on "Kolkata Memorial"; phase 1 date re inauguration of Kolkata Memorial to be coordinated and confirmed shortly; GOPIO's objection to the proposed taxation on NRIs whose stay in India exceeds 59 days during a single visit; GOPIO request for revision of requirements for PIO cards for older generation PIOs; GOPIO's initiative on "Community Outreach" to identify issues of interest and concern to the global Indian Diaspora community,  beginning with regional meeting in New York on October 17, 2010; PBD Regional Meet in Toronto 2011.


 GOPIO Meeting with MOIA Officials, September 2010

Photo above: GOPIO and MOIA officials at the meeting. From L. to R.: Front: Dr Thomas Abraham, Dr A Didar Singh, Ashook Ramsaran, Dr Jagat Motwani. Rear: Shefali Chatervedi, G. Gurucharan, Netram Rambhudan, Dr Najma Sultana, Dr Rajeev Mehta, Sangeeta Ahuja, Nohar Singh, Rekha Gupta


Following the luncheon meeting, the Consulate General of India convened the "OIFC Investment and Interactive Meet in the USA" starting at 5:00pm, with presentations by Amb Prabhu Dayal, Consul General of India  in New York; MOIA Secretary Dr A Didar Singh; Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC) Chief executive Officer Shefali Chatervedi; Indian Council of Overseas Employment (ICOE) Chief executive Officer Mr G. Gurucharan; Dr Vishakha N Desai, President and CEO of the Asia Society; Mr Manishi Raychaudhuri, Director & Head (Research) BNP Paribas, India; Mr KVS Manian, Group Head - Consumer Banking, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd, India; Mr P Kishore, Managing Director, Everonn Education Ltd, India. The meeting was well attended with capacity seating and the interaction was excellent.



The National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA) (, which organized the First Global Convention of People of Indian Origin in 1989 where GOPIO was founded, celebrated its 16th Biennial Convention and 30th Anniversary on September 17-19, 2010 at the Crown Plaza LaGuardia Hotel and the World's Fair Marina Hall in Queens, New York City.  


NFIA, the largest umbrella organization of more than 200 associations, representing over 2.7 million Indian Americans hosted its members and guests during a 2.5 day event that included a welcome reception and convention inauguration on Friday, September 17, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. at the World's Fair Marina, Queens, N.Y., followed by a full day of conference at the Crown Plaza LaGuardia Hotel on Saturday, September 18, starting at 9:00 a.m. NFIA Founder President and GOPIO Chairman Emeritus Dr. Thomas Abraham  Dr. Navin Mehta was the Master of Ceremony in the   banquet. Lal K Motwani welcomed the audience and President Chandu K Patel delivered the Presidential address. 

NFIA Conv.Inauguration by Lighting of the Lapm by Amb.Arun K. Singh

Photo above: NFIA Convention inauguration by lighting of the lamp by Deputy Ambassador Arun Kumar Singh and other NFIA officials


Chief Guest at the inauguration was India's Deputy Ambassador to the US Arun Kumar Singh who in his inaugural address congratulated NFIA for its work in mobilizing Indian community for the last 30 years. New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli also spoke at the inauguration and complimented the community for its contribution to United States. 


Convention Convener Mr. Lal K. Motwani, Convener of the Convention and Executive Vice President of NFIA extended a warm welcome to all delegates and guest while NFIA President Chandu K. (CK) Patel delivered the presidential address highlighting NFIA's achievements in the last two years of his term.  Dr. Thomas Abraham, Founder of the NFIA was the Emcee.

NFIA Convention Souvenir Release and NY State Proclamation 

Photo left: Releasing Convention Souvenir Brochure: From L. to R: Chandu .K. Patel "CK", Deputy Ambassador Arun

Kumar Singh, Lal Motwani, Raj Purohit and Ritesh Agrawal. Photo right: New York Comproller presenting New York
State proclamation honoring the convention. Fro, L. to R. Dr. Thomas Abraham, Lal Motwani, Comptorller Tom DiNapoli,
Chandu .K. Patel "CK" and Ramesh Goyal


As part of the 16th biennial convention, ten conference sessions were held on Saturday with 43 speakers and panelists. The conference theme was "Indian Americans Celebrating Success, Overcoming Challenges" It was put together by NFIA founder president Dr. Thomas Abraham, who also served as Conference Committee Chairman.


The conference started with an opening keynote by Mr. Vivek Wadhwa, Senior Research Associate with the Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School.  The luncheon keynote address was delivered by Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati, Economist and University Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University delivered  the keynote address on Emerging US-India Relations.

Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati delivering keynote address

Photo above: Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati delivering the luncheon keynote address as Conference Co-Chair Prof. Maya Chadda looks on.


