August 3, 2019
A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
|Issue: XVII-4||August 3, 2019|
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We resume GOPIO News again after brief period of few months. Most of us were out in India for the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and afterwards it got delayed due to some unavoidable circumstances.
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 http://www.gopio.net/online_membership.html.
GOPIO-KOCHI DISTRIBUTES WATER PURIFIERS TO THE 2018 FLOOD-HIT FAMILIES
Kerala was a State which once was abundant in water supply, with 44 rivers straddled across a lush green backdrop. Today, the State as a whole suffers from one of the lowest per capita share of water and the lowest proportion of improved drinking water coverage as compared to other bigger states in the country.
During August 2018, the State witnessed the most devastating natural calamity in the last one century, when the floods hit the State with 44 rivers in spate, forcing release of water from 33 dams simultaneously, displacing over 1.2 million people and the State had to set up over 3300 relief camps. But as the water receded and people started returning home, they had to face the major challenge of drinking water problem.
The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin Kochi Chapter (GOPIO-Kochi) in Kerala has extended relief to the flood-hit people of Kuttanad in Alappuzha, who are suffering from acute shortage of drinking water post the devastating 2018-flood. GOPIO has distributed water purifiers, which does not need any power for its operations.
GOPIO officials have chosen Charity World Trust near Changanasserry and NSS Karayogam, Kavalam for distributing the water purifiers among the needy. Of the 350 houses with mentally challenged children in Kuttanad in Alleppy District, Charity World Trust, which is headed by Rev. Fr. Sebastian Punnasserry, initially selected over 100 houses from different wards for the distribution of water purifiers.
"This is the beginning of a major initiative to ensure the children and family members in Kuttanad enjoy a healthy life", said Kurian Abraham, GOPIO International Coordinator for South Asia and former President of GOPIO Cochin Chapter.
"As we embarked on this initiative, we are now approached by hundreds of families in this belt to provide the water filters. It is really a very pathetic situation as people explain to us the deplorable conditions they live in with contaminated water all around. We gratefully acknowledge the prompt support and assistance offered to us by GOPIO International, without which we could not have successfully completed this project", Kurian Said.
Charity World Trust had organized a function earlier at Cheeranchira which had the participation of Kurian Abraham, then President of GOPIO Cochin Chapter, Jose Thomas-Secretary, P L Jose - Treasurer, Joseph Kottooran - Project Coordinator and Thomas Abraham, Joint Secretary of GOPIO Cochin Chapter. A similar function held at Kavalam was presided over by the President of the NSS Karayogam Adv. Rajesh. Kurian Abraham inaugurated the distribution in the presence of GOPIO Kochi Chapter officials and other dignitaries.
GOPIO Kochi Chapter is now proposing to conduct a study on Kuttanad region to find out the exact requirement of water purifiers among the needy. "As per the available records, there are over 3000 families with differently abled members. As we now take up the distribution of water purifies in the second stage, we propose to supply these purifiers to 1000 families. Our aim is to gradually effect supplies of water purifiers to the entire 3000 needy families in Kuttanad," adds Mr. Jose and Mr. Balagaopal, the new President and Secretary of GOPIO Kochi Chapter.
Besides Alappuzha, GOPIO Kochi has also distributed water purifiers in and around Ernakulam region in the presence of GOPIO officials and local charity organizations. Around 525 units of water purifiers amounting to Rs 7.50 lakh have already been distributed both in Alappuzha and Ernakulam belts.
Photos above, Photo i - Mr. Jose Thomas, Secretary to a family at Kannadi, Kuttanad; Photo ii Secretary Jose Thomas handing over water purifier at North Parur and Photo iii - Bishop handing over the water purifier to a family at Paduvapuram, Kochi in the presence of Secretary Jose Thomas, and Mr. Joseph Kottooran, project Coordinator for this project.
GOPIO Kochi Chapter initiative is the beginning of a major initiative to provide clean drinking water to the needy and to ensure the children and family members enjoy a healthy life. As we embarked on this initiative, we are now approached by hundreds of families in this belt to provide the water filters. It is really a very pathetic situation as people explain to us the deplorable conditions they live in with contaminated water all around.
