||April 15, 2008
April 15, 2008A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
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FOUR PIOs IN THE NEW MALAYSIAN CABINET - GOPIO CALLS ON THE NEW GOVERNMENT TO TACKLE PIO DISCRIMINATION IN MALAYSIA
In the recent parliamentary elections, Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) suffered heavy losses. MIC had nineteen members in the outgoing parliament but only won three at the recent election. Mr. Samy Vellu was the Minister of Works in the ruling coalition led by Barisan Nasional (BN) while three more Malaysians of Indian Origin were junior ministers.
In the newly formed government, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, has appointed Datuk Dr. S. Subramanian as Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister and three other Malaysians of Indian Origin as deputy ministers. GOPIO had sent a letter of congratulations to the newly appointed HRD minister.
GOPIO WRITES TO THE NEW GOVERNMENT
In the letter to Minister Subramanian, GOPIO President Inder Singh said, "although your own party did not achieve the margin of seats you may have expected in the recent election, your elevation to the highly respectable and responsible ministry provides you a unique opportunity to woo back 2.5 million Malaysians of Indian Origin, the majority of whom have lost faith in the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) party."
"As you very well know, Malaysians of Indian Origin and their ancestors have been contributing to the economic growth and prosperity of Malaysia. But they are deprived of fair and equal treatment in educational resources and job opportunities. As a result, a significant number of them work as plantation and/or urban underpaid laborers, and hence majority of them are poor and continue to face undue social and economic hardships."
"Your party, Malaysian Indian Congress, has been an integral part of your country's ruling coalition and at one time represented the interests and aspirations of Malaysians of Indian Origin. However, MIC as a partner of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), has not been able to get fair share for the minority Indian community as their role as coalition partner either has been rendered ineffective or considered irrelevant."
"The Malaysians of Indian Origin are your country's third largest ethnic group and the majority of them are considered to be at the bottom of the social and political ladder. A significant majority of Malaysian Indians continue to be economically marginalized and are generally seen as providers of cheap labor in plantations and construction sites. Thus they occupy the bottom rung of the Malaysian modern society, primarily due to lack of educational and economic opportunities."
"The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) urges you to use your human resource development (HRD) portfolio to provide needed equity, skills training and equal employment opportunities to the Malaysian Indian community."
MINISTER VOWS TO TACKLE INDIANS' PROBLEMS
According to press report, the new Malaysian Minister Dr. S. Subramanian has vowed to use his Human Resource Development (HRD) portfolio to tackle the problems of the country's 2.5 million Indian community. Minister Subramanian said that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's decision to allot the HRD ministry to him was aimed at helping the Malaysian Indians, many of who have been protesting in recent weeks. The Indian community has alleged bias in the Malay-dominated country and complained about unemployment as well as lack of skills training opportunities for youths.
Badawi, Subramanian said, had explained that the HRD portfolio was given to the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) party as the ministry could resolve many problems affecting the Indian community, the Sun newspaper said. "I feel that this is a good opportunity and I am confident that these issues can be resolved," he said. MIC has represented the Indian interests in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) since independence in 1957. Subramanian, who is also the MIC secretary general, admitted to being elected under "very difficult circumstances".
Subramanian said: "The recruitment of Indians to the government sector has already been raised with the government and the prime minister has stated that the government as a whole will increase the intake of non-Malays in the civil service workforce to reflect the racial composition of the country. I see it happening already."
FORMER MINISTER VELLU SEEKS HIGHER QUOTA FOR MALYSIAN INDIANS
The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) that is part of the ruling front Barisan Nasional has sought an eight percent share for ethnic Indians in Malaysia's civil services, commensurate with the population. Voicing the demand, MIC chief and former minister S. Samy Vellu said the number of Indians hired as civil servants fluctuated between 3.5 percent and less than five percent every year.
"It is only fair if we have about eight percent representation in the civil service as that should be sufficient to look into the problems plaguing the Indian community," he told party colleagues at MIC meeting. He said a MIC delegation would soon meet Senator Amirsham A. Aziz, minister in the prime minister's department, to discuss employment and economic issues and opportunities affecting the community. These include the formation of an investment-based foundation such as Permodalan Nasional Bhd and a special fund to increase the equity ownership of the Indian community to three percent.
"Our community used to control 1.5 percent of equity and now it's down to only 1.2 percent," said Vellu, adding that the government had not provided enough opportunities for Indians to grow. He also criticised government-linked companies (GLCs) and agencies handling loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for not providing business opportunities to the Indian community, especially in the petroleum and automotive industries.
"We are very unhappy over the fact that Indian applicants who applied for SME loans are either rejected or ignored," said Vellu, who lost in his ninth bid at re-election last month. Vellu said these were among the things the government failed to address and had resulted in the Indian community rejecting the BN coalition in the recent general election.
"We could not answer the questions raised by the opposition parties during the elections and right now, our government is in a situation where it has to work very hard for the next four years to regain public confidence."
The National Education Blueprint 2006-2010 prepared by the education ministry in a report said that the government had spent 923 million ringgit ($419 million approx) for promotion of schools in Tamil language in 2007. That "billions were spent" on education for Tamils was "contrary to popular belief" about the government's contribution towards promotion of Tamil education, the newspaper said quoting the report.
Over two million of the 2.5 million ethnic Indians in Malaysia are Tamil Hindus, who settled during the British era.
|GIVE 100 PER CENT TO WHERE YOU LIVE - DR. KALAM TO NRIs AND PIOs
"We should give 100 per cent to where we live and work, while we commit to give back our knowledge and experience to our motherland also," Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former president of India and well known scientist told nearly a thousand Non Resident Indians (NRIs), who had gathered from across the United States to listen to him at the Hindu Temple Community Hall in Flushing, New York. The reception was organized by over 35 Indian American Organizations including GOPIO-New York, NFIA and FIA-New York, and students from more than 10 universities in the New York tri-state area, in a rare unity of purpose, indicative of Kalam's standing and wide appeal among people of all faiths, ideologies, and political affiliations.
Dr. Kalam was visiting the United States to share with NRIs his vision for India in the year 2020, and encouraged everyone to dream big, to achieve with integrity and to ignite the minds of youth of this world. Traveling along with Dr. Kalam was Mrs. Indira Rajan, Chair Person and Managing Director of Minerva Education Trust, Perumbavoor, Cochin. She is an educationist and promoter of Dr. Kalam's vision 2020 in her school systems in Kerala.
