Formed in 1989 in New York with chapters in several countries For the first time in the history of overseas Indians, a successful attempt was made in 1989 to bring the global Indian community together on one platform. The National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA), a national body of people of Indian origin in the USA, headed by Inder Singh at that time, convened the First Global Convention of People of Indian Origin (PIO) under the leadership of Dr. Thomas Abraham. During the five-day convention in New York, over 3000 delegates from twenty-two countries, including such stalwarts of the overseas Indian community as Dr. Cheddi Jagan (subsequently elected President) of Guyana, Basdeo Panday (subsequently elected Prime Minister) of Trinidad and Tobago, Jairam Reddy and Mahendra Chaudhary (subsequently elected Prime Minister) of Fiji, Minister Thondaman of Sri Lanka, Minister Scindia of India, participated in the deliberations. For the first time, a book on Migration of Indians around the World was published and released at the convention.
At the conclusion of the five-day convention, the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) was formed. Fourteen years later, Government of India started organizing a conference of overseas Indians at a scale much bigger than what the NRI/PIO volunteers had put together in New York in 1989. That was named Pravasi Bhartiya Divas which is now an annual event in India.
GOPIO’s initial mission was established to network the global Indian community and to monitor and address the interests and concerns of overseas Indians people of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). GOPIO, since its inception, has been creating awareness and promoting understanding of issues of concern — social, cultural, educational, economic, or political of the NRI/PIO communities around the globe. GOPIO also provides an active and well recognized platform for dialogue and discussion to the worldwide Indian Diaspora and to further advance that objective, GOPIO has been at the forefront to network the globally spread overseas Indian community by regularly organizing conferences in various parts of the world. These GOPIO conferences and conventions help bring the Indian Diaspora closer to mother India and strengthen the inherent bond between India and its Diaspora. After all, the destiny of India’s Diaspora, in many ways, is intertwined inextricably with India.
An estimated 25 million people of Indian origin (NRIs and PIOs) are living outside India. Many NRIs/PIOs have numerous achievements in their adopted lands and have contributed significantly to the countries of their adoption. They have helped improve bilateral relations between the ancestral and adopted lands. They have also collectively contributed to India’s transformation into a modern economy. In essence, while they are domiciled in other countries, PIOs and NRIs are bound to India by the umbilical cord of history, culture, heritage, and tradition and have added a special glitter to the resurgence of India.
GOPIO Executives and Council representatives comprise of PIO/NRI volunteers from various countries of the globe. They are committed to increase the global network of all NRIs/PIOs and provide a forum to foster fellowship and a sense of brotherhood. They believe, together we can achieve more; provide valuable community service and network PIOs from local to global. For more information, visit GOPIO website: www.gopio.net