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Issue: VI-12 October 7, 2007
GOPIO NEWS
October 7, 2007
A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
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In This Issue
MINI PRAVASI BHARATIYA DIVAS IN NEW YORK A SUCCESS
GOPIO OFFICERS PRESENT NRI/PIO ISSUES AND AVENUES OF COOPERATION AT PBD NEW YORK
PBD INITIATOR DR. L.M. SINGHVI IS NO MORE
NFIA TO SPONSOR US CONGRESSIONAL LUNCHEON AND THE WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING
GOPIO TO WORK CLOSELY WITH MOIA ON COMMUNITY ISSUES AND PBD 2008
MOIA APPOINTS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT OFFICER IN WASHINGTON, DC
GOPIO INTERNATIONAL AND CHAPTER NEWS
UPCOMING PROGRAMS OF OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
EDITORIAL BOARD
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MINI PRAVASI BHARATIYA DIVAS IN NEW YORK A SUCCESS

 

Government of India's Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) joined together with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to organize a mini Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD New York 2007) on September 23rd. The conference theme was "Engaging the Diaspora: The Way Forward." GOPIO International took an active role in participation and promoting the program to make it a success. Over 500 people attended the program held at the Pier 60 on the banks of the Hudson River.

 

The inaugural conference session started with a welcome by Sunil Mittal, President, CII, and Chairman and Group CEO Bharti Enterprises and by India's Consul General Neelam Deo in New York. In his presidential address, Minster of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said that PBDs are not just bringing money to India, it is to keep the social interaction of the community with India. "Such events will give the new generation a chance to keep the relation intact with the country of their forefathers," Ravi said. He asked the community to do more for India in all fields, including investing in India, partnering with institutions for contributing skills and ideas. He also listed many accomplishments of MOIA since he took over most notably changing improving labor conditions in Gulf countries. Memoranda of understanding (MOU) have been signed with UAE, Kuwait, Oman. Bahrain and Qatar, which makes it responsibility of the governments to intervene in labor matters and implement labor laws to ensure welfare of Indian workers.

 

Indian Ambassador Ronen Senhas high praise for Indian Americans who he described as true ambassadors. "Indian Americans have played a vital role in promoting better understanding and friendship between the two countries. I am confident that they will play an ever increasing role in promoting technological innovations and profitable investments in both countries," Ambassador Sen added.

 

The second session was on Investing in India. Chaired by Sreenath Sreenivasan, Dean of Students at Columbia University's Journalism School, the keynote speaker was Kamal Nath, Minister of Commerce and Industry. Speakers included Nandan Nilekani, Co-Chairman, Infosys Technologies; Anil Kumar, Director, McKinsey; Parag Saxena, Chairman, Vedanta Capital and Sam Kannappan, President of ABI Enterprises.

 

Minister Nath talked about India's upward growth trajectory and how it is competing with the world. However, he did acknowledge that despite the growth story, India continues to be a country of great complexities and paradoxes. "India today has more than 300 million people who live on less than a dollar a day," Nath said.

 

The luncheon keynote address was delivered by Professor C.K. Prahalad, Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor, University of Michigan. Prahalad stressed that much could be achieved if there was a genuine will. "The issue is not resource, but a balance between aspiration and resources. We have to have aspirations. After the demand for Swaraj in 1929, we Indians never had a national aspiration," Prahalad added.

 
After noon proceedings started with a session titled "India's Social Building Blocks: Education and Health for the Masses." Moderated by Max India Chairman Analjit Singh, the keynote speaker was Sam Pitroda, Chairman of the National Knowledge Foundation. Speakers were Rajat Gupta, Chairman, Public Health Foundation of India; Ramalinga Raju, Chairman of Satyam Computer Services Ltd.; Dr. Hemant Patel, President of American Associations of Physicians from India (AAPI) and Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO). Pitroda in his keynote address emphasized the importance of NRIs contribution in education and health service. Gupta, Raju and Dr. Patel shared their experience and success stories of the some of their projects in education and health services in India. Dr. Abraham said that there are many areas where cooperation and remedial steps from the government are required such as simplification of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), appointment of NRIs to the District Development Boards, setting up NRI Ministry or NRI Coordination Office with all state governments and supporting NRI/PIO NGOs involved in educational and health causes (see more details in the next news item).

Discussion Panels at PBD New York, Sept. 23, 2007


Photo Above: Panel on India's Social Building Blocks, From L. to R. GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraha, Rajat Gupta, Sam Pitroda, Ramalinga Raju and AAPI President Dr. Hemant Patel; Photo Below: Valedictory Session: Feedback from the Disapora, From L. to R.: Consul General Neelam Deo, MOIA Minister Vayalar Ravi, MOIA Secretary NIrmal Singh and GOPIO President Inder Singh
The last session was a community interactive valedictory session with the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs on the topic "Engaging the Diaspora: Feedback from the Diaspora." The moderator was former ambassador T.P. Sreenivasan. Panelists included Minster Ravi, MOIA Secretary Nirmal Singh, Consul General Deo and GOPIO International President Inder Singh, who presented several issues of NRIs/PIOs (see next news item). Several other community representatives including GOPIO Secretary General Ashook Ramsaran, GOPIO Vice President Dr. Piyush Agrawal, National Federation of Indian American Associations President Radha Krishnan and Indian American Forum for Political Education President Ravi Sakhuja brought out more issues of the community. Minister Ravi and Secretary Nirmal Singh commended on many issues and promised to further look at these issues.

 

The PBD New York ended with a grand program of Dances from India at the Lincoln Center followed by a reception with culinary experience of India.

All PBD registrants will be provided invitation to a spectacular show of specially choreographed production of Dances of India (Kathakali & Theyyam, Odissi, Kathak, Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi & Manipuri) at the inaugural ceremony of Incredible INDIA  @ 60 at the Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City. It will be followed by a reception with Culnary Experience of India.
 
GOPIO OFFICERS PRESENT NRI/PIO ISSUES AND AVENUES OF COOPERATION AT PBD NEW YORK
 

At the PBD New York held on September 23rd, GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham and President Inder Singh were in the conference panel and GOPIO Secretary General Ashook Ramsaran was invited to bring out an Indo-Caribbean perspectives and issues. Details of presentations by GOPIO officers are provided at the gopio website, http://www.gopio.net/conference/PBD-New_York.GOPIO.Officers.Presentation.Sept_23.2007.htm.

 

In the session on "Engaging Indian Diaspora for India's Social Building Blocks - Education and Health Services to the Masses," Dr. Abraham was asked to speak on the most important issue of the Indian American community. Dr. Abraham said that while there are no pressing issues affecting the larger Indian American community in the US where Indian government needs to be involved. He said that for the Indian American community to be successful and influential, its second and third generations have to identify with our larger community and be part of the larger Indian Diaspora. Dr. Abraham suggested MOIA to expand and initiate more programs to involve the younger generations with India such as the 'Know India Program', increase the number of programs in Indian colleges for semester away, help NGOs such as American Indian Foundation and Indicorps to expand their activities, and develop an extensive program for Indian-American medical students to spend a few months during their summer vacation. Abraham also identified a few other issues to make it easy for NRIs/PIOs to participate in education and health services to the masses in India (See GOPIO website for more details).

