New York Mayor Eric Adams salutes the contribution of the Native American community

Native American community leaders with New York City Mayor Eric Adams outside City Hall

American Indian leaders discuss community issues and perspectives on how it can be involved in the city

Native American community leaders raised Indian community issues and perspectives on how the community can be involved in New York City with Mayor Eric Adams and his senior officials.

Officials from the Global Organization of People of Indian Descent (GOPIO) along with other Indian community organizations raised community issues during a meeting with city officials at New York City Hall on March 1 .

City Hall was represented by Mayor Adam’s Chief Advisor Ingrid Lewis-Martin and Indian American Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi. The Indian community delegation was led by GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham;

After meeting with city officials, the delegation interacted with Adams, who gave high marks for the community’s contribution to making New York an exciting city to live in, according to a GOPIO press release.

Read: India, GOPIO calls for action against defacers of Mahatma Gandhi statue (February 9, 2022)

Initially, GOPIO Chairman Dr. Abraham thanked Adams for appointing many American Indians to high positions in the city administration.

On the issue of the defacing of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Union Square Park in February, GOPIO asked Adams to increase police presence in the park area as well as apprehend and punish the culprit.

The delegation also raised issues such as discrimination, civil rights violations and violence against religious institutions in New York.

Lewis-Martin suggested setting up a community committee to work closely with the New York Police Department on some of these issues.

Girish Patel has been appointed to coordinate this effort along with Braj Aggarwal, Lal Motwani and Beena Kothari. This committee will communicate with the entire Indian community on these issues.

Much of the discussion focused on how to bring businesses to New York, vis-a-vis New York businesses moving to India.

The delegation told city officials that many Indian companies are setting up businesses in the United States and that American Indians in New York could serve as conduits to reach businesses in India.

It has been suggested that whenever business and trade delegations come to New York, the city’s Department of International Affairs should contact them and hold meetings with them.

Another business promotion committee headed by Dr. Abraham has been appointed with Prof. Rajasekhar Vangapaty, Sudhir Vaishnav, Mukund Mehta, Ketan Shah and Karthikeya Parashar.

Read: GOPIO raises $5,000 for Building One Community for new immigrants (January 12, 2021)

Community representatives urged the mayor to maintain the status quo on gifted and talented classes for elementary grades. The delegation told city officials that the gifted should always have the opportunity to advance further in the pursuit of knowledge and realize their full academic potential.

The delegation also suggested the city officials to continue the celebration of Diwali and organize a special celebration of the city for the 75th anniversary of India’s independence to honor the largest democracy in the world.

The GOPIO team also included GOPIO-Manhattan Executive Vice President Prof. Rajasekhar Vangapaty, Vice President Dr. Vimal Goyle and Treasurer Braj Aggarwal, GOPIO-New York Chapter Hon. President Lal Motwani and President Beena Kothari.

Other community representatives were the President of the Association of American Indians (AIA), Gobind Munjal, Executive Director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sudhir Vaishnav, Bhakti Center Program Coordinator, Kartikeya Parashar, President of the Society of Indian American Engineers and Architects (SIAEA), Ketan Shah, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir National. Public Affairs Coordinator Girish Patel and Mukund Mehta, President of India Home and Indo-American Senior Citizen Center of New York.

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