The history of BOPIO is documented in three handbooks. The books were originally published in 1993, 1995 and 1997. The editors were Dr Paul Flatther and Mr Sinna Mani. They contain essays from Dr Thomas Abraham served as a convener of the first global convention of people of Indian Origin in New York , Sudha Acharya President of the Federation of Indian Association of New York (1983-1984), Lord Megand Desai, Lord Bhiku Parekh, His excellancy Dr L M Sanghvi and others. The book pays tribute to Diane Birch for her production assistance. A special thanks to the London Borough of Lewisham, for the financil and practical support for the Festival of India. 

 

The book's are currently  edited by Nancy Woods and will be available on Amazon to buy. In the mean time please use the contact form for more information.

 

Ashvir Sangha of Queens College, Oxford University for his research thesis Re-imaging the British Indian Diaspora in modern political discourse which is relevant now. The public copy of the research on the history of BOPIO upto the present times is availabe to read here. Please open Link. 

 

BOPIO- A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS

Namrata Dhingra, was appointed as - The General Secretary for the British Organisation of People of Indian Origin, an NGO at the House of Lords.  In an interview, she remarked that "I was the only women in the meeting room on that day and I was appointed for the role of General Secretary. I had no idea about my new role and that nobody in the community was willing to work hard to revive the organisation. I remember there were more closed doors - than open

She added that, "Our attempts to carry on with the same name for the organisation also came under scrutiny from the diaspora organisations and the organisation leaders unanimously agreed to change the name and it was called henceforth,  The British Organisation of People of Indian Sub - Continental Origin. At the same time the structure of the organisation was changed by Mr Sinna Mani to add new membership for the revival and survival fate. Prior to 2011 only organisations could join BOPIO. However, after the Solidarity Conference; On a community cohesion a renewed awareness caused a scramble for leadership roles and individual memberships. There was a surge of members who wanted to become part of this historic organisation which had an illustrious past of academics and diplomatic contacts at high government levels in countries such as Russia, India, US, Egypt and UK. Everyone wanted to join the bandwagon and then started a hunt for a Chairman to lead and pave the way for a bright BOPIO future. BOPIO was a traditional organisation, hence new organisational forms became difficult to incorporate under Mr Mani's leadership. Under Mr Mani's leadership the organisation conformed to the visions and goals. However, lack of charismatic leadership race in the UK meant that the mission-focussed practises were compromised. 

 

Namrata Dhingra recalls that "This period had a massive impact on my brain because I was doing the work alongside Mr Mani and under his vision, but the organisation was constantly sabotaged by the leaders who failed to transfigure the organisation.  It was such a gratifying and pleasurable experience to work for the organisation as I was constantly evolving as a person and learning new things.  Keeping the same vision and mission of the organisation and I saw the difficulty to find a suitable lead in Britain meant that the organisation could not move forward under the same vision. The organisation was heavy and could not be metamorphosed from an institutional perspective.   Namrata Dhingra adds that "Despite, Mr Mani’s great vision for half a century to keep the organisation going it was hard to perceive how to move forward with the organisation when there were so many technological and political changes happening and which could not be ignored. Mr Mani was getting on and the pressure was mounting as what the organisation required was young skilled blood and enhanced vision and leadership par excellence qualities. On every account Mr Mani tried, but as the role was voluntary it was hard to sustain. Namrata Dhingra, realised that keeping the organisation going was going to be a pain taking task and she needed knowledge and skills to move forward.  So, she decided to pursue studying an MSC in International Development Studies in the United Kingdom. She affirms” It was a eureka moment for me because I started to devise a plan for a social enterprise within the organisation’s vision.

"This would mean I could carry on my global work with a sustainable plan of action.

"It is much harder to do than what I had anticipated as it was a complex and strategic task to deviate the organisation.

"The constitution and it's aim’s remain unchanged only how we approach problems and how to solve them under the organisation umbrella changes.

A transmutation of ideas led to changing the structure and approach and that also after many discussions with Mr Mani. "

After two years of analysis from January 2017 to March 2019 she concludes that the organisation did not deliberately marginalise women, but the work was time consuming and pains takingly thorough.  She decided to make the projects her own and as a woman she realized the need for a multidimensional approach on gender issues and moving away from traditional women empowerment to practical solutions. As a development practioner she also gained knowledge about finding practical solutions to global business negotiations.

In essence she used the reflective Gibbs 1988 Cycle model  for the analysis which allowed  her  to reach her  evaluation.

 

Under the new leadership the organisation has transposed from a traditional NGO to a Social Enterprise, 

Namrata Dhingra, is a born innovator and entrepreneur with a successful record. 

The traditional structure of BOPIO has completely changed and transmogrified under her executive leadership role. 

BOPIO affiliations are with new organisational forms and whose activities offer innovative solutions to social problems. Our organisation is tangible and exchange-based ideas of legitimacy denoted by an attribution of social acceptability by stakeholder groups where values are given precedence. Under the pragmatic leadership of Namrata Dhingra, those that indirectly benefit from social enterprise activities have produced a positive outcome. She also includes broader norms in the socio-political environment. And she somehow feels that her organisation is more proper, more appropriate organisation model than her predecessors.