Gopio launches in Pietermaritzburg

2018-05-16 06:01
(From left) Yasmeen Saanglae, Ra’eesa Razak and Ishwar Ramlutchman.PHOTO: supplied

(From left) Yasmeen Saanglae, Ra’eesa Razak and Ishwar Ramlutchman.PHOTO: supplied

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THE Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (Gopio) launched for the first time in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday with international vice-president Ishwar Ramlutchman making an appearance at the launch held at Pafta Hall, Northdale.

The organisation, which began in 1989 in New York, has bases in 37 international countries and aims to fight injustices against people of Indian origin around the world.

The purpose of the launch is to introduce the organisation to Pietermaritzburg and hail a few of its Indian people who do good work for the community.

After the chapter was officially unveiled as the country’s fourth fellowship behind Gopio Durban, Gopio Johannesburg and Gopio Pretoria, several awards and certificates were handed out to local recipients involved in serving the community via the political and educational institution and humanitarian NGOs.

Awards were presented to local community members, ANC ward councillors Rachael Soobiah and Najma Ahmed who is also a volunteer presenter on Al-Ansaar Radio, youth activist Ra’eesa Razak, Radhi Aheer and Kanthi Naidoo, and Dr Jane Premjeeth.

Razak said that she was honoured and grateful to be receiving the award from the international organisation.

“Through volunteering, the youth become part of a national solution and are able to identify strategies to alleviate problems in their communities.

“We are the change to the future success of our country,” said Razak.

Gopio International spokesman Marlan Padayachee said that the colourful launch of the local chapter, especially in the presence of senior community members, augured well for the organisation to spread its wings to the northern towns of Newcastle, Ladysmith, Escourt and Dundee, all heritage sites with a strong history of the involvement of early Indian migrants in developing farming, agriculture, mining and business since the 1860s.

“We are extremely proud of the work that went into starting a chapter in the capital city. Ahead of 160 years celebration of Indians in the country in 2020, it is vital to mobilise and galvanise the community to be unified to observe this milestone and also kick start the dialogue of contributing to a better, safer, secure and economically stronger society based on the Gandhi-Mandela principles of peace, non-racialism, non-sexism with social cohesion becoming the new rallying point of all race groups,’’ Padayachee said.

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