 

GOPIO President Inder Singh presented seven issues at the last session "Engaging the Diaspora: Feedback from the Overseas Indian Communities." These issues were passed as resolutions in previous GOPIO conferences and conventions. These are as follows:

  • Rajya Sabha seats for NRIs,
  • Voting Rights for Indian Citizens Living Outside India
  • Protection of Real Estate Investments of NRIs in India
  • Political and Human Rights Violations of NRIs and PIOs
  • NRI Marriage Abuses
  • Implementation of Uniform Entrance Fee for Indian Archeological Sites
  • Rehabilitation of Poor Indian Workers from Gulf States and Other Countries.

(See GOPIO website for more details).

 

GOPIO International Secretary General Ashook Ramsaran presented a list of issues and concerns of the Indo-Caribbean community. Ramsaran was born in Guyana as a third generation PIO and now resides in the USA. His background from the Caribbean region, active involvement and current extent of community and PIO activities, provided the basis on which to develop and articulate the interests and concerns of the Caribbean PIOs in the Caribbean and North America.

 

Caribbean PIOs are predominantly the descendants of indentured laborers who were brought from India starting in 1838 and they are scattered in many countries large and small. Their population range from 500 in the smallest to 500,000 in the largest country. They speak English, Dutch, French and even Spanish, with Suriname PIOs fluent in Hindi - even calling themselves Hindustanis. They all live among many other ethnic groups, predominantly the descendents of slaves from Africa. It takes an enormous amount of everyday resilience, determination, understanding and perseverance to cope and live peacefully in those societies.

 

The issues of interests and concern of Caribbean PIOs as summarized by Ramsaran includes: the need to retain the inherent bond with India, to be accorded a sense of belonging, make progress on developing a global database of PIOs as proposed PBD 2005 in Mumbai, keeping a watchful eye on human rights treatment of Caribbean PIOs, more scholarships for cultural and technical studies in India, and increasing Indian investments and bi-lateral trade (See GOPIO website for more details).

 

PBD INITIATOR DR. L.M. SINGHVI IS NO MORE

 

Eminent jurist, constitutional expert and former parliamentarian Dr. L.M. Singhvi, who was one of India's longest-serving envoys to Britain, died in New Delhi on Saturday, October 6, 2007. He was 76. A noted scholar in Jain history and culture, Singhvi was ailing for the past two weeks and died of a heart attack at the Max Devki Hospital around 1.45 pm. Cremation was conducted on been fixed for Sunday morning at the Lodhi Crematorium.

 

Dr. Singhvi is survived by his wife Kamala, son Abhishek, who is a senior advocate and a spokesman for the Congress party, and daughter Abhilasha.

 

Singhvi was among the longest-serving high commissioners to Britain (early 1991 to end 1997). He was also a linguist, prolific author, litterateur and a patron of arts. He served the Lok Sabha in 1962-67 and the Rajya Sabha in 1998-2004.  Govt. of India conferred Padma Bhusan on him in 1998.

 

Dr. Singhvi headed the High-Level Committee on Indian diaspora appointed by the Vajpayee Administration  and had been studying India's ties with its diaspora since his days as a law student at Harvard in 1951. He also conceived the idea of an annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the event organized by the Indian government each January to engage with its 25 million-diaspora spread across 130 countries.

 

Apart from his work on the diaspora, he was noted for his championship of human rights and led the Indian delegation to the UN Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993.

 

Singhvi was born in 1931 in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. He was advocate general of Rajasthan from 1972 to 1977. His works include "Towards Global Togetherness", "Democracy and the Rule of the Law", "Freedom on trial", "Jurisprudence of Non-Violence" and a volume of poems in Hindi, "Sandhya ka Suraj".

 

Singhvi was also president of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague as well as the Commission of Inquiry into Administration of Justice in Trinidad and Tobago.

 

GOPIO has conveyed its heartfelt condolences to his family. Many GOPIO officers have fond memories of Dr. Singhvi and have made comments on him as follows:

 

GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham - Dr. Singh had a great grasp of the Indian Diaspora. He personally visited most of the countries with large Diaspora population and then made the recommendations to Prime Minister Vajpayee. He was also a true friend of GOPIO and the Indian Diaspora. GOPIO bestowed upon him honorary membership at the GOPIO 2005 Convention in Mumbai,

 

GOPIO President Inder Singh - Dr. Singhvi's Report on the Indian Diaspora is widely acknowledged as a standard work of reference. Many of his recommendations including dual citizenship, organization of annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) have been implemented by the government. His contributions to the Diaspora will be remembered for a long time to come. He will be sorely missed by many around the globe including many members of GOPIO International, of which Dr. Singhvi was an integral part.

Late Dr. L.M. Singhvi at GOPIO Convention 2005 Awards Banquet in Mumbai

Photo Above: Late Dr. L.M. Singhvi (second from left) at the GOPIO Convention 2005 Awards Banquet in Mumbai. From L. to R.: Former Prime Minisrter of Trinidad and Tobago Basdeo Panday, Former Vice President of Suriname Jules Rattankoemar Ajodhia Former Prime Minister of Fiji Mahendra Chaudhry, GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham, Late Dr. L.M. Singhvi and Malaysian Minister of Works Dato Seri Samy Vellu. GOPIO International inducted Panday, Chaudhry, Dr. Singhvi and Vellu in its Honor Roll at the Awards Banquet.
 

GOPIO Secretary General Ashook Ramsaran

- The Global Indian Diaspora has lost a true friend, a visionary spirit who placed tremendous value on the interests, inherent bond and strengths of the children of India living in other lands. His pioneering efforts have led to India's eventual recognition of its children abroad. It would be quite appropriate for next PBD to issue a fitting tribute to Dr L M Singhvi for the outstanding work he has done and observe a moment of silence on his passing".

 

GOPIO Regional VP North America Dr. Piyush Agrawal - Brought the Indian Diaspora closer through the celebration of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and that was one of Dr. Singhvi's most important contributions.

 

GOPIO Academic Council Chairman Dr. Jagat Motwani -GOPIO and the Indian Diaspora have lost their greatest friend in Dr. L. M. Singhvi. GOPIO feels indebted to him for his two unparallel gifts, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and The Report  on the Diaspora,  valuable resource for global diasporic networking. India loves him for his desh-bhakti and selfless services for Mother India.    

 

GOPIO Belgium President Sunil Prasad - In his death India has lost a great scholar, jurist and a linguist; and GOPIO a true friend whose love for Indian Diaspora was epitomized in his comprehensive report on Indian Diaspora and the whole concept of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas what it is today is the result of his creative thinking.

 

GOPIO INTERNATIONAL AND CHAPTER NEWS

 

EUROPEAN COMMISSION VP TO ADDRESS THE EICC-GOPIO TRADE AND BUSINESS SUMMIT IN BRUSSELS

 

The preparation of the EICC-GOPIO Trade and Business Summit is on full swing.  The inauguration of the Conference "EU-India Trade Relations and Beyond: Dynamics of Mergers & Acquisitions and the Role of Corporate Governance" will take place in the Hotel Sheraton (Room Salle Des Nations) on 3 December 2007 evening followed by a dinner and the business sessions will be held in the European Parliament (Room A5E-2) on 4 December. The Summit is being organized in partnership with ASSOCHAM and in association with the Embassy of India in Brussels. The Vice-President of the European Commission Mr. GŁnter Verheugen, will deliver the Key Note address during the inaugural session on 3 December and the Government of India will be represented by a senior Cabinet Minister to deliver the inaugural address. This is the fifth such business related conference the GOPIO and EICC are organizing. 

