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GOPIO NEWS

April 30, 2018

A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)

Issue: XVI-3 April 30, 2018
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In This Issue
GGOPIO TEAM FOR 2018-'19 TAKES OVER
GOPIO CHAPTERS ORGANIZE HEALTH AND WELLNESS SYMPOSIUMS AND HEALTH FAIR IN THE NEW YORK AREA
SPIRIT OF GREATER CONNECTION AMONG GLOBAL INDIANS LAUDED AT GOPIO MEET IN AUCKLAND
GOPIO NEWS SPONSOR
GOPIO INTERNATIONAL AND CHAPTER NEWS
NRIs/PIOs ACHIEVE
NRIs AND PIOs NEWS FEATURES
NEWS OF INTEREST TO NRIs and PIOs
GOPIO LIFE MEMBERSHIP AND CHAPTER FORMATION
EDITORIAL BOARD
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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 TEAM FOR 2018-'19 TAKES OVER
 
GOPIO TEAM FOR 2018-'19 TAKES OVER
 
In the last two years,  GOPIO had organized conferences, public platforms on issues, community celebrations and social service and philanthropic activities. The Biennial Convention held in New York in June 2016 has become a corner stone for GOPIO to be more involved in business, technology, investment and philanthropic activities. GOPIO decided to initiate GOPIO International Chamber of Commerce (GICC) which was officially launched on January 10th, 2017 in Mumbai. In the last two years, GOPIO organized conventions in Paris, Bangalore in conjunction with Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and GOPIO Global Indian Business Summit in Durban South Africa.
 
With the last GOPIO team ending its term in Bahrain, a new team was elected by an online vote before the convention. Over 70% of the delegates participated in the election. The following persons were elected:
 
During the convention, Mr. Sunny Kulathakal, an Indian from the Middle East was sworn in as the Global President of the organization for the two-year term of 2018-2019. It is the first time in the history of three-decade old GOPIO that an Indian from a country outside the US & Europe was given this position. Kulathakal has been actively involved with GOPIO for more than a decade. He served the Organization as Middle East Co-Coordinator, Executive Vice President & Global Ambassador.
 
South Africa's Ishwar Ramlutchman is the new Executive Vice-President while Ram Gadhavi from the US is new Vice President. Dubai-based journalist Issac John has taken on the mantle of GOPIO Global Ambassador. Dr. Thomas Abraham from the US will continue as Chairman. Others elected/appointed are Lal Motwani and Dr. Asha Samant as International Coordinators-at-Large, Mehen Poinoosawmy as International Coordinator for Europe, Jagdish Lodhia as International Coordinator for Oceania, Kurian Abraham as International Coordinator for South Asia, Rita Abraham as International Coordinator for South Africa, Johny Kuruvilla as International Coordinator for the Middle East, and Harbachan Singh as International Coordinator for North America .
 
GOPIO Executive Council 2018.Members
GOPIO-Executive Council Members 2018, from top left clockwise, Dr. Thomas Abraham, Sunny Kulathakal, Ishwar Ramlutchman, Ram Gadhavi, Inder Singh, Jaswant Mody, Dinesh Mittal, Kewal Kanda, Dr. Rajeev Mehta and Niraj Baxi 

The Executive Council Meeting also appointed the following persons:
 
Executive Trustee of the Foundation - Inder Singh
Chairman of GOPIO International Chamber of Commerce - Niraj Baxi
Secretary (Admin) - Dr. Rajeev Mehta
Chairman Chapter Review Committee and Automation - Dinesh Mittal
Treasurer - Kewal Kanda
Associate Secretary - Jaswant Mody
 
GOPIO E.C.  2018 INTL. COORDINATORS
Ohoto above: GOPIO-Executive Council Members 2018, International Coordinators from top left clockwise, Kurian Abraham, Rita Abraham,  Johny Kuruvilla, Jagdish Lodhia, Harbachan Singh, Dr. Asha Samant, Mehen Poinoosawmy and Lal Motwani

Contact: Sunny Kulathakal, President of GOPIO International, Bahrain +973-39441956, India +91-9845756692, E-mail:  kulathakal44@gmail.com  or Dr. Rajeev Mehta, Secretary (Admin), GOPIO International, Email: sgGOPIO@gmail.com
GOPIO CHAPTERS ORGANIZE HEALTH AND WELLNESS SYMPOSIUMS AND HEALTH FAIR IN THE NEW YORK AREA
 
GOPIO-NEW YORK ORGANIZED HEALTH AND WELLNESS SYMPOSIUM A SMASHING SUCCESS
 
The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) has a Health Council which has been actively pursuing better health and wellness of the Indian Diaspora community. Studies have shown that the South Asian origin people are more prone to heart deceases and diabetes.
 
The vision of GOPIO's Wellness Spectrum is to provide experts advise for the benefit of the community on integrated modern medicine and the complimentary health care modalities for better health and wellness.
 
With these objectives, GOPIO-New York organized a Health and Wellness Symposium on Saturday, April 7, 2018, was a smashing success. Over 100 people participated the event which was co-sponsored by other community groups, Alliance of Global Sindhi Associations. The Indian American Kerala Center, India Association of Long Island (IALI) and Gujarati Samaj of New York. The event was held at the Indian American Kerala Center in Elmont, New York. The Indian Consulate also helped the event as a Supporter.
 
