GOPIO-CT organized its General Body Meeting (GBM) and elected a new team on December 5th held at the Hampton Inn suite in Stamford. In its report to the GBM, President Ashok Nichani said, “In spite of the Corona Virus pandemic, GOPIO-CT did several virtual programs in the beginning of the year on Zoom including a New Year Party which served as a fundraiser in support of soup kitchens, a Holi Celebration, interactive meetings with CT lawmakers and raising funds for sending Oxygen Concentrators to India.”
“As the pandemic was coming down in the year, the chapter organized several programs with physical presence participating with other ethnic communities celebrating Stamford’s founding, and organizing Indian and American flag hoisting at Govt. Center in Stamford to celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day which was followed by an India Festival at the Mill River Park, hosting UConn Indian students for a Networking Welcome Dinner, an interactive session with India’s Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan, Hosting a Conversation with Indra Nooyi and a Diwali fundraiser for local charities,” added President Nichani.
Secretary Prachi Narayan listed all major activities for the year which included major initiatives for serving the local community and institutions during the pandemic and lockdown. These included donating cash and replenishing food items for the homeless and needy at the New Covenant House in Stamford and Food Bank of Lower Fairfield.
Two other service organizations were supported by GOPIO-CT in 2021, Future 5 which helps and counsel needy students at Stamford High Schools and Building One Community which serves new immigrant communities. The chapter also held a virtual interactive meeting with Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.
The GBM also conducted its annual election for 2021. Mr. Ashok Nichani was re-elected as the President for one more term. Other elected officials are Mr. Prasad Chintalapudi as Executive Vice President, Dr. Jaya Daptardar as Vice President, Ms. Prachi Narayan as Secretary, Ms. Mahesh Jhangiai as Joint Secretary and Mr. Srinivas Akarapu as Treasurer. GBM also reelected two trustees, Mr. Joseph Simon and Mr. Shailesh Naik.
Following the GBM, Annual Holiday Party was held which served as a fundraiser for a service organization.
The fundraiser netted $5,500 to give to the local service organization Grassroots Tennis and Education, a youth development non-profit organization that uses sports of tennis to engage youth in out-of-school time programming in Norwalk and Stamford. The group’s volunteers teach tennis and helps students in education. Grassroots’ representative Ms. Samantha Hayes spoke about the organization and thanked GOPIO-CT for its generosity in raising funds for Grassroots. Another organization IT Serve Alliance also presented a check of $2,000 to Grassroots.
A musical evening followed and was organized by GOPIO-CT Vice President Dr. Jaya Daptardar. Singers at the evening were Srinivas Gunupuru, Kashyap Jani, Shilpa Kulkarni, Trupti Shah, Mike Patel and Dhilan shah. GOPIO-CT Executive Vice President Prasad Chintalapudi concluded the program and thanked everyone for making the program a success.
Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman of GOPIO International said that GOPIO-CT is the most active chapter among over one hundred GOPIO chapters worldwide.
Over the last 14 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 communities.