“Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) – Connecticut Chapter is a vibrant organization that brings rich contributions for Stamford spanning education to business, innovation, arts and culture,” said Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons who was present to administer the Oath of office for the newly elected GOPIO-CT executive council and board of trustees on Friday, March 17, 2023 at the Stamford Hampton Inn and Suites in Stamford, Connecticut.
The program, put together by Ms. Ashvini Persaud and Dr. Anita Mathur, started with a prayer and an introduction about GOPIO by its founder and chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham, who said that Indian Diaspora has achieved political mainstream in many countries and currently serves heads of state in the UK, Ireland, Guyana, Suriname, Seychelles and Mauritius.
Dr. Abraham said, “Indian Diaspora is proud of its achievement in the political arena as well as in the corporate world with many persons of Indian origin heading large multinational companies.”
All through the evening, fabulous singers Sreenivas Gunupuru, Sonali Gannu and Anthony Persaud with DJ Ryan Persaud, entertained the audience.
Mayor Simmons started off thanking Dr. Abraham, all members of GOPIO-CT and the entire leadership team for everything they do for Stamford City and the generous contributions for the local community.
“How proud we are to the Indian American community and the rich contributions brought to our city for so many years – everything from education to business, innovation, arts and culture as well as the organization’s activities have brought so much vibrancy to our city,” said Mayor Simmons.
GOPIO-CT has been funding a local community service organization every year. For 202, the chapter selected Mill River Park Collaborative (MRPC) which organizes activities for children and adults of all ages as well. A check for $5000 was presented by GOPIO-CT’s immediate past president Ashok Nichani to the MRPC Board Chairman Arnold Karp and the Director of Operations Dianne Houtz in the presence of Mayor Simmons. The activities for the year were inaugurated by the Chief Guest Mayor Caroline Simmons.
Mayor Simmons said that she and her team look forward to working with GOPIO-CT and supporting its initiatives to build a more inclusive and equitable society. She then administered the oath of office to the newly elected 2023 Executive Committee, Board, Trustees and the new president. Delegates from various service organizations were present at the event including Women’s Mentoring Network, Future 5 and Stamford Public Library.
President Dr. Jaya Daptardar officially welcomed new GOPIO CT Executive board members team Executive VP Mahesh Jhangiani, Vice President Prachi Narayan, Secretary Sushanth Krishnamurthy, Joint Secretary Ashwini Persaud, Treasurer Srinivas Akarapu, Immediate past President Ashok Nichani who served from 2019 to 2022; Board members: Meera Banta, Dilli Bhatta, Ruby Chadda, Ravi Dhingra, Sonali Gannu, Nandu Kuppusamy, Manish Maheswari, Dr. Anita Mathur, Vikas Mathur, Ravi Nichani, Mangal Shah and Dr. Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox; Trustees: Shelly Nichani, Prasad Chintalapudi, Joe Simon, Shailesh Naik, Dr. Thomas Abraham and Neelam Narang. “We will all work together with GOPIO Chairman, trustees and board members to serve the community and will make sure to make the difference,” Dr. Daptardar added.
The newly elected President Dr. Jaya Daptardar spoke about the recent fundraiser. She said “On Feb 6th earthquake struck southern and central Turkey and northern and western Syria. GOPIO CT executive team came together in raising funds for Turkey disaster relief. Our GOPIO CT immediate past president Mr. Ashok Nichani contacted Turkey embassy and found resources to send the required aid. We couldn’t find reliable resources to send relief to Syria but we did as much as we could for the survivors in Turkey. Together 5000 dollars of needed supplies such as food, tent, men’s and women’s jackets, baby formulae, children’s clothes and orthopedic supplies were sent by Turkish Airlines.”
Dr. Daptardar presented the 2023 GOPIO events and activities overview which includes a seminar on investments and tax tips in April, Health and Wellness seminar in May on Mental Health as part of the Mental Health Awareness, “Hope in Motion’ Walkathon on June 11th to raise funds for Bennet Cancer Center of the Stamford Hospital, India Day Celebration on August 6th, Welcome Dinner for Indian students at UConn in September, Diwali party in November and partnering with community Diwali event at Ferguson library in Stamford and finally Holiday Party in December which will raise funds for a local charity.
Sponsors of the event were International Museum of the Saree (Queens, NY), Infinity Solutions (Stamford, CT), Wayne Purville of Cero Communications (Mount Vernon, NY), Braj Agrawal CPA (Jackson Heights, NY), Dr. Rajesh Kalra of NCR Care (Queens, NY). GOPIO-CT Vice President Prachi Narayan gave the vote of thanks. The program continued with Bollywood music and dance.
Over the last 17 years, GOPIO-CT, a chapter of GOPIO International has become an active and dynamic organization hosting interactive sessions with policy makers and academicians, community events, youth mentoring and networking workshops, and working with other area organizations to help create a better future. GOPIO-CT – Global Organization of People of Indian Origin – serves as a non-partisan, secular, civic and community service organization – promoting awareness of Indian culture, customs and contributions of PIOs through community programs, forums, events and youth activities. It seeks to strengthen partnerships and create an ongoing dialogue with local community.