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Issue: VI-16 December 25, 2007
December 25, 2007
A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
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GOPIO International has scheduled its annual Executive Committee and Executive Council meetings starting on January 6th morning IN New Delhi in conjunction with the Pravasi Bharatiya divas, followed by its Annual Convention with a tribute to the late Dr. L.M. Singhvi starting at 2 p.m. followed by two sessions on Current Issues and Concerns Confronting the Diaspora and NRI's/PIO's Property Scams and Legal Ramification. On, January 7th, GOPIO has put together an Education Summit with the theme, MASS EDUCATION IN INDIA - ROLE OF NRIs/PIOs.


NRIs/PIOs have helped to bring investments, new businesses and new technologies to India. With a large number of successful NRIs/PIOs who are willing to help, we need to launch a movement among NRIs/PIOs to continue and increase their support in the social development of India, especially in mass education and health services. The one day Education Summit being organized by GOPIO on January 7th is to bring NRIs/PIOs closer to education service providers in India and to build network of supporters in mass education in India.


We invite you to this program. The registration including lunch is FREE. It is mandatory to register for attending the program. All those planning to attend the Education Summit will be welcomed at the Awards Dinner on January 6th evening at Hotel Ashoka. Those who are pre-registered for Education Summit can collect their complimentary banquet tickets on January 6th afternoon before the conference session begins at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Conference Room, Federation House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi.


We request you to forward this E-mail to all those who are currently involved in education for the masses in India so that they could take advantage of this opportunity to network with Overseas Indians and their NGOs.


Funding to meet expenses for this convention and conference sessions are from small donations and sponsorship. If you feel, you want to support such GOPIO initiatives in future, we welcome donations and GOPIO membership (visit


GOPIO is a secular, 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.Connect brings service providers in India and the NRI NGOs closer for India's development.


We welcome your suggestions and participation for a fruitful convention in New Delhi.


Dr. Thomas Abraham                                         Inder Singh

Chairman                                                          President



Global Organization of People of Indian Origin

(GOPIO) International


Invites you to



January 6th & 7th, 2008 New Delhi, India


In Conjunction With




Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Conference Room, Federation House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi

(Tel: 91-11 2373-8760/70)




Sunday, January 6th, 2008

9:30 am to 11:00 Noon GOPIO Executive Committee Meeting (Not open to public)
11:00 am Registration for GOPIO Convention begins (till 5.30 p.m.)
11:00 am to 12.00 Noon GOPIO General Council Meeting (Not open to public)
12:00 Noon - 1.00 pm. GOPIO Council & Chapter Reports (Open to Public)
North America - Dr. Piyush Agrawal, Regional Vice President
                        Zafar Iqbal, Delegate, Washington D.C. Chapter
                       Ashok Kumar, Delegate, San Jose, California Chapter  
South America and Caribbean - Ambassador Krishna Nandoe, Regional Vice President
Middle East - Sunny Kulathakal, Regional Vice President
South East Asia - George Abraham, Regional Vice President
Pacific/Ocenia - Noel Lal, Coordinator, Australia
Far East - K. Sital, Coordinator, Hong Kong
Europe- Sunil Prasad, President, GOPIO-Belgium Conference Report
          RajindreTewari, President GOPIO-Amsterdam
1:00 Noon - 1.45 pm. Lunch
2:00 pm to 2:45 pm 
Tribute to the Late Dr. L.M. Singhvi
GOPIO is grateful to late Dr. L.M. Singhvi, formerly Chairman of High Level Committee on Indian Diaspora, for his outstanding contributions to the Indian Diaspora movement, for his role in the grant of dual nationality to NRIs/PIOs and for his initiative in starting and organizing PBD.