The symposium was put together by physician Dr. Yousuf Syed and Rita Batheja , a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Inaugural Community Leader of Asian Indians In Nutrition and Dietetics Member Interest Group, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The symposium was moderated by GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham who said, "GOPIO has several news initiates including its own Chamber of Commerce and GOPIO Councils for Women, Youth, Academic, Science and Technology, Seniors and Cultural, however, promoting health and wellness is a very important initiative taken by GOPIO since 2010."
 
After a formal welcome by Kerala Center President Thambi Thalappillil, GOPIO-New York, President Beena Kothari who put together the sponsors and all other arrangements thanked all participating organizations, sponsors and speakers. The symposium was formally inaugurated by Mr. K. Devadasan Nair, Consul for Community Affairs from the Indian Consulate in New York.

The opening speaker Rita K. Batheja, a registered dietitian and nutritionist spoke on the topic, "Intro. to Functional Medicine & Personalized Life Style." According to Batheja,
informed consumer makes educational decision and thereby take your health in your own hand.

GOPIO-NY organized Health Symposium Organizers and Sponsors
Photo above: GOPIO-New York organized Health and Wellness Symposium Organizers with sponsors and speakers from l. to r.: Chris Demers of AgeWell, Gobind Gupta of India Asso. of Long Island, Minesh Patel of Gujrati Samaj of New York, Karen M. Arena of Contour Mortgage, GOPIO-New York President Beena Kothari, GOPIO Intl Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham, Dietitian/Nutritionist Rita Batheja, Pathologist Dr. Yousuf Syed, Mukund Mehta of Gujrati Samaj, Chandrakant Patel of Gujrati Samaj and John Paul of The Kerala Center

Batheja further said to drink filtered water instead of sugary drinks, eat clean food and avoid dirty dozen by visiting www.foodnews.org and also use the app think dirty'. Have a restful sleep and eat nutrient dense food. Learn to manage stress with music and dance or activity of one's choice..
 
"Use food as a Medicine and Functional Medicine is Pomegranate over prescription. It heals the body vs treats the symptoms by looking at the entire system," Batheja continued.
 
Dr. Yousuf U. Syed, M.D., a Pathologist spoke on the topic, "How to Prevent Common Diseases." Dr. Syed said that proper medical care, nutritional excellence, planed vegan raw veg diet, regular exercise and Yoga practice are beneficial in preventing and in some cases can reverse the epidemic of high blood pressure, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes and kidney ailments.
 
Dr. Vasudha Gupta, Ayurvedic Practitioner and master pulse reader who founded American Ayurveda spoke on topic , "The Scope of Ayurveda in Today's Health Care." Dr. Gupta explained the advantages of Ayurveda and the modern health care and that how both modalities are complementary and can go hand in hand working towards the goal of optimum human well-being.
 
"Ayurveda is an ancient Indian Health care system that considers the human being as an Mindy, Body and Spirit Entity and works with the aim of balancing all three whereas modern medicine views human body as a Biological and Chemical machine. Both modality can work better if they go hand in hand," said Dr. Gupta.
 
"Ayurveda can become better by using the latest discoveries in investigating techniques and the modern medicine can become better by including the bio-energetics of human body and food along with making the pharmaceutical medicines more holistic and environment friendly," Dr. Gupta continued.

Dr.Vasudha Gupta speaking at GOPIO-New York Health Seminar
Photo above: Speakers at GOPIO-New York organized Health and Wellness Symposium. From l. to r. Dr. Vasudha Gupta, Dr. Thomas Abraham, Dr. Yousuf Syed, Lal Motwani, Consul K. Devadasan Nair, Chandni Rodriguez, Gunjan Rastogi.
 
Yoga teacher Chandni Rodriguez , trained under her mother Gurjani Anjali who is the founder of Yoga Anand Ashram ((Amityville, NY), spoke on "The Benefit of Yoga for Sound Health." According to Rodriguez, t he ancient practice of Yoga supports our physical health by strengthening our Pranic energy.
 
"The Prana that flows through our bodies is our vitality and hen this is blocked there is suffering Duhkam in the body and mind, said Rodriguez. The yogic practices of asana (postures) and pranayama (breath control) regulate and balance this energy. The meditative practices calm and reset the equilibrium in the body and mind. In this way health is maintained.
 
Rodriguez and her associate Shyam Metgar of Westchester Yoga Arts gave yoga demonstrations.
 
Concluding the symposium, Gunjan Rastogi, President of India Association of Long Island, said  "the 3 golden nuggets from Health and wellness symposium are: Health is wealth, Vegetarian diet for healthy living and Yoga and meditation are the secrets to physical and mental wellness"
 
GOPIO-New York President Kothari thanked everyone and said the chapter woud continue such educational program in the future.

GOPIO-New York Health Seminar Group
Photo above: GOPIO-New York organized Health and Wellness Symposium organizers and volunteers with speakers

Contact: Beena Kothari, President, GOPIO-New York, beena.kothari@gmail.com

GOPIO-CT CONDUCTS SEMINAR ON BEYOND WELLNESS AND ELECTS NEW TEAM FOR 2018
 
Since 2017, the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)-Connecticut Chapter took a new initiative for health and wellness of the society at large. On Friday March 16th , 2018, GOPIO CT hosted the second part of the Health & Wellness Seminar Series titled "Beyond Wellness" for the benefit of its members and communities - a sequence of continuing education on healthy living. 
 