Cost of the project
Total number of water purifiers supplied till date: 525 units
Total cost of the units so far: Rs. 7.50 lacs
TATA provided the water purifiers at a subsidized rate.
Stage II :
- Proposal is to take up supply of 3000 water purifiers
- Total cost involved will be Rs. 45.00 lacs
- Funding for the Stage-II will be through donations, sponsorships and in house.
If you like to contribute, please contact GOPIO-Kochi officers as follows:
Mr. Jose Thomas, (now President), Tel: +91 98470 31444, email@example.com, Mr. Balagopal Veliyath, Secretary, +91 81291 22229, firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr. Joseph Kottooran, Treasurer & Project Coordinator, +91 98950 33747, email@example.com
|GOPIO-BIENNIAL CONVENTION TO BE HELD IN BERLIN, GERMANY, NOV. 8-10, 2019|
GOPIO-International Executive Council has selected Berlin as the venue for its Biennial Convention to be held from Nov. 8-10, 2019.
For more information, contact Mehen Poinoosawmi, GOPIO International Coordinator for Europe, Paris, France, Tel: '+33 670 468885, firstname.lastname@example.org.
|SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FOR DIASPORA CHILDREN FOR ACADEMIC SESSION 2019-'20|
Government of India launched a scheme called "Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children" (SPDC), in the academic year 2006-2007, for the wards of Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to assist them in pursuing Under Graduate courses in Indian Universities/Institutes.
Under SPDC scheme financial assistance for specific undergraduate courses in Professional and Non-Professional courses (except Medical and related courses)is provided towards tuition fee, admission fee and post admission services. The scheme is applicable to NRIs and PIOs from 66 countries.
Under the scheme, PIO/NRI students are awarded a scholarship of up to US$4,000 per annum for payment of tuition fee, admission fee and post admission services for Undergraduate courses in Engineering, Technology, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Commerce, Management, Journalism, Hotel Management, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and other courses. The scholarship is applicable to students who have already secured admission in an Indian institution. Admission is permitted only in Central Universities, NAAC "A" Grade Institutions, National Institute of Technologies (NITs), School of Planning & Architecture (SPAs), and Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIITs) as covered under Direct Admission of Students Abroad (DASA) scheme.
In case of any technical assistance, please contact following:
SPDC Portal Support Team, EG & IT Division, MEA, 1025, A Wing, Jawaharlal Nehru Bhavan
23-D Janpath, New Delhi 110011, Email: email@example.com, Tel. +91 11 4901 8371
In case of any assistance/clarification regarding Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children, please contact following: Section Officer, OIA II Division, MEA, 925, Akbar Bhawan, Chankyapuri, New Delhi 110021, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel.: +91 11 2419 7927; Or Visit www.spdcindia.gov.in
Last date for application is Nov. 30, 2019.
GOPIO CHAPTERS HELP TO ORGANIZE YOGA DAY AROUND THE WORLD
Since the declaration of International Yoga Day by the UN General Assembly in 2014, it has gained worldwide popularity due to its immense health benefits. International Day of Yoga 2019 managed to create a broad-based awareness about the benefits of yoga to all sections of the society and also reintroduced the ancient mind-body practice and breathing techniques to a technology driven, fast-paced world.
GOPIO-New York area chapters joined hands with participated with other Indian American community organizations to celebrate the 5th International Day of Yoga 2019 organized by the Consulate General of India at Fair Bridge Hotel & Conference Center in Somerset, NJ. Over 2,000 Yoga enthusiasts joined this grand celebration.
World's oldest Yoga instructor and practitioner Padma Shree Ms. Tao Porchon Lynch taught some Yoga Asanas at the event. Mr. Vikas Khanna, celebrity chef and film maker spoke at the event.
Motivational Speaker Mr. Gaur Gopal Das also spoke to the audience about the importance of Yoga. Several elected officials from Franklin Township area attend the celebration which gave opportunity for attendees to participate in the Yoga demonstration.