Dr. Kalam shared with the audience, mostly comprising of community leaders and students from ten Universities and 18 colleges, that since his presidential term got over last year, he has interacted with over one million people and youth to formulate his vision for India. His eloquent presentation was peppered with quotes from Plato to Tamil poet and visionary Thiruvalluvar.
Dr. Kalam listed key elements of his vision that include: a nation where the rural and urban divide is reduced to a thin line, where poverty has been eradicated, illiteracy removed and crimes against women and children are absent and none in society feels alienated, where the governance is responsive and transparent, a nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, peaceful, and happy and continues with a sustainable growth path.
To transform India into a developed nation, Kalam said he has identified five areas of the country's core competence for integrated action: Agriculture and food processing, reliable and quality electric power, surface transport and infrastructure for all parts of the country, education and healthcare, information and communication technology and Self-reliance in critical technologies.
The major mission, he said, is development of infrastructure for bringing rural prosperity through Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA), through creation of connectivity, namely, physical, electronic, and Knowledge, leading to economic connectivity.
He said it is possible to achieve the vision for India, "only if we adopt and practice the value system in a society which is derived out of our civilization heritage". He also emphasized righteousness in the heart and the "confidence that we can (achieve)". Kalam added: "We constitute one sixth of the global population and the transformation that we do to one sixth of the world will benefit the other population also." During a Q&A session that followed, he eloquently answered questions from some 20 students from area colleges and universities, pertinent to them.
While introducing India's 11th president Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam to the audience, George Abraham, Co-Chairperson of the event and General Secretary of the Indian National Overseas Congress, said, while the role of the president of India has never been so demanding or challenging. In 2002, in the form of Dr. Kalam, India finally got a president who Completely changed the way people used to look at the first citizen of India. His dynamism gave the much needed face-lift to the 'president-of-India' brand that gave a new meaning to the highest office."
Describing Dr. Kalam as a spiritualized scientist, Abraham called him a KARMAYOGI. "He dreams of a 21st century India that has economic prosperity, National security and the rightful place in the world. He is a visionary leader, calling for a national movement to transform India into a developed country with speed and making it militarily and economically self-reliant," he added.
Mr. Lal Motwani, Chairman of the Organizing Committee who is currently the president of the New York chapter of the Global Organization of the People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) and vice president of National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA) in his welcome address said that PIOs/NRIs are sanctified by the August presence of Dr. Kalam. Welcoming THE GREAT SON Of INDIA, Motwani said, Indian history is replete with important and dramatic events, which have been profoundly affected by great men including Dr. Kalam. His strategic leadership and his partnership with other nuclear scientists has enabled India to become a major nuclear power to protect and preserve our motherland. As Chairman of TIFAC, he led a team of 500 experts and developed technology Vision 2020, to transform India into a developed Nation, Mr. Motwani added.
According to Dr. Kalam: "The most powerful resource on the earth, above the earth and under the earth is the ignited Young mind. It should be empowered with adequate knowledge and leadership qualities to make the developed India Dream a realty."
Also address the gathering were Indian Consul General Neelam Deo, FIA President Yash Paul Soi, Tamil Sangham of New York President Albert Chelladurai, Rajiv Gowda representing New York Indo-American Political Forum and Mohamed Imran, President, American Federation of Muslims from India.
During his current week-long tour of the country, Dr. Kalam inaugurated the US chapter of Lead India 2020, a movement run under his supervision to transform India as a developed nation, and addressed the Wharton India Economic Forum at Philadelphia and delivered a lecture at the University of Kentucky.
The President released the souvenir containing quoting from Vision 2020 and it was presented to him by Mr. Alex Vilanilam Koshy, Souvenir Committee Chair along with Mr. George Abraham, Co-Chairman and Lal K. Motwani, Chairman and B. Aravindakshan, Co-Chairman. All participating organizations presented a plaque stating thanks to Dr. Kalam's vision and care to India and it was presented to him by Lal K. Motwani, George Abraham and B. Aravindakshan.
|GOPIO-CT YOUTH TO HELP CHILDREN IN INDIA
GOPIO-CT Youth are making a big difference in a special way. This year, GOPIO-CT Youth Co-Chairs Ankur Ahuja and Sharon-Priya Banta have set out an initiative for CT Youth to help children in India.
The chapter is working with the Bal Sadan Orphanage in Panchkula, India to raise money to bring abandoned children out of destitution and into the safety of the orphanage. The Bal Sadan orphanage has been open for close to ten years and has 2 sister orphanages as well. The cost to sponsor one child-which includes education in the top private schools, food, accommodation, clothing, tutoring, music and dance classes and transportation to and from school is only $450.00 a year, which is 18,00 rupees. Sharon-Priya visited the orphanage after her graduation from the University of Michigan in 06'. "The children are gaining education from good schools to change their lives, more over they are safe, happy and are getting the support they need to move forward." After speaking to her co-chair Ankur about making this the GOPIO-CT Youth Project, together they felt confident and enthusiastic about the idea. They launched the project at the GOPIO-CT Youth Luncheon in December of 2007.
As of date, GOPIO-CT Youth has raised $900. In support of the youth efforts for this project, GOPIO-CT chapter committee generously added in extra funds, making the very first contribution for this project a total of $1000.
GOPIO-CT chapter looks forward to much more good news in helping the children of Bal Sadan.
100% of all monies raised go directly to help the children. For additional information about this project and how to get involved or contribute to this worthy, please contact GOPIO-CT President Sangeeta Abuja at firstname.lastname@example.org, who will pass on information for the GOIO-CT Youth Group and contact info to the co-chairs.
|AUSTRALIA ENTERS GOPIO MAP
GOPIO Business Council Australia
Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit, secular organization and is supported by well meaning people from all over the world. GOPIO functions by the efforts of volunteers who continually help network the global Indian community. GOPIO volunteers are committed to enhancing cooperation and communication between NRIs/PIOs, building bonds, friendships, alliances, and the camaraderie of citizens and colleagues alike, and thereby facilitating makingtomorrow a better world for the Indian Diaspora.
GOPIO started with national organization concept in 1989 but now has embarked upon establishing chapters in all countries with NRI/PIO population, with the primary objective of service to the local community. The chapters are encouraged to enroll its own members as well Life Members for GOPIO International. GOPIO Life Members have voting rights in GOPIO International policy making body and they will also become members of the local chapters.
Dr Thomas Abraham, Chairman GOPIO International had visited Australia and had successful and productive community meetings in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth in February/March this year.