 

At a time when India Inc is scorching the tracks in its race for overseas assets and as companies in India restructure in the new economic environment, many are now spreading their wings and, encouraged by their governments, investing overseas. The eventual consequences of this trend will be felt in economies, companies and markets in the west but will also transform the corporate landscape in India. The emergence of new breed of Indian companies is the product of more than a decade of economic reforms and in the current environment of high profile M&A that have captured the popular imagination and fired the dreams of India Inc, it is therefore a good time to find out if India is also ready to give the same free space to European and other overseas business entities. 

 

In addition to the above, the Summit will examine and explore relations between EU and India which goes beyond trade and will address the issues connected with the political economy of the EU-India  relations, will look at how EU economic and political interests work in the EU countries, analyze the dynamics of mergers and acquisitions in the wake of landmark deals by the corporate India and evaluate the EU competition policies and development strategy in a theoretical context, with particular emphasis on trade and economic relations and corporate governance, etc.  The Summit will also address the institutional, legal and policy framework of the EU-India co-operation with particular emphasis on the ever increasing trade and bilateral relations between EU and India. The objective is to build better relationship by exploring these dimensions through discussion and exchange of ideas among high profile business leaders and policy makers in Europe and India.   

 

The Summit will bring together more than 250 industrialists, business leaders from Europe, India, USA, representative of multinational corporations, European Parliamentarians, officials of the European Commission, representatives of various diplomatic Missions and also representatives of various Chambers of Commerce including various segments of private industry to address the emerging issues connected with EU-India trade and investment. 

 

An Investors' Meet Dinner is also being organized on 4 December in the Hotel Sheraton to afford the business leaders to come in one to one contact in order to explore possibilities of developing business partnership.

 

Although registration is free, all those who would like to participate will have to register. You may wish to contact Conference Chair and Secretary General of the EICC, Mr. Sunil Prasad on Tel. & fax: 0032 2 469 2677, GSM: 0472-207 338, E-mail: info@eicc.be or sunil.prasad@coditel.net. For more info about the Conference, please visit the websites: www.eicc.be or www.gopio-belgium.be

 

GOPIO AMSTERDAM HOLDS INDO-DUTCH INVESTMENT CONFERENCE

 

GOPIO Amsterdam held a one-day conference on October 3, 2007 bringing
together for the first time Indian & Dutch Investment professionals in the financial services sector interested in doing business in Holland and India. GOPIO Amsterdam president Ryan Tewari said, "We gathered both Indians as well as Dutch executives together to exchange their opinions and explore opportunities."  The speakers talked on  such subjects as corporate finance, merger and acquisitions, investment banking, mutual funds, NRI financial services, etc.

 

To participate in GOPIO Amsterdam activities, contact Ryan Tewari at gopioinvconf@gmail.com

 

GOPIO EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETS WITH AMERICA CHAPTERS AND LIFE MEMBERS

 

GOPIO International held an executive, council and North American Chapter meeting on September 22, 2007 in New York preceding the PBD - New York event that was held on the following day. The meeting was hosted by GOPIO New York chapter headed by Lal Motwani and was chaired by GOPIO International President Inder Singh. It was attended by GOPIO executives, council members, North American chapters and several life members. It was a meeting talking a stock of current and future activities GOPIO International, chapters and councils.

GOPIO America Board and Chapters Meeting in New York City on Sept. 22, 2007 

Photo Above: GOPIO Secretary General Ashook Ramsaran reporting on past activities. Poto Below: Delegates at the GOPIO Meeting.
 

Reports were given by GOPIO International President Inder Singh, Chairman Dr Thomas Abraham, Secretary General Ashook Ramsaran, Vice President for North America Dr. Piyush Agrawal and VP for the Middle East Sunny Kulathakal, Academic Council Chairman Dr. jagat Motwani and Media Council Chairman Munish Gupta. Reports were presented by GOPIO chapter presidents of New York (Lal Moltwani), Detroit (Radha Krishnan), Washington DC (Dr Renuka Misra) and Connecticut representative Mohan Yadav on behalf of President Sangeeta Ahuja.

 

The topics of discussion include: Establishing more chapters, increasing membership, making the chapters more active and responsive in community activities. GOPIO's Founding Life Members made suggestions to include the younger generation into the GOPIO family. Discussions also included PBD New York event and GOPIO's participation, as well as PBD 2008 to be held in New Delhi on January 8 -9, 2008.

 

GOPIO-CT CONTINUES THE HEALTH SERIES SEMINAR AND SCHEDULES DIWALI MELA

 

GOPIO CT-Chapter will offer a FREE lecture "Heal Your Fatigue and Stress Fast" on Thursday, October 18, 2007, 6:30 pm - 8 pm at Stamford Hampton Inn & Suites in Stamford, CT. Participants will discover an 8-step strategy to release stress and increase vitality fast and 10-minute technique to overcome stress, anger, fears and guilt. The speaker, Renu Agrawalis an ESOCEN Certified Trainer and Coach-Healer specializing in healing Stress, Fatigue and Sleep Disorders. She is the Director of ESOCEN Renewal Center in Stamford, CT, USA and country coordinator for India. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP by: October 15, 2007.

 

GOPIO-CT has also scheduled a Diwali Mela on Saturday, November 3rd at the University of Connecticut Auditorium at the Stamford Campus with dinner, music and dances of India and a DJ.

 

Contact: Sangeeta Ahuja sangeetaahuja@aol.com (203) 329-9744 to Anita Bhat  ablondon71@yahoo.com  (203) 595-0159 or Sara Tierno stierno@optonline.net (203) 359-3386.

 

 

NFIA TO SPONSOR US CONGRESSIONAL LUNCHEON AND THE WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING

 

The National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA), an umbrella organization comprising of more than 200 association members representing 2.3 million American who trace their roots to India will sponsor a Congressional Luncheon and White House Briefing on Thursday October 18, 2007 starting at 11:00 a.m. in the Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office Building.

 

Like the past several such functions, a number of lawmakers will address NFIA delegates coming from all over the United States. These legislators are being urged to give a frank and honest opinion on the issues of concern to our community, such as immigration reforms, rising healthcare costs, medicare coverage during travel abroad, US-India Nuclear Agreement, solvency of the Social Security funds, increasing national deficit, and educational aid for children.

 

Following the Congressional Luncheon, the delegates will move to the White House for a briefing at 3:30 p.m. addressed by prominent member of the Bush Administration. The people attending will be provided plenty of opportunity to interact with the speakers and ask questions.

 

Many other national and local organizations, such as GOPIO, IAFPE, FIA-NCR, ICCC and others are helping NFIA to conduct these events. For the out of town visitors, arrangements are being made for sight seeing in the National Capital area.

 

Readers interested to attend may obtain further information about the program by calling Dr. Rajen Anand 703-642-3156, E-mail: ranand2@cox.net, Dr. Parthasarthy Pillai 301-935-5321 or Dr. Joydeb Roy 301-926-3013.

 
GOPIO TO WORK CLOSELY WITH MOIA ON COMMUNITY ISSUES AND PBD 2008

 

In the heels of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in New York, GOPIO officers met Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi and Secretary Nirmal Singh on September 22nd at Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The one to one meeting was a very productive one where GOPIO discussed several community issues and avenues of cooperation so as to initiate new programs under the ministry.