GOPIO-CT Health and Wellness Seminar in session  
Photo above: Audience at the Health and Wellness Seminar
 
The speakers were Dr. Jaya Daptardar, Dr. Alka S. Popli and Yashasvi Jhangiani, who spoke about understanding of and appreciation for preventive medicine, routine screening, age appropriate immunization, and lifestyle modifications as the key to healthy living and aging.  They incorporated their expertise in allopathy, homeopathy, and ayurvedic specialty in their highly informative discussion - it was gratefully appreciated!
 
GOPIO-CT officials with Health seminar speakers  
Photo above: GOPIO-CT officials with Health seminar speakers; From l. to r.: Santosh Gannu, GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham, Yashasvi Jhangiani, Dr. Alka S. Popli, Dr. Jaya Daptardar, Ravi Dhingra, Ashok Nichani and GOPIO-CT Anita Bhat
 
Dr. Daptadar said, "The goal of this health and wellness seminar series is to provide information of modern medicine, alternative and complementary health and wellness approaches to the community to pick up the least risky treatment menu with the most effective results."  

GOPIO CT president Anita and Health chair Dr. Jaya want to promote health and wellness series for the CT communities and it will be held in different cities.
 
Contact Anita Bhat, President, GOPIO-CT Tel 203-524-2935, E-mail:
 
GOPIO CENTRAL JERSEY ORGANIZES HEALTH FAIR
 
GOPIO-Central Jersey Chapter supported a health fair organized by Indian Health Camp of NJ and Shree Santram Bhakta Samaj of USA on Sunday, April 1, 2018, at Ukranian Cultural Center in Somerset, New Jersey.  Dr. Tushar Patel, Chairman of GOPIO Health led this health fair as part of community wellness and early detection and timely intervention of chronic diseases.  The health fair was benefited to more than 100 people to include blood test, EKG, physical exam, cardiac evaluation, eye screening for glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, various types of cancer screening, physical therapy counseling and mental health screening and counseling.  Prevention of chronic diseases via early screening and timely intervention reduces long-term complications and save lives and reduces financial and emotional burden on the family and society at large. 
 
GOPIO-Central Jersey Health Fair
 
Job well done!
 
Contact: Dr. Tushar Patel, Chairman, GOPIO Health Council and GOPIO Central Jersey E.C. Memebr, 848-391-0499, tpatel434@yahoo.com
SPIRIT OF GREATER CONNECTION AMONG GLOBAL INDIANS LAUDED AT GOPIO MEET IN AUCKLAND
 
The spirit of greater connection among global Indians was lauded in a recent meeting of members of different chapters of Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) in New Zealand.
 
The dinner meeting held on Monday, April 2nd, at the Indian Accent restaurant in Botany, was organised to facilitate the visiting GOPIO Oceania Coordinator Jagdish Lodhia and celebrate the completion of 10 years in New Zealand.
 
The MC of the event was Shefali Mehta, President, Auckland Central Chapter, who welcomed guests and started with a brief overview of the history of the organisation, and contributions of several key members in promoting the messages and membership of GOPIO in NZ.
 
Kiwi-Indian MPs, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Dr. Parmjeet Parmar, Hon. Consul of India Bhav Dhillon and Hon. Consul of Fiji Harish Lodhia attended the event.
 
The meeting witnessed participation of about sixty members from different chapters of GOPIO in NZ, where different chapter heads presented a brief overview of activities pursued by their respective groups, with some coming from as far as Wellington.
 
Dr Pushpa Wood (Wellington), Sanjeev Toora (Bombay Hills & Pukekohe), Subodh Seth (Botany), Narinder Singla (Auckland South), Alkesh Sharma (Auckland West) and Shefali Mehta (Auckland Central) enlightened everyone about main activities of their respective chapters.
 
What is GOPIO?
 
GOPIO is an international network of global Indians living outside India, which was formed in 1989 in New York, with an overarching aim of pooling together of the professional and financial resources within the wider global Indian community.
 
The main objective behind this initiative was to develop, promote and foster the immense power of Indian diaspora unleashed in the second half nineteenth century through informal networking, in a way to enhance its leveraging power with both the government of India and the governments of respective countries hosting global Indians.
 
The unique point of difference that GOPIO offers to the people of Indian origin in New Zealand, from other prominent community organisations, is its international networking and linkages.

GOPIO Intl.Coordinator for Oceania Jagdish Lodhia in New Zealand Chapters
Photo above: GOPIO International Coordinator for Oceania Jagdish Lodhia flanked by dignitaries and head of various GOPIO New Zealand Chapters
 
New Zealand Chapters
 
GOPIO has been operational in NZ since 2008. Many members of GOPIO concured that GOPIO through its international footprint can help lobby the Indian Government for issues affecting NRI's/PIOs as GOPIO international is in constant touch with the Govt. of India and use their good offices to protect the rights of people of Indian origin.
 
New Oceania Coordinator
 
The main purpose of meeting was to felicitate the newly elected GOPIO Oceania Coordinator Jagdish Lodhia, who is based in Sydney and was visiting Auckland for the first time after his appointment.
 
