Plenary Session V

 9 January : 0930-1015 hrs

Diaspora Organizations: Bridging Distances, Unlocking Opportunities.

Session Brief

Seesion Coordinator : Mr Munu Mahawar, Joint Secretary (AMS), Ministry of External Affairs

Speakers at PBD :

  • Mr. Y.A. Rahim, President, Indian Association, Sharjah, UAE.
  • Mr. Mihir Meghani, Emergency Medicine Specialist & Founding Member of American Academy for Emergency Medicine in India, USA.
  • Mr. Girish Kumar, president, Indian Cultural Centre, Qatar.
  • Mr. Sridhara Mysore, Trans-cultural social Worder (Regd.), Community Mental Health Services, Auckland District Board, New Zealand.
  • Mr. Manu Goyal, Head, Sales Operations at Financial Navigator USA
  • Ms. Krishna Pujara, Chief Executive, Saheli London, UK
  • Dr. Oudaye Narain Gangoo President, Arya Sabha Mauritius
  • Mr. Ashwin Trikamjee, Practicing Attorney & Executive Consultant , Durban Law Firm, South Africa
  • Mr.  Deoroop Teemal, Owner & Manager, Teem Engineering Systems Limited Trinidad & Tobago
  • Mr. Umesh Kumar, President, India Canada Association, Ottawa Canada
  • Mr. Sanjeev Bhakri, Secretary, Clean Mission, Australia
  • Mr. Inder Singh, Executive Trustee, Global Organization of People of Indian Origin Foundation, Los Angeles USA
  • Mr. Dew Sharman, Member of Parliament, Suriname
  • Ms. Raj Chaudhury Founder & Chief Operating Officer, SEWA-AIFW (Asian Indian Family Wellness), USA
  • Mr. Sanjiv Aiyar President, PANIIM Alumni Association, Singapore
  • Dr. Vijay Chauthaiwale Head of BJP’s Foreign & Overseas Friends Cell, India.


  • Mr. Mihir Meghani, M.D., is an Emergency Physician, Co-Founder and board member of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), an advocacy group providing a progressive voice for over two million Hindu Americans. HAF interacts with and educates leaders in public policy, academia, media and the public at large about Hinduism & global issues concerning Hindus, such as religious liberty, portrayal of Hinduism, hate speech and human rights. By promoting the Hindu and American ideals of understanding, tolerance and pluralism, HAF stands firmly against hate, discrimination, defamation and terror. HAF is a leading organization working to promote a more accurate portrayal of India to the American public and policy makers.
  • Mr. Sanjiv Aiyar, is the Founder & CEO of ApKar Consulting a Strategy Consulting company. He is the President of Pan Indian Institute of Management AlumniSingapore (PIIMA); board member IIMCip (IIM Calcutta Innovation Park), Agrud Advisors Pte. Ltd.; Vice Chairman of TiE Singapore. He  has been in the Telecommunications and IT industries for over 36 years comprising leadership roles in Singtel and Hewlett Packard. He is an accomplished business leader, Advisor and Business Mentor with market insights across APAC/Japan, USA, Europe. He has led IIMPACTseries of thought leadership events organised by the PIIMA, strongly supported by the Singapore government