Chair: Ambassador (Retired) J. C. Sharma, Anthar Rashtra Sahayog Nyas

Speakers:  Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International, USA
     Lord Bhikhu Parekh, House of Lords, London, U.K.
     Raj Loomba, Businessman and Philanthropist, U.K.
     Ram Lakhina, The Netherlands, Former Chairman, GOPIO International
     K.N. Gupta, President GOPIO India, New Delhi
     Dr. Abhshek Singhvi, MP, Spokesman for the Congress Party, India
Session Coordinators: Inder Singh, President GOPIO Int'l & Ashook Ramsaran, Secretary General
Conference Program Schedule


3:00 pm
Inauguration of GOPIO Convention 2008


Welcome: K.N. Gupta, Convention Chair and President GOPIO India, New Delhi
Welcome: Inder Singh, President, GOPIO International, USA
Greetings: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International, USA
Inauguration Ceremony: Lighting of the Lamp
Chief Guest - Honorable Meira Kumar, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment
Release of the book by Anand Mulloo of Mauritius
Recognition of Sponsors
Note of Thanks: Ashook Ramsaran, Secretary General, GOPIO Int'l., USA
Session I: 3.30 pm- 4.50 pm    Current Issues and Concerns Confronting the Diaspora

Chair:   Dr. Jagat Motwani, Author, Writer and Chairman, GOPIO Academic Council

Co-Chair: Dr. Shekhar Tewari, Co-Chair, GOPIO Tracing of Roots Committee
Keynote Speaker: Hon. Basdeo Panday, Leader of the Opposition and former Prime Minister, Trinidad
Panelists:  Vijay Kumar Sharma, Senior Partner, Arlingtons Sharmas Solicitors - Indian community Issues in Europe
Buddhdev Pandya MBE, Hon Corporate Advisor, British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) - Issues of Medical doctors in UK
Mr. Ganeshan, Malaysia - Current Temple issue in Malaysia
Dr. Piyush Agrawal - Community issues in North America
Session II: 5.00 pm- 6.30 pm   NRI's/PIO's Property Scams and Legal Ramifications

There has been a growing number of scams against NRI's/PIO's property, whether it a hereditary, residential, or commercial.  One of the reasons for these scams is that the NRIs are at a great disadvantage that they can not contest court cases in India. The civil case takes 15-20 years and for a criminal case the plaintiff need to be present on every court date in India which is impossible for any NRI. In this session, we will bring out many of these issues and the legal experts in the panel will address these issues with focus on How the NRI's can use the Indian legal system in a timely fashion to resolve their property issues.

Moderator & Chair:  Subhash C. Sharma, Professor of Economics, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA
Co-Chair: Yatish Choudhari, USA
Panelists: Mr. M. M. Maheshwari, New York, USA
                  Ms. Anjali Sachdev, Seattle, Washington, USA
                  Mr. Subhash C. Sharma, USA
                  Ved Prakash Sharma, President Delhi Bar Association
  Dr. Surat Singh (Doctor of Law -Harvard), Advocate Supreme Court and Delhi High Court
                  Mr. Jagdish Vatsa, Advocate Delhi High Court

7:30 pm to 11:00 pm

Reception, Entertainment and Grand Awards Banquet with the Presentation of GOPIO's Pravasi Bharatiya Community Service Awards

Ashoka Hotel

Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakaypuri, NewDelhi

Telephone 11-2611-0101, 11-2611-6161

Chief Guest: Honorable Vayalar Ravi, Minister, Overseas Indian Affairs
Event Coordinator: Munish Gupta, Chair, GOPIO Media Council & Ashok Malhotra, Secretary GOPIO, New Delhi 
GOPIO Pravasi Bharatiya Community Service Awards will be presented to the following distinguished NRIs/PIOs.
  • Baroness Usha Prasher, U.K.  

