Indian community launches GOPIO-Manhattan chapter

Revival of pan-Indian community organization will fill long felt need in America’s business capital.

The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), a pan-Indian community organization for NRIs and PIOs with over 100 chapters spread in 35 countries, has launched a new chapter in Manhattan in New York City.

Attended by several community and business leaders from around the New York region, Consul General of India in New York, Randhir Kumar Jaiswal, inaugurated the new chapter on Sept. 24 in a virtual ceremony webcast live.

A new team led by Shivender Sofat as President assumed charge of the  chapter that for the first time will give the Indian community in Manhattan an opportunity to network and participate in programs in a pan Indian base, according to a GOPIO release.

“It’s a privilege to be able to join you all in inaugurating the GOPIO-Chapter, which will strengthen GOPIO, the NRI community and the Consulate in New York,” said Jaiswal.

Congratulating the leadership of GOPIO for having “played a stellar role in shaping India-US Relations,” he said, “We are proud of your achievements.”

The success stories of every Indian American is “a great source of strength to the people in India,” Jaiswal said noting GOPIO has played an important role in fostering this relationship,

While assuring whole-hearted support to the community organization, he urged GOPIO to “connect with the youth both in India and the US.”

Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman GOPIO International, noted GOPIO born in 1989 was contributing to the larger community through 100 chapters across the world.

GOPIO chapters also serve the local communities in need by sponsoring soup kitchens and giving scholarship to needy students.

During the Covid-19 period, GOPIO chapters have been making financial contributions and replenishing food items at the food pantries serving the needy. Some chapters also provided N-95 medical masks to frontline workers, he said.

The Manhattan chapter would fulfill a long felt need of a large number of Indian-American young professionals working in the business capital of America and their parents, Abraham said.

Noting that GOPIO was started in New York City,  Sofat said they were reviving the organization in the city, where 60 to 70 percent of NRIs have a connection.

Motivating the Indian Diaspora community to participate and help in local charitable and social service activities including soup kitchens and walkathons benefitting local charities was among the programs envisaged for the new chapter.

It would also organize seminars and symposia on subjects of interest to the Indian Diaspora community and host elected officials from New York and India with interactive sessions.

A welcome networking reception and dinner for all new students from India who join colleges and universities in New York city was also envisaged.

Building an Indian American Youth and Young Professionals network and organizing programs for them was yet another activity envisaged by Sofat.

New York State Senator Kevin Thomas, described the launch of the GIPIO Chapter in Manhattan as “awesome” and thanked “GOPIO for bringing us together as one family.”

Praising the Indian Diaspora for its great contributions to the larger American community, he said, “I am so proud to be the first Indian American Senator in NY.”

Jenifer Rajkumar, the first Indian American candidate for NY State Assembly called upon the Indian Diaspora to stand united to promote India and its heritage in the United States.

Indian American Global Chamber of Commerce President Rajeev Bhambri said that GOPIO Manhattan will fill a void for providing service to the community.

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