GOPIO elects new team at biennial convention 2011

(From left)Ramsaran, Kulathakal, Agrawal and Singh. In the background at the Iselin programme is India’s ambassador to the United States Nirupama Rao 

On Saturday, November 19, 2011 at its Biennial Convention 2011 held in Iselin, New Jersey, USA, GOPIO International held elections for positions in theGOPIO Executive Council for the next two-year term in accordance with GOPIO’s bylaws.The GOPIO Executive Council appointed former GOPIO Chairman, Dr Thomas Abraham two months ago to chair the nomination committee. The election session was chaired by Dr Abraham who was assisted by K. N. Gupta (President, GOPIO India) and Satruhan Sukdeo (President, GOPIO Upper New York). The results of the elections are:

Chairman:Inder Singh will continue as Chairman.
International President:
Ashook Ramsaran (Guyana born, USA resident).
Executive Vice President:
Sunny Kulathakal (Bahrain).
Senior Vice President:
Dr Piyush Agrawal (USA).

At the General Council meeting held on November 20, it was announced that in accordance with GOPIO’s bylaws and procedures, appointments for all regional and council positions would be made shortly by GOPIO’s Executive Council.

The convention theme of "Issues and Concerns of the Indian Diaspora" evaluated, assessed, debated, discussed and deliberated on the current, critical issues of interest and concern that confront persons of Indian origin of more than 25 million people living in many countries outside of India.

The conference examined issues of: Consular services, property, taxation, foreign accounts disclosures, NRI parents and related issues; issues related to health and wellness; Indian migration and the significance of Kolkata Memorial; Living in Fear: Gender & Inter-generational Abuse; Entrepreneurship and how to leverage the diaspora networks to jump start new ventures; and challenges and opportunities for political empowerment and successful adaptation in adopted countries.

Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs minister Hon Vayalar Ravi in his message felicitated GOPIO for its contribution to the Indian Diaspora Movement, stating that “GOPIO International is playing a vital role in creating awareness and promoting understanding of issues of concern of the Indian Diaspora”. Similar messages of congratulations and good wishes were received from India’s ambassador the USA, Hon. Nirupama Rao; New Jersey Governor, Hon Chris Christie; Deputy Speaker of New Jersey Assembly, Hon Upendra Chivukula; India’s Consul General in New York, Hon Prabhu Dayal; Trinidad’s Ambassador to the USA, Hon Dr Neil Parsan; Guyana’s Ambassador to the USA, Hon. Bayney Karran; Former Prime Minister and leader of Fiji Labour Party, Hon Mahendra Chaudhry; and several others in the USA and elsewhere.

Following GOPIO Executive Council and General Council meetings, the convention was inaugurated on November 18 by Deputy Speaker of New Jersey Assembly, Hon Upendra Chivukula and Trinidad & Tobago’s Consul General in New York, Hon Rudrawatee Nan Ramgoolam. Both Chivukula and Ramgoolam lauded GOPIO for its efforts to connect those in the Indian Diaspora and address issues of interest and concern. Recognition of life members (Vijay Nahata, Dr Jean Jacob and Harbachan Singh) and sponsors (Kotak Mahindra Bank, News India Times and Sabinsa Corporation) were given. A memorable souvenir brochure for this convention was released and distributed free of charge to all sponsors, participants, government agencies, members and guests.

December 2011

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