Welcoming the participants to the Yoga Day celebrations, India's Consul General in New York, Mr. Sandeep Chakravorty said that 'Yoga for all and all for Yoga' should be our motto. He highlighted worldwide momentum that Yoga is gathering in combating lifestyle related diseases." He added that Yoga is a timeless gift from India to humanity.
Photo: Indian Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty inaugurating the Yoga Day in New Jersey.
Yoga Day was celebrated in several other cities in the US where GOPIO members participated.
GOPIO members participated with the Sivananda World Peace Foundation hosted International Yoga Day in association with the Consulate General of India in Durban. It was held on June 16th at the Durban Amphitheatre. GOPIO Executive Vice President Ishwar Ramlutchman participated along with other GOPIO members.
Photo: Participants at Intl. Yoga Day in Durban, South Africa, Left photo shows, Indian Consul General in Durban Anish Rajan, Rajan Pillay and Ishwar Ramlutchman at the Yoga Day in Durban, June.16, 2019
GOPIO participated at the Yoga Day celebration held at the Western community Center in Newton, Hamilton on June 23rd.
Photo left - Yoga Day 2019 in Hamilton. Photo right- GOPIO organizers of the Yoga Day. Extreme left are GOPIO Waikato officials, Suman Kapoor and Pradeep Kapoor.
GOPIO-NEW YORK SEMINAR CALLS FOR MORE AUTONOMY FOR INDIAN MUSEUMS
Global Organization of People of Indian Origin - New York Chapter (GOPIO-New York) organized a highly successful seminar on Rejuvenating Indian Museums by GOPIO Life Member and GOPIO Cultural Council Co-chair Vinod Daniel from Sydney, Australia. The seminar was held on June 21st at the Indian American Kerala Center in Elmont, New York, where Daniel called upon Govt. of India and state government to provide more autonomy to Indian museums.
The program started with welcome greetings and messages from Kerala Center President Thambi Thalappillil and GOPIO-New York President Beena Kothari. GOPIO International Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham introduced the speaker Vino Daniel, an Australian citizen of Indian origin, who is an internationally renowned museum specialist with over 20 years in senior management roles with the Australian Museum (Sydney) and the J Paul Getty Trust (Los Angeles).
Daniel has been working on Museum projects in over 45 countries and provides leadership to several national and international heritage bodies including being Chairman of the Board for AusHeritage and a Board Member of the International Council of Museums, the museum peak body representing over 43,000 museum professionals and 20,000 museums from over 140 countries.
Daniel said that museums across the world have only a small percentage of collections and artifacts and the majority are outside the museums in temples and private collections. He called upon government around the world to establish digital databases, particularly in countries like India, to maintain required checks and prevent valuable antiquities from being smuggled.
"You can protect the museum very well but what do you do with all the collection that is outside. Most objects are not in museums but are in temples and private hands," said Daniel.
"There has to be checks and balances in place to ensure these artifacts are not stolen and then smuggled out of countries to be sold to unsuspecting buyers and museums," he said.
"India is at a very exciting phase in its transformation and would be important that the Government prioritize culture especially museums and works at a 10 to 15-year transformation strategy," Daniel added.
Daniel suggested to include new governance arrangements that provides greater autonomy, human resource development and funding for better infrastructure including for storage and displays.
Daniel, who is CEO of India Vision Institute (IVI, www.indiavisioninstitute.org), a charitable Trust assisting underprivileged communities in India to access a pair of glasses also spoke on how NRIs and PIOs could get involved to help under privileged to get reading glasses. The charity is currently involved in projects in over 18 Indian states.
Photo: Seminar organizers and some participants with speaker Vinod Daniel, Sitting in the front row, from l. to. r. Dr. Rohini Ramanathan, Prof. Rupam Saran, Prof. Parmatma Saran, Dr. Thomas Abraham, Dr. Vinod Daniel, Beena Kothari and Thambi Thalappilil. Standing at the extreme right is Kerala Center Founder E.M. Stephen.
|INDIAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY TO HOST PM MODI AT A PUBLIC RECEPTION IN HOUSTON ON SEPT. 22ND|
|Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) has joined Texas India Forum as a Welcome Partner for this event (www.howdymodi.org). The members of GOPIO organization have a chance to register for exclusive free passes before general registration opens. To register as a member of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin, contact email@example.com.
