GOPIO Atlanta Chapter Launched

By Mahadev Desai and Viren Mayani
Pictures by Dev Ghosh

GOPIO Atlanta ChapterA diverse cross-section of Atlanta’s prominent Indian-American Associations, professionals, academics and community activists; attended the historic, memorable and joyous inauguration of GOPIO-Atlanta (Global Organization of People of Indian Origin), with its first Awards Gala & Banquet Reception on Saturday, April 23, 2011. The high profile event was graced by the presence of the Chief Guest and Consul General of India (Houston) Honorable Sanjiv Arora along with Guests of Honor, GOPIO North America Regional Vice President and National Coordinator for USA, Dr. Piyush C. Agrawal; Gwinnett County Chairwoman of the Board of Commissioners, Charlotte Nash; and former Member of House of Representatives, Mike Glanton.
Member of House of RepresentativesThe evening’s program was emceed by Atlanta’s popular Ms. Rifka Mayani who with her cheery, crisp and clear voice engaged the audience. Ms. Mayani introduced the GOPIO Atlanta’s President Bhairavi Nadgonde, saying “Bhairavi is a highly accomplished entrepreneur versed in a broad range of business including IT, outsourcing, consulting and international trade, with substantial experience in healthcare and IT education sectors. She has also been a panelist and speaker at various events in the US and recently served on the Board of US- India Chamber of Commerce to promote trade between U.S. and India.”

Bhairavi gave a brief background of GOPIO, its vision, mission, goals and achievements. GOPIO is a global organization dedicated to community service and working with people locally to coordinate activities of common interest nationally and on a global scale.

Ms. Mayani introduced Dr. Paddy Sharma next, saying “Indefatigable Paddy is Atlanta’s well respected educationist, a generous donor and a community activist who supports and leads many organizations in the community. She recently won the GA Minority Business of the Year Award.”

Dr. Paddy introduced Dr. Agrawal as “that rare combination of a successful professional educationist, community activist and a philanthropist. He has served the U.N. as a UNESCO expert in the field of education.”

 UNESCODr. Agrawal administered the Oath of Office to the GOPIO -Atlanta Chapter’s President Bhairavi Nadgonde and as official testimony pinned her with the official Badge of Office. Dr. Agrawal emphasized that Mr. Arora needs no introduction and lauded him for his hard work and complete commitment to his community and his job. “As a Government Official you far exceed any expectations of us, Sir. And now please join me in officially inaugurating GOPIO-Atlanta Chapter.”

In a brief speech, Mr. Arora said, “For me it is a great pleasure and privilege to re-visit Atlanta and to join you all in celebrating the inauguration of GOPIO-Atlanta Chapter, because GOPIO is a very active and substantive forum of 2.75 million. He cited some statistics to stress this, saying that in 2010 the Consulate issued 58,000 visas, 15,000 passports, 7,006 PIO Cards, 10,000 OCI Cards 30,000 Surrender Certificates and rendered about 7,200 miscellaneous services.

GOPIO conferred “honors” to 18 attendees for their commitment and active dedication to the cause of the community.

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