Dr J.S. Virk has taken leadership initiative and started GOPIO Business Council (Australia)which is part of Business Council of GOPIO International. GOPIO Business Council had supported the first two Global Entrepreneurs Conferences, the first one organized by Singapore India Chamber of commerce in 1996 and the second organized by FICCI in New Delhi in 1998. GOPIO itself hosted the Third global Indian Entrepreneurs Conference in New York in co-operation with a dozen of Indian Chambers of Commerce from around the word in 2002 (http://gopio.net/2002_conference.htm). GOPIO Business Council is planning to organize a Global NRI/PIO Business Summit later this year in Australia and invite NRI/PIO businessmen and entrepreneurs from all over the world to join for this meeting. Contact Dr. Virk at email@example.com.
GOPIO Business Council Australia has the following members:
- Dr. J.S. Virk (Chairman)
- Mr Paras Ram Punj (Co-Chairman)
- Mr Harjinder Singh (Vice Chairman)
- Mr Harjeet Singh Harry (Executive Member)
- Dr Moninder Singh (Executive Member)
- Mr Kulwant Singh (Executive Member)
- Mr Rajvinder Singh (Executive Member)
- Mr Vijay Rana (Executive Member)
- Mr Mandhir Sandha (Executive Member)
GOPIO regional coordinator Noel Lal and Australia coordinator Gambhir Watts have helped initiate a chapter in Sydney under the leadership of Rohitas Batta and in Melbourne under the leadership of Karan Narula.
GOPIO Sydney chapter has the following persons appointed as interim officers:
1. Dr. Rohitas Batta
2 Mr. Harmohan Singh (Harry) Walia
3. Mr. Satish Rai
4. Mr. Mahavir Arya
5. Mr. Navneet Choujar
6. Mr. Brij Pal Singh
7. Mr. Vijay Jogia
GOPIO Melbourne Chapterhas the following persons appointed as interim officers
1. Mr. Karan Narula
2. Mr. Amit Gupta
3. Mr. Kunal Narula
4. Mr. Tanu Ghosh
5. Mr. Jasmin Shah
6. Mr. Dia Ram Sharma
President GOPIO International President Inder Singh is visiting Australia and will formally launch the Australia chapters and Business Council in mid May 2008
Contact:Gambhir Watts, National Coordinator, GOPIO Australia, (Email: Gambhir@bmgw.com. Mob. 0413 880 881), Dr Jagvinder Singh Virk, Chairman,GOPIO Business Council Australia
(Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Mob. 0431 452 407), Noel Lal, Regional Coordinator Oceanic Region (Email:email@example.com).
|INDIA RURAL DEVELOPMENT ACTION PROGRAM CONFERENCE SCHEDULED FOR MAY 3-4 IN CHICAGO, USA
The primary purpose of the Conference is to develop concrete action programs for water development, healthcare, primary education and economic development of rural Indian villages. It is a follow-up to the December, 2007 Rural India Learning Journey undertaken by 24 Indian Americans.
During the Conference, participants in the Learning Journey and other veterans in grassroots development will share their experiences and discuss the work of credible NGOs already making strides in developing rural India and how the successful models of village development could be scaled up and replicated elsewhere in India. Most importantly, they plan to formulate specific project possibilities and encourage others to participate in future Learning Journeys to different Indian states in 2008 and 2009.
The venue is Club House Inn and Suites, 630 Pasquinelli Dr, Westmont, IL 60559; (630) 920-2200. For details about the Chicago conference, visit www.usindiafriendship.com or contact Ram Narayanan at 716-875-9976, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information, contact: Ram Narayanan email@example.com(716 875 9976) or Raj Rajaram firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.usindiafriendship.net.
NEW JERSEY ENTERS GOPIO MAP
GOPIO Western New Jersey chapter was formally established after a meeting among the chapter executives and officials of GOPIO International on March 29, 2008 in Parsippany, New Jersey. The officers of the newly formulated chapter are: Gary Mahabir, President; Dr. Usha Desai, Vice President; Dipal Modi, Secretary; Nitesh Metha, Treasurer; Omkar Singh, Director.GOPIO western New Jersey President Gary Mahabir stated that, "they also recognize that New York--New Jersey--Connecticut tri-state region is a metropolitan area of quite a sizeable population of people of Indian origin that deserve more active representation in GOPIO". The chapter intends to focus its efforts on community activities and networking of NRIs and PIOs.
GOPIO International President Inder Singh welcomed the establishment of the chapter. He stated that he hopes "that you will have a very rewarding experience as you get more involved in GOPIO's activities and make contributions of time and talent to GOPIO's mission". GOPIO North American Regional Vice President Dr Piyush Agrawal followed his congratulations with offer "to assist you in getting your MISSION of getting your Chapter as one of the most productive Chapters in the GOPIO World". GOPIO International Secretary General Ashook Ramsaran congratulated "all those who attended, in showing such an interest in formulating a GOPIO chapter in western New Jersey", adding that "I am impressed with the interest and enthusiasm shown".
Contact: Gary Mahabir, 42 Eagle Rock Village, unit 1 B, Budd Lake NJ 07828, Tel: Tel: 862-258-3548, E-mail: email@example.com.
Photo below: GOPIO International officials with the newly formed GOPIO-Western new Jersey Chapter officials, from L. to R.:
Dipal Modi, Dr Usha Desai, Rajesh Uppal, Dr. Piyush Agrawal, Ashook Ramsaran and Gary Mahabir
Photo above: GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham after addressing the GOPIO meeting at Central New Jersey on April 4th.
GOPIO-Central New Jersey was initiated at a public meeting organized by GOPIO Life Member Dr. Rajeev Mehta and hosted by Rotary International Chapter Dist. 7510 in Plainsboro, New Jersey. The meeting held at the Crown of India Restaurant located at Princeton Meadow Shopping Center was addressed by GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham who spoke on the topic "India and NRIs/PIOs - Engaging for Mutual Benefits." After the talk, the audience participated in with several questions and comments. The group finally decided to initiate the process for launching GOPIO-Central Jersey chapter.
At his welcome address, the Rotary Chapter President Dinesh Mittal said that the local Rotary Club is the only club with Indian American members and that they are supporting several projects in India. To participate in the chapter, contact Dr. Rajeev Mehta, Tel: 732-463-7929, E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
GOPIO INTERNATIONAL AND CHAPTER NEWS
GOPIO-AMSTERDAM'S SEMINAR ON INVESTMENT CLIMATE IN INDIA A SUCCESS
There have been several stories about high returns on the stock exchange in India and probably have heard from friends about their successes with Indian stocks. Even in the era of a sub-prime mortgage crisis, India and China have not lost their shining armor although things are stabilizing too. The question is "what can these investment returns stories mean as a private person? And how can one tap into that market in order to guarantee a good contribution to one's pension savings for instance?"