 
GOPIO Delegation with MOIA Minister Vayala Ravi and Secretary Nirmal Singh
Photo Above: GOPIO delegation after meeting with MOIA Minister Vayalar Ravi and MOIA Secretary Nirmal Singh in New York on Septemebr 22nd. From L. to R.: Sunny Kulathackal, Elizabeth Kulathakal, Dr. Ramesh C. Pandey, Anand Ahuja, Dr. Renu Mishra, Lovleen Bagga, Lal Motwani, Minister Ravi, Secretary Nirmal Singh, Darshan Bagga, Indr Singh, Munish Guptas, Dr. Piyush Agrawal, Deepi Singh, Radha Krishnan, Dr. Jagat Motwani and Dr. Thomas Abraham
 

The meeting also discussed ways to make the next Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2008 a fruitful effort so as to benefit NRIs/PIOs as well as people of India. In this regard, GOPIO will organize a pre-PBD day long Education Summit, which will explore how overseas Indians can actively participate in programs providing education to the masses in India.

 

Minister Ravi has also promised to review all the previous resolutions submitted by GOPIO.

 
MOIA APPOINTS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT OPFFICER IN WASHINGTON, DC

 

Ministry for Overseas Indian Affairs has appointed Arathi Krishna, as Community Development Officer (CDO) in Washington. The position has been created to implement various schemes that have already been identified by the Ministry, such as Tracing Roots, Scholarships for Diaspora Children, Know India Program, Scheme for the welfare of deserted women by NRI/PIO husbands, etc.

 

Arathi has worked in the Embassy of India in Washington for seven years on community affairs.

GOPIO INTERNATIONAL AND CHAPTER NEWS

 

EUROPEAN COMMISSION VP TO ADDRESS THE EICC-GOPIO TRADE AND BUSINESS SUMMIT IN BRUSSELS

 

The preparation of the EICC-GOPIO Trade and Business Summit is on full swing.  The inauguration of the Conference "EU-India Trade Relations and Beyond: Dynamics of Mergers & Acquisitions and the Role of Corporate Governance" will take place in the Hotel Sheraton (Room Salle Des Nations) on 3 December 2007 evening followed by a dinner and the business sessions will be held in the European Parliament (Room A5E-2) on 4 December. The Summit is being organized in partnership with ASSOCHAM and in association with the Embassy of India in Brussels. The Vice-President of the European Commission Mr. GŁnter Verheugen, will deliver the Key Note address during the inaugural session on 3 December and the Government of India will be represented by a senior Cabinet Minister to deliver the inaugural address. This is the fifth such business related conference the GOPIO and EICC are organizing. 

 

At a time when India Inc is scorching the tracks in its race for overseas assets and as companies in India restructure in the new economic environment, many are now spreading their wings and, encouraged by their governments, investing overseas. The eventual consequences of this trend will be felt in economies, companies and markets in the west but will also transform the corporate landscape in India. The emergence of new breed of Indian companies is the product of more than a decade of economic reforms and in the current environment of high profile M&A that have captured the popular imagination and fired the dreams of India Inc, it is therefore a good time to find out if India is also ready to give the same free space to European and other overseas business entities. 

 

In addition to the above, the Summit will examine and explore relations between EU and India which goes beyond trade and will address the issues connected with the political economy of the EU-India  relations, will look at how EU economic and political interests work in the EU countries, analyze the dynamics of mergers and acquisitions in the wake of landmark deals by the corporate India and evaluate the EU competition policies and development strategy in a theoretical context, with particular emphasis on trade and economic relations and corporate governance, etc.  The Summit will also address the institutional, legal and policy framework of the EU-India co-operation with particular emphasis on the ever increasing trade and bilateral relations between EU and India. The objective is to build better relationship by exploring these dimensions through discussion and exchange of ideas among high profile business leaders and policy makers in Europe and India.   

 

The Summit will bring together more than 250 industrialists, business leaders from Europe, India, USA, representative of multinational corporations, European Parliamentarians, officials of the European Commission, representatives of various diplomatic Missions and also representatives of various Chambers of Commerce including various segments of private industry to address the emerging issues connected with EU-India trade and investment. 

 

An Investors' Meet Dinner is also being organized on 4 December in the Hotel Sheraton to afford the business leaders to come in one to one contact in order to explore possibilities of developing business partnership.

 

Although registration is free, all those who would like to participate will have to register. You may wish to contact Conference Chair and Secretary General of the EICC, Mr. Sunil Prasad on Tel. & fax: 0032 2 469 2677, GSM: 0472-207 338, E-mail: info@eicc.be or sunil.prasad@coditel.net. For more info about the Conference, please visit the websites: www.eicc.be or www.gopio-belgium.be

 

GOPIO AMSTERDAM HOLDS INDO-DUTCH INVESTMENT CONFERENCE

 

GOPIO Amsterdam held a one-day conference on October 3, 2007 bringing
together for the first time Indian & Dutch Investment professionals in the financial services sector interested in doing business in Holland and India. GOPIO Amsterdam president Ryan Tewari said, "We gathered both Indians as well as Dutch executives together to exchange their opinions and explore opportunities."  The speakers talked on  such subjects as corporate finance, merger and acquisitions, investment banking, mutual funds, NRI financial services, etc.

 

To participate in GOPIO Amsterdam activities, contact Ryan Tewari at gopioinvconf@gmail.com

 

GOPIO EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETS WITH AMERICA CHAPTERS AND LIFE MEMBERS

 

GOPIO International held an executive, council and North American Chapter meeting on September 22, 2007 in New York preceding the PBD - New York event that was held on the following day. The meeting was hosted by GOPIO New York chapter headed by Lal Motwani and was chaired by GOPIO International President Inder Singh. It was attended by GOPIO executives, council members, North American chapters and several life members. It was a meeting talking a stock of current and future activities GOPIO International, chapters and councils.

GOPIO America Board and Chapters Meeting in New York City on Sept. 22, 2007 

Photo Above: GOPIO Secretary General Ashook Ramsaran reporting on past activities. Poto Below: Delegates at the GOPIO Meeting.
 

Reports were given by GOPIO International President Inder Singh, Chairman Dr Thomas Abraham, Secretary General Ashook Ramsaran, Vice President for North America Dr. Piyush Agrawal and VP for the Middle East Sunny Kulathakal, Academic Council Chairman Dr. jagat Motwani and Media Council Chairman Munish Gupta. Reports were presented by GOPIO chapter presidents of New York (Lal Moltwani), Detroit (Radha Krishnan), Washington DC (Dr Renuka Misra) and Connecticut representative Mohan Yadav on behalf of President Sangeeta Ahuja.

 

The topics of discussion include: Establishing more chapters, increasing membership, making the chapters more active and responsive in community activities. GOPIO's Founding Life Members made suggestions to include the younger generation into the GOPIO family. Discussions also included PBD New York event and GOPIO's participation, as well as PBD 2008 to be held in New Delhi on January 8 -9, 2008.

 

GOPIO-CT CONTINUES THE HEALTH SERIES SEMINAR AND SCHEDULES DIWALI MELA

 

GOPIO CT-Chapter will offer a FREE lecture "Heal Your Fatigue and Stress Fast" on Thursday, October 18, 2007, 6:30 pm - 8 pm at Stamford Hampton Inn & Suites in Stamford, CT. Participants will discover an 8-step strategy to release stress and increase vitality fast and 10-minute technique to overcome stress, anger, fears and guilt. The speaker, Renu Agrawalis an ESOCEN Certified Trainer and Coach-Healer specializing in healing Stress, Fatigue and Sleep Disorders. She is the Director of ESOCEN Renewal Center in Stamford, CT, USA and country coordinator for India. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP by: October 15, 2007.