Prof. Bhagwati compared emergence of India as an economic power and compared it with China and how the US is dealing both these economic giants of the 21st century. He further added that the economic cooperation between India and US will increases in the future.


Eight other sessions on Saturday  included Indian American Community - An Emerging Identity,  Indian American Youth Achieving Success, Indian American Community - Relations with India, Indian Americans Making Impact in Philanthropy, Community's Leadership in Corporate America, Indian American Senior Citizens - Mobilizing Services, Community's Success in Political Involvement, Services to the Community - What is Achieved and Future Needs.


Photo below: Conference Session of Indian American Youth Achieving Success, From L. to R.: Pooja Eppanapally,

Amit Malik, Dr. Rupam Saran, Attorney Jessica kalra and Raina Himani Jain
NFIA Conference Sessions on Youth and Community Services  

Photo above: Conference Session on Social Service Needs - What is Achieved and Future Needs, From L. to R.: Ayaz Ahmad (SACSS),

Seema Agnani (Chhaya Community Development Corp.), Sudha Acharya (SACSS), Agnela Dias (Child Center of New York and
Priya Murthy (SAALT)



The 16th Biennial convention and 30th anniversary of NFIA - National Federation of Indian- American Associations concluded on Saturday, Sept 18th evening at Crown Plaza LaGuardia Hotel, New York with a Gala Awards Banquet, where ten prominent Indian - Americans were honored by NFIA for their outstanding achievements and contributions to humanity and society, echoing the theme of the conference: "Indian Americans Celebrating Success, Overcoming Challenges".  The dignitaries in the award ceremony included Consul Premod Bajaj from the Indian Consulate, Canadian Members of the Parliament Sukh Dhaliwal, Indian MP and Rajya Sabha member Prabhakar Kore of Belgaum - Karnataka and Hon. Upendra Chivakula, Dy Speaker, New Jersey State Assembly.


This year's awardees are recognized for their achievements in various fields as well as for philanthropy and community service. They are: Narpat Bhandari, a technologist and entrepreneur  for Leadership in Silicon Valley Hi-Tech industry; New York philanthropist Peter Bhedha for Community Service; Shanti Bhavan founder Dr. Abraham George in Education and Philanthropy; PND Hotel Investors CEO Pravin Khatiwala for Community Service and Hospitality; South Asian Times publisher Kamlesh Mehta in Media; Geotechnical Forensic expert Dr. Awtar Singh in Philanthropy; AAPI President Dr. Ajeet Singhvi for Organizational Achievement in Medical and Health Sciences; Manhattan College President Dr. Molly Easo Smith for Education; TV Asia Anchor Rohit Vyas for Television and Mass Media; and technology entrepreneur Dr. Vivek Wadhwa for Engineering, Technology and Society.


NFIA award recipients with NFIA officials after the award ceremony 

Photo above: NFIA award recipients with NFIA officials. From L. to R.: Lal Motwani, Chandy K (CK) Patel, Dr. Ajeet Singhvi, Vivek Wadhwa, Kamlesh Mehta. Narpat Bhandari, Praveen Khatiwala, Dr. Molly Easo Smith, Awatar Singh, Rohit Vyas, Peter Bheddah, Lavanya Reddy and Mohinder Singh Taneja 



At the conclusion of the conferences, three resolutions were passed pertaining US immigration reform, new NRI tax proposed by Govt. of India and rules on the surrender of Indian passport. They are as follows:


Resolution to the US Congress


Statement of Support of Immigration Reform  

The NFIA Convention calls for the passage of sensible and humane solutions to fix the broken immigration laws.


Whereas South Asian in the US possess a range of immigration statuses, including aspiring US citizens, permanent resident card holders, temporary workers (including H-1B visa holders), and undocumented individuals,

and whereas the diversity of immigration statuses results in an array of obstacles that community members confront due to current immigration laws, including lengthy wait-times for family- and employment-based visas due to visa backlogs; exploitation of workers due to immigration status; difficulties for H-4, dependents of H-1B visa holders, from being able to be employed; immigration related challenges to access to services and benefits; and the detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants due to harsh immigration enforcement measures carried out by federal, state and local law enforcement authorities;

and whereas the immigration reform legislation must promote the economic rebuilding of this country while also respecting civil rights of immigrants;

be it resolved that the US immigration policies must reflect the following principles:


7         Reducing family-based and employment-based visa backlogs

7         Creating opportunities for people who want to come to work in the US and be on the path to permanent residency with full worker protections

7         Establishing a path to permanent residency and citizenship for undocumented immigrants

7         Maintaining civil rights in immigration policies and ensuring that racial profiling does not occur in immigration enforcement measures