GOPIO Organization Code will be provided to all members.
This code is exclusive to members of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin and is required during the online pre-registration process.
|To get free Passes to "Howdy, Modi!" - a Community Summit in honor of the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, in Houston, TX, on September 22, 2019, register online at https://howdymodi.org/register after getting the passcode frm GOPIO.
|GOPIO NEWS SPONSORS - Attorney Megha Bhouraskar (USA) and Nazareth Consulting (USA)|
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|GOPIO NEWS SEEKING SPONSORS AND DISPLAY ADS|
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|GOPIO INTL. AND CHAPTER NEWS|
GOPIO-LOS ANGELES ORGANIZES BLOOD DIRVE IN NORWALK, CALIFORNIA
GOPIO-LA chapter in coordination with Rajput Association of America (RAOA) organized a Red Cross Blood Donation Drive at Joy of Sharing Community Center in Norwalk on June 16. This is the third year in a row that they have organized this noble drive to help Red Cross to collect blood to save some lives.
Photo - Blood Donor with organizers and Red Cross Nurse
Even though there was a significant response to the request to donate blood, many did not qualify due to strict restrictions imposed by Red Cross that prevented many donors from giving blood. Travel restriction within previous 12 months to certain countries including India was one of the major barriers that disqualified many donors. Low level of Iron in the blood was another major factor that prevented many from donating blood. Overall it was a good day as many who qualified to donate blood can feel proud that they may have saved a few lives. Their donation today could be a best Father's Day gift to someone. Red Cross provided refreshments to donors after they gave blood to re-energize their body.
Red Cross personnel thanked GOPIO-LA and RAOA volunteers for organizing the drive and Joy of Sharing Community Center for providing the facility. They requested the organizers to continue to hold such drives in future to help replenish blood banks that are running low lately. Rajinder Dhunna, President RAOA and VP GOPIO-LA took the lead in organizing the blood drive. He said he and his associates will continues to help Red Cross in future. Other volunteers who came to help were Kewal Kanda, Aparna Hande, Navin Gupta, Anshuman Sinha, Kalika Gupta, Charu Shivakumar, and Dr. Asmath Noor. The drive concluded at 3 pm.
Photo - Organizers (L-R) - Rajinder Dhunna, Diana Boyd (Red Cross Sr. Manager), Aparna Hande, Navin Gupta, Kewal Kanda
Contact: Rajinder Dhunna, President, GOPIO-Los Angeles, 714-837-3149, email@example.com
GOPIO CHAPTERS IN MAURITIUS ORGANIZES SEMINAR ON INDIASPORA: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
GOPIO International coordinators of Europe and Africa, Mehen Poinoosawmy and Rita Abraham participated in the seminar on "INDIASPORA: Past, Present and Future" organized by three GOPIO Chapters in Mauritius. The event was held on Sunday, May 5th, 2019 at the Council Room of the Municipality of Port Louis, Mauritius in the presence of Mayor of the town.
Historian Mr. Sada Reddi and famous Author Mrs. Ranjita Bunwaree enlightened the audience with many useful facts and arguments on this subject.
It was a highly successful event, thanks to Kriti Ram (GOPIO-Triolet Mauritius North), Hiren Rambojun(GOPIO-QuatreBornes) and Seeven Arasen of GOPIO Mauritius East for their organization ability and support. They highlighted on their work through their chapters to promote the well-being of people of Indian origin and Non-Resident Indians and at the same time to keep interaction with other communities at Regional, National and international level in sharing information to promote social, cultural and developmental activities.
Mr. Poinoosawmy and Mrs. Rita Abraham addressed the participants and guests on the objectives and purpose of the GOPIO International.
The Deputy Mayor of Port Louis also addressed the audience.
Photo - Speakers and some participants at the seminar organized by GOPIO chapters in Mauritius. Sitting from l. to r. Mehen Poinoosamy, Rita Abraham, Kritilata Ram, Raniita Bunwaree. Among standing are: Mariam Goodar, Mr Ramsamy, Mr S Arasen of Gopio East.