GOPIO Amsterdam presented a specialist who shed the light for general public on the investment climate in India on Sunday 13th of April 2008 at Landgoed Hageveld at Heemstede in the "Collegezaal". The speaker was Karnail Sangha, Senior Portfolio Manager at Robeco. The title of the speech was: Investing in India for private individuals, some insights. The group also invited Miss Romila Choenni, a poltical science student to give a personal account of her "Know India Program (KIP) experience of 2008.
Choenni was a guest of MOIA as part of a PIO student delegation to experience India in 6 weeks. She explained the contrast she felt between their visit to the in villages in Tamil Nadu, the discussion with the Village Panchayats versus their stays in New Delhi and meeting people at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. Although not everything was according to plan she declared that it was a very valuable time to get to know India. As a result she has committed herself to get involved professionally with India after graduation.
Photo above: Audience at GOPIO-Amsterdam program on Aril 13th
Photo above: Audience at GOPIO-Amsterdam program on Aril 13th
"Wait until the situation improves". In the second part of the event Sangha of Robeco presented the huge opportunities for investments in various sectors. This was mainly because of the increasing level of consumption, growth of the middle classes and a untapped chances to invest in infrastructure and agriculture related funds. Sangha gave a comprehensive view on the historical develpment of the Indian economy versus China. The audience got a chance to have a free discussion on the momentum to invest, some tocks were presented explicitly to illustrate the facts. Finally the bottom line advice was not to rush to the stock exchange now but carefully select and if possible take the time for the coming months to review the investment portfolio before investing. In short, a very informative but also vibrant social event for all of the GOPIO friends in the Amsterdam Metro area.
Contact: Dr. R. Tewari, President, GOPIO Amsterdam, E-mail: email@example.com
GOPIO TRINIDAD & TOBAGO TO ORGANIZE SEMINAR ON ALCOHOLISM & TRADE
GOPIO Trinidad and Tobago has organized a GOPIO Trinidad and Tobago has organized an Indian Arrival Seminar on Saturday May 10th, from 3 to 7pm, at the Main Auditorium, Divali Nagar, Chaguanas. GOPIO Trinidad and Tobago will be supporting other organizations in their Indian Arrival Day celebrations to enhance cooperation and communication between our community and other communities.
The two major themes of the Seminar are:
(1) The ALCOHOLISM problem in Trinidad & Tobago: Causes, Effects and Solutions.]There will be three professional presentations by experts in the field and a panel discussion on the pros and cons of the increasingly popular 'Rum Chutney Songs' that have taken the airwaves by storm. Panelists will include chutney artistes themselves. All the sessions are interactive.
(2) Opportunities for Trade & Business in the India and the International Indian Diaspora. Representatives from the India, Pakistan, Mauritius, Fiji, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago will deliver 20 to 30 minutes presentations- on such opportunities in their respective countries.
GOPIO JOINS ST. JOHN'S UNIV. TO ORGANIZE SYMPOSIUM ON NYC IMMIGRAT COMMUNITY DIALOGUE
The Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) of New York City has designated the week of April 14 - 20, 2008 as Immigrant Heritage Week with a series of approved week-long events by several selected organizations, groups and institutions. This is the third such series of annual events in New York City.
The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), St. John's University's Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (SJU/CLACS) and the Guyanese East Indian Civic Association (GEICA) are again collaborating on an MOIA approved symposium titled "Community Dialogue Among Caribbean & Latin American Immigrants in New York City". The event begins with a luncheon at 12:30pm on Saturday, April 19, 2008 at Marillac Hall A, St. John's University, 8000 Utopia Parkway, Queens, New York. The objective is to establish cross-cultural bridges of communication and understanding among comprise a significant percentage of the New York City population.
While these diverse groups of immigrants originate from countries with distinct historical, language (English, Spanish, French and Dutch) and ethnic backgrounds, they share many common aspirations, challenges and opportunities as immigrants in New York City. The symposium will focus on practical ways of creating and strengthening bridges of communication and understanding among these diverse groups.
Keynote speaker is Commissioner Guillermo Linares of New York City Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs. Special VIP speaker is Hon. Bayney Karran, Guyana's Ambassador to the United States, as well as Peru's Ambassador Torino. Dr Gary Girdhari of the Guyana Journal, Rev Robert Fritch of Our Savior Lutheran Church, SJU Professors Rafael and Villers are among the speakers. . In addition to the individual presentations by eminent speakers, there will be a round-table panel, audience participatory discussion on the topic.
Admission is free and open to the public. Lunch and refreshments will be served.
Contact: Sat Sukhdeo (Pres, GOPIO Upper New York) at (718) 602-5986 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Lal Motwani (Pres, GOPIO New York City) at (718) 470-1026 or email@example.com
Ashook Ramsaran (Sec Gen, GOPIO Int'l) at (718) 969-8206 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Alina Camacho-Gingerich (St John's Univ) at (718-990-1932) or email@example.com
Prakash Singh (Director, GEICA) at 718-939-8194 or firstname.lastname@example.org
GOPIO-CT ORGANIZES A SERIES OF PROGRAM
GOPIO-CT organized a well attended financial planning seminar "Planning For Retirement" on Mar 27th under the initiative of Amarjit Singh. It was presented by Metlife who also sponsored the event. Three more such seminars will be held in Fairfield this year. For more details, contact: Amarjit Singh, E-mail: email@example.com.
ON March 29th, 2008, GOPIO-CT funded their first of the series of "Soup kitchen" for the homeless in Stamford. GOPIO-CT has volunteered to do four Soup Kitchen's at Yerwood Center in Stamford, CT. The dates for them are May 31st, August 30th and November 29th. Volunteers included Bhom Banta, Meera Banta, Andrew Tierno, Anita Bhat, Inni Dingra, Siyan Shaikh and Louella D'Silva. A lovely meal was prepared for everyone who came to the center. It was received very warmly by the community.
