GOPIO Logo Revised


December 25, 2018

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

Issue: XVI-10December 25, 2018
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GOPIO NEWS SPONSORS - Attorney Megha Bhouraskar (USA) and Nazareth Consulting (USA)
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NOTE: GOPIO News is a FREE bi-monthly newsletter of GOPIO International, based in the USA. We need your help in reaching out more NRIs/PIOs around the world. Please go to the bottom of the news bulletin and click the FORWARD button and type e-mail addresses of your friends and relatives. One could also subscribe this newsletter by visiting and type in the e-mail address. All preivous issues of GOPIO News are provided at GOPIO News Archives. If you do not wish to receive this newsletter in future, please click SafeUnsubscribe at the end of this newsletter.


GOPIO is a community supported non-profit organization taking up issues of the Indian Diaspora and attempting to unifying the community in its common causes. Support GOPIO by becoming a Life Member or chapter member. Once can become Life Member online by visiting


GOPIO will have its General Body Meeting and Convention Inauguration on January 19th and a full day conference on Jan. 20th followed by an Awards Banquet in the evening. Detailed conference program is being worked out. The following topics as Conference sessions are being considered now.

Detailed program of GOPIO Convention will be provided in the next issues.

GOPIO Convention in Varanasi - Varanasi Image
Plenary Session I - Opportunities, Development, Business and investment in India and UP
Session II - Strengthening India's Relations with Global Community Through Indian Diaspora 
Session III -Indian Academic Conclave on Indian Diaspora
Session IV - Francophone Session
Session V - Empowering Indian and Diaspora Women
Session VI - Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Start Up India
Session VII - Concluding Session and Resolutions
Contact: Conference Committee Chairperson Dr. Asha Samant, E-mail:
More information on the upcoming GOPIO Convention will be provided in the coming issues.
Register by sending $50 as registration fee using a credit as follows:
Payments Using PayPal
Go online to:
Choose:        Make online payment
Select option: Pay for items or services quickly and securely
Amount Currency: USD
Contact: Convention Chairman and GOPIO President Sunny Kulathakal at, Tel: in Bahrain + 973 39441956; in India +91 9845756692
GOPIO is seeking nomination for Community Service Awards (CSA). Awardees will be honored at the finale Awards Banquet to be held at the Hotel Taj Gateway on January 20th evening in Varanasi. Please see the attached document for the Criteria for Selection and the Nomination Form. Please send in the nomination by Dec. 28th to
PBD2017), JAN 7-9, 2017
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will organize the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) from January 21-23, 2019 in Varanasi, UP, India. Speaking at the launch of the official website for the event here, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that in addition to attending the three-day PBD in Varanasi, the participants will also be taken to Allahabad where the Kumbh Mela will be going on, and then brought to New Delhi for the Republic Day celebrations.
It will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 22nd. The President of India Ram Nath Kovind will deliver the valedictory address on January 23rdand also confer the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Awards. The pre-conference seminars will also be organized on January 21st followed by plenary and panel sessions beginning on January 22nd.    
PBD has become a significant forum to connect the overseas Indians from all over the world and the PBD-2019 will be focusing on more connectivity with overseas Indians with a theme "Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India."
Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth will be the Chief Guest of the Convention. Member of Parliament of Norway Himanshu Gulati will be the Special Guest and Member of Parliament of New Zealand Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi will be the Guest of Honor at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
To register for PBD, visit:, Click Register Now and then Group Registration under the category Gopio with 35% discounts as follows.
One day Registration $150 (with 35% discount $97.5 + $7 PayPal Com'n = $104.50)
Two days Registration $200 (with 35% discount $130 + $7 PayPal Com'n = $137.00)
Three days registration $250 (with 35% discount $162.5 + $7 PayPal Com'n = $169.50)
The discount for GOPIO is based on having 51-100 registrants. Once we reach the number to 101 registrants the discount rate will jump to 50%. If we reach above 100 registrations, we will refund additional registration fee collected to the registrants.
After one completes the registration, make the payment to GOPIO using a credit card through PayPal link below:
Payments Using PayPal
Go online to:
Choose: Make online payment
Select option: Pay for items or services quickly and securely
Amount Currency: USD
People in USA can send check and save the commission. However, they have option of ease of payment through PayPal using credit card and pay the commission or send a check to the following address:
Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), 11433 Arlee Ave., Norwalk, CA 90650
Once a person registers under GOPIO group, GOPIO will be notified with registration number and amount that person owes. When making the payment through PayPal or check they must include the name and registration number they are given at the time of registration. There is also a link at the bottom "Where to Stay" that registrants can click to book the hotels. You would need the registration number for the same.
Contact: Kewal Kanda, Treasurer: GOPIO-Int'l, Norwalk, California, USA, Tel: +1 562-897-6976, E-mail:
Ankita Mittal US (OIA-II), PBD Secretariat, New Delhi, Indi, Tel: +91- 011-24197111 and 011-24197996 (9 am to 5:30 pm on weekdays) or contact e-mail at or PBD
A Recent Perspective of India and Indian Diaspora Conference
Invitation to an
International Conference (Jan. 15 & 16th)
A Recent Perspective of India-Diaspora Bond
Jointly Organized by
Department of Study Abroad Program& Diaspora Research Center
Gujarat University
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Academic Council of the
Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
New York, USA