GOPIO-CT OFFERS SCHOLARSHIPS TO HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES
To bring civic responsibility to Indian Diaspora worldwide and participate in local community activities, GOPIO-CT has initiated scholarships to high school graduating students who are going on to college, since 2014 through Dollars for Scholars in Stamford and Greenwich and at Norwalk Community College. Scholarships were presented on June 5th, 2019 at a ceremony at the University of Connecticut in Stamford where we gave scholarships to two Indian students Rahul Katre and Rishabh Sahu. Stamford Mayor David Martin was appreciative of Indian community's efforts for our participation in the local community.
Others receiving GOPIO-CT scholarship are: Anmesha Roy Chowdhury from Norwalk Community College and Anne Jordan Nanai, graduating student from Greenwich High School.
Photo; From l. to r.: GOPIO-CT Exec. VP Santosh Gannu, Scholarship Committee Chair Shelly Nichani, Scholarship recipients Rishabh Sahu and Rahul Katre, GOPIO-CT VP Bhavna Juneja and GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham
NEW INTERIM TEAM FOR GOPIO-LOS ANGELES
GOPIO Los Angeles Chapter (GOPIO-LA) has selected a new team on interim basis. The current President Mrs. Anju Garg resigned to address some personal business. In her resignation she expressed her inability to concentrate on GOPIO-LA matters due to added attention to her personal issues. GOPIO-LA Executive Committee met, reviewed and accepted her resignation and subsequently selected the new team as per by-laws. Current Vice President Rajinder Dhunna took over the reins of president. Current Joint Secretary Kalika Gupta was selected as Vice President and Rani Kuusto was selected to fill in the spot for Joint Secretary. The rest of the team remains the same (including Shaila Patankar as Treasurer and Dr. Asmath Noor as Secretary). The new team will finish the current term that ends on December 31, 2019. New Elections will be held in November 2019 to elect the new team.
A General Board meeting was called and met on Sunday, June 30, 2019. The board was informed of outgoing president Anju Garg's decision to step down and selection of new team as per by-laws of GOPIO-LA. Kewal Kanda - Treasurer GOPIO-International and trustee for GOPIO-LA chaired the meeting. He thanked Anju Garg for her services during the previous 18 months as president and conveyed best wishes to take care her personal issues.
Kewal Kanda then administered the Oath of Office to the newly selected members of Executive committee in presence of the General Board Members.
Rajinder Dhunnahas been active in many associations including GOPIO-LA since its inception. He has been president of FIA-SC and Rajput Association of America. He is a businessman, realtor, very sincere social worker, a generous member of the community, and a strong leader. He is capable and willing to take GOPIO-LA to new heights.
Kalika Guptaalso has been member of GOPIO-LA since its inception and has taken active part in many other associations including FIA-SC where she was Vice President of Cultural Events. She is an IT engineer by trade and works for Toyota Financials.
Rani Kuustois a valuable addition to GOPIO LA since last few years. She was GOPIO-LA Secretary for two years previously. Currently she is Co-Chair of Health and Welfare Committee for GOPIO-International. She is also a Vice President of Lions Club in Fullerton, CA. She is a proven dedicated worker and always delivers what is promised. She is a retired Nurse for State of California. She is very active in senior care programs as well as other organizations such as SAHARA.
GOPIO PARTICIPATES IN SALT MARCH IN DURBAN
On Sunday the 14th of April 2019M Mr Ishwar Ramlutchman Mabheka Zulu, Executive Vice President of GOPIO International participated at the annual Salt March which is commemorating the 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa Durban.
Photo: Salt March in Durban
This event has been always eagerly awaited as a display of human tenacity that champions non-violence & peace as espoused by both Gandhi & Luthuli. Two exceptional leaders who helped foster symbolic relations between Africans & Indians, essentially building the idea of a patriotic South Africa. Durban Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer and leading businessman Mr Vivian Reddy attended the Gandhi Development Trust SALT MARCH Held in Durban. This event highlighted SATYAGRAHA and SARVODAYA - Celebrating the lives of Gandhi and Luthuli who fought for ubuntu, peace, non-violence, unity, compassion and social cohesion.