7         Ensuring immigration status ceases to a barrier for basic services and benefits and

7         Promoting citizenship and civic participation


Resolutions to Govt. of India - Taxes on NRIs after Stay of 60 days in India


Whereas non-resident Indians (NRIs) continue to have deeply inherent emotional feelings of affection and connection towards their motherland India and continue to travel to visit family and friends, look after personal property and/or conduct business,

And whereas such visits to India by non-resident Indians (NRIs) bring much economic benefits to India in the form of expenditures for travel, purchases, gifts and expenses incurred,

And whereas such visits additionally continue to nurture closeness to India in the form of family connections, conduct of business, personal and property transactions, and enhance cultural preservation and promotion outside of India among Indians and non-Indians,

And whereas such visits encourage more economic benefits with investments, acquired skills and expertise by both Indians and non-Indians to India,

And whereas the numbers of such visits continue to increase as the number of non-resident Indians (NRIs) working and living in other countries continue to increase annually,

And whereas the proposed taxation of non-resident Indians (NRIs) who stay beyond fifty nine (59) days during a single visit to India is a discriminatory,  harsh and unnecessary burden on the visiting non-resident Indians (NRIs),

Be it resolved that the proposed taxation of NRIs and their assets of those who stay beyond 60 days during a single visit is vehemently opposed on the basis of the potential and adverse effects on the NRI community, the consequential damage to NRI relations to India, the potential economic losses to India and diminished goodwill of NRIs towards India.


Resolutions to Govt. of India - Remaining Issue of Indian Passport Surrender


The Indian American community thanks Govt. of India for rescinding the passport surrender fee for those who became naturalized citizens of other countries before June 1st. On June 2nd Govt. of India announced that there won't be any penalty charges for those who did not surrender the passport within three years. However, many Indian missions are still charging a fee and penalty charges to those whose passports expired after January 1, 2005. The NFIA convention urges Govt. of India to follow its June 2nd announcement on the new passport rules




On Sunday, Sept. 19th, NFIA held its annual general body meeting presided by President Chandu K Patel - CK-  at Crown Plaza LaGuardia Hotel, Queens, New York  where elections were  held for the term 2010-2012. There was unanimous choice for the following positions, President - Lal K.  Motwani of New York, Secretary - Sachin Amin  of Los Angeles, Treasurer - Ritesh Agrawal  of New York,  and Joint Secretary - Dr. Satish Misra  of Maryland. Lal Motwani is a GOPIO Founding and Life Member and has been serving as President of GOPIO New York


In the elections held, Mr. Anil Yadav of San Jose, CA was elected as for Executive Vice President.  Three other Vice- Presidents elected are Dr. Madhavan Anirudhan of Chicago, Ashok Madan of Los Angeles and Kirit Patel of Los Angeles. 


 Six Directors-at-large were also elected as follows: Niranjan Patel - Southern California, Hari Har Singh- Maryland, Rajeshwar Prasad -  New York, Ajoy Dube - Southern California, Olahannan K Poulose (Paul Karukapillil, ) - New York,   and Lavanya Reddy - New York.


 NFIA's Regional Vice Presidents are:  Yogendra Gupta  for National Capital Region,  Sohan Joshi for Central US , Mrs. Anna Prasad for Mid-Atlantic,  Gope Gidwani  for New England,  Meena Goyal-De for New York,  Babu Patel  for Pacific South,  Anjali Sachdev for Pacific North,  Vasav Mehta  for Southeast  and Nilesh Agrawal  for Southwest regions. 


NFIA Team for 2010-2012 

Photo above: The New NFIA Team for 2010 to 2012. Sitting, from L. to R: Dr. Satish Misra, Dr. Madhavan Anirudhan, Anil Yadav, Chandu K. (CK ) Patel, Lal Motwani, Kirit Patel, Ashok Madan, Sachin Amin and Ritesh Agrawal. Standing, from L. to R.: Rajeshwar Prasad, Nilesh Agrawal, Meena Goyal-De, Dr. Hari Har Singh, Paul Karukapallil, Lavanya Reddy, Niranjan Patel, Yogendra Gupta and Anna Prasad.


The elected were sworn in by President Obama appointee and NFIA Foundation Chairman Dr. Rajen Anand.


The newly elected team pledged and assured they will work to gain more momentum in the Indian- American Community and launch programs and service to overcome challenges and succeed.  NFIA is the umbrella organization of  more than 200 organizations  representing 2.7 Million Indian- Americans in the United States. 


Mr. Lal K Motwani, the newly elected 11th President of NFIA is an ardent community activist, leader and organizer of numerous Indo-American events in New York and across America for more than  30 years.  He   served NFIA, GOPIO, FIA, SIAEA, Sindhi Association and organized several national events including 4th India Day Parade in New York and 30th Anniversary of NFIA.