Speaking on occasion, Mr Lodhia shared his passion and vision on how this loosely organised networking community of global Indians around the world could further grow and connect with the new immigrants particularly the youths and the younger generation of global Indians.
 
"The success of an organisation is best judged by its ability to transfer vision and passion to the younger generation," Mr Lodhia told The Indian Weekender.
 
"I am calling upon all chapters of GOPIO in NZ to strive to expand their membership and reach out especially to youths in our community," Mr Lodhia added.
 
The spirit of greater connection lauded
 
Indeed, the key emphasis of the evening was to first acknowledge the growing size of Indian diaspora globally and in New Zealand and then to find ways of having a greater connection within that global Indian community.
 
The size of the Indian diaspora had grown from the likes of 20 million when GOPIO first started in 1989 to about 30 million according to the latest figures released by the Ministry of External Affairs, India - a fact acknowledged by all guest speakers on the night.
 
"The size of our community has grown considerably in the past 10 -15 years.
 
"It is great to see that our communities are doing well at all levels, socially and culturally in New Zealand," Dr Parmar said.
 
Recalling the first visit of Inder Singh, the United States-based businessman and founder-organiser of GOPIO, to NZ about a decade ago, MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi said, "I am one of the witnesses to how advocacy done by GOPIO, has grown over the years."
 
Summing it up, Hon Consul Bhav Dhillon conveyed Indian Government's newfound commitment towards the Indian diaspora all around the world.
 
"The Government of India is very focused on supporting our diaspora in every possible way all around the world," Mr Dhillon said reassuringly.
 
Mr Dhillon also urged all community organisations to work together, especially on some events of national significance.

GOPIO Int. Coordinator for Oceania with Dignitaries at Auckland Mtg.
Photo above: Shefali Mehta (Master of Ceremony), Subodh Seth (Function Organiser), Alkesh Sharma (Function Coordinator), Harish Lodhia (Honorary Consul General of Fiji), Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi (Member of New Zealand Parliament), Bhav Dhillon (Honorary Consul General of India) and Jagdish Lodhia (GOPIO International Coordinator Oceania)
 
Contact: Jagdish Lal Lodhia , GOPIO International Coordinator for Oceania, Shop No. 2, 240 George Street, Liverpool, NSW 2170, Australia, Tel: +61 2 9601 1999, Fax: +61 2 9824 2428, Mobile: +61 420 901 786, E-mail: gopiooceania@gmail.com
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GOPIO INTERNATIONAL AND CHAPTER NEWS

GOPIO- ORANGE COUNTY CELEBRATES CHARTER NITE
 
GOPIO Orange County Chapter celebrated their Third Charter Nite on February 25th at the Tandoor Restaurant, in Orange County, California. Guests included GOPIO Foundation Executive Trustee Inder Singh, former Cypress Mayor Dr. Prakash Narain, Popular Music Director Jatin Pandit, Sri Lanka Counsel General Swarna Gunaratne and former Assemblywoman Young Kim. The program started with lamp lighting followed by National Anthems of USA and India and a patriotic song by Veena Singh.
 
Chapter Chairman Dilip Butani, who is also GOPIO's Southern California Area Coordinator, welcomed the audience and also mentioned about the new five chapters to be opened in this year. President Amrit Bhandari introduced the chapter members and spoke about the projects that would be accomplished this year.


Dilip Butani speaking at GOPIO-Range County Meeting  
Inder Singh complimented the chapter for the goals achieved and spoke about the aims and objectives of GOPIO. Dr Prakash Narain was all praise for chapter's achievements. Jatin Pandit complimented the Chapter members by singing in his melodious voice a popular Bollywood song.
 
Sri Lanka Counsel General spoke about the good relations between India and Sri Lanka and was happy that the Indian Community was connected all around the world. Young Kim said she was happy to hear chapter's community services. She also announced her candidature for Congresswoman in place of Ed Royce, who will be retiring after his present term. Harkishan Vasa spoke about importance of GOPIO. In the end Secretary Dolly Singh thanked everyone.
 
The speeches were followed by a wonderful cultural program. There were three dance items organized by Savithri Arts Academy Director Dr Sinduri. This was followed by wonderful Bollywood songs by popular singers - Nauzad Sadry, Ram Tasildar and Bhavna Chawla.

GOPIO-Orange County organizers with dignitaries
 
The wonderful team that worked hard to make this show a great success include Dilip Butani, Amrit Bhandari, Dolly Singh, Sukrit Mukherjee, Dr Sinduri Jaya Singhe, Sunil Shah, Geetinder Singh, Ramesh Bhatt, Siddharth Pathak, Hark Vasa, Prakash Pancholi, Nila Parekh, Bharat Shah and Kantilal Shah.
 
GOPIO CHAIRMAN INAUGURATES FACITIES FOR CREARTED FAT TH INDIAN CONSULATE IN NEW TYORK FOR EMERGENCY PASSPORT AND VISA APPLICANTS
 
Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman of GOPIO (Global Organization of People of Indian Origin) inaugurated the facilities created at the Consulate for EMERGENCY PASSPORT AND VISA APPLICANTS from the Indian Community Welfare Fund on March 29th at the Indian Consulate. The facility provides computer and online access to those applying for visa and passport at the Indian Consulate in New York.