GOPIO-VENTURA, CALIFORNIA ORGANIZES ANNUAL PICNIC
On June 1st, 2019 GOPIO, Ventura County (GOPIO-VC) had their 2nd Annual Picnic at Marina Park in Ventura. GOPIO-VC a chapter of GOPIO International celebrated its first year with its annual picnic and a Blood Donation Drive with the cooperation of VITALANT (formerly called United Blood Services).
Photo - Blood drive and donations to charities by GOPIO-Ventura County
GOPIO-Ventura County under the dynamic leadership of its President Vineet Puri and his team successfully completed its' first year.
The executive and the board comprise of: President: Vineet Puri, Vice President: Saurabh Bajaj, Secretary: ParmodKohli,Jt Secretary: Anil Aggarwal. Treasurer: Anup Rimal, Event Cultural Chair: Kavita Puri, Event Coordinator: Jaye Parmar.
The Blood Donation Drive along with fun and frolic Family Picnic was a big hit with the locals which included many games, raffle and delicious Indian Cuisine. The Picnic was by local business and GOPIO-VC.
Photo - GOPIO-Ventura County participants at the picnic
GOPIO-VC on this occasion also donated $1000 to Foodshare of Ventura County and another $1000 to Ventura County Fire Dept. GOPIO-VC had raised this $2000 at its maiden fundraiser which was held earlier on Nov 10th, 2018, attended by over 200 local Ventura County Patrons. The Event had multiple performances by popular local artists depicting popular Bollywood movies and songs, the event was rightfully called 'Bollywood Holiday Night'.
Since then GOPIO-VC has stuck to its core tagline - Committed in Service of Ventura County, by serving food to the homeless. GOPIO-VC has now taken the initiative of serving food to the homeless every alternate month, and the next one coming up is in August 2019 in city of Ventura; sponsorship, volunteers and support for GOPIO-VC's these efforts are most welcome.
GOPIO, Ventura County Chapter is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, secular, non-religious, community service organization. The Mission of GOPIO, Ventura County is support and development of the Ventura County Communities by raising funds through local service projects and cultural events. Membership of GOPIO-VC is a fellowship of Business Owners and Professionals of India Origin living in Ventura County committed and united in the ideal of service for the growth and development of the Ventura County.
For more information Please contact GOPIO-VC at 805-666-2533 | GOPIO.VC@GMAIL.COM | www.Facebook.com/GOPIOVC
GOPIO CHAPTERS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA JOIN OTHER COMMUNITY GROUPS TO ORGANIZE CONSULAR CAMP IN NORWALK, CALIFORNIA
Community Volunteers from various organizations including GOPIO chapters in So Cal organized a Consular Camp at the Joy of Sharing Community Center in Norwalk, CA. Nine members of Indian Consulate office in San Francisco, under the leadership of Ms. Sumati Rao, Consul for Community Affairs, were present to assist and answer any questions that community had regarding Passport Renewals, Visa, OCI Cards, Passport Renunciation, and any Misc. services such as Power of Attorney.
About 80 members of community turned up with their applications for consulate staff to check for any discrepancies. Many attendees had questions about their inability to apply for visa or new passports for lack of some required documents. Consulate officers guided them, I most cases, what alternative methods the applicant can use. Most of the attendees were glad they came and had their questions answered directly by the Consulate staff.
The community volunteers did a splendid job in handling the crowd by separating them by services they needed help for. Light refreshments, Tea, and Water were provided to all attendees, arranged and paid for by the volunteers. Facility was provided by Joy of Sharing Community Center.
Inder Singh, Kewal Kanda, Rajinder Dhunna, Baljinder Tahim, Aparna Hande, Rani Kuusto, Sunil Agrawal, Ashok Patnaik, Ashok Madan, Vasu Pawar, Dr. Manorama Gupta, Amrit Bhandari, and a couple of other volunteers gracefully contributed their valuable time and money to facilitate the Consular Camp.