Sub themes
Diaspora Involvements in Building NGOs, donations and strategic support
Diaspora Involvements in Shared programs, Higher Education and Research 
Diaspora Involvements in Policy Formation 
Diaspora Involvements in Spreading Indian Spirit through markets of religion and art
Diaspora Involvements in Economic Development through direct investments, Collaborations and stakes
Diaspora Involvements in Tourism via medical tourism, religious tourism and personal tourism
Diaspora Involvements in Collaborative Entertainment 
Diaspora Involvements in Infrastructure Projects
Diaspora Involvements in Capacity of Members of Boards, counselor, advisor and policy maker
The present conference stages centrally these issues and forms platform to share mutual aspirations and urge to stand together with each other without looking down any counterpart.
Call for Abstracts
A call for paper is thus circulated on major themes mentioned in the concept note. The abstracts in Hindi, English or Gujarati languages are expected by 30thDecember, 2018. All write-ups must be in 12 fonts in Times New Roman with heading in 14 fonts. The abstracts must be accompanied by a disclaimer and brief note on author in about 75 words.
The abstracts should be mailed to .
Registration fees
Indian residents - Rs. 1800/-
Indian Research Scholars - 600/-
GOPIO members, NRIs/PIOs - Rs. 3600/-
NRI/PIO Research Scholars - 1200/-
Any accompanying person Indian: 900/-
Any accompanying person NRI/PIO- 1800/-
The registration shall include breakfast and lunch and tea for both days, banquet on first day and Conference kits.
The registration fees doesn't include stay arrangements.
GOPIO Members, NRIs/PIOs may register by sending $50 as registration fee using a credit as follows:
Payments Using PayPal
Choose: Make online payment
Select option: Pay for items or services quickly and securely
GOPIO Amount Currency: USD
Online Payment details:
For NEFT or Bank draft please use following details:
Bank Name
Indian Bank
Bank Address:
Indian Bank , Drive in road , Ahmedabad Pin Code:380052, Gujarat, India .
Account No:
Account Name:
Swift Code:
Patron: Dr. Himanshu Pandya, Vice Chancellor, Gujarat University
Organizing Secretary:
Dr. Neerja A. Gupta, Director cum Coordinator, Study Abroad Program and Diaspora Studies, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad & Chair, Academic Council of GOPIO International (New York, USA)