The 3 day convention event in New York was a collective effort by all members and officials of NFIA, and the convention team includes Lal K Motwani, Convener, Chandu K Patel, President,  Dr. Navin Mehta, Dr. Harshad Bhat, Kenny Desai, Ritesh Agrawal- Co-Conveners, Dr Thomas Abraham, Dr. Rajen Anand, Dr. Maya Chhada and Dr. Parmatma Saran- Conferences.






GOPIO International has scheduled its annual Community Service Awards Banquet on January 6, 2011 in New Delhi immediately after GOPIO's annual conference on January 6 and preceding Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD2011) events of January 7 - 9, 2011. The GOPIO Community Service Awards (GOPIO CSA) are given to suitably qualified NRI and PIO individuals for outstanding community service, public service and/or significant charitable or philanthropic contributions of benefit to the community.


Nominations of suitable qualified candidates are requested for consideration by GOPIO CSA Selection Committee. For details of GOPIO CSA criteria and format for submission of nominations, visit


Nominations are to be submitted by December 4, 2010 to the attention of Ashook Ramsaran, Executive Vice President of GOPIO International at




GOPIO Sydney North West chapter is organising a charity show (Diwali Celebrations and Antakshari Night) on 6 November 2010 at 6.00 p.m. at Harvey Lowe Pavilion, Off Showground Road, Castle Hill (entry via Doran Drive). This charity show is being organised for aN under privileged school in Punjab. Singers and performers are invited to participate in Antakshari and can may contact Raj on 0433330722, Ravi on 0433179303 or Harry Walia on 0402842375 for their enteries by 20 October 2010."


For more information, contact Harmohan (Harry) Walia, GOPIO Area Coordinator, Sydney Region at




A GOPIO delegation met with Trinidad & Tobago's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Suruj Rambachan, at a luncheon meeting on September 26, 2010 in New York. Min Rambachan was in New York, along with Trinidad & Tobago's Minister Hon Kamla Persad-Bissessar, to attend the opening of the United Nations General Assembly. The GOPIO delegation comprised: GOPIO Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran; GOPIO Western New Jersey Chapter President Gary Mahabir;  GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago PRO Ena Maraj; GOPIO Life Member Nohar Singh; GOPIO Life Member Bhanu Dwarika; Community advocate Hazra Ali; Journalist Vishnu Bisram.


The meeting was very interactive and focused on several matters of interest to GOPIO and to Trinidad & Tobago's. These included the planned 2-day business investment conference (May 28-29, 2011), GOPIO role and activities in Trinidad & Tobago as well as the Caribbean region, the Kolkata Memorial project, medical tourism and related matters of mutual interest.  


GOPIO Meeting with Trinidad and Tobago Foreign Minister 

Photo above (l-r): Gary Mahabir, Ashook Ramsaran, Min Suruj Rambachan, Hazra Ali, Ena Maraj, Bhanu Dwarika, Nohar Singh, Vishnu Bisram




GOPIO WAIKATO organized a Seminar on Relaxation Meditation of heart & mind to commemorate International day of elders (1 Oct.). Held on September 30th, it was open to the general public. It provided practical information by Buddhist Monks- how to reduce distress and rejuvenate thoughts, positive emotions & mind.


Contact: Suman Kapoor, President of GOPIO WAIKATO, Tel -07-8392738




Donating blood is a civic and social duty. Every year many people die during surgery only because of not getting enough supply of blood in time. By donating blood we indirectly save many lives. This is a holy activity which is above all casts and Religions. GOPIO in Sydney firmly believes in these facts. The members of GOPIO Ryde and GOPIO Glenwood in their endeavor to make a difference in society have gone one step forward by organizing a Blood Donation Camp at Rose Hill, Sydney on the 21st of August, 2010. Red Cross Society was facilitating the process. The session was held in between 9:00 am in the morning till 11:30 so that most people could find time out and participate in the donation. All the chapters of GOPIO in Sydney participated in this camp.


 Despite a heavy schedule packed with federal elections of Australia, a good number set their foot forward for this cause and donated blood with the spirit of service to mankind. "We all are an educated lot and know the realities and myths associated with donating blood. If we do not set an example, who will? It was really nice to see so many of us actively showing solidarity for the cause. We hope this attempt will help save a few lives and for that we are happy", said Mr. Balbir Singh, the Secretary of GOPIO RYDE, who pioneered the organization of the camp. 

The donors were checked for any specific abnormalities before the blood was taken out from the system. Most of the members were deemed as capable of donating; a few were rejected, mostly on account of lower hemoglobin count in the blood stream. Blood donation is a safe process and in normal cases about 350 ml to 500 ml of blood is extracted per person.

