GOPIO: Convention at KL


The 9th GOPIO International Convention held in Kuala Lumpur in December was a time to connect, and to make its work more relevant for the diaspora in changing times. PIO’s in Malaysia weren’t discussed though

GOPIO International’s newly appointed general secretary S Gunasekaren gives away one THINK TANK: Among two of Malayasia’s most significant Indians, Dato Samy Vellu (right) and Dato Eswaran are in a contemplative mood
WARM GREETINGS: GOPIO International’s new Vice President for Africa Shireen S Mudali Munsamy (from South Africa) with the two Datos BRIEFING the media: GOPIO International’s P Kandasamy, one of the architects of the convention, talks to journalists
BUSINESS TIMES: Qi team member Ramya Chandrasekaran with GOPIO brass from Singapore—Dr V.P. Nair (left) and Venki Char (right) KEEN AUDIENCE: Chitramun Dukhirai (right), former Municipal Commissioner from Mauritius at the convention

COLOURS OF GOPIO: Delegates from various countries spanning four continents pose for lensmen


The 9th GOPIO International Convention in Kuala Lumpur in December was a gathering of intellectuals, business leaders, and political brass. In terms of numbers the gathering may have fallen short of expectations, but then many of those who did not attend were scheduled to come to New Delhi for the PBD. Some fine sessions culminated in several resolutions to which the new GOPIO team is earnestly committed. We outline some of them:

• Setting up a satellite TV channel in India that would beam contents on tradition and civilization to the diaspora.
• Cultural activities in PIO countries every alternate year.
• Involve more youth in GOPIO International conventions.
• To keep traditions and culture alive for forthcoming generations, the GOPIO International and its member bodies would connect vigorously with State and Central Governments
• Heritage villages would be created for the awareness of younger generations.
• Workshops for youth writers.
• Establishment of institutions for studies related to India in various diaspora countries.
• GOPIO initiative for circulation of Indian intellectuals through networking for educational and research inputs.
• Request the Indian Government to preserve as heritage sites the depots were indentured workers were kept before they sailed away to different parts of the world. These are located at Calcutta, Vishakapatnam, Chennai, Nagapattinam and Kakinada. The sights may be provided with archival resources and museums, providing insights into the process of departure and return.
• GOPIO will pursue vigorously the tracing of PIO roots by initiating archival centres.



January 2008

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