Contact details:
Department of Study Abroad Program and Diaspora Studies, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India. 380009. Email: drneerjaarun@yahoo.comLandline Phone: +91-79 26303153; Mobile: 9825012984
Click here to download the 
GOPIO Health Council in partnership with the New York Consulate General of India hosted a full house of attendees for "A Health Summit for the Indian Diaspora" on Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Consulate General of India, 3 East 64th Street, New York, NY. The Summit was inaugurated by New York Consul General of India Sandeep Chakravorty and Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International. The event concluded with an award presentation to Mr. Ashook Ramsaran, former president of GOPIO for his service to GOPIO, followed by a Networking Reception.
GOPIO Health Summit Inauguration in New York  
Photo: GOPIO Health Summit Inauguration by Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty along with other Consulate officials, sponsors and GOPIO officials. From l. to r: Amit Kucheria, Kunal Gupta, Dr. Asha Samant, Lal Motwani and Rahul Shukla (not visible), Harbachan Singh, Consul General Chakravorty, Deputy Consul General Shatrugna Sinha, Dr. Tushar Patel, Nami Kaur, Ram Gadhavi, Hitesh Bhatt, Rockland County Council Woman Aney Paul and Dr. Thomas Abraham
GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham who closely worked with GOPIO Health Council team to put together the Health Summit said in his welcome address, "The goal of GOPIO Health Council 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."
Well documented medical data suggests that people from the Indian subcontinent are at a higher risk to develop Diabetes and Heart Disease than the rest of the American population. Hence the goal of summit was to educate the PIOs (People of Indian Origin) on their individual risk of developing Diabetes and Heart Disease, and more importantly, how to manage these risk factors to improve their overall health.
"Towards that goal, we want to educate our community about treatment and prevention of diseases using modern medicine and alternative medicine, as well as to improve health and wellness by nutritious supplements, yoga and meditation," Dr. Abraham added.
Ambassador Sandeep Chakravorty set the stage for the Summit with his remarks, "There is so
much confusion regarding health practices - what advice to take, what to do or avoid, what diet to adopt, or fitness to practice etc. with so much changing literature on health topics."
His comments resonated with the audience, who shared this same dilemma. He hoped that "some of the confusion we face would be resolved through the summit's panel discussions, and the day long proceedings would result in specific recommendations and clarity on health practices." He commended GOPIO's initiative for the welfare of the Indian Diaspora and encouraged
continuing discussions on such beneficial matters.
Moderated by GOPIO Health Council Chair Dr. Tushar Patel, the panel of health experts included key note speaker Rahul Shukla, President/CEO of S.S. Technologies and Shukla Medical; and guest speaker Hitesh Bhatt, Founder/CTO Bhatt Foundation and CCS Technology Solutions. Renowned speakers and specialists from the Tri State area shared their expertise and provided practical tips on managing one's health and wellness, especially in the prevention of heart disease and diabetes.
Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty speaking at the GOPIO Health Summit
Photo: Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty speaking at the Inaugural Session. From l. to r.: Rahul Shukla, Dr. Thomas Abraham, Dr. Tushar Patel and Hitesh Bhatt
The health and wellness panelists included Dr. Meena Murthy - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Specialist; Dr. Shankar Iyer - Oral Health; Dr. Anurag Pande - VP Sabinsa Corp.; Dr. Ravindra Amin - Geriatric Psychiatrist; Varsha Singh - Nurse Practitioner; Binny Talati - Physical Therapist; Dr. Vasudev Makhija - past President NJ Psychiatric Association; Dr. Ketan Vaidya - Internist; Uma Swaminathan - Healing with Herbs; Jaya Jaya Myra - Natural Lifestyle Expert; Dr. Bajrang Agarwal - Co-Founder, Dockedin Telehealth; and Ruchika Lal - NY Art of Living. Panels were moderated by GOPIO International officers, namely Dr. Asha Samant; Dr. Tushar Patel; Ram Gadhavi; and Dr. Rajeev Mehta.
Speakers at the GOPIO Health Summit  
Photo: Some of the speakers of the Health Summit, from l. to e.: Dr. Rajeev Mehta, Dr. Ketan Vaidya, Dr. Meena Murthy, Dr. Ravindra Amin, Dr. Shankar Iyer and Ruchika Lal
In his remarks, Dr. Tushar Patel said, "It is important to get early screening and timely intervention for chronic diseases, so long term complications can be reduced and healthy lifestyles can be lived."
Panelists Dr. Vasudev Makhija and Dr. Ravindra Amin, emphasized that getting timely help for mental health issues is very vital for successful outcome. There is no physical health without mental health and the stigma about mental health need to be eliminated in Indian diaspora, so people can live a healthy physical and emotional life.
Dr. Shankar Iyer said, "Oral health is very important and all should get a routine dental checkups
and preventive dental care since he overall, physical health is dependent on good oral hygiene and maintenance especially for people with chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disorders."
Dr. Meena Murthy said that self-management of diabetes is very important to live healthier life style. Regular exercise, diet and life style modifications and regular checkup of blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c are the key factors to live a productive life for people with diabetes. Insightful health and wellness topics included diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, oral health, osteoporosis, emotional health, successful aging, life style modifications, joint disorders, medication management, alternative medicine, herbal remedies, access to care via tele-health, meditation, yoga breathing to reduce stress, and wisdom to handle mind and emotions. The audience was impressed by the quality of the presentations and engaged in the interactive sessions during lunch, coffee breaks and networking reception.
Presentation of a plaque to GOPIO former president Ashook Ramsaran  
Photo: Presentation of a plaque to GOPIO's former president Ashook Ramsaran. From l. to r.: Dr. Asha Samant, Dr. Rajeev Mehta, Consul General Chakravorty, Ashook Ramsaran, Lal Motwani, Dr. Thomas Abraham and Ram Gadhavi
Grand sponsors for this summit were Sabinsa Corporation, Bhatt Foundation and S.S. White Technologies. Supporting organizations included JnJ Printing, Indian Health Camp of New   Jersey and GOPIO Chapters of Central Jersey, Connecticut and New York.
The first such Health Summit was organized by GOPIO Health Council in 2010 in New York City. In response to the positive interactions and feedback GOPIO plans to organize similar seminars and workshops through its chapters all over the world.
Contact: Dr. Tushar Patel, Chairperson, GOPIO Health Council, +1 848-391-0499,
GOPIO-International in coordination with local chapters in the Los Angeles area, GOPIO-Los Angeles, -Orange County, and -Inland Empire organized a Diabetes Awareness Summit on November 04, 2018 at Sanatan Dharma Temple, Community Center in Norwalk, CA under the expert guidance of two registered nurses from Southern California, Aparna Hande (RN, MSHCA) and Rani Kuusto (RN, MPH) who are GOPIO-LA members as well as Co-Chairs for GOPIO-Int'l Health and Wellness Council.
Both Hande and Kuusto are recipients of coveted awards for their community services as well as for teaching in the Nursing field. The summit was open to the public at no cost. Approximately 200 people attended the summit and learned first-hand, directly from the subject matter experts, the complications and effects of diabetes on various parts of the human body. Seven doctors and two nurses, a speech therapist, and two nutritional experts enlightened the audience as to how diabetes is prevented and managed. The summit's goal was to create awareness and increase access to information on the prevention and care of diabetes and its complications.
GOPIO-International Treasurer Kewal Kanda, who coordinated the event welcomed everyone. He briefly introduced the organizers and coordinators of the event - Inder Singh (Exec Trustee GOPIO-Foundation), Dilip Butani (Area Coordinator for SoCal), and the presidents of the participating chapters - Anju Garg (LA), Amrit Bhandari (OC), Vasu Pawar (IE in absentia), Navin Gupta (Chairman-GOPIO-LA).
Inder Singh, Founder member of GOPIO, told a short history of GOPIO and explained how it's connecting Indian Diaspora internationally. He offered a set of books on Global Indian Diaspora, Indo-Americans in Greater Los Angeles, and Gadar Heroics to whomever becomes a paid member of any local GOPIO chapter.
Dilip Butani - event coordinator and SoCal Area-Coordinator (GOPIO) gave detailed introduction of Kewal Kanda, Aparna Hande and Rani Kuusto.
The following subject matter experts in their respective medical field and professional speakers covered the issues related to diabetes with specific details in their area of specialization within the care continuum engaging the audience effectively in a culturally sensitive manner and in layman's terms:
Dr. Prakash Narain, Geriatrician; Dr. Harvinder Sahota, Cardiologist/Surgeon; Dr. Adarsh Daswani, Nephrologist; Dr. Virit Butani, Podiatrist; Dr. Hema Ramkumar, Ophthalmologist; Dr. Arthi Shah, Dentist; Dr. Rohit Kohli, pediatric gastroenterologist; Mrs. Deepi Singh, RD, MPH - Certified Diabetic Educator; Ms. Aparna Hande, RN, MSHCA - Women's empowerment in diabetes; Mrs. Charu Shivakumar, MS - Speech Pathologist; Mrs. Rani Kuusto, RN, MPH - diabetic self-monitoring; and Mrs. Anju Garg, Health Dietetics. The audience was greatly impressed by the information and one can see them taking notes what they were hearing. They even requested more such summits with greater details about diabetes prevention.
Panelists and speakers at GOPIO Diabetes Summit  
Photo: Top - Panelists and speakers; Bottom: Audience at the Diabetes Summit
A set of books on the Gadar Heros, Indian Americans in Greater Los Angeles and Global Indian Diaspora were presented by GOPIO Foundation Executive Trustee Inder Singh to the speakers as a token of appreciation for their participation.
Presentation of books to speakers at GOPIO Diabetes Summit  Photo: Presentation of books to speakers, from l. to r.: Aparna Hande, Dr. Prakash Narain, Inder Singh and Kewal Kanda
GOPIO's interest and value in the leadership of youth in Diabetes Awareness was on display when eighteen young participants under 18 volunteered at the event to raise awareness on Type 1 Diabetes. Jasmin Sivakumaran performed live on a Type 1 Diabetes theme song written and choreographed by her, under the guidance of Charu Shivakumar. Youth volunteers helped with distribution of gift bags filled with goodies such as tooth-brushes, tooth-paste, pens, cup holders and folders containing printed material on diabetes awareness. They also helped with registration, in set up for the event and post event clean-up. Kewal Kanda distributed certificates of recognition, from GOPIO as well as from the office of Christina Garcia, CA Assembly Woman from 58th District, to the youth participants. Rani Kuusto and Aparna Hande were also honored with certificates of appreciation from the office of Christina Garcia. Kewal Kanda and Dilip Butani gave plaques to Rani Kuusto and Aparna Hande for their outstanding support and unconditional commitment and enduring dedication on educating the public about Diabetes Awareness. Plaques were presented to the vent sponsors.
Kewal Kanda recognized local and national community leaders who were present at the summit; Sudip Gorakshakar (NFIA president), Hon. Naresh Solanki (Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Cerritos), Rajinder Dhunna (RAOA), Ashok Patnaik (Commissioner, City of Cerritos), Dr. Rangaesh Gadasalli (UFICA), Jagdish Purohit (IASH), Vijay Patil (Shivaji Parivar), Kamini Khare (IASC), Prof. Keshav Patel (VHPA), Dr. Jay Shah (FIA), and Pooja Thomre (NFIA). GOPIO Life Members who were present in the audience were also recognized by calling out their names.
GOPIO Diabetes Summit organizers  
Photo: Diabetes Summit organizers, from l. to r.: Anju Garg, Charu Shivakumar, Amrit Bhandari, Dilip Butani, Navin Gupta, Inder Singh, Kewal Kanda, Aparna Hande, Rani Kuusto, Rajinder Dhunna
Aparna Hande acknowledged all the speakers, sponsors, committee members, community leaders, vendors, and all other participants and the audience for supporting this Summit. She also acknowledged the photographers - Anshuman Sinha, Natarajan Srinivasan, and Vijay Barot who all volunteered to take pictures. 15 Gifts were raffled off and the winners were elated to receive them. Amrit Bhandari delivered the vote of thanks. The event concluded with complimentary healthy lunch.
Contact: GOPIO Health Council Co-Chairs Aparna Hande, and Rani Kuusto
The President and members of the GOPIO Triolet North under the Medical and Wellness and Women's Cells, organized a workshop on 6th September 2018 on Empowering Vulnerable Women to fight Non-Communicable Diseases with an emphasis on Diabetes Mellitus.
Mrs. Ram, Co-chairperson of GOPIO Women Council elaborated on the surveys and statistics made by the World Health Organization (WHO) about the high prevalence of Diabetes. According to WHO, Mauritius has one of the highest incidences of non-insulin dependent diabetes in the world. She emphasized that in Mauritius 23 % of the Mauritian population aged 25 to 74 years have diabetes and another 19% within the same age group are pre-diabetic.
The panelists put emphasis on Type1 and Type 2 Diabetes that are affecting the Indian Diaspora population. This workshop was done to clearly sensitize the vulnerable women present, and who are the foundation pillar of their home to know how to tackle these problems that are facing them.
The speakers Dr. Omnish Chickooree and Mrs. Rani Balloo promised that a prevention campaign will be launched shortly to reduce the level of diabetes in Mauritius and they also focused on preventive measures, such as exercise and a balanced diet to prevent and treat diabetes. They also pinpointed on the improvement of the quality of their diet that is a well-balanced meal which helped them to combat the course of the hidden Epidemic. Dr. Chickooree said that there is nothing to fear as diabetes treatment can help a person to prevent these problems if done in time.
Workshop Resource Person Dr. Omnish Chickooree speaking  
Photo above: Workshop Resource Person Dr. Omnish Chickooree speaking
Some warning signs of Diabetes were shown to them which comprised of
  • Headaches, fatigue, weak and feeling tired and so on.
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased thirst, hunger
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination etc.
Some important measures were given by the Resource Persons, Mrs Balloo , Dr Chickooree and Dr Auleear. They are:
  • Loose extra body fat as being overweight is a risk factor for diabetes.
  • Sleep well at night, read books, drink milk without sugar.
  • Exercises, moving of body
  • Follow a low-calorie diet. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits and drink plenty of water.
The speakers also gave a list of foods to be taken to control diabetes. Which are: yogurt, beans and legumes, fatty fish, leafy greens and vegetables fruits like apples and nuts etc. And advised the participants present to quit smoking if they do it.