Red Cross is facing a huge shortage in their blood banks at present and this gesture by all the members of GOPIO Chapters was welcomed whole-heartedly.


GOPIO Sydney Blood Drive 

Photo above: (From left to right) Sumeet Sarna, Harpreet Singh, Kunal Jain, Sarabjit Kalra, Harry Walia, (Gopio Area Coordinator Sydney Region), Deepak Sharma, Balbir Singh,(Secretary Gopio Ryde) Pavit Singh, Aayush Sharma, (President Gopio Glenwood); (Sitting) - Lucky Singh (President Gopio Sydney), Alka Sharma.




Dr. Prakash Narain, Mayor of the city of Cypress, California, has been appointed to serve his second four-year term on the Cypress City Council.The City of Cypress had three open seats for the November 2, 2010 election.  As of the close of the nomination period on August 6, 2010, there were no challengers to the incumbents Mayor Prakash Narain, M.D., Mayor Pro Tem Douglas Bailey, and Council Member Leroy Mills.  A special meeting was held on August 17, 2010 pursuant to the State Election Code to appoint the incumbents to their second terms.  With no longer a need for an election, the City of Cypress cancelled their local election for November, thereby saving the city nearly $80,000 in costs.


The 5 members of the Cypress City Council are allowed to serve a maximum of two four-year terms.  Each year the Council votes on which of their members shall serve the next year as Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem. These are one-year terms.  Narain served as Mayor Pro Tem in 2009.  His current mayorship term will end in December 2010.


 "I am honored to have the opportunity to serve this wonderful community for another term. I am very proud of what this City Council has accomplished in improving the infrastructure, maintaining a business-friendly environment, and providing quality programs for our residents," said Mayor Narain.  "We will continue to move Cypress forward in keeping with our tradition as a community of progress," added Mayor Narain. 


Cypress, located in Southern California's Orange County, is a city with a population of almost 50,000 people. Its population is 65 percent Caucasian and 21 percent Asian; however, South Asians comprise only 0.2 percent of the voting residents. Dr. Narain has been very active in the community for many years. He served eight years on the Cypress Senior Citizens Commission and was then elected in November 2006 in his first attempt at public office.


Prakash Narain is a physician with a specialization in internal medicine and geriatrics.  He has been in medical practice at the Leisure World Health Care Center in Seal Beach, California, for 23 years and served as Chief of Staff at Los Alamitos Medical Center in Los Alamitos, California in 2005-2006.  While serving as a City Council member, Narain has continued his fulltime medical practice and concurrently served two years as Chairman of the Governing Board of Directors of Los Alamitos Medical Center.


Narain grew up in Ranchi, India, attending St. Xavier's College, and later Darbhanga Medical College in Bihar. 


Dr. Prakash Narain's second and final term on the Cypress City Council ends in December 2014.




Ashish Vaidya, dean of the faculty at California State University, Channel Islands, has been named provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. Vaidya, who is also a professor of economics, has served as dean of the faculty at CSUCI since 2005. Prior to dean, he was the director of the Master of Business Administration program (2003-2005) and the founding director of the Center for International Affairs (2004-2006) at CSUCI, which is the newest of the 23 campuses in the California State University system.


Vaidya began his faculty career in 1991 at CSULA after completing his doctorate at the University of California at Davis. His fields of specialization are international trade, applied microeconomics and development economics. He has published research articles in the areas of strategic and optimal trade policy, agricultural policy, as well as pedagogical issues of business and management education in leading journals. Vaidya is also the editor of the two-volume Globalization: An Encyclopedia of Trade, Labor and Politics.




Dr. Chandersen (Chan) E.S. Choenni, acclaimed researcher and scholar on Indian migration to Suriname en The Netherlands has been appointed professor to the Lalla Rookh Diapora Academic Chair at VU University Amsterdam, starting 1 September 2010.  Chan Choenni (1953) is of Indian descent and was born in Paramaribo (Suriname). He migrated to The Netherlands in 1972.


He will be lecturing in particular the study the migration, history and integration of Surinamese Indians in The Netherlands and Suriname. Almost half of the Surinamese population in the Netherlands is from Indian descent (approximately 160.000), they are the largest group in Suriname (135.000). 


The collective experiences from the Surinamese Indians are of interest and pertinence to current discussions on migration and integration. A systematic study of this migration, mostly from the Bhojpuri speaking area in India, will put its history on the international academic map, simultaneously filling gaps in Dutch History books.


International studies and projects will be developed in collaboration with Anton de Kom University in Suriname and the Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute at Allahabad University in India. Collaborations with other institutes in India and the West Indies are being explored.