  • Mr. Y.A. Rahim, is an Advocate, AL RAWI PRINTING PRESS LLC, SHARJAH, UAE. He was a Managing Committee Member, Indian Association Sharjah; General Secretary of Indian Association Sharjah as well as President of Indian Association Sharjah. Some land mark achievements in the annals of Indian Association Sharjah during the tenure as President: Constructed the New IAS Office Complex in the present site and shifted it from the rented building to own site; Started the construction of the new block for Sharjah Indian School demolishing the former Nursery School etc. He was honoured with, Indira Gandhi Veekshanam Forum Award 2004; Gem of India Gold Medal & Certificate Of Excellence 2013 and  was also honoured Ministry of Interior, Sharjah Police Head Quarters, Correctional& Punishment Organization Dept. for providing assistance.
  • Mr. Girish Kumar, President of Indian Cultural Centre (ICC). ICC is the Official Body of Indian expatriates community, which functions under the patronage of Embassy of India to the State of Qatar for the purpose of advancement of sports, social and cultural activities of the Indian community in Qatar. ICC is also the platform to serve the interest of almost 630,000 Indians residing in Qatar. The proclaimed objective of ICC includes promoting the rich Indian culture among Qatari nationals and expatriates of all other nationalities living in Qatar. He is a qualified social activist with over two decades of overseas experience in providing high quality care and support to the people who are socially excluded or who are experiencing problems in their lives. ICC plays vital roles to flourish India-Qatar cultural exchanges and partnership via excellent framework provided by historic relations and regular and substantive engagement, including at the highest levels of the two Governments. He is a Senior Engineering (Electrical Engineering) professional employed by Qatar Shell GTL Limited (Royal Dutch Shell plc Group) is the world's largest Oil Company; The Netherland headquartered multinational Oil & Gas Company.
  • Mr. Sridhara Mysore, is a Transcultural Clinician with the Mental Health Services of Auckland District Health Board. He is also a leader in Auckland Refugee Health Network which advocates and looks after the health and wellbeing of the Refugee Immigrants in Auckland, New Zealand. He is deeply involved in grassroots social work and environmental projects.  He is an active member of the Auckland Interfaith Council, New Zealand Kannada Koota, and Hindu Council of New Zealand.  Attending and speaking in interfaith forums, making efforts to bring people of all faiths together, understanding one another's faith on the principle of Vasudhaiva Kutum bakam The World as One Family is the motto with which Sri Mysore works.
  • Ms. Raj Chaudhary, is the founder and Chief Operating Officer of SEWA-AIFW (Asian Indian Family Wellness), a non-profit organization which is committed to bring total family wellness to the vulnerable and under-served South Asian Indian community in Minnesota, USA. Formed in 2004, SEWA-AIFW promotes health and wellness by addressing immediate needs of families in crisis, providing outreach services to under-served communities, promoting research to determine the services needed, building bridges between the government, private foundations, and communities, and creating a group of trained volunteers sensitive to the ethnic and cultural needs of the Asian-Indian community in Minnesota. The wellness programs include a 24-hour crisis hotline; legal, housing, and counseling referrals; women's socialization, education, and empowerment programs; health clinics with heart and diabetes health screenings; elderly senior education and empowerment; and outreach programs on immigration, human trafficking, tobacco use prevention, and refugee assistance.
  • Ms. Krishna Pujara, is the Chief Executive of Saheli London, a not-for-profit organization assisting Abused Indian Women has worked within and helped develop statutory and voluntary sector organisations in UK. With Business Management and Psychology background, she has managed various Community Organizations with special interest in Health & Social Care. Through these, she has become an active ambassador and voice of the Asian Communities in promoting the concerns of Women regarding Domestic Abuse, Mental Health, Forced Marriages, Trafficking and Female Genital Mutilation in UK and over the world.  She is the Chief Executive of Saheli - Charitable Community Organisation & Chairperson of Domestic Abuse Operational Forum for Violence Against Women & Girls - is a front runner in developing services to empower women nationwide. She is also UK Chairperson - ALL (All Ladies League) Indian Diaspora. In recognition of all of her work and services to the community, she has been awarded by various different bodies over the years.
  • Dr. Oudaye Narain Gangoo, is the President of Arya Sabha, Mauritius. He had a long career in education, starting as Primary School Teacher (1964-76) and culminating as Senior Lecturer at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute (1881-2003) and Academic Dean of the Rishi Dayanand Institute since 2006, guiding several students at tertiary level. A voluntary Social Worker, he started at the grassroots levels in 1959 and is currently serving as President, Arya Sabha Mauritius, regrouping the Arya Samaj's and Chief Editor of Aryodaye. He is a keen reader of Hindu Scriptures and is the author of 15 books; several articles on the universal Vedic values, and a well-listened lecturer during the various programmes including radio and television. He has attended various seminars, conferences and workshops at both national and international levels relating to Hindi, Ramayana, Vedas, the Arya Samaj and the 10th PBD Panel Discussions in November 2016. Focus areas of his intervention would be Developing and consolidating cultural links.
  • Mr. Deoroop Teemal, is currently the Managing Director of Teem Engineering Systems Limited, a company engaged in civil engineering and building construction.  He has been practicing civil engineer, construction manager and project manager for the past thirty-six years in civil and environmental engineering, building construction management and project management. He is active in socio-cultural work in the Indian community in Trinidad & Tobago for past twenty-eight (28) years. He has been involved with Hindu Sewa Sangh Inc. for eight years and served as President for four years. He worked with National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC), for the past eight years, in the preservation and propagation of Indian culture in Trinidad & Tobago. He served as Cultural Officer for three years and is at present Second Vice President.
  • Mr. Manu Goyal, is the Head of Business Development at Financial Navigator, Inc. He is a Board Member of PAN IIT USA (an association of Alumni Associations of the Indian Institutes of Technology) and Co-founder and Board Member of IITBHU Global Alumni Association. He has been a champion of alumni services that involves helping people across different fields and backgrounds. His background in community service, technology, and finance gives him a unique insight into solving problems for the community using technology. He graduated from Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is a CFA Charter holder and likes to spend time mentoring juniors indifferent fields and is passionate about financial education and building strong communities.
  • Mr Ashwin Trikamjee, is a practicing attorney, Executive Consultant in a Durban Law Firm,  South Africa. He has also acted as a Judge of the High Court of South Africa many times. He is also President of the South African Hindu Maha Sabha; Secretary General of the Interfaith Council of South Africa; Chairperson of the 1860 Legacy Foundation and Commissioner of Inter Faith Action for Peace in Africa. He also serves on the boards of various companies. He is a highly respected former Chairperson of the Premier Soccer League in SA as well as the founding Vice President of the South African Football Association (SAFA). He presided over the Inter Faith Service at the Funeral of Nelson Mandela apart from so doing at the Inaugurations as President of both Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma. He has been the President of the SA Hindu Maha Sabha the officially recognized body on behalf of the Hindu Community in South Africa and Internationally.

