STAMFORD, CT: Anita Bhat has assumed charge as the President of GOPIO-CT during an inaugural event of her new executive team at the Hampton Inn, Stamford, CT, and declared that she wants the organization to be the voice of the Indian diaspora in Connecticut.
“We lack a voice for Indian Americans in Connecticut. We need a stronger voice. And I want GOPIO-CT to be voice for all Indian Americans in our state and beyond,” said Bhat, who has been active community organizer and philanthropist, laying out her plans for the next one year under her presidency.
According to Bhat, her new team will make an all-out effort to increase membership of GOPIO-CT; Bhta said, wants to strengthen GOPIO-CT through strong partnership and collaboration with other organizations of Indian origin in the state. She pointed out to AAPI-CT Chapter whose members have come to be part of the day’s deliberations, in a press release.
Other plans Bhat and her team have envisaged include: Creating a vibrant youth team and young professionals group; actively engaging with and in local community activities benefitting the larger American society; and, GOPIO-CT to be a liaison between the community and governments of India and the United States.
“We feel privileged that we are able to serve in local soup kitchens, walk to support cancer patients, and impact our community in numerous other ways. We could not have accomplished any of this without the support of our sponsors and our biggest fans–you,” she said.
The executive committee consists of Pradeep Govil, Exec. Vice President; Bhavna Juneja, Vice President; Prasad Chintalapudi, Secretary; Viresh Sharma, Treasurer; and Shelly Nichani as Immediate Past President.
Board Members are: Meera Banta, Louella D’Silva, Ravi Dhingra, and Ritu Johorey. The Scholarship Committee has Shelly Nichani (Chair); Hari Srinivasan, Tara Sharma, and Priya Easwaran (Exe. Director) as its members. Board of Trustees are: Joe Simon – Chair; Dr. Thomas Abraham – Secretary/Comptroller; Sanjay Santhnam; Varghese Ninan, Santosh Gannu; Shailesh Naik and Anita Bhat – Ex-Officio.
Echoing similar sentiments, the chief guest for the evening, Connecticut Assemblyman Dr. Prasad Srinivasan, in his eloquent speech, highlighted the need for Indian Americans to come together, stand united and work for the greater good of the larger American society.
Stating that, he has declared his candidacy for the governor’s office in the state of Connecticut, Dr. Srinivsan said, “It’s been a long journey and I know the challenge is great ahead. My goal is to make our beautiful state more prosperous and more friendly for people of all backgrounds to live.” Pointing to the fact that several large companies have left or leaving Connecticut due to the dismal fiscal policies of the state government,” Dr. Srinivasan urged the elite gathering of Indian American leaders to “join me as work together to make Connecticut a prosperous state again.”
The event attended by nearly 100 members from across the state honored Shelly Nichani, Shailesh Naik, and Sangeeta Ahuja.
Nichani, Immediate Past President, said that this year GOPIO-Connecticut celebrates the 11th year of activities since its inception.
Earlier, in his welcome and inaugural address of the GOPIO-CT 2017 activities launch party, which included networking cocktails and dinner, Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman of GOPIO-International, gave a brief outline of the organization’s history and contributions in the past two decades years. GOPIO Connecticut Chapter was launched in March 2006. It is part of the GOPIO (Global Organization of People of Indian Origin) International network which has almost 100 active chapters in 40 countries. GOPIO International was formed in 1989 at the first convention of PIOs held in New York. GOPIO has been actively campaigning for issues of interest to the Indian community in India, on Capitol Hill and at the European Union.