Photo left- l. to r. Aparna Hande, Sumati Rao (Consul for Community Affairs), Kewal Kanda; Phoptop right - Volunteers who helped organize the Consular Camp; l. to r. - (Sitting) Rani Kuusto, Mrs. Bhandari, Aparna Hande, Dr. Manorama Gupta, Volunteer, Volunteer; (Standing l. to r.) - Amrit Bhandari, Rajinder Dhunna, Inder Singh, Ashok Madan, Navin Gupta, Kewal Kanda, Baljinder Tahim
Next Consular Camp will be held in September 2019. Exact date and venue will be decided and disseminated to public based on availability of Consulate personnel.
|NRIs AND PIOs ACHIEVE|
AUSTRALIAN INDIAN DAVE SHARMA ELECTED TO AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT
Former Australian ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma - now a Liberal Party politician - created history by becoming the first Indian-origin lawmaker to win a seat in the country's Parliament in the federal election.
Sharma defeated independent candidate Kerryn Phelps in the heavily Jewish district of Wentworth in eastern Sydney, once held by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
"Down at Edgecliff Station this morning to thank the people of Wentworth for putting their faith in me. I'm committed to being a full-time local representative and I won't let them down!" he tweeted.
"Very humbled by the trust placed in me by the people of Wentworth. Look forward to being a voice for them in the parliament and the party room", Sharma wrote earlier.
Sharma held a number of senior positions in the Australian public service, including from 2010 to 2012 as the head of the International Division of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
THREE BRITISH INDIANS IN THE NEW BRITISH CABINET
Boris Johnson has appointed three Indian-origin leaders in his top ministerial team, dubbed Britain's most diverse Cabinet, after he took over as the new prime minister with a pledge that the UK would leave the EU on October 31.
Hours after Johnson was appointed by the Queen as Britain's new prime minister, he named Priti Patel Home Secretary, Alok Sharma as the International Development Secretary and Rishi Sunak as the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. They attended their first Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street on Thursday morning, on the way to which Sunak declared the new UK government was toughening up.
Patel will now be in charge of the UK's security, immigration and visa policies. The 47-year-old has vowed to fight the scourge of crime and will be in the hot seat to fulfill some of her past promises of a fairer post-Brexit visa regime for everyone around the world, free of the freedom-of-movement norms imposed by the EU.
"The pressures being put on our services by immigration from the EU have meant that tough limits have been put in place on immigration from outside the EU," she said during her time as one of the prominent leaders of the Vote Leave campaign in the lead-up to the June 2016 Brexit referendum.
Fellow Brexiteer Sunak had also issued similar open letters in favour of fairer visa norms for everyone in the world. The 39-year-old Conservative Party MP, who is married to Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy's daughter Akshata, is an MBA graduate and investment expert. He takes charge of one of the most important jobs in the UK Treasury, serving under new Chancellor Sajid Javid.
Alok Sharma backed Johnson in the Conservative Party leadership contest as "the leader best placed to launch a coherent unambiguous plan to deliver Brexit and take us out of the European Union".
The Cabinet, which also includes Pakistani-origin Javid in the top job of Chancellor, has more ethnic minority key ministers than ever before.
|GOPIOs, NRIs and PIOs NEWS FEATURES|
GOPIO EXEC. VP RAMUTCHMAN CALLS ON INDIAN PRESIDENT KOVIND
On April the 2nd, the Indian President Ram Nath Kovind visited South Africa. GOPIO executive Vice President of GOPIO International, Mr Ishwar Ramlutchman Mabheka Zulu had the honour of meeting Oresuident Kovind in Cape town.
Photo - GOPIO Executive Vice President Ishwar Ramlutchman (standing in the left) with President and Mrs. Kovind (sitting)
President Kovind addressed the Indian community in Cape Town. He said that the Indian companies in South Africa are adding value by opening new avenues of growth and creating opportunities for the local economy and society. He paid tributes to the Late Dr Nelson Mandela and other struggle heroes who spent many years in prison fighting for freedom at Robbin Island.