Present at the inauguration were Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty and Consul for Visa, Passport and OCI Mr. L. Krishnamurthy.

GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham Inaugurates Computer Facilities for community
 Photo: GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham with Consul General of India in New York Sandeep Chakravorty.

 
GOPIO-SYDNEY NORTH WEST CHAPTER ELECTS NEW TEAM
 
The Annual General Body Meeting of GOPIO Sydney North West chapter was held on Sunday, 15 April 2018 and the following new team of executive committee has been selected unanimously.   Congratulations   to all the team members.
 
1. President - Harmohan Singh Walia 
2. Vice President - Aman Singh 
3. Secretary - Neeru Singh 
4. Assistant Secretary - Rosie Multani 
5. Treasurer - Balkar Singh Kang

GOPIO-SYDNEY NORTH WEST TEAM FOR2018
Photo above l. to r.: Prof. Balkar Singh Kang (Treasurer), Aman Singh (Vice President), Rosie Multani (Asst. Secretary), Neeru Singh (Secretary) and Harmohan Singh Walia (President).
 
Contact: Harmohan Singh Walia, President, GOPIO-Sydney North West, Tel (Mob): +61-402 842 375, harrywalia123@yahoo.com.au . www.gopiosydneynorthwest.com.au
 
GOPIO-SOUTH JERSEY IN THE OFFING
 
GOPIO International officers, Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham, Secretary Dr. Rajeev Mehta, Chapter Review and Automation Committee Chair Dinesh Mittal and GOPIO Health Council Chair Dr. Tushar Patel visited Cherry Hill to meet with Indian community leaders on April 21 to explore the possibility of opening a chapter in South Jersey. The meeting held at Indian Villa Restaurant was organized by physician Dr. Kavita Gupta.
 
GOPIO already has GOPIO North Jersey and GOPIO Central Jersey chapters. Among those attending the meeting were GOPIO Life Members Raju Varghese and Magan Patel and GOPIO General Body Delegate Paul Mathai. Also present were Anesthesiologist and Pain Management Specialist Dr. Sanjay Gupta and former Mayor of Columbus New Jersey Dalpat Patel. The assembled group liked GOPIO mission of "Think Globally, Act Locally," especially to provide services to the local community and society at large.
 
The chapter will be officially launched soon.
 
Those interested to get involved in GOPIO-South Jersey (covering all cities and towns south of Princeton) and participate in the launch may contact Dr. Kavita Gupta, Tel: +1 856-873-6360, E-mail: aapi.kavita@gmail.com.

GOPIO-South Jersey Chapter Planning Meeting
Photo above - Some of the participants at the planning meeting to launch GOPIO-South Jersey Chapter. From: l. to r.: Dr. Tushar B. Patel, Dr, Rajeev Mehta, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Thomas Abraham, Dinesh Mittal, Paul Mathai, Raju M. Varghese and Magan Patel
 
GOPIO CHAPTERS AND COMMUNITY IORGANIZATIONS HOST INDIAN AMBASSADIOR NAVTEJ SARNA
 
Several Indian organizations in Southern California jointly hosted gala reception in honor of His Excellency Navtej Sarna, Ambassador of India,at Cerritos Sheraton Hotel on February 13, 2018. A large enthusiastic crowd representing GOPIO Int'l, NFIA, GOPIO LA, Orange County and Inland Empire Chapters, Federation of Indian-American Community, UFICA, IALA (San Fernando Valley, ASEI, LA County IAPA, Global Peace Foundation, Jain Center, Pan IIT Alumni Assoc, TIE Southern Calif, Apna Punjabi Group, Telugu Association, IAHF, Swamy Narayan Temple, India Association of IE, Rajput Association of America, Indian Pharmacist Association, Lions Club of Little India, IE Physicians Association enthusiastically welcomed the ambassador and attended the dinner event.
 
Inder Singh, in welcoming His Excellency Navtej Sarna, said that Southern California has been the home to the Indian American community for over one hundred years. It is karam Bhumi for over 250,000 people of Indian origin and has been home for past community stalwarts Congressman Dalip S. Saund and Bhagat Singh Thind. He then introduced the reception committee members, Ashok Madan Kewal Kanda, Dilip Butani, Navin Gupta, Vasu Pawar, Sudip Gorakshakar and Ashok Patnaik, who in turn, talked about accomplishments of various community members in their chosen field. They also mentioned names of people who have donated liberally to causes in USA and India.
 
Ambassador spoke about Indo-US relations which have been on the up-swing.The leadership of the two countries has frequent interaction. The high-level visits and exchanges between India and the U.S. has gone up significantly. The bilateral visits, meetings, and discussions have resulted in an environment of co-operation and goodwill between the two countries.

Indian Ambassador Sarna's Reception in Los Angeles
Photo above: Indian Ambassador Navtej Sarna with organizers from Indian community groups
 
The ambassador had a limited time to spend and promised to come back to spend more time with community members. He praised the Indian community for their philanthropy and said that the community still plays the role of freedom fighters just as Gadarites did over 100 years ago, by giving back liberally for various causes in India.
NRIs AND PIOs ACHIEVE

   
INDIAN-AMERICAN WINS THE USA BRAIN BEE CHAMPIONSHIP
 
At least seven Indian-American innovators were recognized recently by the National Institute of Health (NIH)and its Office of Strategic Coordination's The Common Fund, as 2017 New Innovator Award recipients.
 
