GOPIO to honour 11 at Kochi convention

Washington, Dec 28 (IANS) The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) plans to honour 11 persons, seven for community service and four as special recognition, at its annual convention in Kochi on Jan 5 and 6.

Taking place in conjunction with Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the convention will cover country and area reports on community issues and perspectives from different part of the world.

Dignitaries expected to attend the GOPIO annual banquet include Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, Karnataka and Kerala Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Lord Bhikhu Parekh.

The seven GOPIO Community Service Award recipients are: Murray Bullock, chairman of St. Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG) National Lotteries Authority and National Development Foundation;

George Subraj, USA, Guyana born CEO of Zara Realty Holdings based in New York;

Dr Anil Mehta, Netherlands, whose Anand Prakashdeep Charitable Trust helps people of Indian origin without proper stay-permit or health insurance;

Ajay Rane, Australia, former Chairman and current Honorary Treasurer of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists;

Vasu Chanchlani, Canada, a serial entrepreneur and visionary philanthropist supporting projects having transformational impact;

Ishwar Ramlutchman, South Africa, CEO of AC Industrial Sales & Services, who has worked for procurement and implementation of water and sanitation infrastructure projects for local government; and

Sunny Augustine, Dubai, Chairman of the Advisory Board of World Malayalee Council, an influential global organization representing six million Malayalee diaspora in 55 countries

Special Recognition awards go to: A. Didar Singh, India, SecretaryGeneral, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), who till recently served as Secretary to Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

Manpreet Kaur Singh, Australia, a prominent journalist who has developed a reference tool on preservation of history of Indian migration to Australia, prescribed by Education Services Australia and used by high school students;

Ashok Rao, USA, an entrepreneur with five successful high technology start-ups and one of the first Indian Americans to take a company public on NASDAQ; and

Dr. Awtar Singh, Chair, Board of Trustees, Indian American Heritage Foundation, recognizing and rewarding qualified high school students in Southern California.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at


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