Photo above: GOPIO Volunteers at Yerwood's Soup Kitchen on March 29th, From L. to R.: Bhom Banta, Meera Banta, Andrew Tierno, Anita Bhat, Inni Dingra, Siyan Shaikh and Louella D'Silva
Photo above: GOPIO-CT officials and Roch representatives at the Health Seminar on April 10th. From L. to R.: Alicia Lovett, Beth Gwirtz, GOPIO-CtT officials, President Sangeeta Ahuja, Vcie President Shelly Nichani, Treasurer Louella D'Silva and Associate Secretary Anita Bhat
GOPIO-CT and Roche organized a Free Diabetes Educational Workshop on Thursday, April 10, 2008 at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Stamford, Connecticut. The speaker Sangeeta Ahuja, a dietician, spoke on Healthy Habits: Good Carbs, Better Carbs - and Simple Carb. Counting. Attended by a full house, everyone received a free an AccuCheck blood sugar meter.
GOPIO-Connecticut will celebrate its second anniversary on April 27th starting at 5 p.m. with a banquet at the Italian Center of Stamford. Three Indian Americans will be honored by the organization for their outstanding achievements and service to the community.
GOPIO UPPER NEW YORK CHAPTERS PLANS COMMUNITY EVENTS - GUYANA ARRIVAL DAY ON MAY 11th
Satruhan Sukdeo, President of the newly established GOPIO of Upper New York Chapter, announced two community events to be held in the coming months: Commemoration of 170th Anniversary of Indian Arrival Day in Guyana on Saturday, May 10th, 2008 in Bronx, New York. A commemorative Indian Arrival Day brochure would be issued with pertinent information on Indian Arrivals in Guyana and a historical perspective of the initial and subsequent journeys.
GOPIO of Upper New York Chapter has also initiated a golf outing scheduled for June 11, 2008 at the Dunwoodie Golf Course. The theme will be "Remembering Sewsankar 'Papwa' Seegolum" and proceeds will be used for funding GOPIO of Upper New York Chapter community activities.
To register for these events for more information, contact: Satruhan Sukdeo at 917-747-9523 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
GOPIO TRINIDAD & TOBAGO ORGANIZES ESSAY COMPETITION
GOPIO Trinidad and Tobago has organized a nationwide essay competition on the topic: "Alcoholism in Trinidad and Tobago - Causes, Effects and Solutions" as part of its calendar of activities for Indian Arrival Day celebrations 2008. The intent is raise the consciousness of our people, especially the youth; sensitize and increase awareness; and provide solutions that can be implemented throughout Trinidad & Tobago.
Participants are required to define the scope of the problem, describe the effect of Alcoholism on the society, and propose practical and pragmatic solutions that can be realistically implemented in Trinidad and Tobago. It is expected that analysis of current data and relevant information will be presented, in both text and graphical formats. Prizes are: Age 17 & under: winner will receive a desktop computer. Age 18-25: winner will receive a Laptop computer. Four runner -up prizes will be awarded in each group.
The winner of the essay competition on Alcoholism will be announced and prizes distributed on Saturday May 10th, from 3 to 7pm, at the Main Auditorium, Divali Nagar, Chaguanas. First place winner in each category will make 10 minutes presentations.
Deadline for entries: April 18, 2008. Send entries to GopioTT@gmail.com
MIRA NAIR IS NAMED INDIA ABROAD PERSON OF THE YEAR
Mira Nair, the internationally acclaimed film director, was honored as the Person of the Year 2007 at glittering awards banquet at the Gotham Hall in New York City by India Abroad weekly on March 28th. Columbia University's economist couple Padma and Jagdish Bhagwati were among other recipients of awards that recognize Indian American achievement.
Nair, maker of films like Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake and Salaam Bombay, received the award instituted by India Abroad - an ethnic Indian newsweekly. Indra Nooyi, chief of PepsiCo, presented the award to Nair at a function in Manhattan attended by prominent Indian Americans, community leaders and diplomats. Nooyi was the recipient of the same award last year.
In her acceptance speech, Nair reflected on her life's journey from Bhubaneswar, Orissa, where she was born, to Hollywood, where she is now among the A-List of directors. She paid rich tribute to her mother and other women who inspired and sustained her along the way.
Legendary economists Professor Padma Desai and her husband Professor Jagdish Bhagwati: the India Abroad Lifetime Achievement Award from author Salman Rushdie, last year's honouree. Jagdish Bhagwati is a leading advocate for free trade and globalisation who foresaw India's rise as an economic power many years ago. Padma Desai is an eminent expert on the Russian economy.
Dr. Renu Khator, president and chancellor of the University of Houston, received the Publisher's Special Award for Excellence. Former provost of the University of South Florida, Khator left India as a young bride 35 years ago, and is today among America's premier university administrators.
The Youth Achiever Award went to Somdev Dev Burman, 24, the first Indian ever to win the prestigious US collegiate tennis title last year. A product of Britannia Amritraj Tennis scheme in Chennai, Burman is the newest member of India's Davis Cup team. The University of Virginia senior could not receive the award in person.
Dr. Joy Cherian received the Lifetime Award for Service to the Community. In 1987 he became the first Indian American to be appointed to a US government position - commissioner at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Dr. Cherian was appointed by President Reagan. Later he served inder President George Bush Senior and President Clinton spanning over 6 years.
Dr. Navin Shah, who helped pioneer a revolutionary ambulance service in India, was given the India Abroad Community Service Award.
India Abroad publisher Ajit Balakrishnan said on the occasion that the Indian American community is famed for its achievements across a vast spectrum of activity.
The inaugural India Abroad Person of the Year award was conferred on Iowa legislator Swati Dandekar. In 2003, Sonal Shah, co-founder of NGO Indicorps, which bridges the gap between India-American youth and India through field trips to the country, was chosen as the India Abroad Person of the Year.
In 2004, Olympic gymnast Mohini Bhardwaj, captain of the American team that won a silver medal in Athens, was chosen as the India Abroad Person of the Year, and in 2005, then US Congressman Bobby Jindal, now the governor of Louisiana, received the honor.
GLOBAL LASER DISPLAY AWARD GOES TO MANICK SORCAR
Colorado-based Indian American animation and laser artist Manick Sorcar beat 99 contenders worldwide to bag the prestigious International Laser Display Association (ILDA) 2007 Artistic Award for his entry "Reflection" in the category for best laser photography.
ILDA's awards for artistic and technical excellence is the industry's equivalent of Hollywood's Oscars and the organisers each year honour companies from around the world for artistic and technological achievement. On March 27, the ILDA officially announced a list of the 2007 artistic award winners in their annual international laser display competition. Manick's company LaserLight Magic won the ILDA 2007 Artistic-Award for their entry "Reflection".
"Reflection is a scene from my forthcoming stage production. This was also my first entry in laser photography category," said Sorcar, who shot into fame in the early 1990s for his first animation mixed with live action "Deepa & Rupa: A Fairy Tale From India", which won the Gold Plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival.