Participants with GOPIO Triolet North chapter officials and panelists
Photo - Participants at the workshop with chapter officials and panelists: Sitting in the front row from the left Chapter President Mrs Kritilata Ram, Member Mrs Seewooddoyal, Speaker Dr. Omnish Chickooree, Resource Person Mrs. Balloo, Secretary Mrs. G. Ramyead and Treasurer Ms. Saivani Mootia
Contact: Mrs Kritilata Ram, Co-Chairperson of GOPIO Women's Council International and President of GOPIP Triolet North, E-mail:
On the "Eleventh hour of the Eleventh day of the Eleventh month "of 1918 the hostilities on the Western Front of Europe stopped. Armistice was signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany. Thus, the Armistice Day is commemorated every year on the 11th of November.
On the 11th of November 2018, hundred years after, GOPIO France Paris paid tribute to the thousands of Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the "cause of peace" during the horrific First World War in which India was not directly involved.
Around 1.3 million Indian soldiers served in this WW1 and as many as 74 187 died and the same number were wounded. Many were posted in North of France in the trenches to hold the German assaults. Unfortunately, not much about these facts are written in the books.
GOPIO pays Homage to Indian Soldiers at Neuve Chapelle  
Top left photo: Veena Khosla, Mehen Poinoosawmy (GOPIO Int. Coordinator for Europe) showing the logo of GOPIO, Rita Abraham (GOPIO Int. Coordinator for Africa) and Ananda. Top right photo is that of the statue of Indian soldiers erected at Laventie. Botom photo: Veena Khosla, Vikas Talwar (President, GOPIO France chapter), Rita Abraham and Mehen Poinoosawmy carrying the wreaths for laying at Indian Soldiers Monument at Laventie
GOPIO France commemorates this event every year with the coordination with other associations including InterFaith Shaheedi Commemoration and Maharasthra Mandal by organizing this wreath laying ceremony at Neuve Chapelle, Laventie and other nearby villages to pay homage to the Indian soldiers who did the ultimate sacrifice.
This year a statue was erected at Laventie and GOPIO France has put its logo on the plaque on the bottom part of the statue which will stay forever.
GOPIO France paying homage to Indian Soldiers Died in WWI  
Photo: GOPIO France paying homage to Indian Soldiers who died in WWI at Neuve Chapelle
Contact: Mehen Poinoosawmy, GOPIO International Coordinator for Europe,
GOPIO NEWS SPONSORS - Attorney Megha Bhouraskar (USA) and Nazareth Consulting (USA)

