Venkat Raman –
The election of a New Zealander to a top position in the Executive Council of the US-based Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) will be a major boost to the Indian Diaspora in New Zealand.
Suman Kapoor, Founder-President Waikato GOPIO, was elected unopposed to the post of International Coordinator for Oceania, giving her the jurisdiction to coordinate with GOPIO Chapters in 14 countries including New Zealand, Australia and Fiji.
She would be required to work in unison with the leaders of the national and regional chapters of GOPIO and promote the concept of unity, understanding and common purpose among the Indian Diaspora.
The Global Council
Niraj Baxi of Silicon Valley, USA was elected to the post of President at the elections held in March this year. Among his colleagues in the GOPIO International Executive Council are Noel Lal (Sydney, Australia), Executive Vice President; Ram Gadhavi (New Jersey, USA), Vice President; Dr Rajeev Mehta (USA), Dr Pradip Sewoke (France), Suman Kapoor (New Zealand) and Rajidre Tiwari (The Netherlands) International Coordinators. GOPIO Chairman Inder Singh, who supervised the election process, will continue in that position.
Sunny Kulathakal (now a resident in Bahrain, USA and India), who this reporter has known since 1980 during their days in Dubai and Bahrain told us last week that he has been appointed to the newly-created post of ‘Global Ambassador.’ We hope that his post is well-defined and he would be a messenger of goodwill across the world for and of GOPIO.
It can be proud of its achievements, the most significant of which was to have in place the ‘Overseas Indian Citizen’ status for eligible Indians (which now includes those on the ‘Person of Indian Origin’ status) and the organisation of the ‘Bharatiya Pravasi Divas’ in India since 2003 (which has now become a biannual feature).
There appears to be renewed interest on GOPIO from people outside America, if the recent elections to the Executive Council of the global body is an indication.
The election, held for the first time through an electronic voting system, accounted for 208 delegates (out of 223) from 21 countries to cast votes.
GOPIO is the only organisation of its type in the world to connect the Indian Diaspora providing a common platform for Indians from anywhere in the world to work together on issues that affect the entire humanity in general and Indians in particular.
However, as this reporter understands, its structure and processes have not been clear, leading to confusion and differences in approach.
The progress GOPIO’s National Chapters should continue without restraints.
Indian Newslink has been in dialogue with a few concerned persons at the International Executive Council and the New Zealand Chapter President Alkesh Sharma and his team, all of who, arguably, have a passion for the Organisation and have over the years, added value.
As this reporter has observed, absence of dialogue between individuals who perceive issues differently, has been the main cause for discontent and disharmony both of which are not incurable. There is a general consensus that GOPIO has work to do and that there could be better outcomes if energies can be properly channelled through common goals and objectives.
There is now renewed hope that the officials of the GOPIO chapters in New Zealand would work together for the common good reinstating the core principles and objectives of the Organisation when it was formed in 1999 in America.
The willingness of those involved in coming together for the first time to share the same GOPIO page will mean that the global body has a bright future in this country.
Mr Sharma and Mrs Kapoor have their strengths and teams of supporters. There is now an opportunity to create a new synergy to enable all of us to reap the benefits of this unique organisation.
Mr Baxi said that his new team has a new motto: ‘GOPIO means business.’
“India is at the threshold of new technologies and business environment. The new team is keen to work together with its GOPIO counterparts to attract Indian Diaspora entrepreneurs and businesspersons to evince wider interest in investing in India.
GOPIO Founder-President Dr Thomas Abraham, who also serves as the Executive Trustee of the GOPIO Foundation said that the organisation will increase its social and philanthropic activities in India as well as in countries with a large Indian Diaspora population.
- GOPIO International Executives from top left clockwise, Niraj Baxi, Noel Lal, Ram Gadhavi, Dr Rajeev Mehta, Dr Pradip Sewoke, Suman Kapoor, Rajendre Tiwari, Inder Singh.
- GOPIO NZ Members in Auckland in 2009
- GOPIO Members in Auckland in 2013