The seven Indian Americans among the top 10 winners are:
  • Akhil Kondepudi of St. Louis, Missouri
  • Hemanth Asirvatham of Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • SehejBindra of Piscataway, New Jersey
  • Sneha Shinde of Rootstown, Ohio
  • Aayush Setty of Atlanta, Georgia
  • LasyaKambhampati of Kansas City, Kansas
  • Veda Chanda of Hershey, Pennsylvania
The USA Brain Bee is an Official Regional Brain Bee of the International Brain Bee which is led by a Board of Directors from the Society for Neuroscience, the American Psychological Association, the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, The International Brain Research Organization, and the Federation of European Neurosciences Societies.
 
Currently there are about 200 Brain Bee Chapters in about 50 countries in 6 continents. Each Chapter conducts a competition involving many high schools, those winners represent their cities at their respective National Championships and each National Champion is then invited to compete in the World Championship held every year in a different city.
 
INDIAN-AMERICAN TO BE APPOINTED INTO PRESIDENT'S COMMITTEE ON PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES
 
Dr. Vijaya Lakshmi Appareddy, a psychiatrist from Chatanooga, Tennessee, is President Donald Trump's choice to serve on the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, the White House announced March 30.
 
Dr. Appareddy has served in previous administrations as well. She is a psychiatrist with a medical degree from Osmania Medical College, NTR University of Health Sciences, Hyderabad, where she graduated with high honors and several awards, including four gold medals.  She came to the U.S. in 1983.
 
She is an author, and was a clinical assistant professor of Psychiatry at Brown University Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island, and also the medical director of the residential unit of Columbia Valley Hospital, Chattanooga, TN.
 
INDIAN-AMERICAN DENTAL STUDENT UPENN ELECTED PRESIDENT OIF DENTAL STUDENT NATIONAL BODY
 
Roopali Kulkarni, an Indian-American dentistry student from University of Pennsylvania, was elected president of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) earlier this year. The ASDA is the largest national organization that protects and advances the rights, interests and welfare of dental students and predentals.
 
The ASDA is the largest national organization that protects and advances the rights, interests and welfare of dental students and predentals. Representing 92 percent of all dental students, ASDA introduces members to lifelong involvement in organized dentistry and provides services, information, education, representation and advocacy, the press release said.
 
Kulkarni has served in other capacities at ASDA in the past, including serving as District 3 trustee to the national ASDA Board. Prior to being elected to a national position, she served as District 3 cabinet councilor and as the Penn Dental Medicine chapter's wellness co-chair.
 
Kulkarni is completing a dual degree, working towards her Master of Public Health in conjunction with her dental degree. She is a member of both the American Association of Public Health Dentistry and the American Academy of Oral Medicine.
 
SIX INDIAN AMERICANS TO RECEIVE GATES CAMBRIDGE SCHOLARSHIP
 
Six Indian Americans are among 35 students selected for the prestigious Gates Cambridge scholarship. They are: Neil Davey, Ayan Mandal, Pranay Nadella, Vaithish Velazhahan, KaamyaVaragur and Monica Kullar will each receive a scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which was set up with $210 million, and will be able to study at the University of Cambridge in the UK.
 
Neil Davey, who is studying Applied Mathematics/Economics and Global Health & Health Policy at Harvard University, said "while at Cambridge, I am particularly excited to interact with faculty who research access to care, as well as be in a community of scholars who will challenge my beliefs and allow me to rethink my perspectives on healthcare."
 
Ayan Mandal, who is studying Neurobiology and Physics at Georgetown University, said "at Cambridge, I will be applying my growing expertise in network neuroscience analysis to uncover brain networks corresponding to states of cognition in patients with brain tumors."
 
Pranay Nadella, who is studying Biology and Statistics at Harvard University, said "at Cambridge, I will study the MPhil in Public Health and continue to focus on improving public health programs for vulnerable mothers and children."
 
Vaithish Velazhahan, who is studying Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology at Kansas State University, said "I am very excited to contribute to advances in electron cryo-microscopy, and I am grateful for this opportunity to work alongside and learn from world-class scientists in the LMB."
 
Kaamya Varagur, who studied Neuroscience and Vocal Performance at Princeton University, said "at Cambridge my research will specifically examine the reciprocal effects of infant-directed singing on mother and child, looking at how such music modulates physiological arousal/stress."
 
Monica Kullar, who has a B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of California in San Diego and is currently a research assistant in the Psychology and Psychiatry as well as the Behavioral Sciences departments at Stanford University, said "at the University of Cambridge, I aim to conduct research on the effectiveness of down-regulating negative emotions in stressful real-world contexts, and elucidate further on neurobiological models of emotion regulation across both healthy and vulnerable populations."
 
OVER A DOZEN INDIAN AMERICANS WIN SLOAN RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS
 
Sixteen Indian-Americans and South Asians, including at least two from Canadian universities were awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's prestigious 2018 Sloan Research Fellowships. They are among the 126 early-career scholars representing "the most promising scientific researchers working today" the institution announced Feb. 16.
 