Attorney Megha D. BhouraskarThe Law Offices of Megha D. Bhouraskar [MDB] is a NYC/USA-based law firm specializing in Business Transactions, Company Formations, Real Estate, Investments, Intellectual Property, Entertainment, and Entrepreneurial Mentorship. MDB advances the business opportunities for Indians Worldwide by using a specific set of skills that include: personal strengths, creativity, intuition, discretion, sense of community, attention and interactive collaboration.
The Law Offices of Megha D. Bhouraskar,P.C.,
139 Fulton Street, Suite 902, New York, NY 10039, United States, Tel: (212)571-1770

 Nazareth Consulting New York USAContact: Cecil Nazareth, International Tax and Accounting, E-mail:, The book on Intl Tax & Compliance can be ordered through the website or from Amazon.
Note: GOPIO or GOPIO News does not endorse any sponsors or advertisers.
GOPIO News offers display advertising in the format shown above will also be displayed in GOPIO website. This form of marketing allows you to effectively reach over 50,000 people by direct mail and another 50,000 over social media postings. Contact or 203-329-8010.

GOPIO CT elected new officials for the term 2019 with the following as the Executive Committee Members:

President - Anita Bhat, Executive Vice President - Santosh Gannu, Vice President - Bhavna Juneja, Secretary - Prasad Chintalapudi, Joint Secretary - Gayatri Mahesh, Immediate Past President - Shelly Nichani, Trustees: Srinivas Akarapu and Shailesh Naik
All were elected unanimously. The nominations and elections were conducted by a committee headed by Dr. Thomas Abraham along with Varghese Ninan and Meera Banta.
Dr. Thomas Abraham, Neelam Narang, Sanjay Santhanam and Varghese Ninan will continue as Trustees.
Earlier at the General Body meeting, President Anita Bhat gave report of the activities in 2018. Bhat said that the chapter's signature event is its Annual Award Banquet at which those Indian Americans who have achieved in various fields we recognized. GOPIO-CT gave scholarship to three graduating high school students and one student joining Norwalk community College. GOPIO-CT sponsored five soup kitchens at the New Covenant House in Stamford where GOPIO-CT volunteers also cooked and served the food. GOPIO-CT also participated in the cancer walk to raise funds for Stamford Hospital's Bennet Cancer Center. A series of Meet and Greet sessions with First Selectmen of the following towns were held in 2018m Westport, New Canaan, Trumbull, Greenwich and Darien at which members of Indian American community could interact with them.
Following the election, GOPIO-CT had its Annual Holiday Party which also served as fundraiser for Teach For America, whose Executive Director from New Haven Nate Snow spoke at the event on the organization's mission to "enlist, develop, and mobilize as many as possible of our nation's most promising future leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equity and excellence." Snow called upon Indian-American community to participate in Teach For America programs.
Two of Connecticut's newly elected assemblymen Raghib Allie-Brennan and Matt Blumenthal were honored guests who committed to closely work with community groups such GOPIO-CT for the welfare Connecticut's residents as well as the society at large.