 

GOPIO-CT has also scheduled a Diwali Mela on Saturday, November 3rd at the University of Connecticut Auditorium at the Stamford Campus with dinner, music and dances of India and a DJ.

 

Contact: Sangeeta Ahuja sangeetaahuja@aol.com (203) 329-9744 to Anita Bhat  ablondon71@yahoo.com  (203) 595-0159 or Sara Tierno stierno@optonline.net (203) 359-3386.

 

 

NRIs/PIOs ACHIEVE

 

GOPIO CHAIRMAN ABRAHAM SELECTED TO RECEIVE BHARATVANSHI GAURAV AWRD

 

The Board of Trustees of Anthar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad, an international body based in New Delhi India, has unanimously selected Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman of GOPIO International for Bharatvanshi Gaurav Award given for outstanding contributions by an NRI/PIO for fostering better understanding outside India and for making a significant contributions in serving the Indian Diaspora. 

 

The Selection Committee had nine very outstanding nominations - four from USA, two from UK and one each from Sri Lanka, Thailand and Fiji. The award consists of citation, shawl, memento and Rs.100,000 (one lakh only).

 

Dr. Abraham has been serving the NRI/PIO community for the last 34 years. He served as the first president of the Federation of Indian Associations of New York which organizes the largest India Day Parade outside India and the National Federation of Indian American Associations, the largest umbrella organization in the US. Dr. Abraham currently serves as the Chairman of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) which he founded in 1989 and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Indian American Kerala Center in New York. Dr. Abraham also served as the Co-Chairman of the fund raising campaign to institute a chair for Indian studies at Columbia University. Two other groups initiated by Dr. Abraham are National Indian American Association for Senior Citizens (NIAASC) and South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS). A graduate of Columbia University, Dr. Abraham is a materials scientist by profession and is President of Innovative Research and Products, Inc., an industry and market research firm based in Stamford, CT, USA.

 

INDIAN AMERICAN GEETA GAMBHIR WINS EMMY AWARD FOR PHOTO EDITING

 

Indian American community had its presence at the 59th Annual Emmy Awards organized by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with Geeta Gambhir winning the Emmy for Outstanding Picture Editing in Non-fiction Programming. A resident of Brooklyn (New York City), Gambhir shared the award with Sam Pollard and Nancy Novak for Spike Lee's 2006 HBO documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.

 

The four-hour film looks at the devastation caused in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina destroyed its levee system in August 2005.The film won two other Emmys for Non-fiction Filmmaking and Directing for Non-fiction Programming.

 

Gandhbir has worked as an editor in the television and film industry for over 15 years. She graduated from the State University of New York, majoring in Visual Arts and Cross-Cultural Anthropology.In the film, she has worked with distinguished directors and producers such as Robert Altman of Short Cuts fame besides Spike Lee of He Got Game, Clockers, and Summer of Sam. Gambir has worked in television for PBS, MTV, Discovery, Court TV and Oprah Winfrey's Oxygen Media.

 

FOUR INDIAN AMERICANS IN FORBES LIST

 

Four Indian Americans - Acoustics pioneer Amar Bose, Google founder director Kavitark Shriram, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla and Bharat Desai CEO of an info-tech outsourcing firm - have made it to the Forbes list of richest Americans.


The 77-year-old Sultan of sound, Amar Bose, shares the 271st place in the list, with the founder director of Google Kavitark Shriram with a net worth of US$ 1.8 billion.


Bose, an acoustics pioneer, formed his firm 43 years ago, which today thrives on the latest in iPod speaker docks, home theatre systems, noise-killing headphones, with a sale of USD 2 billion.


While 51-year-old Kavitark Shriram, an India-born financier, is an early investor and a board member of Google who owns 1.7 million shares worth US$ 870 million despite selling over 3 million shares in 2004, when it went public.


Another NRI Bharat Desai and his wife Neerja Sethi, founders of an info-tech outsourcing firm Syntel, have been ranked 286th with a fortune of USD1.7 billion in the list. The 54-year-old Desai, who was born in Kenya but moved to India at the age of 11, studied engineering at Indian Institute of Technology, took programming job in US at Tata Consultancy Services in 1976.


While Indian-American venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, who had made his presence in the list almost continuously, this time figured at 317th place with a net worth of USD 1.5 billion.

 

SAURABH DALAL GETS `HENRY SPIRA GRASSROOTS' AWARD

 

Vegetarian Society of D.C. (VSDC) President, Saurabh Dalal received the newly renamed `Henry Spira Grassroots Activist Award' at the Animal Rights 2007 Conference held in Los Angeles in July.  Henry Spira who died in 1998 is renowned for pioneering grassroots activism in the U.S. Animal Rights Movement. In 2006, he was given `AHIMSA AWARD' by JAIN FRIENDS, an International Jain Internet Organization, H.Q. in Poona, India.

 

Saurabh Dalal has been the Pioneer in the Vegetarian, Animal Rights, and Environmental Movements among Indian Americans in U.S.A.  He has the wide range of contacts with writers, researchers, professors, and others in these fields.  He is the President of Vegetarian Society of District of Columbia (VSDC) for over 10 years.  It is the second largest and the oldest vegetarian society in North America (U.S.A. and Canada) with over 900 members.  He is the Chairman of the Vegetarian Union of North America (VUNA).  He is also the Vice Chair of International Vegetarian Union (IVU) which holds World Vegetarian Congress every other year in different countries of the world.  He attended the 2006 Conference held in Goa, India. 

 

Among Jains, Saurabh Pioneered in the Organization of Young Jains of America (YJA), Young Jain Professionals (YJP), and Young Jains International (YJI).  He has been a member of JAINA Executive in the past.  He was the First to Introduce JAIN JEOPARDY in U.S.A.  He keeps in touch with `Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC), head quartered in Poona, India and Vegetarian Society of Bombay, India.  He has convinced and converted many into Vegetarianism / Veganism (Plant - Based Diet, not using any Animal Products including Dairy/Milk, Silk, Leather, Wool, Fur, Eggs, in addition to Meat, Fish, Fowl, etc.) being a VEGAN himself for over 15 years.

 

Apart from his above Mission for Non-Violence, he is by Profession, an Optics Engineer with Two Graduate Degrees of M.S. in Engineering and Physics from John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

 

RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI APPOINTED ILLINOIS DEPUTY STATE TREASURER

 

Raja Krishnamoorthi was appointed Deputy Treasurer for Policy and Programs by Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, and took office officially on Sept. 13. According to the Treasurer's office, he is the highest-ranking South Asian American to serve the state. As a political appointee, he would remain in the office for Giannoulias's 4-year term.

 

The appointment was announced at a meeting of the Indian community members at the Indo American Center in Chicago on September 12th.

 

SIKH AND PUNJABI STUDIES CHAIR AT UNIV. OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ

 

California native Hardit Singh Aurora has gifted $367,000 through Sigh Foundation to fund an endowed chair in Sikh and Punjabi studies at the History Department of the University of California, Santa Cruz in memory of his son Sarabjit Singh Aurora. The chair will support research and teaching pertaining to the Sikh community from a multi-cultural and global perspective.

UPCOMING PROGRAMS OF OTHER ORGANIZATIONS

 

CONFERENCE ON ETHNICITY, RACE AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

 

The first Conference on Ethnicity, Race, and Indigenous Peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean has been scheduled for May 22-23, 2008 at the University of California in San Diego. The event is organized and sponsored by ERIP (LASA Section on Ethnicity, Race, and Indigenous Peoples), CILAS-UCSD (Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies, University of California, San Diego) and LACES (Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, journal published by Taylor & Francis).