Manick, an engineer by profession, is the first Indian-American to receive the prestigious ILDA Artistic-award twice. There were a total of 100 entries from 21 companies from around the world. The international panel of judges unanimously selected Manick Sorcar's "Reflection" for the first place. The second place went to Laser Entertainment Srl of Italy, and third to Lightwave International of the US.
The trophy will be handed to Manick Sep 10 at the 2008 ILDA Conference and Gala Award Ceremony on board the Carnival Imagination, cruising the Eastern Caribbean Sep 8-13.
Earlier, Manick received an ILDA Artistic Award for his "Enlightenment of Buddha", which won the ILDA 2005 Artistic Award at Rimini, Italy. In 2004 his "Dancing with My Soul" was a finalist for ILDA Artistic Award - both of those were for best use of laser on stage with live action.
"Enlightenment of Buddha" was an extravaganza of dance, drama, magic in combination with various forms of intelligent lighting, life-size laser-animation and three dimensional laser effects in space. His other films, also based on fables from India, received recognition by winning a series of prestigious awards at various international film festivals.
FIVE INDIAN AMERICANS AWARDED GUGGENHEIM FELLOWSHIPS
Five Indian Americans have been selected for the prestigious Guggenheim fellowship for 2008, an award program that assists research and artistic creation.
Poet Meena Alexander, writer Tony D'Souza, historian Sumit Guha, mathematician Chandrashekhar B. Khare and political scientist Ashutosh Varshney are among the 190 fellows announced April 3. They were selected from 2,600 applicants on the basis of their stellar achievement and exceptional promise for continued accomplishments. The 190 fellows would be disbursed grants according to their need, totalling $8.2 million, by the New York-based John Simon Guggenhiem Memorial Foundation.
Allahabad-born Alexander's collections of poetry includes "Quickly Changing River" (2008) and "Raw Silk" (2004). The New Yorker is also known for her autobiography "Fault Lines". She is a distinguished professor of English at Hunter College and the City University of New York, Graduate Centre.
Tony D'Souza, 32-year-old Chicagoan, released "The Konkans", a novel, two months ago. His first novel "Whiteman" (2007) received the prestigious Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Sumit Guha, professor of history at Rutgers University, is the author of several books including the well-known "Environment and Ethnicity in India: 1200-1991" and "Health and Population in South Asia from Earliest Times to the Present".
Chandrashekhar B. Khare, professor at the University of California, helped crack a mathematical puzzle - Serre's conjecture - which gave him instant recognition.
Ashutosh Varshney, teaching political science at the University of Michigan, has written the much acclaimed "Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India", which gave a fresh insight into communal riots in India.
Pulitzer Prize winning writer Jhumpa Lahiri and mathematician-author Manil Suri are among the previous Indian American recipients of the Guggenheim award.
INDO-CANADIAN PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY GETS NEW ROLE
Canadian parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs and international cooperation Deepak Obhrai has been appointed a member of the Canadian parliamentary special committee on Afghanistan. The House of Commons MP said, "Due to the leadership of the prime minister and the work done by the minister of foreign affairs, the minister of international cooperation, and other branches of the government, we have demonstrated Canada's commitment towards eradicating global terrorism and rebuilding Afghanistan."
The motion to create the committee passed with consensus early this month. It was part of the motion to extend Canada's mission in Afghanistan to 2011. The committee will meet for the duration of the mission in Afghanistan.
SIX INDIAN AMERICANS WIN SOROS GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP
SIX Indian Americans are among the 30 2008 Paul and Daisy Soros New American Fellows. Fellows receive up to a $20,000 stipend plus half tuition for as many as two years of graduate study at any institution of higher learning in the US .
Manav Bhatnagar is a second-year JD student at Yale. He previously attended Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude with degrees in South Asian Studies and Government. While still in high school he worked with Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala, India, before spending his college summers working in Kashmir with a pro bono legal clinic and a local human rights organization. Manav intends to use his education in the service of the US government in a legal or policymaking capacity. Manav was born in 1984 in Oxford, MS to parents who came to this country from India; he was raised in Milwaukee, WI.
Sudeb Dalal is a medical student at Stanford University, where he is completing his MSc and will begin a PhD in a joint MD/PhD program. He holds a BS in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from MIT, where he won the Karl Taylor Compton Award, MIT's highest undergraduate leadership award, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He is a Howard Hughes research fellow. Sudeb's current research investigates viral evolution, pathogenesis, and drug resistance in HIV-1 subtype C in sub-Saharan Africa. He has served as a visiting scientist at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg, South Africa; the Zimbabwe AIDS Prevention Project; and the Joint Clinical Research Centre in Uganda. At MIT, he helped found a non-profit organization that collected unexpired AIDS drugs and donated them to Dr. Paul Farmer's HIV Equity Initiative in Haiti. After finishing his education at Stanford, he hopes to complete a residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in infectious disease, ultimately focusing on maternal and infant mortality in the developing world. Sudeb was born in Marshall, Missouri in 1980 and grew up in the nearby town of Nevada.
Sushma Gandhi is in her second year at Harvard Law School. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale University in 2003, majoring in history and ethnicity, race and migration. She received the Andrew White and Richard C. Hegel senior thesis awards. Sushma used her biweekly column for the Yale Daily News to describe the local manifestations of national and international policy problems, acquainting her classmates with the larger environment in which they studied and lived. Sushma has focused her legal interests on economic security issues for people and communities, working currently on the threat of foreclosures resulting from subprime loans though her clinical and advocacy work, academic writing and contributions to the Warren Reports blog. With plans to work as a consumer advocate at a private financial institution, Sushma aspires to start her "own socially minded private bank that is committed to political advocacy and focused on providing credit in distressed urban centers and credit-needy countries." Now 26, Sushma was born in the US.
Sandee Koshore is a third-year MD/PhD candidate at the Weill Cornell/ Rockefeller/Sloan Kettering Tri-Institutional program. He received a BS in Biology from Duke University and an MS in Immunology/Pathology from Oxford. Now 25, Sandeep was born in Pittsburgh and grew up primarily in Arkansas and Virginia; his parents are naturalized US citizens from India. Sandeep plans a career in global public health as a physician-scientist and public health advocate. To combat the rise in heart disease globally, Sandeep worked with the Dean of Weill Cornell, public health officials, and a fellow classmate to petition successfully the World Health Organization to include a generic version of American blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) on the WHO's Essential Medicines List, enabling mass drug donation by UN organizations and philanthropic foundations to 156 national governments.