Baroness Prashar has made an outstanding contribution in public policy and public administration, particularly in the fields of social justice, human rights, criminal justice, education, equality of opportunity and race relations. Her career includes being the Director of the Runnymede Trust, the Director of the National Council of Voluntary Organizations, Chair of the Parole Board of England and Wales, Chancellor of De Montfort University and Chairman of the National Literacy Trust. Prior to her current appointment, as the inaugural Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission she was the First Civil Service Commissioner. She is also the Chairman of the Royal Commonwealth Society and non-executive Director of ITV. She was elevated to the House of Lords in 1999 where she sits as a crossbencher. In 1994 she was awarded CBE. 

  • PNC Menon, The Middle East

Menon had to drop out of Kerala Varma College, Thrissur to earn a living for the family.  In 1976, a chance meeting with Brig. Suleiman Adawi, captain in the army of the Sultanate of Oman, changed Menon's life forever.  Menon reached Muscat with Rs 50 in his pocket and partnering with Brig. Suleiman, started an interior decoration business. He later expanded his business to U.A.E, Bahrain and Qatar. In 1995, he founded Sobha Developers in Bangalore and has developed 29 projects with over 5 million sft. of built-up area while 30 major projects are in progress. In 1997, Oman government granted Mr. Menon citizenship of the Sultanate, a rare honor for a foreigner. He has won several accolades and awards, the latest being the Global Indian Splendor Awards 2007 given at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA.


Mr. Menon is engaged in numerous charitable causes and considers a God-given opportunity to pay back to society which has given him so much.  His philanthropic activities include Sobha Construction Academy which trains skilled tradesmen from the economically weaker section of society, Sobha Hermitage, a unique senior citizens' and widows' home with world class amenities, Sobha Health Care, a primary healthcare centre with high quality amenities for specialty treatment, Sobha Academy, an exclusive educational institution for the underprivileged children and social rehabilitation scheme for the people of two backward villages in Kerala.

GOPIO 2008 Community Service Award Recipients
GOPIO Pravasi Community Service Award Recipients for 2008. Clockwise from top left: Dr. Mani Bhaumik, Baroness Usha Prasher, Moses V. Nagamootoo, PNC Menon
  • Moses V. Nagamootoo, Guyana          

Born 60 years ago in a fishing village in Guyana, South America, Moses V. Nagamootoo, joined the struggle for independence of the then British Guiana at age 14. He served as an educationist, journalist, attorney-at-law, parliamentarian, and minister of Government, and contributed to the literary / cultural life of Guyana as a poet / author.


Nagamootoo has been in the forefront of efforts to defend press freedom and restore majority rule in Guyana. His work to promote participatory "grassroots" democracy and introduce major constitutional reforms is widely recognized.

  • Dr. Mani Bhaumik, USA

Dr. Mani Bhaumik spent his early childhood living in a mud hut of thatched roof and slept on rags. He came to the United States in 1959 with a Sloan Foundation Fellowship for post doctoral research at UCLA. Dr. Bhaumik achieved international recognition as a co-inventor of the laser technology that made the Lasik eye surgery possible.


Dr. Bhaumik shared his blessings by contributing to all the schools and colleges he attended in India by funding scholarships, recognizing excellence and to finance building of new facilities. A modern auditorium at his Alma Mater Scottish Church College bears his name. He has provided full financial support to over one hundred brilliant but underprivileged students for pursuing University education in science, engineering and medicine. He has been funding a revolving annual trophy through the US based Indian American Heritage Foundation, andhas instituted annual Mani Bhaumik Consciousness in Healing Award at the UCLA Medical School. He has written many articles for scientific journals and is the author of Los Angeles Times best selling book "Code Name God."

  • Ram Lakhina, The Netherlands

GOPIO Community Service Award Recipient 2008 - Ram LakhinaRam Lakhina was one of the founders of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), served as the Chairman of the GOPIO Constitution Committee and served as its first Chairman from 1994 to 2002. He was one of the pioneers in identifying NRIs/PIOs as a great national asset for India and in articulating the role which they can play in accelerating India's development.