"Their achievements and potential place them among the next generation of scientific leaders in the U.S. and Canada," the Foundation said announcing the fellowships. Winners receive $65,000, which may be spent over a two-year term on any expense supportive of their research. The Indian-Americans and South Asians who won the award featured in every category, the most, four, in the Computer Science category, and 3 in Physics. The winners are as follows:
 
Chemistry
Rajamani Gounder, Purdue University
Venkat Viswanathan, Carnegie Mellon University
 
Computational & Evolutionary Molecular Biology
Nidhi Sahni, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
 
Computer Science
Finale Doshi-Velez, Harvard University
Shubhangi Saraf, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Suchi Saria, Johns Hopkins University
Karthik Sridharan, Cornell University
 
Economics
Arun Chandrasekhar, Stanford University
Supreet Kaur, University of California, Berkeley
 
Mathematics
Jennifer Balakrishnan, Boston University
Arul Shankar, University of Toronto
 
Neuroscience
Bilal Haider, Georgia Institute of Technology
 
Ocean Sciences
Vinayak Agarwal, Georgia Institute of Technology
 
Physics
Anushya Chandran, Boston University
Arka Majumdar, University of Washington
Amar Vutha, University of Toronto
 
INDIAN-ORIGIN BANKER NAMED BEST GOVERNOR OF ASIA PACIFIC
 
An Indian-origin banker in Singapore has been named as the best central bank governor in Asia-Pacific for 2018. Ravi Menon, managing director of Singapore's central bank Monetary Authority of Singapoe (MAS), was recognized by the leading UK-based magazine 'The Banker' for his contribution in the makeover of Singapore's financial system.

The annual recognition is by magazine, a publication under The Financuil Times Group, is based on a selection process involving a survey of bankers and economists.

"The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country's central bank, stands out for its cutting-edge regulatory approach to fintech while maintaining macroeconomic stability," the magazine said in an article.

"These are the key reasons for selecting Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS, as the Central Bank Governor of the Year for Asia-Pacific," The Straits Times reported, quoting the magazine article.
 
The article noted that the MAS was among the first regulators to set up a dedicated fintech group that focuses on understanding technology's risks and benefits.
 
"You can only encourage technology to the extent that you can also contain and manage its risks. A smart financial centre must be a safe financial centre as well," Menon was quoted as saying in the article.
 
INDO-AUSTRALIAN ACTRESS GERALDINE VASWANATHAN IN THE COMEDY SHOW "BLOCKERS"
 
Indo-Australian actress Geraldine Viswanathan will be seen opposite WWE superstar John Cena in "Blockers," a new R-rated comedy about teen sexuality, parental anxieties and consent. The film opened April 6. "Blockers" had its premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas in March.
 
The Los Angeles Times wrote: "Viswanathan shines as Kayla, the all-American star athlete whose confidence leads a trio of teenagers (including Kathryn Newton and Gideon Adlon) into every overprotective parent's worst nightmare: a sex pact to lose their virginity on prom night."
 
The LA Times wrote that Viswanathan and Cena together create an outrageous comedy with "a relatable parent-child dynamic. Cena is the perennial dad-coach training his daughter to be strong and confident in sports terms, the only language he knows, and Viswanathan is a self-possessed young woman developing a curiosity for life experiences beyond the goal posts."
 
Their onscreen chemistry is a result of "the warm mutual admiration the two share from the nearly three-month Atlanta shoot last year: Viswanathan's ebullience softens Cena's more serious-leaning stoicism," the LA Times said. Kay cannon, a writer on "30 Rock" and the "Pitch Perfect" franchise cast the two in their roles.
 
"While raunchy comedies have historically treated women as one-dimensional objects, 'Blockers' is about destigmatizing sex and enabling young women to assert ownership of their own bodies and choices," wrote the LA Times.
 
"[Kayla] just wants to let loose and have a night to remember, and I think she gets a little ahead of herself," said Viswanathan. "There are so many movies that are in this vein but they're from the male perspective."
 
Viswanathan, 22, grew up in Newcastle, Australia, where she competed in equestrian events. She has just finished the TBS comedy series "Miracle Workers." After a post-"Blockers" stint in Los Angeles, Viswanathan told LA Times she is giving New York a try. "I have two suitcases right now," she said. "That's my life, so I'll see where I end up."

GOPIOs, NRIs and PIOs NEWS FEATURES

GOPIO-MELBOURNE MEMBER SATINDER SINGH CHAWLA BAGS THREE AWARDS AT SIKH GAMES IN AUSTRALIA
 
The 31st Australian Sikh Games, which is the premier sporting and cultural event for the Australian Sikh community, were held for three days from 30 March 2018 at Crest Sporting Complex, Bass Hill (Sydney) during the Easter long weekend. 
 
Satinder Singh Chawla receiving trophy at 31st Annual Sikh Games Photo above l. to r. Mr. Avtar Singh Sidhu (President of 31st Australian Sikh Games), Jasbir Singh Randhawa (Joint Secretary of 31st Australian Sikh Games) and Satinder Singh Chawla receiving his trophy.
 