 

The conference will include panels, proposed and organized by CILAS-UCSD, on indigenous peoples and natural resources (land, water, trees and forests, herbs, oil, natural gas, and other resources). Institutions such as regional or country-focused scholarly associations and university departments are encouraged to propose "sponsored panels" organized by the institution, involving their members and receiving their imprimatur.

 

Individual papers and organized panel proposals are invited to submit proposals by October 31, 2007. The conference's Program Committee will consider panels and individual paper proposals on any topic related to ethnicity, race relations, Indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants and other ethnic or racial groups in Latin America and the Caribbean. The committee accepts electronic submissions only. Proponents should fill in a Individual Paper Proposal Form or, in the case of panels, a Pre-organized Panel Proposal Form. Contact: eripprog@dss.ucsd.edu.

NRIs/PIOs ACHIEVE

 

GOPIO CHAIRMAN ABRAHAM SELECTED TO RECEIVE BHARATVANSHI GAURAV AWRD

 

The Board of Trustees of Anthar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad, an international body based in New Delhi India, has unanimously selected Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman of GOPIO International for Bharatvanshi Gaurav Award given for outstanding contributions by an NRI/PIO for fostering better understanding outside India and for making a significant contributions in serving the Indian Diaspora. 

 

The Selection Committee had nine very outstanding nominations - four from USA, two from UK and one each from Sri Lanka, Thailand and Fiji. The award consists of citation, shawl, memento and Rs.100,000 (one lakh only).

 

Dr. Abraham has been serving the NRI/PIO community for the last 34 years. He served as the first president of the Federation of Indian Associations of New York which organizes the largest India Day Parade outside India and the National Federation of Indian American Associations, the largest umbrella organization in the US. Dr. Abraham currently serves as the Chairman of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) which he founded in 1989 and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Indian American Kerala Center in New York. Dr. Abraham also served as the Co-Chairman of the fund raising campaign to institute a chair for Indian studies at Columbia University. Two other groups initiated by Dr. Abraham are National Indian American Association for Senior Citizens (NIAASC) and South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS). A graduate of Columbia University, Dr. Abraham is a materials scientist by profession and is President of Innovative Research and Products, Inc., an industry and market research firm based in Stamford, CT, USA.

 

INDIAN AMERICAN GEETA GAMBHIR WINS EMMY AWARD FOR PHOTO EDITING

 

Indian American community had its presence at the 59th Annual Emmy Awards organized by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with Geeta Gambhir winning the Emmy for Outstanding Picture Editing in Non-fiction Programming. A resident of Brooklyn (New York City), Gambhir shared the award with Sam Pollard and Nancy Novak for Spike Lee's 2006 HBO documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.

 

The four-hour film looks at the devastation caused in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina destroyed its levee system in August 2005.The film won two other Emmys for Non-fiction Filmmaking and Directing for Non-fiction Programming.

 

Gandhbir has worked as an editor in the television and film industry for over 15 years. She graduated from the State University of New York, majoring in Visual Arts and Cross-Cultural Anthropology.In the film, she has worked with distinguished directors and producers such as Robert Altman of Short Cuts fame besides Spike Lee of He Got Game, Clockers, and Summer of Sam. Gambir has worked in television for PBS, MTV, Discovery, Court TV and Oprah Winfrey's Oxygen Media.

 

FOUR INDIAN AMERICANS IN FORBES LIST

 

Four Indian Americans - Acoustics pioneer Amar Bose, Google founder director Kavitark Shriram, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla and Bharat Desai CEO of an info-tech outsourcing firm - have made it to the Forbes list of richest Americans.


The 77-year-old Sultan of sound, Amar Bose, shares the 271st place in the list, with the founder director of Google Kavitark Shriram with a net worth of US$ 1.8 billion.


Bose, an acoustics pioneer, formed his firm 43 years ago, which today thrives on the latest in iPod speaker docks, home theatre systems, noise-killing headphones, with a sale of USD 2 billion.


While 51-year-old Kavitark Shriram, an India-born financier, is an early investor and a board member of Google who owns 1.7 million shares worth US$ 870 million despite selling over 3 million shares in 2004, when it went public.


Another NRI Bharat Desai and his wife Neerja Sethi, founders of an info-tech outsourcing firm Syntel, have been ranked 286th with a fortune of USD1.7 billion in the list. The 54-year-old Desai, who was born in Kenya but moved to India at the age of 11, studied engineering at Indian Institute of Technology, took programming job in US at Tata Consultancy Services in 1976.


While Indian-American venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, who had made his presence in the list almost continuously, this time figured at 317th place with a net worth of USD 1.5 billion.

 

SAURABH DALAL GETS `HENRY SPIRA GRASSROOTS' AWARD

 

Vegetarian Society of D.C. (VSDC) President, Saurabh Dalal received the newly renamed `Henry Spira Grassroots Activist Award' at the Animal Rights 2007 Conference held in Los Angeles in July.  Henry Spira who died in 1998 is renowned for pioneering grassroots activism in the U.S. Animal Rights Movement. In 2006, he was given `AHIMSA AWARD' by JAIN FRIENDS, an International Jain Internet Organization, H.Q. in Poona, India.

 

Saurabh Dalal has been the Pioneer in the Vegetarian, Animal Rights, and Environmental Movements among Indian Americans in U.S.A.  He has the wide range of contacts with writers, researchers, professors, and others in these fields.  He is the President of Vegetarian Society of District of Columbia (VSDC) for over 10 years.  It is the second largest and the oldest vegetarian society in North America (U.S.A. and Canada) with over 900 members.  He is the Chairman of the Vegetarian Union of North America (VUNA).  He is also the Vice Chair of International Vegetarian Union (IVU) which holds World Vegetarian Congress every other year in different countries of the world.  He attended the 2006 Conference held in Goa, India. 

 

Among Jains, Saurabh Pioneered in the Organization of Young Jains of America (YJA), Young Jain Professionals (YJP), and Young Jains International (YJI).  He has been a member of JAINA Executive in the past.  He was the First to Introduce JAIN JEOPARDY in U.S.A.  He keeps in touch with `Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC), head quartered in Poona, India and Vegetarian Society of Bombay, India.  He has convinced and converted many into Vegetarianism / Veganism (Plant - Based Diet, not using any Animal Products including Dairy/Milk, Silk, Leather, Wool, Fur, Eggs, in addition to Meat, Fish, Fowl, etc.) being a VEGAN himself for over 15 years.

 

Apart from his above Mission for Non-Violence, he is by Profession, an Optics Engineer with Two Graduate Degrees of M.S. in Engineering and Physics from John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

 

RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI APPOINTED ILLINOIS DEPUTY STATE TREASURER

 

Raja Krishnamoorthi was appointed Deputy Treasurer for Policy and Programs by Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, and took office officially on Sept. 13. According to the Treasurer's office, he is the highest-ranking South Asian American to serve the state. As a political appointee, he would remain in the office for Giannoulias's 4-year term.

 

The appointment was announced at a meeting of the Indian community members at the Indo American Center in Chicago on September 12th.

 

SIKH AND PUNJABI STUDIES CHAIR AT UNIV. OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ

 

California native Hardit Singh Aurora has gifted $367,000 through Sigh Foundation to fund an endowed chair in Sikh and Punjabi studies at the History Department of the University of California, Santa Cruz in memory of his son Sarabjit Singh Aurora. The chair will support research and teaching pertaining to the Sikh community from a multi-cultural and global perspective.