Professor Choenni has a Masters degree in political sciences and completed his PhD in social sciences at the University of Utrecht (1995) on the thesis "Colour in the Dutch armed forces". He has an elaborate list of publications on Indian Migration and in the field on Integration. He is currently serving as senior adviser to the department of Knowledge and Research of the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment. He has completed various tenures with four other ministries and has worked as a researcher with the University of Utrecht, the University of Leiden and the National Bureau against Racism in the Netherlands. He has been active in Surinamese Social Welfare organizations and currently serves on the board of three NGO's


The Academic Chair, established by the Lalla Rookh Diaspora Chair Foundation aims to promote studies in the context of the India Diaspora. It has been named after the first ship, Lalla Rookh, that brought indentured labourers from British India to Suriname in 1873. Until 1916 around 34,000 Indians were migrated to Suriname to maintain the plantation economy of Suriname.The chair has been established with the Faculty of Arts of VU University Amsterdam, which is considered one of the best in The Netherlands


For more information contact: Rajendre Khargi, general secretary of the Lalla Rookh Diaspora Chair Foundation, phone +31 612058276, or mail to




Indian American Rareed Zakaria, one of Newsweek's best-know columnists, has moved to Time Magazine. Zakaria, who had been mentioned as possible top editor at Newsweek, will have multiple hats at Time Warner. As package deal, Zakaria will have his office at CNN, where he does a weekly program, "Fareed Zakaria's GPS," and will contribute several specials a year to the news network. With this, Zakaria will be arrayed  over both television and magazine platforms. He will also serve as a consultant for HBO's documentary unit.




Anysha Panesar, a 16-year-old Indian origin teenager has been crowned America's Perfect Teen. The only problem is she is British. The teenager from Wales beat a host of American beauties to win the contest while on holiday in Florida and it has not gone down well with the losing candidates.


Parents of the American girls have protested to the organizers of the pageant, which has a USD 2,000 first prize, and an USD 18,000 scholarship to train as a TV broadcaster, reported Daily Mail online.


But Anysha has hit back, arguing the outcry is just sour grapes. "Some people did say I shouldn't have won because I'm British. But really I think the people who said that just said it because they didn't win," said the brunette beauty.


Anysha entered the teenage beauty pageant while at the family holiday home in Kissimmee, Florida. The 'America's Perfect Teen' contest, which included girls as young as 13, has a big following in the States.


But Anysha was stunned to beat the other 30 contestants from across US.


"My mum was sitting there crying her eyes out and my dad didn't know what to do with himself. My grandparents were on the phone, they were all so proud," said Anysha.


Anysha lives with her family in the village of Llangan in Vale of Glamorgan and is now back in classes at Howells School in Cardiff.Anysha won the scholarship to learn broadcasting in the US, which she plans to take up after her A-levels.She is also in talks to have her own TV show about her year as 'America's Perfect Teen'.




Three Indian-origin persons, including Foursquare's Naveen Selvadurai, have been named in Vanity Fair's 'Next Establishment 2010' list that features young "empire builders" poised to become the next top moguls. The list features music and culture website 'Desi Hits' co-founder Anjula Acharia Bath and founder and CEO of 'Bloom Energy' K R Sridhar. All three are new entries on the list.

The magazine said the 39 people listed in 'Next Establishment 2010' "are doing some empire building of their own--be it through iPhone apps, web retailing, fashion, entertainment, or environmental causes".

"Judging by their early achievements, it may not be long before they find their way onto the New Establishment," which is Vanity Fair's list of 100 most influential people of the Information Age. Bath, who ranks number two on the list, co-founded, a website about South Asian, particularly Indian music, lifestyle and culture.

According to Vanity Fair, what started out as a hobby - uploading podcasts of Indian-flavored dance music - has turned into a veritable marketing machine that specializes in all things Desi, or South Asian. Her Web site offers a continuous stream of content that covers everything from Bollywood gossip to the latest remix with Indian beats. Among the entrepreneur's high-profile backers are Interscope Geffen A&M Records chief Jimmy Iovine, the hedge fund D E Shaw and investor Vivi Nevo.

Foursquare's founders 28-year old Selvadurai and Dennis Crowley, 33 rank number nine on the list.  The duo's "cool mobile start-up" enables young urban hipsters to tap on their smartphones to "check in" whenever they are at a bar, restaurant, or any other venue, letting friends know where they are and how they like the place. Whoever checks in the most at a particular place is named its 'mayor'.

"Foursquare quickly caught on after launching in Austin in early 2009, and now it is spreading globally, with close to three million users and more than one million check-ins a day," the publication said.