CT Assemblyman-Elect Matt Blumenthal speaking at the GOPIO-CT Program  
Photo: CT Assemblymen-Elect CT Assemblyman-Elect Matt Blumenthal speaking at the GOPIO-CT Annual Holiday party which also served as fundraiser for Teach For America
GOPIO-CT team for 2019 with CT Assemblymen-Elect Blumenthal and Allie-Brennan
Photo: GOPIO-CT team for 2019 with CT Assemblymen-Elect at the Annual Holiday Party. From l. to r. CT Assemblyman-Elect Raghib Allie-Brennan, Treasurer Viresh Sharma, Joint Secretary Gayatri Mahesh, Vice President Bhavna Juneja, President Anita Bhat, Exec. Vice President Santosh Gannu, Trustee Srinivas Akarapu, Trustee Neelam Narang, Trustee Sanjay Santhanam, Trustee Dr. Thomas Abraham and CT Assemblymen-Elect CT Assemblyman-Elect Matt Blumenthal
Contact: Anita Bhat, President, GOPIO-CT, Tel: 203-524-2935,
GOPIO Auckland Central Inc. recently celebrated its 10th year anniversary and elected the 2019 Executive Team as follows:
President - Shefali Mehta, Vice President- Sukarna Amirapu, Secretary - Lalita Minocha,
Joint Secretary- Abhijit Patni, Honorary Treasurer - Sanjay Badakere, Joint Treasurer - Divya Pahwa Patni, Liaison Officer - Shailen Mehta & Project Manager - Shivani Arora
GOPIO Auckland Central  Team for 2019  
Photo: Standing l. to r. - Rahul Sharma, Shailen Mehta, Abhijit Patni, Sukarna Amirapu, Capt. SukhMinocha, Rahul Kumar; Sitting l. to r. - Divya Pahwa, Vandana Sharma, Satya Amirapu, Sangeeta Mehrotra, President Shefali Mehta, Shivani Arora, Arati Kumar
In 2008-2009 this association conducted many seminars and organized community welfare events. Some of these include raising funds for Fiji Flood Relief, holding a seminar on family violence, organizing borewell hand pumps for Indian villages and sponsoring workshops for Senior Citizens.
Contact: Shefali Mehta, President, GOPIO-Auckland Central;
GOPIO Queensland organized their first Gandhi Jayanti celebrations at Queensland Parliament House on 2 October 2018. The celebration was held at the Premier's Hall of the Parliament Annex and was attended by nearly hundred guests.
This event was also used to launch the BAPU 150 celebrations, which will be held in 2019. The keynote speaker, Professor Sarva Daman Singh, spoke on Gandhiji and his newly launched book 'Understanding Gandhi - A Mahatma in the making'.
GOPIO International Human Rights Council Chair, Mr. Umesh Chandra was the Master of Ceremonies and Mr. Jim Varghese, the Chairperson of Gandhi Salt March, Ltd. and the national chair of Australian Indian Business Council, also spoke on the planning of BAPU 150.
GOPIO Queensland Gandhi Jayanti 2019  
Photo: GOPIO officials and dignitaries at the Gandhi Jayanti event, from l. to r.: Umesh Chandra, Vinita Khushal, Jim Varghese, Archana Singh, Charise Mullen MP
Many celebrations are being planned under BAPU 150 and Mr Varghese has engaged the support of GOPIO Queensland Chapter, FICQ and Gandhi Statue Committee and the wider community. He did this in the spirit of Gandhiji's message of unity and cooperation.
The Celebration committee then presented Mr Jim Varghese with a special plaque to congratulate him on his successful election as the National Chair of AIBC.
Presenting the plaque to Mr Jim Varghese  
Photo: Presenting the plaque to Mr Jim Varghese, from left: Umesh Chandra, Kavita Khullar, Vinita Khushal, Jim Varghese, Usha Chandra, Pravinita Pillay, Ananya Kaushik and Vikas Sinha.
The chapter's past president and a founding member, Mr. Yousuf Alikhan delivered a rendition of Gandhiji's favorite bhajan "Vaishnav bhajan to tene kahiye." Kavita Khulla, Public Relations Officer also delivered a moving poem which she had compiled and delivered with much energy and passion. Chapter Vice President concluded the event with a vote of thanks and all present enjoyed the catering provided by the parliamentary caterers.
GOPIO Queensland Gandhi Jayanti.Audience  
Photo: Visitors, guests and community leaders in attendance
Contact: Vinita Khushal, President, GOPIO Queensland Inc., P. O. Box 5419, West End, Qld 4101, Australia, Tel: +61  07 3387 7715, Email:, Website
GOPIO France with the collaboration of Fondation de La Maison de L'Inde, Embassy of India and Campus France, celebrated Welcome Day 2018, on September 29th with the Indian students who were in France for their higher studies.
At his visit to India earlier this year, President Emmanuel Macron indicated that he wanted to double the number of Indian students coming to France. Now France has initiated the 2020 strategy targeted to welcome 10,000 Indian students and academicians.
With more options to study in English and comparatively cheaper tuition rates, France is the 4th most popular destination for students after the US, UK and Australia.
The President of GOPIO France, Vikas Talwar and Secretary, Rucha Bagul welcomed the students at the function. At this event, the students were informed about health care, insurance, accommodation, French language courses, student discounts, travel in Europe and to neighboring countries, etc. They were also taken on a free cruise on the Seine river.
GOPIO-France Paris officials with Indian students in France  
Photo: GOPIO-France Paris officials with Indian students studying in France.
Once could reach GOPIO France for further details on studying in France.
Contact: Vikas Talwar, President, GOPIO France Paris, or