Satinder Singh Chawla with Harmohan Singh Walia




This year the Sikh Games were a big success with a massive crowd of over 70,000 turning up at the sports complex and one of the biggest ever crowds seen in the history of the Sikh Games. Satinder Singh Chawla, a member of GOPIO Melbourne chapter bagged three awards during the games. He won Veteran Single's and Veteran Double's Badminton Championship and Dastaar (Turban) competition too. Congratulations to Mr. Chawla for raising the flag of GOPIO high during the Australian Sikh Games
 

 

Photo left l. to r. Satinder Singh Chawla with Harmohan Singh Walia (Life Member & Associate Editor of Australia) after receiving the trophy.








SOUTH AFRICAN INDIAN COMMUNITY MOURNS DEATH OF WINNIE MANDELA
 
GOPIO-Exec. VP Ishwar Ramlutchman with Winnie Mandela Om Universal Prayer Monument



Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela passed away at the Netcare Milpark Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa on Monday the 2nd of April 2018. She was very close to South Africa Indian community.
 
Mrs Madikizela-Mandela was one of the greatest icons of the struggle against Apartheid. She fought valiantly against the Apartheid state and sacrificed her life for the freedom of the country. Her activism and resistance to Apartheid landed her in jail on numerous occasions, eventually causing her banishment to the small town of Brandfort in the then Orange Free State.
 
She kept the memory of her imprisoned husband Nelson Mandela alive during his years on Robben Island and helped give the Struggle for justice in South Africa one its most recognizable faces. She dedicated most of her adult life to the cause of the people and for this was known far and wide as the Mother Of The Nation.
 
GOPIO leaders in South Africa participated in funeral.
 
 



Photo above: GOPIO Exec. VP Ishwar Ramlutchman with Winnie Mandela and other political leaders in front of . Photo was taken at the inauguration of the monument.
NEWS OF INTEREST TO NRIs AND PIOs AROUND THE WORLD

PLAN TO END H-4 VISA RULE FOR SPOUSES OF H-1B HOLDERS DELAYED
 
The Department of Homeland Security's repeal of an Obama-era rule which allows spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the U.S. on an H-4 visa in February, will now be extended to June, according to a court filing from the Department of Homeland Security.
 
However, the Department of Homeland Security stated in a court filing this week that in January the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services had determined that "significant revisions to the draft proposal were necessary that required a new economic analysis" which would take several more weeks to perform."
 
According to a CNN report, the update on the repeal is in response to a lawsuit filed in April 2015 by a group called Save Jobs USA who argued that the repeal threatens American jobs. The CNN report states that the number of overall H-4 visas has been steadily increasing in recent years, with the majority being issued to Indian Americans
 
The delay will provide temporarily relief to a lot of H-4 visa holders who are currently working in the U.S. Before the Obama-era rule, H-4 visa holders weren't allowed to earn an income or have a Social Security Number.
 
"Trump administration has sought a 60-day suspension in the appeals court proceedings" in a follow up of an ongoing case filed by Save Jobs USA which has found new resolve after the Trump win last November. Save Jobs USA wants the government to dial back the H4 work authorization and this is not a new demand. They have been at it ever since the benefit was conferred on certain category of H4 workers in 2015. On February 1, the Department of Justice filed a petition in the court titled 'Consent motion to hold proceedings in abeyance for 60 days.

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: gopio@optonline.net
 
GOPIO President - Sunny Kulathakal, Bahrain, +973-39441956, India +91-9845756692, E-mail: kulathakal44@gmail.com
 
GOPIO Executive Vice President - Ishwar Ramlutchman, Durban, South Africa, Tel: +27-83-3578747, E-mail: ramlutchmanishwar@gmail.com
 
GOPIO Vice President - Ram Gadhavi, Wayne, New Jersey, USA, Tel: +1-973-699-8582, E-mail: ram@gadhavi.net
 
GOPIO's Global Ambassador - Issac John, Dubai, UAE, +971-50 625 9941, E-mail: isacjohn@gmail.com
 
GOPIO Secretary - Dr. Rajeev Mehta, Piscataway, New Jersey, USA, Tel: +1-732-986-2584, rajimehta@hotmail.com
Executive Trustee of GOPIO Foundation - Inder Singh, Tarzana, California, USA, Tel: +1-818-708-3885, E-mail: indersinghusa@gmail.com
 
GICC Chairman - Niraj Baxi, San Jose, California, USA, Tel: 408-307-9845 , E-mail: nbaxi@insuranceplanning.com
 
To become a Life member of GOPIO, visit http://www.gopio.net/gopio_membership.html , print and fill up the form and send it with a check to:. GOPIO International, PO Box 1413, Stamford, CT 06904, USA

EDITORIAL BOARD

Chief Editor:  Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International (Stamford, CT, USA)
Editor: Nami Kaur, GOPIO Media Council Chair (New York, USA)
Associate Editors: Layla Matthew (Bangalore, India) and  Harry Walia (Australia)
Webmasters:  Abu Thomas (Ardsley, New York, USA)

Contributors of this issue: Sunny Kulathakal, President, GOPIO International (Bahrain); Dr. Rajeev Mehta, Secretary, GOPIO International (Piscataway, New Jersey. USA); Beena Kothari, President, GOPIO-New York, (Long Island, New York, USA); Inder Singh, Executive Trustee, GOPIO Foundation (Tarzana, California, USA) Anita Bhat, President, GOPIO-CT (Stamford, CT, USA); Jagdish Lodhia, Intl. Coordinator, Oceania (Sydney, Australia)

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