In 1980 he started the Foundation for Critical Choices for India to mobilize intellectual and material resources of NRIs/PIOs for identifying critical problems facing India and for suggesting policy options for the solution of those problems. He was the President of the Foundation from 1983 to 1991 and then again from 1994 to 2003.  He is the founder and Executive President of the Netherlands India Chamber of Commerce and Trade (NICCT) from 2002 to date. Earlier he was the President of the Indo Dutch  Chamber of Commerce from 1979 to 2001.

Distinguished Services to the Indian Diaspora Award
  • Ambassador J.C. Sharma, SM, IFS (Ret'd), India
Distinguished Services to Indian Diaspora Award 2008 - J.C. Sharma

Former Secretary, External Affairs and Member Secretary of the High Level Committee on Indian Diaspora, he made significant contribution in formulation of India's policy towards its Diaspora.  He was the organizer of the first & the second Pravasi Bhartiya Divas.  He played an important role in grant of overseas citizens to PIO's and Pravasi Bhima Policy for Indian workers. Sharma headed Indian consulates in Vancouver and Chicago and the Embassies in Cambodia and Vietnam. He has written several articles on Diaspora issues and has authored two books on Cham temples in Vietnam.

Special Award
  • ZeeTV for its Outstanding Reach to NRI/PIO Communities and help in bringing them together

GOPIO honors leaders by inducting to GOPIO Honor Roll for their outstanding political leadership and their continued support for GOPIO and Indian Diaspora. This year, the following leader will be inducted to the GOPIO Honor Roll for his outstanding leadership and continued support for GOPIO and Indian Diaspora.


       Lord Bhikhu Parekh, U.K.


Educated at the Universities of Bombay and London, Lord Bhikhu Parekh is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the Academy of the Learned Societies for Social Sciences and a Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Westminster. Lord Parekh was chair of the Runnymede Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain (1998-2000), whose report, The Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, was published in 2000. He is vice-chairman of the Gandhi Foundation, a trustee of the Anne Frank Educational Trust, and a member of the National Commission on Equal Opportunity.


His main academic interests include political philosophy, the history of political thought, social theory, ancient and modern Indian political thought, and the philosophy of ethnic relations.


Professor Parekh is the author of Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory (2000); Gandhi (2001); Colonialism, Tradition and Reform (1999); Gandhi's Political Philosophy (1989); Contemporary Political Thinkers (1982); Karl Marx's Theory of Ideology (1981); and Hannah Arendt and the Search for a New Political Philosophy (1981).


GOPIO Honor Roll Inductee jan. 2008 - Lord Bhikhu ParekhLord Parekh has received many awards throughout his career: the Sir Isaiah Berlin Prize for lifetime contribution to political philosophy by the Political Studies Association (2002); the Distinguished Global Thinker Award by the India International Centre Delhi (2006); the Interdependence Prize from the Campaign for Democracy (New York, 2006), and the Padma Bhushan honours in the 2007 Indian Republic Day Honours list.


Lord Parekh has been a great supporter of GOPIO since GOPIO's European Regional Convention in Stuttgart in 1991. Since then he has addressed several GOPIO conferences and conventions and has been serving as an advisor to GOPIO all these years. Lord Parekh has served GOPIO and the NRI/PIO communities all over the world.


Monday, January 7th, 2008





India Development Coalition Association (IDCA)


American Indian Foundation





Specifically, the summit will deal on the following questions:

1.      Opportunities in mass education where NRIs/PIOs can be effectively involved

2.      Opportunities for senior NRIs who are retiring now, who could be motivated to get involved in schools and colleges from their towns/villages - What mechanism?

3.      Young professionals and younger generation NRIs/PIOs who could volunteer their time during the summer and semesters away - What opportunities and mechanisms?