The team members of GOPIO Sydney North West chapter presented cheques for $1000 each to Cancer Council and Heart Foundation of Australia in October 2018 as announced in the "Caring & Sharing" event.
GOPIO Sydney North West team also presented a cheque for $1000 and $250 vouchers of grocery donated by Sanjay Patel of Patel Brothers to Sharoukh& his wife to support their 2 years old son for the treatment of Leukemia.
Check presentations to charities by GOPIO-Sydney NW  
Photo: Check presentations to charities by GOPIO-Sydney NW. Top left: Check presented to Cancer Council; Top light: Check presented to Heart Foundation; Bottom: check presented to Sharoukh Family
NOTE: Names have not been mentioned as it is a collective effort of the chapter team.
Contact: Harmohan Singh Walia, JP,President, GOPIO Sydney North West, Tel: +61-402 842 375m;
GOPIO-CT Chapter welcomed all Indian and other students enrolled at the University of Connecticut, Stamford Campus. The students also participated in a discussion panel on "How to Succeed in America," with the following panelists:
Joseph Simon, Chief Operating Officer of Encompass Digital Media, Inc., New York, NY
Viresh Sharma, President (Retired), Laser Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT
Shailesh Naik, President, Charles Manganaro Consulting Engineers, Tarrytown, NY
Bhinesh Patel, Porfolio Manager, Concordia Advisors, Darien, CT
Terrence Moduthagam, Head of Strategic Partnership, Amazon, New York, NY

GOPIO-CT Discussion Panel on How to Succeed in America   
Photo: Discussion Panel on How to Succeed in America, From l. to r. Shailesh Naik, Terrence Moduthagam, Viresh Sharma, Bhinesh Patel, Joseph Simon
The program put together by GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham and GOPIO-CT President Anita Bhat was coordinated by Ramya Subramanian. It was held at the Hampton Inn and Suits in Stamford, CT on October 5th, 2018.
UConn students with panelists and GOPIO-CT officials  
Photo: UConn students with panelists and GOPIO-CT officials
Contact: Anita Bhat, President, GOPIO-CT, Tel: 203-524-2935,


Physicians, entrepreneurs and philanthropists Dr. Kiran and Dr. Pallavi Patel have committed more than $200 million to the Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Florida-the single largest donation made by an Indian-American individual or family in the United States.
Out of these funds, $50 million will be in direct contributions and more than $150 million will be in real estate and facility investment for a medical complex in Clearwater, the hometown of the two doctors.
As part of the donation, Nova's School of Health Sciences was renamed as Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences. This naming also includes a scholarship fund for students.
"I feel that it is more important than ever to advance the current state of health care," said Dr. Kiran C. Patel. "It is rare for someone to have the opportunity to impact the world in this way and as an immigrant to the United States, I am particularly honored to be able to make a difference in people's lives around the world. I believe that NSU is the future of multi-disciplinary medical education. Together, we will be able to capitalize on an opportunity that will be beneficial to millions of human lives, many in Florida and many others across the globe."
Three Indian-American children were among the 18 winners in a "World of 7 Billion" contest organized by Population Connection. This is a national grassroots organization that educates young people and advocates for progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by earth's resources.
Ayush Iyer of Lancaster, Pa., came first in the Feeding 10 Billion middle school category for the video, "Feeding 10 Billion People on Earth."
He is an eighth-grader at Manheim Township Middle School who cares deeply about global hunger. He stated that his research for this video made him think more deeply about the future implications for people, the planet, and the demands on our food systems.
Ramya Iyer of Omaha, Neb. was the winner in the Advancing Women and Girls high school category. Her video was titled, "Child Marriage: There Is a Solution."
Ramya Iyer is in the ninth grade at Westside High School. She was pained to read about the experiences of child brides but they motivated her to translate their hardship into her video, which she hopes will inspire people to take action.Ramya was particularly struck by the fact that over one billion women will have been child brides by 2050, according to Population Connection.
Arjun Agarwal, a ninth-grader at Lawrence High School, was inspired to tackle the challenge of Feeding 10 Billion with his film because he saw hunger firsthand while traveling in India with his parents.
In addition to educating viewers about their chosen topic and how it relates to human population growth, students in the contest had to include at least one idea for a sustainable solution.
"These aren't just great young filmmakers," said John Seager, president of Population Connection, in a statement. "All of the winners are inspirational voices for a sustainable and compassionate future."
Indian-American, Seema Nanda, who took over as CEO of the opposition Democratic National Committee (DNC) last week, has vowed to fight for the "soul of the country" and help elect Democrats in every US state.
Ms. Nanda who is the first Indian-American to be CEO of either the Democratic National Committee or the Republican National Committee, will be responsible for the daily functioning of the DNC.
She felt that the best way to set the country back on track was to elect Democrats. "Democrats are offering the positive solutions so desperately needed right now -- solutions forged by the strength of our diversity, the rigor of our ideas, and the decency of our values" she stated.
To prepare for the crucial mid-term elections, Ms. Nanda said that Democrats are investing in state parties in all states and mobilizing voters through their nationwide 'I Will Vote' campaign.
Ms. Nanda emphatically stated "Our party is strong because it's built on forging positive solutions that include everyone. I'm proud to be the first Asian-American in recent memory to lead the DNC. Democrats are leading with our values and empowering people from diverse backgrounds to speak up and make our voices heard."
Indian-American Shree Saini was crowned Miss India Worldwide 2018 at a pageant held at the Royal Albert Palace in Fords, New Jersey, USA on December 14, 2018.
Shree, 22, who was told by the doctors that she can never dance after being installed with a pacemaker at the age of 12, said one should never give up. "I truly believe your legacy is defined by how you make others feel and the positive difference you make in your lifetime," said Shree, who started her non-profit organisation, when she was 15. Shree said it was her dream to compete for a world title, which was started when she was in the elementary school.
Indian-origin girls from as many as 17 countries participated in the annual beauty pageant on the final day, while nearly 40 women from as many countries from around the world had competed for the coveted title. Organised by the New York-based India Festival Committee (IFC), the pageant is said to be the oldest and largest event for the Indian Diaspora community.
Sakshi Sinha from Australia and Anusha Sareen from United Kingdom were respectively declared first and second runner ups in the 27th annual global pageant for people of Indian origin.
Her passion for education started when she was very young. Even in high school, her drive led Shree to graduate with the highest number of high school credits (46, although only 26 were required). Shree is currently pursuing a double degree in public administration and business at the University of Washington and wants to "lead a life of service. "She was also a visiting student at Harvard, Yale and Stanford and while at Yale, has attended an Acting Program.
Speaking about her passion for learning, Shree stated "I know education is vital to solving any of the world's problems and have therefore always stayed curious and dedicated myself to obtaining life skills, like public speaking, as well as gaining more knowledge by studying political science at Harvard University, and establishing my own emotional wellbeing startup at Stanford University."