GOPIO LIFE MEMEBR DR. SANJEEV KUMAR SHARMA APPOINTED AS VICE CHANCELLOR OF MAHATMA GANDHI CENTRAL UNIVERSITY OF BIHAR
GOPIO Life Member Dr Sanjeev Kumar Sharma is presently working as Vice Chancellor of Mahatama Gandhi Central University of Bihar, Motihari. He holds the position of Honorary General Secretary and Treasurer in Indian Political Science Association (IPSA). He has various publications to his credit which include books on Ancient Indian polity, systems and thought, published by international publishers like Cambridge London, Bhavan's and others. He is the Chief Editor of BharatiyaManyaprad, an international journal of Indian studies. He has served as Editor of The Indian Journal of Political Science, the quarterly journal of the IPSA, and is the Founding Editor of the Hindi journal of the IPSA, Bhartiya Rajniti Vignan Shodh Patrika. Till date he has published more than fifty research papers, ten books, and a large number of reviews, research articles, and monograph. His main areas of interest are political sociology, ancient Indian polity and the Indian political system.
A widely travelled academician, he has an excellent knowledge of Sanskrit and his efforts in bringing out meaningful relevance of Sanskrit scriptures with modern political thinking are well acclaimed. He is a life member of Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) and associates himself globally with Indian Diaspora community. He has been associated with a number of international academic programs and research-oriented institutes and is appointed as advisor to Study Abroad Program of Gujarat University, by the foreign affairs department.
GOPIO LIFE MEMBER MAHA SINNATHAMBY RECOGNIZED WITH ORDER OF AUSTRALIA
GOPIO Life Member, Brisbane's Maha Sinnathamby, AM has been recognized for significant service to the building and construction sector and to the community.
Prior to the Order of Australia recognition, has been conferred with many accolades, including an honorary doctorate from the University of Southern Queensland, Centenary Medal for contribution to Regional Development; 2003 Ernst and Young Master Entrepreneur of the Year (Northern Region), Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International, Australian Institute of Management Medal for Management Innovation and the GOPIO International Renowned Entrepreneur Excellence Award.
As patron of the Singapore Business Council, former president of Australian Malaysia Business Council and former member, Australia India Business Council, he has lent his business acumen to support emerging entrepreneurs.
NEWS OF INTEREST TO NRIs AND PIOs AROUND THE WORLD
NEW ID CARD FOR NRIs?
Minister V. Muraleedharan, the recently-appointed Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, had a stopover in Dubai on June 13th while returning from Nigeria, where he had his maiden overseas trip after assuming office on May 30.At a community reception held at the Indian Consulate in Dubai, the minister termed the trend of airfares escalating during festival seasons as an "alarming issue," Gulf News reported.
During the interactive session with the community, the minister said the government will also look into issuing an identity card for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) unlike Aadhar, a unique identity card issued to resident Indians.
Though Aadhar is not issued to NRIs and it is not mandatory for essential services, the minister was informed that NRIs continue to be asked to furnish Aadhar details for several services including when they apply for a PAN card (Permanent Account Number).
"The issue of Aadhar and citizenship has to be viewed separately," he said. "People who are non-residents, but are still citizens of the country, need to have something other than Aadhar, which will ensure that the facilities that are extended to a citizen are provided to them also. We will address that issue of citizenship identification and resident identification," he said.
Earlier, the minister hailed the strong bilateral relationships and trade ties between the UAE and India, and heralded the contributions made by the UAE's expat Indian community. He said that his visit, although short, was significant in reaching out to the expat community here.
|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 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 (www.gopio.net) and get details of chapter initiation (visit http://www.gopio.net/chapter_initiative.htm). 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
GOPIO President - Sunny Kulathakal, Bahrain, +973-39441956, India +91-9845756692, E-mail: email@example.com
GOPIO Vice President - Ram Gadhavi, Wayne, New Jersey, USA, Tel: +1-973-699-8582, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
GOPIO's Global Ambassador - Issac John, Dubai, UAE, +971-50 625 9941, E-mail: email@example.com
GOPIO Secretary - Dr. Rajeev Mehta, Piscataway, New Jersey, USA, Tel: +1-732-986-2584, firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Trustee of GOPIO Foundation - Inder Singh, Tarzana, California, USA, Tel: +1-818-708-3885, E-mail: email@example.com
GICC Chairman - Niraj Baxi, San Jose, California, USA, Tel: 408-307-9845, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.