  • Mr. Umesh Kumar is a Pharmacist and Biotechnologist from Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, Pilani, India. He migrated to Canada in 2001 and worked in Biotechnology sector for more than 10 years and he started pharmaceutical company in 2010 in Ottawa. He is currently serving as President of India Canada Association NCR region.  Prior to that he was involved in different community associations like Bihar Association of Canada as well as other Non-Profit Organizations. He has raised funds for Ottawa Heart Institute and other organizations. His contribution to the community is remarkable. He is continuously supporting and guiding new immigrants for settling down here in Canada and helping the community whenever needed. He worked very closely with all the Indian community organizations based in Canada. His efforts has been recognized by Prime Minister of Canada and Members of Parliament.

  • Mr. Sanjeev Krishan Bhakri, is an IT professional from Australia.  He is the General Secretary Hindu Council of Australia the since 2009. Active in the community representation on Australian Immigrations consultation, Australian census reforms, multicultural issues and interfaith consultation.Conceptualised and started Deepavali Festival in Sydney the first public celebration of Deepavali in Australia. It has become the biggest Hindu community celebrations in Australia. Key player in starting International Yoga day celebrations in Australia in various cities like Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne. Secretary of the Clean Mission Australia a charity to build toilets in villages in India. A project underway in a village in UP. Founding member of Indian Australian Community foundation the organisation which organised the Public reception PM Narendra Modi in Australia in 2014. Started Haifa Day commemoration yearly event as Indo  Jewish friendship event in Sydney. Started Karma Kitchen a community kitchen to serve food to the needy within Australian community. Organised the Festival of India a week long public events to celebrate India’s 50 years of Independence in 1997.One of the coordinator of Australian Hindi Committee instrumental in getting Hindi included in Australian National curriculum development. Part of the committee which started joint community Ganesh Visarajan festival in Sydney in 1991.

  • Dr. Dew Sharman, is the Member of Parliament of Suriname, Suriname. He completed his graduation from the Anton De Kom University of Suriname as medical doctor at primary health level. His Various trainings include management, Statistics, Yoga, Mind Fulness, NLP, Suicide prevention and counseling. He is a Board member of different Arya Samajorganisations and supporter to Hindu Swayam sevak Sangh Suriname. He is a Member of Vooruitstrevende Hervormings Partij (VHP): Progressive Reforming Party also the spokesman and media coordinator. Since May 2015, he is the Member of the Parliament of Suriname.