On the number 33 spot is Sridhar, whose Bloom Energy makes the 'Bloom Box,' a device that converts natural gas into electricity with drastically lower carbon emissions. After spending eight years operating in stealth mode, Sridhar's Silicon Valley outfit finally unveiled the Bloom Box.




United News if India (UNI) has reported that noted Gujarati linguist and writer Dr. Babu Suthar has been awarded the prestigious Diaspora Lekhan Paritoshik (Award for Diaspora Writings) for 2010.


Dr. Suthar is the first Gujarati author to receive the literary award for diaspora writers, instituted by Rajkot-based the Gardi Research Institute of Diaspora Studies (GRIDS).


In its award citation, the institute said the selection committee for the award has recognized and deeply appreciated Dr Suthar's contribution to diasporic writings, especially through his poems published in various journals in the past, and now collected in a poem collection, 'Gharjhurapo' (homesickness).


The award would be presented to Dr. Suthar in October.


Dr. Suthar has worked on South Asian linguistics, Indo-Aryan linguistics and typological linguistics. As a creative writer, he writes novels, poems and short stories in Gujarati, which is his mother tongue and as a literary theoretician, he is interested in contemporary literary theories and South Asian regional literatures.


He has published many articles in linguistics and literary theories. He has also compiled a Gujarati-English learner's dictionary. He teaches courses on Gujarati language and culture at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA.




California's Long Beach City Council has unanimously selected Suja Joseph Lowenthal, a representative  of the Second Council District, as the city's vice mayor. She has been a member of the council since 2006. As vice mayor, Lowenthal is responsible for facilitating city council meetings and representing the City of Long Beach at the special events when the mayor is unable to attend.


Originally from Kerala , Lowenthal came to the US with her parents at the age of seven. She earned bachelor's degree in economics from UCLA, a master's degree from California State University, Los Angeles and a doctorate in policy, planning and development from USC.


In 2008, Lowenthal led a delegation of government and business leaders on a trade mission to India.





Guyanese born PIO Janet Naidu has released her new book titled "Sacred Silence" was launched on Saturday, August 28, 2010 in Richmond Hill, New York, USA at an event co-sponsored by GOPIO. Sacred Silence is Janet Naidu's third collection of poetry.  This collection traces past and present in one's journey, exploring the mysteries of love, despair and endurance, attachment and departure, longing and fulfillment.  In spite of life's baffling moments, the presence of peace and healing dwell at the core of one's being, bringing new reflections and a wisdom in our connection with the world.


Born in Covent Garden, East Bank Demerara, south of the Guyanese capital, Georgetown, author and poet, Janet Naidu immigrated to Canada in 1975. Her first collection of poems, Winged Heart (Greenheart, 1999), was short listed for the Guyana Prize for Literature in the poetry category in 2000. It is a collection of poems of love, power and ancestral memories set in Guyana and Canada. The weaving of the emotional connections is captured in layers of meaning that illuminate an understanding of migration, tragedy and resilience. The healing elements of human survival and continuity form a thread throughout the poems.


"Nostalgia and memory for the homeland are at the heart of Janet Naidu's Sacred Silence - poems that have a meditative appeal with uniform rhythms and sustained imagery, reflecting a particular Guyanese sensibility and consciousness. Overall, these poems are timely as they reflect Naidu's vision of peace and solitude in our fast-paced, frenetic world", said Cyril Dabydeen, former Poet Laureate of Ottawa and winner of the Guyana Prize for Fiction for Drums of My Flesh. In addition, Naidu promotes and leads workplace diversity issues and programs, and is a strong advocate for equality and human rights.



New Delhi-born Satinder Kaur Ahluwali, later known as Sindi Hawkins, who became the first Indian origin provincial minister in Canada, died recently in Calgary after a long illness. The 52-year-old Sikh woman represented the constituency of Kelowna-Mission in the British Columbia provincial assembly from 1996 till last year when she pulled out of the fray because of her illness.  Sindi went on to become the deputy speaker, then the minister of state for intergovernmental relations and finally the minister of health planning in British Columbia province.

Reacting to the news of her death, British Columbia premier Gordon Campbell, "Today is a somber day for British Columbia; we have lost an inspirational person, an advocate, a role model and a great community leader. "Anyone who ever met Sindi was struck by her remarkable spirit for everything she put her efforts toward.''  The premier, under whom she served as a minister, added, "She was an incredibly kind and considerate human being who dedicated her life to helping others. She was able to connect with people from all walks of life, something she showcased in her careers as a nurse, lawyer, elected official and cancer advocate.''

After she was diagnosed with myeloid leukemia in 2004, she recovered twice on bone marrow - donated by her sister - transplantations. As the province's minister for health planning, Hawkins played an important role in the expansion of programmes for training of nurses and doctors. A post-graduate in neuroscience nursing, she was the first Canadian nurse to be certified in her field by the Canadian Nursing Association.  In 1996 she was also the first Indian-origin woman to get elected in Canada.




