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Los Angeles NRIs Host Reception for Parliamentary Delegation

Los Angeles, Sep. 21, 2008
Gary Singh

An Indian parliamentary delegation headed by Vayalar Ravi, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs & Overseas Indian Affairs, on a goodwill tour of the United States of America, visited Los Angeles on September 19-20, 2008. The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) and Indian community of Los Angeles area hosted a gala dinner reception at Anaheim Plaza hotel on September 20, 2008 to meet with the members of the delegation which included Pawan Kumar Bansal, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Finance, Mrs. Suryakanta Jaiwantrao Patil, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs & Rural Development, sixteen members of Lok Sabha, and Ambassador Susmita Thomas, Consul General of India, San Francisco.

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More than 120 Indian community activists and prominent Indian Americans attended the reception to meet, greet and interact with the visiting law makers from their motherland. Indian American Harry Sidhu, Councilman of Anaheim City was present to greet the delegation. Councilman Dr. Parkash Narain from the neighboring Cypress city also came to meet the distinguished guests. The community activists, Ajoy Dube, NFIA secretary, Ashok Madan, NFIA Regional Vice President, Dilip Butani, President FIA, Amrit Bhandari, Chairman FIA, Swaran Debgotra, V.P of FIA, Kewal Kanda, Former President, FIA and Raman Chadha, President of India Association of Los Angeles were among the many community activists. Prominent Indian Americans attending the dinner reception were Dr. Mani Bhaumik, reputed scientist, well known author and philanthropist, UK Solanki, businessman, philanthropist, and Kang Brothers, Bobby and Baldev Singh.

Inder Singh, President of GOPIO International and host of the dinner reception, in welcoming the delegation members, assured them that the NRIs/PIOs may be living outside India but India very much resided in them and the visit of the delegation reminded them of their deep and inherent bond with the motherland.

Inder Singh said that Indians started coming to the US over one hundred years ago. They faced many problems and challenges, suffered prejudice, bigotry and humiliation, lived in shanty homes and slept under the open sky. They did not have right of citizenship which could entitle them to buy farm land or home. After a long and hard struggle, the US Congress granted right of citizenship to Indian nationals in 1946.

The Indian community in the United States is now over three million strong and is considered an affluent community. Indian Americans have higher levels of education, large majority of them are professionals, and several are well-to-do businessmen. Some hold high positions in Government, many in large corporations, and a handful of them are heading multinationals. There are over 40 thousand doctors, many university professors, some are deans, and a few are chancellors and presidents of the universities. They are also involved in the political process of their new country, Bobby Jindal is a governor of a State, eight of them are legislators in different states, and Kumar Barve is a majority leader in Maryland. A large share of hospitality industry, as much as 40% is owned by Indian Americans. In effect, Indian Americans contribute significantly to the country of their adoption – the United States of America. And they also have been contributing their due share in India’s emergence as an economic power and technology giant and they have added a special glitter to the resurgence of India.

In introducing Minister Vayalar Ravi, Inder Singh said that with Mr. Ravi in the Indian cabinet, NRIs/PIOs feel that there is someone who looks after and fights for the overseas Indian community.

Minister Vayalar Ravi while addressing the gathering, said that since he has taken over as the minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, he has taken many decisions benefitting the overseas Indians. The Overseas Citizenship of India scheme, establishment of Indian Facilitation Center, PIO university, formation of Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council of PIOs, Internship program for Indian youth, and Scholarship program for university education for PIO children are just a few of the many schemes and programs which his ministry has initiated and implemented. He also informed about a new foundation which is in the process of being set up and that shall facilitate charitable giving by the NRIs/PIOs for starting schools in their villages and for similar projects.






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