Krishnan Subramanian is currently Border State Director of Obama for America, supplementing field efforts for the presidential campaign. He has deferred matriculation at Stanford's Medical School until the Fall of 2008. As an undergraduate at Harvard, he was elected President and first class Marshal of the class of 2003. He graduated magna cum laude with a major in Social Studies. While at Harvard he taught and then directed City Step, a program to empower children through the medium of dance. He also founded and directed the Cambridge Student Partnership, a student organization that connected needy Cambridge and Boston residents to community resources available to serve them. For three summers during these years, Krishnan served as a counselor and theater instructor at the Hole in the Wall Gang camp in Connecticut for children battling life-threatening diseases. That experience led to his being awarded a year-long Richardson Fellowship in Public Affairs, which he used to initiate a camp in southern Africa for orphans and children suffering from HIV/AIDS. After returning from South Africa, Krishnan joined Teach for America, under whose auspices he taught special needs high school students on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Krishnan plans to study Community Medicine at Stanford and then to return to South Dakota to start a comprehensive community health center. Krishnan was born in St. Paul, MN.
Vijay Yanamadala is a first-year student at Harvard Medical School in the Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST). He received his BA in Biochemical Sciences, magna cum laude, and an MA in Chemistry, both from Harvard University. In high school, while working on an environmental preservation project with the National Audubon Society, Vijay was awarded best of category and first place at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2002 for his work designing a successful filtration system for reducing phosphates and ammonia in lakes populated by pathogenic and toxic microorganisms. At Harvard, Vijay also found time to be a teaching fellow, teaching in five courses and receiving several certificates of distinction. He was also active in cross-cultural organizations, serving as vice chairman of the Harvard Interfaith Council and founder-editor of a student journal on Hinduism, Swadharma. Now 21, Vijay was born in Dallas, Texas.
INDO-CANADIAN SHEELA BARSUR GETS ONTARIO'S HIGHEST CIVILIAN AWARD
Indo-Canadian Dr. Sheela Basrur, who led the fight against the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak here, was given the Order of Ontario, the highest civilian award in Canada's most important province. Basrur was earlier the chief medical officer of health of Ontario and assistant deputy minister for health.
Ontario Lt. Governor David Onley conferred the award on Basrur at the Grand River Hospital in the nearby city of Kitchener where she is undergoing treatment for cancer.
Praising Basrur for her services to keep Ontarians healthy, the Lt. Governor said, she had "provided inspiring leadership in the face of heavy responsibilities and daunting expectations. She has compiled a truly remarkable record as a talented health professional, and as a committed public servant".
Thanking the people and government of Ontario for the award, Basrur said: "It's an incredible honor to receive the Order of Ontario. Like many others in the field of public health, I get tremendous fulfillment working to safeguard the health of the people in this province. I'm humbled at being recognized for doing work that I enjoy."
She served as Ontario's chief medical officer of health from 2004 to 2006. She quit after being diagnosed with cancer - a rare type of vascular tumor.
After the SARS outbreak, Basrur developed and implemented Operation Health Protection, a three-year action plan to protect and promote health. She helped create the province's new ministry of health promotion and spearheaded its key initiatives, including the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy and the provincial Action Plan for Healthy Eating and Active Living to address rising obesity among Ontarians.
In six years as medical officer of health for the newly amalgamated City of Toronto, Basrur oversaw the merging of six public health units into one with 1,800 staff and an annual operating budget of $160 million - the largest in Canada. Among her innovations is the DineSafe program to inform Torontonians of the food safety rating of restaurants and other eateries.
|NEWS OF INTEREST TO NRIs AND PIOs AROUND THE WORLD
INDIA ABROAD FOUNDER GOPAL RAJU IS NO MORE
Veteran journalist Gopal Raju, founder of India Abroad; IANS news service and the Indian American Center for Political Awareness - and the editor and publisher of three other newspapers - died in New York on the evening of April 9th at the New York Presbyterian, the University Hospital of Columbia-Cornell after a brief illness. He was 80. A bachelor, Raju died of complications arising from sudden illness.
The soft-spoken shy publisher, who became an institution in the South Asian community in the US, was conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman for his contributions to India and its diasporas by then president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in 2007. Till his death, he was editor and publisher of the New York-based News-India Times, Desi Talk and Gujarat Times.
The Bangalore-born Raju was also the founder of the Indian American Centre for Political Awareness (IACPA), a well-known non-profit organization in Washington that sought to empower Indian Americans, especially the younger generation, and helped create a distinct Indian voice on Capitol Hill.
GOPIO chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham said that Mr. Raju and Indian Aboard helped to reach out to the community to mobilize for community causes and for promoting India's interests. "We could reach out to the Indian community through only a few publications at that time such as India Abroad in 1970s and 80s, when there were no national Indian TV programs or internet," said Dr. Abraham."
"Publication such as India Abroad at that time made a difference for community mobilization," Abraham added.
KERALA APPROVES WELFARE BILL FOR NON-RESIDENT KERALITES
Kerala government has approved the Pravasi Kerala Welfare Bill 2008, aimed at reaching out to thousands of people from the state settled elsewhere in the country and abroad.
"This is going to help all Keralites settled outside the state," Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan told reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting early this month. The bill will be introduced in the state assembly.
Besides the welfare schemes which are planned, the new bill is likely to look into ways to put to "productive use" the annual remittances from the non-resident Keralites (NRKs) which run in excess of Rs.200 billion.
The chief minister also announced that a World Malayalee Conclave would be held here along with the first International Youth Festival for non-resident Malayalee children and youth July 15-16.
These decisions were taken here Tuesday at the meeting of the Roots-Norka, the state's implementing agency for all NRK-related programs.
In the state budget presented recently, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac has set aside Rs.30 million for setting up the NRK welfare fund and Rs.2 million for the two-day event.
"We have also named two new vice-presidents to the Roots-Norka: V.K.C. Mohammed Koya and M.A. Yusuf Ali," said Achuthanandan.
Koya is a former legislator of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist and Ali is a Middle East based Keralite businessman.
INDIA PLANS JOINT LABOR MANAGEMENT SYSTEM WITH UAE AND BAHRAIN
India may soon become the first country to jointly manage with a migrant destination country the entire cycle of movement of workers from recruitment to return to homeland - which could become a model for a new international framework.
Talks have already been held here in March with United Arab Emirates on a pilot project - the top destination for the majority of Indian emigrants, to discuss the broad outlines. Bahrain will also be sending a delegation at the end of this month to discuss the scheme.
