The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) elected a new executive in February. The committee to hold the election was set up in January at a meet of the members. The newly elected body was sworn in virtually on March 4. Several appointed positions are yet to be filled. Trinidadian Deo Gosine, who is currently visiting India on diaspora matters, was elected as Caribbean coordinator. GOPIO was founded in July 1989 at a meeting by the Sheraton Center on 53rd street in New York. This writer was present for the week long global conference of Indians that led to the organization’s founding in addition to countless meetings for the year long planning of the convention. A meeting hosted by this writer was held at the Indo Caribbean conference at Columbia University in July 1988.
The new President is New York (Queens) based Lal Motwani. Motwani has been very active in Indian community affairs going back to the early 1980s.
Motwani has been a founder life member from GOPIO’s inception in 1989. He served GOPIO as International Coordinator-at-Large and later as Executive Trustee of GOPIO Foundation in his last term, according to a GOPIO release. Motwani has been involved in several community groups and served as President of the National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA), Society of Indian American Engineers and Architects (SIAEA) and Alliance of Global Sindhi Associations.
He was the Executive Trustee of GOPIO Foundation from Sep 2021 to Jan 2023. An architect by profession, Motwani retired as the Assistant Director of New York City’s Housing Authority, Office of Facility Planning and Administration.
Others who were sworn in at a virtual Zoom ceremony on March 4 were media and community leader Umesh Chandra from Brisbane, Australia as Executive Vice President; Los Angeles area community leader Kewal Kanda as Vice President, New Jersey businessman Prakash Shah as Global Ambassador and former IBM official and community activist Jasbir ‘Nami’ Kaur as International Coordinator-at-Large. Others were: Businessman Roger Latchman from Johannesburg, South Africa as Africa Coordinator; Engineering Entrepreneur Deo Gosine (Trinidad and New York) as Caribbean Coordinator; Real Estate Investor Ashok Madan of Southern California as North America Coordinator; former engineer Harmohan Singh Walia of Sydney, Australia as Oceania Coordinator and New Delhi businessman Dhiraj Ahuja as South Asia Coordinator.
In his acceptance speech, Motwani said, “We will soon activate those regions which are not active now and we will get all the councils to become active again. We need many volunteers to get involved in the Councils such as Human Rights, Cultural, Academic, Women, Science and Technology, Youth and Young Professionals, Media, Health and Wellness and on Seniors. We will officially launch GOPIO Chamber of Commerce (GICC) in different parts of the world.”