9:30 am Registration and Coffee/Tea
10:00 am to 11:00 am - Inaugural Session
Event Chairman - Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International, USA
Welcome - Inder Singh, President, GOPIO International, USA
Inaugural Address - Honorable Arjun Singh, Minister for Human Resources Development (Invited)
Address - Madhav Chavan, Founder Chairman, Pratham , India
Felicitation Address - M.M. Jacob, Former Minister and Governor, India
11.00 am to 11.20 am Coffee/Tea Break 
11.20 am to 12.30 pm Session I - The Need Where NRIs/PIOs Can be Involved
Chairman: Bhamy Shenoi, India Development Coalition, Houston, USA
Opening Talk - Lord Bhikhu Parekh, House of Lords London, U.K.
Dr. Y.S. Rajan, Advisor, Confederation of Indian Industries, New Delhi, India
Amit Kaushik, Director, SRF Foundation and former Director of Elementary Education in the Ministry of HRD and also with UNESCO, India
Rakesh K. Mittal, IAS, Former Secretary of Education and Secretary of the Dept. of Social Welfare, Government of UP, India
12:30 pm to 1:30 pmLunch 
1.30 pm to 2.40 p.m. Session II - Meeting the Need and Challenges for NRIs/PIOs to be Involved in Education for the Masses in India
Chairman - Vivek Singhal, India Development Coalition, USA
Opening talk - Subash Chandra, Chairman ZeeTV and Ekal Vidyalaya, New Delhi, India
Lord Dilijit Rana, House of the Lords, London, UK
Mr. Yogi Patel, Pratham USA
2:40 pm to 3:50 pm Session III - Breakout Sessions (Intensive Discussion with Participants)
Chairman - Prof. Mohan K. Gautam, President and Chancellor, European Univ. of West & East, The Netherlands
Rapporteur - Dr. T.A. Geroge, Educationist, Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India
Speakers:Shankar Venkateshwaran, American India Foundation, New Delhi, India
                Venkat Velagala, PLAN International, New Delhi, India
Chairman -  Dr. Kamal Dwivedi, Counselor, Science and Technology, Embassy of India, Washington, DC, USA
Rapporteur - Prof. Raka Kamal, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India
Speakers: Prof. Roopam Saran, Manhattanville College, Purchase, New York, USA
               Neal Bharadwaj, College Student, University of California Merced, California, USA
3.50 pm to 4.10 pm Coffee/Tea Break 
4:10 pm to 5:15 pm Session IV - Reports from Breakout Sessions and Wrap-up and Adoption of Resolutions
Chair: Dr. Piyush Agrawal, USA Coordinator and Vice President for North America, GOPIO International, USA
 Reports from all sessions -Rapporteurs and All Chairs and Co-chairs
 Concluding Remarks - Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International


Convener - Dr. Thomas Abraham

Co-Conveners - Prashant Gupta, Dr. Srinivasa Rao, Bhamy Shenoi, Vivek Singhal

Facility Coordinator - Yatish Choudhari



Lord Diljit Rana, UK

Barjinder Sodhi, Berlin, Germany

Dr. Muhammed Majeed, Sami Labs (, USA and India

PIO TV (, India

The only channel for People of Indian Origin on internet. Live Feed 24/7 direct from India


Conference Registration

GOPIO Convention Registration Fee: Rs. 1,200. Waived for those who register prior to December 30, 2007. Prior registration is mandatory. Total registration will be limited to 150 delegates. Limited number of Jan. 6th banquets only registration available at Rs. 800 per person. To register, send an E-mail to GOPIO Secretary General Ashook Ramsaran in the US E-mail: or call him at 718-353-1900. Registration is mandatory to attend proceedings of January 6th and 7th.


The conference in Delhi coordinated by GOPIO-India president Mr. K.N. Gupta, Tel: (91) 11-4164-2066/9811131588, e-mail: Address: D-47 Gulmohar Park, New Delhi 110049.


For more information on GOPIO Convention 2008, please contact: GOPIO President Inder Singh in USA at 818-708-3885, E-mail: or GOPIO.Connect Chairman Prashant Gupta in India at 09899987657 or E-mail at


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.


GOPIO welcomes the following new Life Member:



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)


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