According to a senior official in the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), there will be a common project document that will be replicated in both countries.
India's plans are directly related to discussions at the Abu Dhabi Dialogue held this January between 22 Asian countries of origin and destination of labor. One of the key areas identified for partnership in its declaration document was to develop a framework for a comprehensive approach to managing the entire cycle of temporary contractual mobility. Before this, all the stakeholders, the origin and destination countries were only looking at the problem from their perspectives. Nobody was looking at the entire labor mobility cycle.
India's representative at the dialogue, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, had offered to initiate the plan - and three months later, officials of India and UAE have already drawn up a timeline to discuss, decide and implement the multi-stakeholder project.
India and UAE found each other the obvious choice to test the proposed system, with the movement of labor between the two countries listed at number seven on the top ten global migration corridors of the 2008 World Bank Migration and Remittances Fact Book with 2.2 million migrants.
UAE is the number one destination for Indians looking for work abroad, while Indians account for the majority of the foreign worker population in the Gulf nation. The articulated objective of the proposed pilot project is to promote "legal, orderly and managed" mobility, discourage illegal migration, reduce the cost of migration to workers and set up linkages between market demand and supply of skills.
A two-member delegation from UAE's ministry of labor had met MOIA officials and members of civil society groups dealing with migrant worker rights on March 24 to discuss the draft activities drawn up by India. The activities include eleven projects that range from having a set-up to exchange labor market information, to establishing a regulatory mechanism for recruiting agents and drawing up a model contract.
Another interesting idea is to set up a pilot placement module in the three sectors of construction, hospitality and healthcare.
According to MOIA officials, UAE would look into the simplification of the work permit system and entry requirement, along with a detailed re-examination of the sponsorship system.
A proposal that could immensely help overseas workers is for both countries to look at establishing a protocol to allow workers to shift employers after a specific period and search for new opportunities once the contract ends.
At the same time, they would also be considering a provision for workers to return to India after completing their contracts, such as social security measures that could be directly funded by employer and employee.
GANDHI'S BUST UNVEILED IN ROME
Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of non-violence, has become an icon in Italy and found a prized place next to epic poet Virgil, overlooking the picturesque Bay of Naples.
A majestic bronze bust of Gandhi, the creation of Indian sculptor Gautam Pal, was unveiled by India's ambassador to Italy Rajiv Dogra and Mayor of Naples Rosa Iervolino Russo.
The bust was installed in Parco Virgiliano, named after Virgil, the poet who sang "of armies and of men" in his epic Aenid, which is located in the heart of Naples.
The installation of Gandhi's statue on the top of Posillipo hill consecrated to national icon Virgil underlines the popularity of Gandhi and his enduring message of non-violence and passive resistance in Italy that has seen a flowering of educational institutions named after him.
"Gandhiji's ideas and message are universal. Mahatma's actions and his teachings are an antidote to the brutality of violence. It's heartening to see that the life of Mahatma Gandhi is followed with admiration in Italy," said Dogra, who also penned a novel "Almost an Ambassador", which is based on his long innings as an Indian diplomat in different parts of the world.
"It is symbolic of close relations between two ancient civilizations like Italy and India that two of the greatest figures of history - Virgil and Mahatma Gandhi - should come to be associated together in this manner in a glorious site overlooking the bay of Naples," he said.
Russo, the first woman mayor of Naples, was jubilant to see Gandhi's statue in Parco Virgiliano, a favourite with young Italians and tourists.
"Mahatma Gandhi's message remains relevant universally today. The words and actions of Gandhi continue to provide inspiration and comfort to all people," she said in front of an eclectic audience that included parliamentarians, business magnates, scholars, journalists and influential figures of the art world.
Gandhi has become a cult of sorts in Italy with more and more Italians discovering new truth in his writings. A slew of poetry competitions, functions and discussions have been held over the last two years, said an official of the Indian embassy in Rome.
The bust of Gandhi was commissioned and gifted by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
INDIA TO RECOGNIZE FOREIGN MEDICAL POST GRADUATE DEGREES
The Government of India took a significant step to recognize the postgraduate medical degrees from five countries, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. However, the holders of the recognized postgraduate degrees must be eligible to do practice in government as well as in private sectors in their respective countries. The decision of the government to recognize foreign degrees in medicine would help Indian doctors in the UK who are not eligible to seek jobs under the new immigration rules. They could return to India and start their practice.
Government of India has already recognized the medical degrees of Myanmar, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Japan, and Hong Kong to expand the chances of Indian students to pursue the medical course from these countries.
NRI GROOM TRYING TO MARRY ILLEGALLY SECOND TIME BEATEN UP
An NRI groom from UK who was trying to illegally marry for a second time was beaten up at the venue of his wedding ceremony. He had married a girl from Rajasthan and, without getting a divorce from his first wife, he arranged a marriage with another girl in Kapurthala. The groom and his relatives were confronted by activists of the Lok Bhalai Party (LBP), a social and political organization in Punjab that takes up cases of illegal immigration and fake marriages. He was asked to give proof of his divorce from his first wife. When he failed to furnish any proof, the LBP activists and others gave him a sound thrashing and then handed him over to the police. The police booked him for cheating and arrested him.
|GOPIO LIFE MEMBERSHIP AND CHAPTER FORMATION
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 (www.gopio.net) and get details of chapter initiation (visit http://www.gopio.net/chapter_initiative.htm). 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: email@example.com
GOPIO Executive Vice President - Lord Daljit Rana, UK, Tel: +44 28-9807-8787, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
GOPIO Secretary General - Ashook Ramsaran, Fresh Meadows, New York City, Tel: 718/939-8194, E-mail: email@example.com
To become a Life member of GOPIO, visit http://www.gopio.net/membership_form.htm, print and fill up the form and send it with a check to: GOPIO, P.O. Box 1413, Stamford, CT 06904, USA.
Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO (Stamford, CT, USA)
Editors: Ashook Ramsaran, GOPIO General Secretary (New York, USA); and Munish Gupta, GOPIO Media Chair (Los Angeles, Calif)
Webmasters: Prashant Gupta (Gurgaon, Haryana, India) and Abu Thomas (New Rochelle, NY, USA)
Contributors of this issue: Inder Singh (USA), Gambhir Watts (Australia) andSangeeta Ahuja (USA), B. Aravindakshan (USA), Dr. Ryan Tiwari (The Netherlands), Sharon-Priya Banta (USA), Gary Mahabir (USA), Satruhan Sukdeo (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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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