Global Organization of People of Indian Origin holds successful convention, celebrates 35th anniversary

Organizers, attendees and honorees on stage at the GOPIO Convention held in New Jersey April 26-28, 2024. PHOTO: Sachin Ravindran, ITV Gold

The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) celebrated its 35th Anniversary on April 26-28, 2024 at its Convention 2024 at Royal Albert Palace, Fords, New Jersey, USA. The convention focused on India’s Present and the Future and what role the Diaspora Indians can play in helping to realize this desirable future with a theme, ‘Opportunities for Diaspora Indians in India’s Big Manifest Future.’ The convention ended with General Body passing four resolutions including one demanding full dual nationality for Overseas Indian Citizens (OCI) card holders.

Chairman of GOPIO Thomas Abraham addressing the gathering at 35th anniversary and Convention in New Jersey, held April 26-28. PHOTO: Sachin Ravindran, ITV Gold

The convention was inaugurated with a lamp lighting ceremony on April 26th followed by a universal prayer song by GOPIO-Edison President Pallavi Belwariar followed by an invocation dance in Kathak style by Mitali Nirgude-Kaganeb. The chief guest was Guyana’s Ambassador to the US Samuel Hinds. India’s Deputy Consul General in New York Dr. Varun Jeph delivered the keynote address.

Ambassador Hinds fondly shared Guyana’s close relation with India and GOPIO, especially since the late Dr. Cheddi Jagan attended the first GOPIO Convention in New York and other GOPIO conventions. And in 1999, Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo inaugurated the GOPIO Convention in New York.

Ambassador Hinds said, “President Jagan had high regard for GOPIO and was always seeking to support GOPIO.”  He also predicted that the latest oil finds in his country would lead to progress.

In his keynote address, Dr. Jeph highlighted India’s progress and its status as the 5th largest economy of the world, expected to soon become the third largest economy.

Dr, Jeph provided details on India’s growth, success and potentials, adding, “Indian Americans are playing pivotal role in the US economy with start-ups and other business ventures, while being just over 1% of the population, your contribution in the economy of over 6%.”

Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media, speaking at the GOPIO Convention in Fords, NJ, April 26-28, 2024. PHOTO: Sachin Ravindran, ITV Gold

The inaugural session started with a welcome by Convention Convener Prakash Shah, who also serves as GOPIO’s Global Ambassador. GOPIO President Lal Motwani said that since a new team was elected last year, the organization has undertaken more activities and restarted its newsletter GOPIO News.

GOPIO Chairman Thomas Abraham in his remarks said that since its inception in 1989, GOPIO had taken up issues of civil rights and human rights violations of the Indian Diaspora around the world and that the 38 million strong Indian Diaspora communities have achieved political mainstream status in many of the Diaspora countries. Indians in 180 countries, “are remitting over $100 billion dollars every year which has helped India to reach a foreign reserve of over $650 billion and this flow will continue in the same level or more in the near future,” Abraham said.

Several awardees and honorees with the leaders of GOPIO on stage during the Convention held April 26-28, 2024, in New Jersey. PHOTO: Sachin Ravindran, ITV Gold

There were nine conference sessions on Saturday, April 27, including — GOPIO Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Worldwide Networking of the Diaspora Businesses; a women’s panel entitled, Diaspora Women Making A Difference; Medical and Health Issues and how Diaspora Indians can Participate in India’s Frontline Role in Pharmaceuticals, Vaccines and other Health Areas;

Emergence of India as a Global Powerhouse which was organized by The Indus Entrepreneur – NJ Chapter (;  Diaspora Youth and Young Achievers and the role they can play in India’s Future and how GOPIO can facilitate their participation; Technologies and AI, and other Innovations: How Diaspora Indians are leading Research and Innovations; Diaspora Languages and Literature; and, Diaspora Indians Aging Gracefully

A GOPIO Academic Council Roundtable was also held during the Convention.

Convention Convenor Prakash Shah called the diaspora ‘pivotal’ for India’s progress. “We are dealing with an Outbreak but this time it isn’t an Outbreak of a Covid like disease but an Outbreak of Optimism!” Shah declared, predicting rapid growth in India with the growth in infrastructure. “India will rapidly evolve into becoming a net defense exporter and a multifaceted Manufacturing hub in pharmaceuticals, automobiles, smartphones, semiconductors and aircraft among many others including continuing the high growth in Service sector,” Shah said.

At the Finale Awards banquet, four individuals and two organizations were honored with community service awards, and many others were recognized.

Honorees included Dr Neerja A. Gupta, the first woman Chancellor of Gujarat University, Ahmedabad; Dr. V.K. Raju of US, leader in eradicating childhood blindness; Dharmatma Saran for promoting young women achievers through his annual Miss India Worldwide Pageant; Lion Hina Trivedi of Chicago as a great community builder.

Also recognized were Padma Shri recipient Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media/ITV Gold, Dr Vithal Dhaduk, pharmaceuticals businessman in US, TV Asia Chairman and CEO Dr. H.R. Shah, Indian Eye/Radio Zindagi CEO Sunil Hali, New India Abroad Publisher Rajeev Bhambri, Indian Panorama Editor and Publisher Prof. Indrajit Saluja, Emalayalee and India Life Editor George Joseph, Universal News Network editor Ajay Ghosh and Pravasi Channel producer Sunil Tristar.

Two organizations recognized were Heart and Hand for the Handicapped (HHH) for its great service to physically and mentally challenged children, and South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS)for its outstanding services to communities in the New York Area.

The GOPIO General Body meeting on April 28th passed important resolutions including –  demand of full dual nationality to OCI card holders; Aadhar Cards for NRIs; demand that the Biden Administration and US Congress pass legislation to eliminate the backlog of Indians waiting for permanent residence in the USA.

The General Body also unanimously elected Dr. Thomas Abraham as Chairman of GOPIO International for the remaining part of his current term.



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