Miss India Worlwide 2018
Photo: The 2018 Miss India Worldwide Shree Saini on the rsamp

Beautiful, compassionate, talented, ambitious, gentle, humble, determined and dedicated, Shree Saini stated "I am so incredibly honored, overjoyed, humbled and excited to be chosen as your "Miss India Worldwide 2018"! God's amazing grace has surpassed all the words I may have to express this fate. I am astonished by the blessings showered over me."
India's Mandeep Kaur Sandhu, who hails from Haryana, was crowned Mrs India Worldwide 2018. A mother to a boy, she lost her husband in a road accident in the first year of her marriage. "I decided to stay single to show to all those who told me that I cannot raise a child alone being a widow. I am here to represent all the widow women. If I can do it, you can do it," Mandeep said. Jeya Priya Pandian from Malaysia and Kavita Malhotra Pattani from USA were declared the first and second runner ups of the Mrs India Worldwide 2018 respectively.
The next edition of the Miss India Worldwide will be held in Mumbai in 2019, said Dharmatma Saran, chairman and founder of the India Festival Committee that organizes the pageant. Saran is also GOPIO Life Member and served as GOPIO Cultural Council Chair from 2016 to 2017.
"We are proud of the fact that we have been able to imbibe Indian values, tradition and culture among Indian origin youths across the world," he said. "We have also been successful in promoting Indian performing arts in the world," Saran said.
Miss India USA was started by the New York-based community leaders Dharmatma Saran and Neelam Saran, under the banner of the India Festival Committee around 36 years ago, Miss India USA is the longest running Indian pageant outside India. "It has evolved over the years. Earlier, the participants of pageants presented their talent around Bollywood dance and songs and classical dances. But now pageant participants come out with their own innovations," Dharmatma Saran said.

UK is lifting cap of people from Commonwealth countries. It means people from Commonwealth countries - including India, Australia, Kenya, Fiji and Sri Lanka - will be considered for roles, even if they have never lived in Britain.
The government already allows 200 Commonwealth citizens who have not met the requirement of living in the UK for five years to apply for a limited number of jobs every year. They introduced the rule in 2016. Now, that cap of 200 will be lifted.
According to the Daily Telegraph, which first published details of the plan, the Air Force and Navy will begin recruiting immediately and the Army will open applications early next year.
Applications from citizens of countries outside the Commonwealth will not be accepted, the paper adds. Citizens of Ireland and also Gurkhas from Nepal can already join because of special rules.
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 2/3rdthe 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 with people of Indian origin all over the world. If you do not have a chapter in your city, please visit the GOPIO website ( and get details of chapter initiation (visit This 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 - Dr. Thomas Abraham, Stamford, Connecticut, USA, Tel: +1-203-329-8010, E-mail:
GOPIO President - Sunny Kulathakal, Bahrain, +973-39441956, India +91-9845756692, E-mail:
GOPIO Executive Vice President - Ishwar Ramlutchman, Durban, South Africa, Tel: +27-83-3578747, E-mail:
GOPIO Vice President - Ram Gadhavi, Wayne, New Jersey, USA, Tel: +1-973-699-8582, E-mail:
GOPIO's Global Ambassador - Issac John, Dubai, UAE, +971-50 625 9941, E-mail:
GOPIO Secretary - Dr. Rajeev Mehta, Piscataway, New Jersey, USA, Tel: +1-732-986-2584,
Executive Trustee of GOPIO Foundation - Inder Singh, Tarzana, California, USA, Tel: +1-818-708-3885, E-mail:
GICC Chairman - Niraj Baxi, San Jose, California, USA, Tel: 408-307-9845, E-mail:
To become a Life member of GOPIO, visit, print and fill up the form and send it with a check to:. GOPIO International, PO Box 1413, Stamford, CT 06904, USA


Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International (Stamford, CT, USA)
Editor: J. Nami Kaur, Media Council Chair, GOPIO International (New York, USA)
Associate Editors: Layla Matthew (Bangalore, India), Harry Walia (Australia), Marlan Padayachee (South Africa)
Webmasters: Abu Thomas (Ardsley, New York, USA)

Contributors of this issue: Sunny Kulathakal, President, GOPIO International (Bahrain);Dr. Neerja Arun Gupta, Chair, GOPIO Academic Council (Ahmedabad, India); Shefali Mehta, President, GOPIO-Auckland Central Chapter(Aukland, New Zealnd), Kewal Kanda, Treasurer, GOPIO International (Norwalk, CA, USA); Mehen Poinoosawmy, GOPIO Europe International Coordinator (Paris, France); Harry Walia, President, Sydney NW (Sydney, Australia) and Kritilata Ram, Co-Chairperson of GOPIO Women's Council International and President of GOPIP Triolet North (Mauritius)

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
Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) Inc., P.O. Box 1413, Stamford, CT 06904-1413
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