NEWS OF INTEREST TO NRIs AND PIOs AROUND THE WORLD

 

PIO TV PARTNERS WITH CNN AND PTI FOR CONTENT

 

IPTV service PIO TV (www.piotv.com)has been launched on August 23. The channel has partnered with CNN as broadcast affiliate to use audio, visual and text for its news as well as with PTI for text and photo content. It has also partnered with Sanchar Bharti, one of the leading producers of audio content, for PIO Radio section. PIO TV is aimed at providing live news in 24x7 format, news update, entertainment, movies, culture, tourism, cuisine related news and much more.

 

The channel has also ventured into a distribution agreement with Airchord Televentures Pvt Ltd to distribute the live television stream of PIO TV to cellular and mobile users in India and overseas. PIO TV is a digital platform that integrates media of all types and offers a variety of content on a live, archived and on demand basis with a choice for immediate or later viewing.

 

Munish Gupta, Chairman and CEO of PIO TV, said, "The content would be available free except those on demand. The PIO centric channel would cater to the needs of 50 million PIOs abroad who look out for news and information that affects their lives. All content would be trimmed and re-purposed for the PIOs."

 

The channel, headquartered in Los Angeles, also has offices in Delhi and Mumbai. The channel would cover events from North America, UK, Europe, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australia, South Pacific, South and Eastern Africa, South America and the Caribbean.

 

"Our platform encourages forming and forging communities, connecting people to people, businesses to businesses, government to people, ensuring a flow of information and interactivity thus far not established in the global PIO community," Gupta added.

 

The channel's other alliances include that with media groups like Northeast India, Positiv TV, Positiv Radio and group of individuals, production houses, labels and banners from Bollywood. The channel also has plans to make available a library of more than 1,500 Indian feature films, music videos, audio versions of these songs and religious and devotional music videos.

 

CHILDREN'S RAISES FUNDS FOR ITS CHARITABLE WORK

 

Children's Hope India is a volunteer organization of Indian women professionals in New York dedicated to raising funds for children's causes since 1992. Children's Hope Prayas covers an entire slum - Kathputli Colony on the outskirts of Delhi - which has been transformed by CH initiatives such as informal education, nutritious meals, a health clinic, a computer center and vocational training for the children, adult workshops and self help groups to facilitate micro-credit and income generation for the parents.

 

On October 7th, the group did successful fundraiser at a dazzling sold out evening of riveting music, sumptuous Indian cuisine and world renowned special guests made this year's Children's Hope India Crystal Ball  at New York City hot spot Pier Sixty featuring Pulitzer Prize Winner Jhumpa Lahiri, live music performances by Vishal Vaid and Karsh Kale, and revered actress Sarita Choudhury as emcee. Hot on the heels of last year's fundraiser, this year's Crystal Ball marking 15 years of Children's Hope Crystal Ball raised about $500,000 benefiting children.

 

Proceeds go towards health and education initiatives in Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore, Bhuj, Pune, Jabalpur and several villages in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. Children's Hope will honor Raphael and Linda Benaroya, friends of India and philanthropists, with the Lotus Award for their outstanding support of children's causes. The Making a Difference Award was presented to entrepreneur Benita Singh, co-founder of Mercado Global, who was named among 'The 15 People Who Make America Great' by Newsweek Magazine. Special guests included culinary chef and actress Madhur Jaffrey, as well as Consul General of India in New York Neelam Deo.

 

For more information on Children's Hope, please visit www.childrenshopeindia.org or contact Dina Pahlajani at 516-625-0754 or 516-570-6294. Tax deductible donations can be sent to: Children's Hope India, 7 Edgemere Drive, Searingtown, NY 11507, E-mail: PAHLAJANI@aol.com

 

NRI DOCTORS SETTING UP HOSPITAL NEAR HOWRAH

 

About 20 twenty medical doctors from Britain and the US are pooling their resources to set up a hospital near Howrah with the aim of providing quality healthcare at a low cost to the poor. KJnown as Sanjiban, it will offer specialized services in fields like pediatrics, cardiology and ENT and will be operational by April 2008.

 

According one of the initiators Dr. Subhashis Mitra, Sanjiban was an idea that was conceptualised during his college days in the early 1980s. Dr. Mitra has been in Britain for nearly 13 years, is all set to give up his job as a senior surgeon in Glasgow and come back to India to head Sanjiban.

 

"We have always thought that healthcare is not a business, but a service. We honestly believe that the concept of private healthcare should be changed so that even poor people can get access to this facility in West Bengal," Mitra said.

 

Mitra is also president of the Chikitsa Broti Udyog, the trust behind the Sanjiban initiative. Social activist Prafulla Chakraborty is general secretary of the trust.

 

"Since we are targeting a particular section of society, we are trying to help them with medical insurance. Talks are on with the National Insurance Company Ltd. for a medical insurance tie-up," Mitra said.

 

He said the hospital had joined hands with a low-priced generic drug manufacturing company, Locost, and taken the help of a Vadodara-based consultancy firm, MSP Consultant, to bring down the cost of its services.

 

The hospital will have a captive power plant and a green house energy reservoir. Mitra said the hospital would be able to reduce the operational cost by about 40 percent by using renewable energy.

 

INDI CORPS SEEKS APPLICATIONS FOR SERVICE FELLOWSHIPS

 

Since 2002, Indicorps has engaged talented young Indians from around the world on the frontlines of India's most pressing challenges with the aim of nurturing a new brand of socially conscious leaders with the character, knowledge, commitment, and vision to transform India and the world. Towards this goal, Indicorps provides a grassroots service fellowship for young professionals of Indian origin for one to two years.  Fellows take individual personal responsibility to execute and complete projects, defined in partnership with local development organizations that address particular community challenges. Individuals are able to choose from a variety of projects to fit their own interests and skills.

 

The Indicorps fellowship is a profound personal experience and an opportunity to understand participatory development through intense voluntary service. The structured program encourages participants to leave their comfort zones, place others' interests before their own, test their own potential to affect change, explore their relationship with India, and understand what it means to lead by committing themselves to innovative grassroots projects.

 

Thirteen fellows are currently working on different development projects to contribute to positive change throughout India, from improving the livelihoods of bamboo artisans in rural Maharashra to raising nutritional awareness in the hills of Tamil Nadu, to encouraging the civic engagement of youth in Bangalore. There are two fellowship cycles, beginning in January and August. There are over 20 projects for the January 2008 fellowship, ranging from encouraging technology based entrepreneurship with Vigyan Ashram in Karnataka to promoting youth leadership in rural Maharashtra and the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

 

The application for the January fellowship (available at www.indicorps.org/apply) is due October 15, 2007. If you would like more information on the fellowship and specific projects, please visit www.indicorps.org, or contact Ketki Sheth at ketki@indicorps.org (+91-9377699953).

 

MORE INDIANS TOUR AROUND THE WORLD

 

The number of Indian travelers holidaying abroad has been growing exponentially. The rise of rupee against the US dollar, surge in budget flights and economical travel packages has prompted many Indians to spend their holidays overseas.

 

Indian tourists also use the opportunity for shopping. Although India claims that everything is now available there, yet Indian travelers spend liberally on their shopping abroad. Singapore, Dubai and London have become typical shopping destinations for Indian tourists. Some countries such as Ireland, the Netherlands, and South Korea have opened tourist offices in India to attract Indians to make their country as holiday destination and thus increase their tourism revenue.