To commemorate the 75th anniversary of arrival of Indian Cinema (Bala Joban) in Trinidad & Tobago, the High Commission of India in Trinidad & Tobago collaborated with Movie Towne will organize Indian Film Festival from 17-23 November 2010. During this period 10 most popular Indian movies, including Bollywood films and films in different regional languages such as Bengali, Gujarati, Kanada, Malayalam, Telugu, Manipuri and Tamil, will be shown in Movie Towne at Port of Spain and Chaguanas.


Contact: R. Shanker at High Commission of India in Trinidad & Tobago at +1-868-627-7129




Non-resident Indians (NRIs) will now have a right to vote in elections, with Parliament passing the relevant bill, even as government promised to bring in comprehensive electoral reforms legislation soon. 


Replying to a debate on the Representation of People (Amendment) Bill, 2010 to allow NRIs to exercise their franchise in Indian elections, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily   said the House had no "dispute" over the need for providing voting rights to NRIs, but members had views on the modalities for allowing that right, which would be addressed separately. Describing the current amendment to the law as long-awaited, he said the current bill aimed to provide rights to those Indians, who had gone abroad for employment or education but have not obtained citizenship of the country they were residing now, to get registered in the electoral rolls and vote in elections to legislatures and Parliament.


Noting that 25 million Indians living broad were not able to participate in elections to the country's legislative bodies, he said 25 nations globally had accorded such a right to its citizens living away from home country and that this right would not be unique for India


Responding to members' queries on the bill, Moily said internet voting was one option that the government would consider in the future once technical expertise and infrastructure was in place within the country, adding that such a facility was yet to be introduced in India. "Let us look forward to that day," he said, supporting the suggestion made by members.


He said NRIs would be allowed to register as voters in the constituency from where they had obtained their passports "to avoid multiplicity of registering in voters list."  The Minister supported the option of registering in any constituency for NRIs irrespective of their passport address, but that issue would be resolved after finding a way to avoid "multiplicity" of registration.




The annual ITEC Day and Hindi Day were celebrated by the High Commission of India at India House on 15 September '10. Dy Permanent Secretary, Mr. Richard Madray, Ministry of Public Administration and Ms. Bebe Abhoja, Director, Ministry of Education represented GoTT.  Prof. H.S. Adesh, President, Bharatiya Vidya Sansthaan, was the Guest of Honour on the occasion. The event was attended by heads and representatives of various socio-cultural organizations.  As per tradition, ITEC and Hindi scholars of Trinidad & Tobago were invited to attend the celebration, besides members of the recently formed India Alumni Association also participated in the programme.  The Hindi Seva Samman (Award for promotion of Hindi in T&T) 2010 was conferred on Ms. Yashodra Singh, Hindi Teacher in Holy Faith Convent for her exemplary service in popularization of Hindi in Trinidad and Tobago.


High Commissioner of India also gifted Hindi Dictionaries, Books and CDs to various organizations working for the cause of Hindi, such as, Hindu Prachar Kendra, Hindi Nidhi Foundation, Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, NCIC, GOPIO, Gandhi Seva Sangh, Bharatiya Vidya Sansthan, Trinidad Sevashram Sangh, SWAHA. Hindi students recited Hindi poetry, bhajan and speeches.


Second Secretary M.P. Bhardwaj briefed the audience about various ITEC courses in the fields of management, administration, public finance, SMEs, standardization, renewable energy, IT etc. He also talked about some of the prominent institutions offering courses in India and advised the gathering on the terms and conditions governing ITEC courses.


ITEC scholar, Ms Rhona Mandool, a Systems Analyst at the T&T Ministry of Health who attended an ITEC course on GIS and Remote Sensing at the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, spoke about her experience and stated that she found the course very useful and recounted her valued experiences in India. A Bharatnatyam dance item was presented by Ms. Reshma Ria Soodeen, a former ICCR scholar, to lend colour to the occasion.


Contact: R. Shanker at High Commission of India in Trinidad & Tobago at +1-868-627-7129


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, Email:

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 or 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),

Lord Diljit Rana (GOPIO Intl, Belfast, UK), Lady Shruti Rana (GOPIO Intl, Belfast, UK), Sangeeta Ahuja (GOPIO Intl, USA), Shailesh Naik (GOPIO-CT, Stamford, CT, USA), Nami Kaur (GOPIO/NFIA, Yonkers, NY, USA), Harmohan Walia (GOPIO Australia), Lucky Singh (GOPIO-Sydney, Australia), Suman Kapoor (GOPIO-Waikato, New Zealand)

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