 

India has also to build decent airports and infrastructure and develop retail and entertainment business at the airports to attract shopping revenue from the foreign tourists. The domestic traffic in India has also been rapidly growing.  With increasing incidences of flight delays, travelers are forced to spend more time at the airports. The Airports Authority in India should develop attractive shopping areas, bevy of eateries and entertainment centers to increase the airport revenue.

 

REPLACING U.S. GREEN CARD

 

The United States Permanent Resident Card, popularly known as Green Card, is issued to an immigrant with the right to live and work in the United States. 

 

Since August 1989, the card has been issued for ten years and the holder is required to renew at the expiration of ten years from its issue date. Prior to August 1989, "Green Cards" were issued with no expiration date. Cards issued prior to 1977 were recalled while Cards issued between 1977 and 1989 are still in circulation.

 

The US Government requires all card holders without an expiration date to replace their cards before their validity is terminated. The holders of such cards can obtain form I-90 from http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-90.pdf and send to the USCIS with necessary documents.

 

KERALA OFFERS TO SET UP NRI UNIVERSITY

 

Kerala Chief Minister has offered to set up a university for non-resident Indians in his state. The proposed university will have 50% of the seats reserved for children of non-resident Indians and the rest for Indian residents.

 

The federal cabinet recently cleared the proposal under the University Grants Commission Act, and decided the university would be located in a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). NRI/PIO children from developing countries which do not offer higher and/or quality educational facilities, can take advantage of the proposed university.

 

FIRST STATE-FUNDED HINDU SCHOOL TO BE OPENED IN BRITAIN

 

Britain's first state-funded Hindu school has been granted planning permission by the London borough of Harrow, and the first batch of students is expected to start in September 2008. The 236-capacity, one-form entry school is located in Edgware, which is in the heart of the highest concentration of Hindus in Britain. About one third of the local residents practice the Hindu faith.

The school, named 'Krishna Avanti Primary School', will be built at a cost of $10 million English Pounds and is being built by the I-Foundation, a leading Hindu charity organization. The plan for the Hindu school was announced by the Department of Education and Skills in November 2005, as stated by indiaedunews.com. The school received overwhelming support from the local Hindu community.

 

Nitesh Gor, director of I-Foundation said, "This is an incredibly exciting moment for the UK's Hindu community," adding, "It is the first time the choice of a faith-based education will be extended to Hindus alongside Christians, Muslims, Jews and Sikhs." According to Gor, all major Hindu groups in Britain have expressed support to the school, including the Hindu Forum of Britain, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Chinmaya Group and the Hindu Council. Gor stated that, "The primary school aims to give Hindu parents a choice of school that is consistent with their faith. At present, voluntary aided schools exist for every other major religion in the UK and it is right that the Hindu community is not denied this option in the education of their children."

 

SEMINAR ON GYPSIES IN EUROPE AND ANCESTRAL RELATIONS WITH INDIA

 

The Diaspora Cultural Resource Center of the Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts in New Delhi, India, held an interactive session on Gypsies (Romas) in Europe and their ancestral cultural relations with India. The session was held at Lecture Hall No.5, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road in New Delhi on Wednesday, 4 October 2007 starting at 4:00pm.

 

Worldwide there is an estimated population of at least 15 million. As early as 200 years ago, cultural anthropologists hypothesised an Indian origin of the Roma based on linguistic evidence. The Roma are believed to have originated in the Punjab and Rajasthan regions of the Indian sub-continent.

 

The interactive session involved Mr. Valery Novoselsky, Editor, Roma Virtual Network and Consultant to the European Roma Information Office. Details can be obtained for the Diaspora Cultural Resource at www.ignca.nic.in and email: diaspora@ignca.org

 

KHALSAKIDS.ORG TO HELP SIKH STUDENTS TO FIGHT BULLIES

 

A New York based community organization Sikh Coalition has started Khalsakids.org in response to an incident earlier this year in which a Sikh boy's turban was forcibly removed and his hair cut by a schoolmate in New York's Queens area. The boy has since changed schools for safety reasons and a jury has indicted the culprit. The website dedicated to helping Sikh students fight bullying in school. Designed as an interactive resource tool, it features a discussion forum, videos, and downloadable presentations. Parents and teachers can also use the website's sample lesson plans and games to teach others about the Sikh community.

 

Earlier, the Sikh Coalition had issued a civil rights report "Hatred in the Hallways" on the problems Sikh children face in school. The report, based on a survey of New York City Sikhs, revealed that nearly 75 per cent of Sikh boys in the Queens borough, which has a concentration of Sikh households, are harassed or intimidated because of their long hair and turban. People call them "Osama bin Laden" or "terrorists", often threatening or physically harassing them. According to its founder, the new website will help sigh children to feel proud of their identity and to give them the tools to combat bias in school.

 

MALAYSIAN INDIANS TAKING UK GOVERNMENT TO COURT

 

Hindus in Malaysia are taking the British Government to court for years of alleged atrocities. A Kuala Lumpur based solicitor P Waytha Moorthy has filed a litigation (PIL) at the Royal Courts of Justice in London last month. He has three months to serve a notice to the Foreign Office for damages worth over £1 million for each of the country's two million Hindus.


His move has been supported by Britain-based Hindu Human Rights (HHR), which organized a protest outside the Malyasian High Commission in London on Friday (31) to mark the country's 50th year of independence from the British.


Mr. Moorthy told Eastern Eye: "Ma­laysia supposedly became indepen­dent 50 years ago but the Hindus of the country have never experien­ced independence. They are denied the right to practice their religion, their temples are desecrated, they are forcibly converted and are subjected to unbelievable atrocities.


"The British Government must take responsibility for their treatment as these Hindus were brought into Malaysia forcibly as indentured labor during the British Raj in India. Before independence was declared for Malaysia, the British Government assured that the peculiar position of the Indians would be protected.


"But that never translated into action, which is why on the eve of this anniversary we have decided to file this case."


The PIL is also demanding that the Malaysian constitution be declared null and void, all Hindus be granted British citizenship and the Malaysian government be referred to the international court of justice and the international criminal court at The Hague for human rights violations against minority Indians.


HHR spokesman Arjun Malik added: "Already subject to heavy discrimination in employment, study and general walks of life, Hindus in Malaysia have begun to suffer in more specific ways. Hindu temples are destroyed and desecrated regularly with the full backing of the government.


"Hindus are denied the right to follow their own faith, and even in death, denied the right to a decent Hindu funeral. Forced into the economic and social margins, Hindus have become the prime victims of religious and racial hatred, which few commentators and human rights organizations even bother reporting on. This petition and our protest is aimed at drawing attention to their plight."

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: gopio-intl@sbcglobal.net

GOPIO Executive Vice President - Lord Daljit Rana, UK, Tel:  +44 28-9807-8787, Email: dsrana@andrashouse.co.uk

GOPIO Secretary General - Ashook Ramsaran, Fresh Meadows, New York City, Tel: 718/939-8194, E-mail: ramsaran@aol.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.

 

EDITORIAL BOARD

 

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), Sangeeta Ahuja (USA), Bina Mahabir (Guyana-USA), Sunil Prasad (Belgium), Ryan Tiwari (The Netherlands)

 

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: gopio@optonline.net

 

Visit GOPIO's Official site at www.gopio.net or www.gopio.com